Chemical reactions are how new forms of matter are made. While nuclear reactions also may produce new matter, nearly all the substances you encounter in daily life are the result of chemical changes.
Chemical reactions help us understand the properties of matter. By studying the way a sample interacts with other matter, we can learn its chemical properties. These properties can be used to identify an unknown specimen or to predict how different types of matter might react with each other.
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By observing chemical reactions, we are able to understand and explain how the natural world works. Chemical reactions turn food into fuel for your body, make fireworks explode, cause food to change when it is cooked, make soap remove grime, and much more. Exciting and entertaining chemical reactions pique interest in science.
These types of demonstrations encourage people to ask questions and may lead them into science-related careers. Chemical reactions help us to solve crimes and explain mysteries.
By analyzing blood and tissue samples, for example, police are able to identify the perpetrators of crimes. Chemical reactions are also the tools we use to date fossils, analyze ancient materials, and better understand how our ancestors lived. By observing chemical reactions in outer space, we are able to identify and describe other planets.
We can even determine which planets and moons are likely to be able to sustain life. Fire, the most important discovery made by human beings, is simply a chemical reaction. Without chemical reactions, nothing would ever change. Atoms would stay atoms. New molecules wouldn't form. No organisms could live. If matter didn't react with other matter, the universe would be extremely boring!
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The other elements found can be divided into two main groups — major elements and trace elements. The human body functions as a result of a large number of chemical reactions involving compounds of all of these elements. Although many of the elements are required in only very small amounts, they do play a very important role in keeping the body working effectively:. Too little of any given essential element can result in ill health and, if left untreated, could result in death:. Scientific knowledge is never absolute or certain. No matter your course structure or format, ALEKS empowers instructors with the flexibility and control to create an environment that helps students achieve their unique goals.
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