What is Chemistry?

Prof. Timothy Cook and graduate students in the Natural Sciences Complex.

Prof. Timothy Cook and graduate students in the Natural Sciences Complex

Chemistry is the basic science that deals with the composition and transformation of matter. It often involves hands-on or computational experiments to understand and control matter at the molecular level. 

Chemistry in the World

Chemistry is also central to major societal issues including health care, energy, protection of the environment and the provision of food, shelter and a vast array of industrial products.

Modern chemistry is highly interdisciplinary. Chemists work with:

  • Biologists to understand life processes 
  • Physicians to design new drugs and medicines
  • Physicists and geologists to probe outer and inner space 
  • Ecologists to improve the environment 
  • Engineers and technical managers to provide materials and energy for a better life

Chemists are explorers and problem-solvers. As a student in the UB Department of Chemistry, you will discover the many ways chemistry impacts daily life, conduct hands-on research with internationally-recognized faculty experts, and help find solutions to some of the most pressing challenges facing our world today and in the future. 

Diana Aga and student during egg study.

Henry M. Woodburn Chair Professor Diana Aga conducted a recent study on how chemicals accumulate in the local ecosystem.