Chemistry, as a subject is spread into so many disciplines: from general chemistry to chemical biology. Even as a discipline in itself, chemistry involves a wide range of concepts to understand: states of matter, atoms, molecules, protons, neutrons, acids and bases, isotopes etc. To be good in chemistry means that you have understood the fundamentals of matter and chemical reactions in all organic and inorganic substances.
For a student in class 10, what lies ahead is always crucial in the determination of his entire career. If he has opted for science, he can not do without consolidating his base in chemistry, maths and physics (and biology, if taken as an option).
The first step towards his career advancement would be senior secondary studies. As we are discussing chemistry, we would take a brief look at the specifics of SSC chemistry.
For any aspirant of chemistry, the subject has to be dealt with keeping in mind what is required of him. As this article focuses on atmospheric chemistry, we will try to layout various categorical topics and subtopics of atmospheric chemistry to help you understand the same. It would be advisable if you do the same for all the chemistry lessons.
What Is Chemistry?
Before we move on to the specifics of atmospheric chemistry, it is first of all important to be clear about what chemistry is. Chemistry is a branch of science which studies the matter, its physical and chemical properties and structure. Known as ‘the science of matter’, chemistry helps us in understanding the fundamentals of all that is ‘matter’.
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As it encompasses everything related to the matter, chemistry is divided into many subdisciplines: organic chemistry(deals with carbon atoms), inorganic chemistry (deals with substances generally without carbon atoms), physical chemistry (using the principles of physics), analytical chemistry (providing tools and methodology for analysis), biochemistry (dealing with living organisms), nuclear chemistry (deals with radioactivity) and so on.
Studying basic chemistry involves understanding atomic structure, atomic mass, atomic theory, molecular structure, intermolecular forces, covalent bonds, the periodic table, etc.
Having understood what chemistry is, it is time to move on to the understanding of atmospheric chemistry.
Chemistry Of The Atmosphere
As you are going to be a student of SSC level chemistry, try learning the expected topics in accordance with your syllabus. One such common topic could be atmospheric chemistry. As a branch of atmospheric science, atmospheric chemistry involves the study and analysis of the chemistry of the atmosphere of the earth and that of other planets.
The focus on atmospheric chemistry has increased in recent decades owing to rapid climate changes and global warming. Who does not have a brief knowledge about the depletion of the Ozone layer or mass melting of the Antarctic ice sheet? Famous Indian writers such as Amitav Ghosh have written explicitly on the climate crisis.
Keeping this in mind, the importance of understanding atmospheric chemistry is not just limited to scoring well in the SSC chemistry exam, but also spread awareness and bring a change in the climate catastrophe we are facing.
Understanding Atmospheric Chemistry
Atmospheric chemistry takes the help of other disciplines such as environmental chemistry and meteorology to draw its analysis. It tries to identify the various changes which occur through the chemical reaction in the atmosphere either because of natural processes such as lightning and volcanic emissions or through man-made processes such as global warming or acid rain. The purpose of the atmospheric chemists is to identify these changes and their effect with the object of addressing the problems in it.
For your SSC level chemistry, the important thing to know about atmospheric chemistry is what the atmosphere is composed of. We know that our atmosphere is made up of nitrogen (78%), oxygen (21%), carbon dioxide (0.04%), argon, hydrogen and other gases.
Another important thing to be learnt from this topic is what are greenhouse gases, and how they affect the atmosphere.
Preparing For SSC Chemistry
Before attending your first SSC chemistry class, try brushing your memory with the basic chemistry lessons you learnt. There are various ways in which you can cover the basics of your SSC chemistry syllabus beforehand.
Taking The Help of Internet
The greatest advantage of living in the information age is that the materials of education have become highly accessible. For chemistry also, the thing is no different. All you need is to google chemistry online and a plethora of information will come your way. From finding test questions from past papers to seeing a chemistry lab tutorial video, there is everything which you need for SSC preparation.
In fact, you can even apply for various online chemistry courses. Doing so will take some accountability off your shoulder in preparation for SSC level chemistry.
Reading Books And Solving Workbooks
Always the classic method! What can be better than reading books? There are many interesting chemistry books available which can clear the basic concepts as well as keep you interested in the subject.
Solving workbooks can also be extremely helpful. It will keep you in practice when it comes to dealing with chemical equations. Workbooks provide multiple choice questions, tricky mathematical sums based on chemistry and important theoretical questions. So it is highly recommended that you solve at least one chemistry workbook.
Opt For Group Study With Your Friends
Group study is a great method to cover your chemistry topics. If each of your friends, including you, can cover a topic separately, it will be of great help for all. Or you can allow a week for each topic, say atmospheric chemistry in the first week and chemical analysis in the second week. This will make it convenient for each of you. You can clear doubts with each other. Also, a nice excuse to hang out together!
Coaching Classes And Private Tutors
There are many coaching classes that help you cover the basic topics of chemistry in a relatively short span say in 2-3 months. This will be helpful for you in your SSC chemistry preparation.
Private tutors are another recommended option. A private tutor for chemistry can help you cover all the important topics. He can address the issues you face in dealing with any fundamental questions.
To help you find a private tutor, Superprof is a great platform. You can search for any teacher, be it of chemistry or any other subject, in your locality by entering your address pin code. Moreover, Superprof lets you access a whole list of teachers with their fee and the stipulated time they will allot to teach. You can choose a teacher on the basis of your preference and affordability. The review system in Superprof will help you in your decision making.
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Careers To Expect From Studying Chemistry
Against the common notion of chemistry as the subject which only helps one in becoming a chemist or pharmacist or a professor of chemistry is obviously and absolutely false. The fact that there are so many subdisciplines in chemistry itself suggests that areas at least as many career options to be had from chemistry.
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Let us take a look at some of the career options we can have from studying chemistry as a major subject post senior secondary level.
- Analytical Chemist: Analytical chemists identify the components in a substance along with the quantitative determination of those components.
- Chemical Engineer: Chemical engineers with the knowledge of chemical properties convert material from one state to another. They help in the design and development of new materials from the reactants.
- Forensic Scientist: Forensic scientists help in the investigation of a crime. They collect the data from the crime scene and analyse it in their lab.
- Geochemist: Geochemists study the chemical and physical properties of rocks and minerals.
- Toxicologist: Like pharmacologists, toxicologists study the effect of drugs. They further analyse the toxicity of a component in a product and how much of it should be included or recommended in the product.
- Water Chemist: Water chemist studies the quality and condition of water and the way to make it drinkable.
These are but a few of the wide career options available for chemistry. If you search the internet, the field is open to a lot of brilliant career options.
As evident, chemistry opens up the possibility of understanding and learning so much. This can arouse a curiosity towards the subject and at the same time make one dissuaded to opt for it in their undergraduate research papers. But do not take so much at once. As you are just to step foot in your senior secondary, try going through the basics of chemistry first. The complexity of chemistry is nothing but a thorough and gradual accumulation of the basics only. So, take one objective at a time and you will see the amazing results of your endeavour, along with the love for the subject.
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