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What is chemistry?

🧪Chemistry is the study of matter, defined as anything that has mass and takes up space, and the changes that matter can undergo when it is subject to different environments and conditions.

🧪Chemistry seeks to understand not only the properties of matter, like the mass or composition of a chemical element, but also how and why matter undergoes certain changes — whether something transformed because it combined with another substance, froze because it was left for two weeks in a freezer, or changed colors because it was exposed to too much sunlight.

🧪The reason why chemistry has to do with everything we do is that almost everything in existence can be broken down into chemical building blocks.

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What are the main building blocks in chemistry?

These are the chemical elements - substances made of a single atom.

Each chemical is unique, composed of a set number of protons, neutrons and electrons, and is identified by a name and a chemical symbol, such as "C" for carbon.

The elements that scientists have discovered so far are listed in the periodic table of elements, and include both elements that are found in nature like carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, as well as those that are manmade, like Lawrencium.

Chemical elements can bond together to form chemical compounds, which are substances made up of multiple elements, like carbon dioxide (CO2 - one carbon atom connected to two oxygen atoms), or multiple atoms of a single element, like oxygen gas (O2 - two oxygen atoms connected together). These chemical compounds can then bond with other compounds or elements to form countless other substances and materials.

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What are the main branches of chemistry?

Experts often divide chemistry into 5️⃣ main branches.

Analytical chemistry involves the analysis of chemicals, and includes qualitative methods like looking at color changes, as well as quantitative methods like examining the exact wavelength(s) of light that a chemical absorbed to result in that color change.

Biochemistry uses chemistry techniques to understand how biological systems work at a chemical level.

Inorganic chemistry studies the chemical compounds in inorganic, or non-living things such as minerals and metals.

Organic chemistry deals with chemical compounds that contain carbon, an element considered essential to life.

Physical chemistry uses concepts from physics to understand how chemistry works. For example, figuring out how atoms move and interact with each other, or why some liquids, including water, turn into vapor at high temperatures.

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Ask Me
What are the main branches of chemistry? Experts often divide chemistry into 5️⃣ main branches. Analytical chemistry involves the analysis of chemicals, and includes qualitative methods like looking at color changes, as well as quantitative methods like…
How do different branches of chemistry benefit society?

📍Analytical chemistry
enables scientists to characterize many different properties of chemicals, and, for example, helps food companies make tastier frozen dinners by detecting how chemicals in food change when they are frozen over time. it is also used to monitor the health of the environment by measuring chemicals in water or soil.

📍Biochemistry helped researchers to map out the human genome and to understand what different proteins do in the body and develop cures for many diseases.

📍Inorganic chemistry is used to create a variety of products, including paints, fertilizers and sunscreens.

📍Organic chemistry is used in many applications, such as biotechnology, the petroleum industry, pharmaceuticals and plastics.

📍Physical chemistry is important for product development, and may study how certain materials, such as plastic, may react with chemicals the material is designed to come in contact with.

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What is the other name of the periodic table of elements?

It is also called Mendeleev’s periodic table after the name of a prolific Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev (1834-1907)⬆️.

In 1869 Mendeleev published an article, in which presented his first version of a table containing then known elements arranged in order of relative atomic mass.

He also noticed that there were plenty of gaps in the table and exceptions to the emerging patterns, and predicted that there were elements that existed but simply hadn’t yet been discovered.

Confirmed in later years, those predictions made Mendeleev’s theory even more valuable.

For example, when the element that should fit below aluminum in his table was discovered in 1875 and called gallium, its properties were found to be very close to Mendeleev's calculations.

Important scientific contributions that helped Mendeleev were also made by Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier, Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner, John Newlands, Julius Lothar Meyer.

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How does Mendeleev’s version of the periodic table differ from the modern one?

✔️While the first edition of Mendeleev’s table contained 63 elements, the current periodic tables include 118 elements.

✔️Mendeleev used the horizontal format in his versions, and now chemical 'groups' are shown vertically.

✔️Mendeleev's periodic table is based on atomic mass while today's periodic tables are arranged by increasing atomic numbers.

✔️Mendeleev placed transition elements together with other elements, and the modern periodic table shows these elements in a separate block.

✔️Not discovered at that time noble gases were not placed by Mendeleev in his table, but nowadays these elements are in a separate group named Group-18.

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Who manages the periodic table and what are its newest elements?

Today, the periodic table is managed by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, or IUPAC (eye-you-pack), responsible for deciding what needs to be changed based on specially created critera.

The last four elements to be discovered were officially recognized by the IUPAC in January, 2016: they are nihonium (Nh), moscovium (Mc), tennessine (Ts), and oganesson (Og), with atomic numbers 113, 115, 117, and 118, respectively.

ℹ️ Looking back in history, it’s worthy to note that ancient people knew about 10 elements: carbon, copper, gold, iron, lead, mercury, silver, sulfur, tin, and zinc.

Arsenic, antimony, and bismuth were discovered prior to 1500 AD, while phosphorus, cobalt, and platinum were discovered by 1750.

Most natural elements were found by 1900.

Technetium became the first synthetic element in 1937.

The first transuranium element to be discovered (neptunium) was found in 1940.

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What is hygiene?

Hygiene can be defined as:

📌 a science of the establishment and maintenance of health,

and

📌 the practices of keeping yourself and your surroundings clean, especially in order to prevent illness or the spread of diseases.

The word hygiene came to English from the French hygiène which in turn came from the New Latin hygieina and before that the Greek hygieinḕ(téchnē) or healthful (art). Ultimately though, at the end of the etymology trail, is Hygieia, daughter of Asclepius (the god of medicine) and goddess of cleanliness and sanitation. The Greek adjective was used by Aristotle as a noun meaning "health."

Since the arrival of the Industrial Revolution (c.1750-1850) and the discovery of the germ theory of disease in the second half of the nineteenth century, hygiene has been at the forefront of the struggle against illness and disease.

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What were the first toothbrushes?

Good oral care seems to have been high up on the agenda for humans since ancient times.

🪥Evidence found in Egyptian tombs dates early toothbrushes back to 3500 – 3000 BC when the Egyptians and Babylonians made toothbrushes by flaying the ends of twigs.

🪥The Romans opted for sticks with frayed ends, while the Greeks used rough cloths.

🪥Around 1600-1400 BC the Chinese developed ‘chewing sticks’, twigs taken from aromatic trees and chewed to sweeten the breath.
Fast forward many hundreds of years to the 15th century and the Chinese invented the first natural bristle brush. Bristles from a pig’s neck were attached to either bone or bamboo handles.

🪥These toothbrushes were taken to Europe, and this design was adapted to use horsehairs, which many Europeans preferred. Other models in Europe used feathers. These ancient tools were not as cleanly as modern toothbrushes.

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How was the modern toothbrush developed?

🪥What we now know as the modern toothbrush, was invented in England by William Addis in 1780. He attached pig bristles to a specially carved handle made from cow bone. Addis’s design was developed further in 1844 when the first three-row brush was developed.

🪥🪥🪥Mass production of toothbrushes began in many countries at the end of the nineteenth century.

While these toothbrushes in the 1800s were of course better than, say a cloth, they still had much to be desired.

Hence, the evolution of the toothbrush bristles and handles began.

🪥First, in 1927 the first plastic-handled toothbrush was invented.

🪥Then, in 1938, Nylon was invented by the DuPont Company and the manual toothbrushes we know today were created.

🪥By the 1950’s toothbrushes had much softer bristles that were much preferred by consumers and were more hygienic.

🪥In the 1960s the first electric toothbrushes appeared on the market.

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What were the first toothpastes?

🦷Egyptians used a paste to clean their teeth around 5000 B.C., even before toothbrushes were invented!

🦷Ancient Greeks and Romans, and people in China and India used toothpaste around 500 B.C.

🦷Ancient toothpaste was used to whiten teeth, freshen breath, and clean teeth and gums as we use it today. However, the materials were more abrasive and not as hygienic. They included grounded-up ox hooves' ashes, burnt eggshells, and pumice.

🦷Egyptians crushed rock salt, mint, dried iris flowers and pepper and mixed them together to create a cleaning powder. Although this concoction is known to create bleeding gums, research suggests it is the most effective compared to most toothpastes used as recently as a century ago.

🦷Ancient China used a wide variety of toothpaste ingredients over time, such as ginseng, herbal mints, and salt.

🦷Ancient Greeks and Romans' toothpaste ingredients included crushed bones, oyster shells, charcoal, and tree bark.

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When were modern toothpastes invented?

📌 The development of toothpaste as we know it now began in the 1800s. First, it was powder often containing soap or chalk and betel nut. Later in the 1860s, some homemade toothpastes used ground charcoal, similar to ancient Greek versions.

📌 Manufacturers created fluoride toothpaste to help prevent cavities in 1914.

📌 After 1945 soap was replaced by manufacturers with other ingredients to make it a smoother paste with ingredients found in present-day toothpaste.

📌 In the later 20th century, modern toothpaste was developed to prevent or treat specific diseases and conditions such as 🦷 sensitivity.

📌 When it was found that abrasive toothpaste could wear away or damage enamel, toothpastes with very low abrasiveness were also developed.

📌 Toothpaste today is stored in tubes and typically contains fluoride, coloring, flavoring, sweetener, and ingredients that make the toothpaste smooth, foamy and keep it moist.

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What do we know about the history of toilet paper?

✔️ In very ancient times, wiping with stones, seashells, animal furs and other natural materials and rinsing with water or snow was common.

✔️ For toilet purposes Romans used sponges on sticks, known as tersoriums, but these tools may have been used more like toilet brushes than toilet paper.

✔️ As paper was invented in the 2nd century BC by Chinese, it’s not surprising that the first use of toilet paper was also recorded in the Middle Kingdom. In the 6th century AD toilet paper was already widely used in China. There is evidence that by the early 14th century, the Chinese were manufacturing toilet paper at the rate of 10 million packages of 1,000 to 10,000 sheets annually. In the 1390s, thousands of perfumed paper sheets were also produced for the Hongwu Emperor’s imperial family. That was almost the 🧻 as we have come to think of it.

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