what is physical chemistry?

We use math to add, subtract, multiply and divide numbers. Similarly, when we talk about physical principles like temperature, and pressure under Chemistry, then we study it in a separate subject, which is physical chemistry. There will be many such things regarding chemistry that may not be in your knowledge yet. This part of chemistry is very important. That’s why everyone must have some knowledge about physics in today’s time.

Today we will discuss various topics of physical chemistry like what is physical chemistry? What are the main areas of physical chemistry, and what are the characteristics of these areas? Who is the father of physical chemistry? Along with this, we will also discuss the topic that how physical chemistry emerged and which scientists contributed to it.

What is physical chemistry? 

Chemistry is divided into three parts respectively namely organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and physical chemistry. Under organic chemistry, we study compounds made of carbon and hydrogen and under inorganic chemistry, we study the characteristics of metals and non-metals and their stability. On the other hand, if we talk about physical chemistry, then inside it we calculate the printed data of organic and organic chemistry. That is, physical chemistry is the branch of chemistry under which we study the principles of chemistry.

Under physical chemistry, we study the physical states of substances such as temperature, pressure, solid, liquid, gas, etc., and also solve numerical problems. Hope you have understood the definition of is Physical Chemistry.

Read Also:- What is organic chemistry?

Rise of physical chemistry

A long time back physical chemistry was not considered as a separate subject of chemistry rather it was studied along with organic, and inorganic chemistry. But later when the law of indestructibility of matter came, then physical chemistry came into the eyes of people. Many scientists contributed to the rise of physical chemistry, some of which are Van’t Haff, and Arrhenius Wilhelm Ostwald. Later the laws of constant proportion, multiple proportions, and reciprocal proportion were discovered and physical chemistry got a new dimension. Charles and Boyle’s laws related to ideal gas opened new doors in physical chemistry and a new way of understanding atoms and molecules was found. Antoine Lavoisier is mostly acknowledged as the Father of Physical Chemistry. In the next step of the article Physical Chemistry, you will get information about the important areas of physical chemistry.

Some Important Dimensions or Areas of Physical Chemistry

Although there are many areas to study chemistry, here we will tell you about some major areas of chemistry. Which are as follows –

  • Quantum Mechanics – What kind of fundamental principle is quantum mechanics, under which we study the physical properties and principles of atoms and molecules? Quantum physics attempts to account for the constituents of molecules and atoms, such as electrons, protons, neutrons, and other very small particles such as quarks.
  • Thermodynamics – Within this part of physical chemistry, we study the transfer of heat and the work done by it. And how heat is transferred between a system and the surrounding, we also study it thoroughly.
  • Electrochemistry – The branch of physical chemistry under which we study the process of conversion of electrical energy into chemical energy and chemical energy into electrical energy is called electrochemistry.
  • Solutions and Colloids – Under this branch, we study the behavior of solutions and also study colloidal particles and know their characteristics.
  • Chemical Kinetics – The branch of physical chemistry in which we study the rate and degree of reaction and rate of reaction is called chemical kinetics.
  • Nuclear Chemistry – Under this, we study the nucleus deeply and also know about radioactivity. Discussing the stability of the nucleus, let us try to reach its other dimensions as well.
  • Mass spectrometry – There is such a technique under physical chemistry, by which we can separate different particles present in a billion. First, these particles are charged, and then they are separated according to the ratio of their mass and charge.
  • Astrochemistry – The branch of physical chemistry under which atoms and molecules present in the universe are studied is called astrochemistry. Astronomy contains various information about various chemical reactions going on in our solar system.

Some interesting facts about physical chemistry

  • Ozone gas is formed due to lightning, which makes the ozone layer stronger so that Ultra Violet rays from the Sun cannot reach the Earth.
  • There is enough graphite in our human body to make 9000 pencils.
  • About 200 grams of sodium chloride i.e. NaCl (Table Salt) is found in a normal human being.
  • Normally oxygen gas is colorless, but when it is converted into liquid and solid form, it turns blue.
  • The reason for Mars being red is due to the high amount of iron oxide present on it, which we call rust.
  • Physical chemistry first became a known field of research in the mid-1700s when Mikhail Lomonosov first used the term in a lecture on the subject.
  • Between the 1860s and 1880s, studies in chemical thermodynamics, chemical kinetics, and other branches of science strengthened scientists’ understanding of how the laws of physics and chemistry work together.
  • Josiah Willard Gibbs’ 1876 presentation introduced several physical chemistry concepts, including Gibbs energy, the Gibbs phase law, and the potential of chemicals.
  • In the 1930s, the principles of quantum mechanics were correlated to those of chemistry, and the term quantum chemistry was coined.
  • The laws and studies of physics were particularly important in the later development of nuclear chemistry, especially in isotope separation and astronomy.
  • Astrochemistry, or the study and theory on the chemical makeup of the universe, has future applications regarding the controversial topic of exploration and potential mining.
  • Essentially, physical chemistry is the application of the purest physical laws to solve or explain chemical reactions.
  • This research was particularly important in explaining how atoms bind together, as well as the reactions that can lead to the breaking of those bonds.
  • Physical chemistry is specifically concerned with predicting how atoms will combine, and then predicting the properties of the resulting compound.
  • An important subfield of physical chemistry is quantum chemistry, which looks at the applications of the resulting compounds based on their structures.
  • Spectroscopy is also a related field to physical chemistry because understanding and predicting ionic bonding requires understanding the locations and structures of the nucleus and its electrons.
  • Richard Zare, the Marguerite Blake Wilbur Professor in Natural Science, and postdoctoral researcher Xianyang Zhang participated in the iteration of the vacuum chamber, where the team’s experiments revealed that unexpected transfers of energy occur near hydrogen atoms and deuteride molecules. (Linda A. Cicero, Stanford News Service)
  • Richard Zare, the Marguerite Blake Wilbur Professor in Natural Science, and postdoctoral researcher Xianyang Zhang participated in the iteration of the vacuum chamber, where the team’s experiments revealed that unexpected transfers of energy occur near hydrogen atoms and deuteride molecules.

JEE (Advanced) Physical Chemistry General Topics

In India, an examination is conducted to take admission to IIT, which is called JEE Advanced. There are many topics in physical chemistry under chemistry such that the number of questions is seen more in the exam. You can get good marks by revising these Physical Chemistry Notes. Some of these topics are as follows –

  • Mole Concept
  • Atomic Structure
  • Electrochemistry
  • Thermodynamics
  • Chemical Kinetics


Hope friends, you must have liked today’s article, in which we told you which topics are important according to Physical Chemistry and JEE Mains exam. Along with this, we have come to know many facts related to its working style. If you have any kind of questions then do ask in the comment box.

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