This module provides a grounding in polymer chemistry, natural and synthetic macro molecules and the measurement of polymer molar masses. The module explains the effects of structure and processing on polymer properties and how they can be modified. It also aims to give an understanding of typical applications of macromolecular materials, biomaterials and composites in industry and everyday life. The module introduces various aspects of the chemical and pharmaceutical industry pertinent to possible future careers and aims to cover a wide range of topics including green chemistry, patents, intellectual property, health and safety, and other legislation.
The molecularization of biology since the middle of the 20th century has had a huge impact on research as well as on everyday applications. It consists of a synthesis of many biological, biochemical and medical disciplines. Whether in the diagnosis of diseases, the production of detergents, chemical basic materials or foodstuffs, biotechnological processes determine modern everyday life.
The advancement of knowledge made possible by the development of molecular biology has enriched the knowledge about the function of cells and of the whole organism in a revolutionary manner, and one begins to understand the complexity and diversity of the regulatory processes at the molecular level and to recognize the molecular structures involved.
In the following, some examples of important developmental steps and the scientists involved are presented.
Outreach: Engaging schools and the wider community in chemistry and science is an important activity for academic staff and students in the Department. Oxford Chemistry regularly hosts visits and events within the Department and takes part in local and national activities to demonstrate chemistry’s central role in everyday life.
Naturally occurring food and fuel contain complex carbon-based molecules, chiefly derived from plant matter that has been formed by photosynthesis. The chemical reaction of these molecules with oxygen releases energy; such reactions provide energy for most animal life and for residential, commercial, and industrial activities.