Chemistry is all about the relationship between matter and energy of both the elements and their compounds. For most of the purposes, a chemist focusses on around 90 elements. For better understanding and ease of use, Chemistry has been divided into various genres such as Organic Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Biochemistry, Quantum Chemistry, Physical Chemistry and so on.
Broadly, however, the subject has been divided into two categories – Inorganic Chemistry and Organic Chemistry. Before drawing the conclusion as to which stream is difficult and which is easier, let us first understand what Organic and Inorganic Chemistry is.
When you are introduced to this subject for the first time, Inorganic Chemistry is what you learn. Studies of metals, non-metals, bases, acids, and salts. Throughout the study, you would learn about Sodium Chloride, Potassium Nitrate, Phosphoric Acid, Nickel Sulfate and so on. As the subject proceeds, you would get familiar with topics like half-reactions, reactions and so on. Chemical analysis, titration, and other topics would also be part of the Inorganic Chemistry sooner or later.
Application of Inorganic Chemistry
There are various applications of Inorganic compounds in medicine and well as our homes.
Application in Medicine
The inorganic compound Magnesium Hydroxide, Aluminum Hydroxide is used as antacids for acidity and heartburns. Similarly, Sodium Fluoride uses its application in toothpaste to prevent various dental diseases. In the hospitals, to enhance the hemoglobin levels for the anemic patients, Ferrous Sulfate is used. Of all the things, the most common one is Oxygen which is used for respiration. Inorganic compound Sodium Chloride and Potassium Chloride is used as oral rehydration salt for relieving weakness during the de-hydration, vomiting or diarrhea.
Application at home
The most common Inorganic compound that you know about is table salt. Then, there are various other compounds such as Baking soda, Bleaching powder, Washing soda and so on that are used in a household on a daily basis. Inorganic compounds also include the minerals used in various items such as Bentonite, Talc, Steatite and so on.
You can say that Organic Chemistry is the advanced stage of Inorganic Chemistry. Simply put, the study of the Carbon constitutes Organic Chemistry. However, both the streams of this subject exhibit huge difference related to the subject matter. Visit an Organic laboratory and you would come across long tables with metal latticework with the suspended glassware and so on. There would be color-coded valves that offer, water, air gas and so on.
Organic Chemistry is much broader when compared to the Inorganic chemistry constituting study areas such as Biochemistry which is best defined as the study of chemical processes within the biological organisms.
Applications of the Organic Chemistry
There is many application of Organic Chemistry, wider than the Inorganic Chemistry. It is a complex study and therefore offered as a different subject within Chemistry. Organic Chemistry talks about solvents, graphites, carbons and so on. It also has a wide range of applications and it is fascinating to see that so many substances such as milk, sugar, and the bread that we use in our daily life are made of the organic material. Apart from edible, there are other things such as belts, shoes, tires, computers, machines that also come under this category. There are various uses of Organic Chemistry and let us walk through each application one by one.
Medicine – One place where you would find organic compounds in abundance is the medical store. Not all, but there is a wide variety of drugs that are made from the organic compounds. Organic compounds form a part of antibiotics, painkillers, anti-depressant, anesthetics and so on. The organic compounds make the water of the medicine soluble as well as easily movable within the body tissues. With the study of Organic Chemistry, the experts look to improve the efficiency of drugs.
Pathophysiology of the disease
Most of the diseases in human beings have a slow process and different stages. With the help of the organic area of Chemistry, the experts diagnose the increased or decreased levels of the compounds with the normal ones. Take, for example, a patient who is suffering from some sort of infection, some sort of biochemical components in the body are damaged, Similarly, in Malaria the parasites hit the hemoglobin content of the blood and the levels deplete quickly. In a way or another, there is a change in the organic components and successful diagnosis helps in identifying the stage and severity of the disease.
For the purpose of Synthesis
The study of Organic Chemistry also helps in conducting the synthesis of various compounds. Say, for instance, the experts noticed some drug molecules as a bi-product of some reaction. The next step would be to run a synthesis on that product in order to make its use on a large scale. If you happen to have an interest in Organic Chemistry, you must have noticed how the Pharma companies try hard to patent their own method of manufacturing the same drug. It is because the same molecule can be made differently with the help of different reactions.
Difference between Organic and Inorganic Chemistry
By understanding the definition and the application of both Organic and Inorganic Chemistry, you might have got an idea about the basic difference between both the streams. Further, the difference would be clearer through the table given below:-
Organic Chemistry- Organic Chemistry talks about the hydrocarbon compounds or organic compounds in general
Inorganic Chemistry- Inorganic Chemistry describes the rest of the subset of the compounds, leaving the organic compound
Organic Chemistry- Talking about the scope, Organic Chemistry has a wide range of applications. Organic chemistry is significant for those interested in biotechnology.
Inorganic Chemistry- The scope is not as wide as the Organic Chemistry. Inorganic Chemistry is more apt for those who want to make their career in nanotechnology.
Organic Chemistry- involves the study of carbon compounds including hydrocarbons
Inorganic Chemistry- Focusses on the non-organic reactions
Organic Chemistry- Talks about the mechanism of making organic reactions possible and then apply those skills in decoding various biological reactions
Inorganic Chemistry- Focusses on describing the various types of inorganic compounds, reactions, and structures.
Organic Chemistry- Consists of reactions that are more concerned with the functional group present on the compound
Inorganic Chemistry- Consists of acid-base reactions, redox reactions, displacement reactions and so on.
Organic Chemistry- Deals with crystals and salts
Inorganic Chemistry- Primarily deals with fats, oils, and sugars.
Organic Chemistry- Melts and boils easily
Inorganic Chemistry- the Melting point is higher and degrades rather than boiling
Organic Chemistry talks about the hydrocarbon compounds or organic compounds in general
Talking about the scope, Organic Chemistry has a wide range of applications. Organic chemistry is significant for those interested in biotechnology.
Involves the study of carbon compounds including hydrocarbons
Talks about the mechanism of making organic reactions possible and then apply those skills in decoding various biological reactions
Consists of reactions that are more concerned with the functional group present on the compound
Deals with crystals and salts
Melts and boils easily
Inorganic Chemistry describes the rest of the subset of the compounds, leaving the organic compound
The scope is not as wide as the Organic Chemistry. Inorganic Chemistry is more apt for those who want to make their career in nanotechnology.
Focusses on the non-organic reactions
Focusses on describing the various types of inorganic compounds, reactions, and structures.
Consists of acid-base reactions, redox reactions, displacement reactions and so on.
Primarily deals with fats, oils, and sugars.
Melting point is higher and degrades rather than boiling
Why is Organic Chemistry so hard?
Although the Organic Chemistry talks about the interaction between the molecules consisting of the Carbon interact, there is no mathematical equation involved like you have to do in Physics and Mathematics. If you are studying Organic Chemistry, you have to ensure how electrons move between the molecules and the curved arrows tell the path of these electrons. Although it is easy to understand and interpret the hieroglyphics, the tougher part is to learn when and where to draw the arrows. In order to draw the perfect arrows, it is important to understand the behavior of the molecules.
Stop if you are looking for the numbers in the Organic Chemistry, instead be more involved in the Periodic table. Differentiate between the electrophilic and less electrophilic elements. Indulge in the principles that dictate the chemical bonding and reaction from the basics of Quantum Chemistry to the electrostatic. You should be open-minded and stable to see how the patterns are forming which gives way to reactions and problem-solving.
Now, when it has been fairly established that Organic Chemistry is harder than Inorganic Chemistry, the students would definitely like to know few tips that can help in understanding the concepts better and scoring good in the subject.
Master the Structure
Dealing with so many compounds can be maddening for the students but there is a key to handle all these compounds. You can arrange these compounds into different categories as per their structure. Structure determines the properties of the compound and tells you whether a particular reaction is possible or not.
To master Organic Chemistry skills, you should learn drawing the structures from a name and find out the number of bonds, hybridization of different atoms. Have you ever notices that in benzene lines are drawn in place of atoms? It also reveals the part of the organic compound that would be most active in reactions. In order to master Organic Chemistry, start with learning them.
Do not give up
Keep up a positive attitude. Do not think about Organic Chemistry difficulties, rather think about the importance of Organic Chemistry in our life. Organic Chemistry is experimental parts of Chemistry so focus on the solution and try to understand the structure. Do not try to memorize the syllabus and it is not possible to memorize Organic Chemistry. Keep practicing regularly, work hard and writing down will lead to mastering in Organic Chemistry. Focus on the concepts and find out the relations between the organic functionalities.
Foundation should be strong
Most of the students focus on the tests and how they can score good marks. For this, we all start solving the previous year question papers and start hunting for the common questions in all the years so that few marks are at least guaranteed out of the total.
However, the strategy will fail terribly in the long run if you fail to understand the concept and want to apply for higher studies. Not just chemistry, but all subjects are like a pyramid, where the foundation should be strong on which the pyramid has to be built. If you are not able to recall the basics, there is no trouble in going back a few chapters and revising it. Revising and understanding are the keys to success. Over a period of time, without you even realizing, the concepts would be on your fingertips. Do not just run after the marks, rather invest time in learning the concepts thoroughly and everything else would come easy.
Don’t give up to the hype
Google it or ask someone with a science background around you – they all have unitedly believed that Organic Chemistry is one of the toughest subjects out there. Let your mind not be clouded with these irrational conversations. We are not saying that Organic Chemistry is a cakewalk but then you cannot give up on your dreams without even trying once. Often, parents who are over conscious about their children unknowingly pressurize them to take the subject which fetches good marks. If you truly are interested in the subject and believe that investing time in it would produce great results, go ahead and study the subject irrespective of others’ opinions.
Do you have Physics Background –
While most of the schools and colleges do offer Maths, Physics, and Chemistry together in the science course, you might want to brush off your Physics skills before taking up Chemistry for the higher studies. Give a year to study Physics and revise the concepts such as conformational changes, transition states, and activation energies as it would help you in understanding Chemistry better.
Invest time in learning Acid Based reactions
If you are interested in Organic Chemistry and want to make a career in it, the fact that more than half of the subject is an acid-based reaction would not come as a surprise to you. If you know how they interact, more than half of the Chemistry would be solved for you. If you are able to assess the place where the charge would be more stable, the direction the reaction would be known along with what the product is.
Chemistry cannot be memorized
Well, the statement might not be true in its entirety, but a major part of this science is about understanding rather than by hearing. You will have to by heart functional groups, nomenclature terms reagent names and so on. But the broader subject is about understanding the concepts. If you are finding it difficult to learn everything and remember it during the exams, flashcards are a great way of ensuring that the important concepts are always on your fingertips.
A deep understanding of principles leads to success in an Organic Chemistry course. Determining how to transform a given set of reactants into a product is an open-ended problem that requires creative problem-solving. It requires a mind with the ability to recognize and explore patterns, which is precisely what a memorization-heavy curriculum inadvertently stamps out.
Extra Chemistry classes
Yes, Organic Chemistry would require extra efforts and if you think that there are concepts that are difficult to understand without an expert, then taking tuitions is the right thing to do. Extra coaching classes have many benefits with one being a repetition of the concept and understanding it from a different perspective. You might have come across the teachers who somehow relate everything to the activities and common things around you which not only helps in understanding the concept but also to remember it forever. Do not hesitate in going for extra classes when required.
Organic Chemistry is harder than Inorganic Chemistry and therefore you would need extra efforts and more investment of time to learn the concepts and gain expertise. Understanding the concept is the key to master Organic Chemistry and you should invest more time in learning the foundations.