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Ch_02 - A Guide to the Natural World The Fundamental...

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A Guide to the Natural World The Fundamental Building Blocks Chemistry and Life Introduction: Chemistry and Its Importance in Biology Why do we need to study chemistry? Because you need to see what living organisms are composed of if you want to understand how they function. (City composed of bricks and mortar). Also the public is increasingly responsible for health care decisions that require knowledge of chemistry (see Science and Society ). How do cells do anything? Chain of chemical reactions, latching on, reforming, depositing, and breaking down. Look at an object, what do you see? Matter (takes up space, has weight) and energy. The Nature of Matter: The Atom Subatomic particles. Nucleus: very small size compared to the entire atom, composed of protons (positive charge, mass) and neutrons (no charge, but mass). Electrons: orbit the nucleus (negative charge, negligible mass). Atoms are usually electrically neutral: Number of electrons = number of protons.
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