Physical Chemistry —the study of the effect of chemical structure on the physical properties of a substance.
Physical chemists typically study the rate of a chemical reaction, the interaction of molecules with radiation, and the calculation of structures and properties.
Sub-branches of physical chemistry include:
- Photochemistry — the study of the chemical changes caused by light.
- Surface chemistry — the study of chemical reactions at surfaces of substances. It includes topics like adsorption, heterogeneous catalysis, formation of colloids, corrosion, electrode processes, and chromatography.
- Chemical kinetics — the study of the rates of chemical reactions, the factors affecting those rates, and the mechanism by which the reactions proceed.
- Quantum chemistry — the mathematical description of the motion and interaction of subatomic particles. It incorporates quantization of energy, wave-particle duality, the uncertainty principle, and their relationship to chemical processes.
- Spectroscopy — the use of the absorption, emission, or scattering of electromagnetic radiation by matter to study the matter or the chemical processes it undergoes.