Chemistry is the study of matter and the changes it undergoes. Much of the behavior of matter at the microscopic level has its origins in the structure and interactions of matter at the submicroscopic level. A crystal of table salt is cubic because of the alternating arrangement of sodium and chloride ions in a three-dimensional lattice structure. Ice floats because of the polarity and geometry of the water molecule. Students who have studied biology can attest to the importance of chemistry in the assembly of proteins, the replication of DNA, and to other life processes.
An understanding of the principles of chemistry and the mental habits developed during the course will help students prepare for further study in fields of science, and develop a deeper appreciation of the world around them.