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Sunday, April 13, 2014


REKHA KUMARI(1345102) Chemistry


Introduction of higher education

The higher education is an educational level of post-secondary education, tertiary education and the research education. It also includes teaching and social services activities of universities. In addition, professional level education is always comes under it. The professional field involving the collection, analysis and reporting the data of higher education called research education. In India, there are so many institutions to teach this system. The United States has the top most position in higher education. After China, India has the third rank for it [1].  

 Ancient history of chemistry

The history of chemistry took long time to reach from ancient history to the present. An ancient civilization used technologies which dates back 1000 B.C.  


Near the end of AD eighth century, an Arab alchemist, Abu Musa Jabir ibn hayyan known as a father of chemistry was used the word alchemy. “Alchemy” indicates to both the investigation of nature and an early philosophical and spiritual discipline to combine chemistry with metal. The ‘alchemy’ word derived from Arabic word Al-Kimya. Kimya sometimes indicated either by kemi or kemia, which means the land of black soil or the art of melting gold and silver. The protoscience of chemistry, alchemy, was unsuccessful to explain the nature of matter and its transformations. In 1661, Robert Boyle was made a clear differentiation between chemistry and alchemy [2].

Chemistry in the middle age

Alchemy originated from China. The alchemical writings appear in Chinese literature as early as the third century B.C. Chinese alchemy is closely related to Taoism, which is a system of philosophy and religion. But some told that it is originated from Egypt and filtered into china. But alchemy really started from the philosophy of Taoism. Ko Hung had written three goals of alchemy:

i.   The preparation of real gold from base metal.

ii. The preparation of gold from either natural or artificial but always genuine gold in an edible form.

iii. The chemical preparation of other less efficacious medicines of immortality.

AL-Razi had written a book on alchemy, “Secret of secrets”, in that he divided mineral bodies into six classes:

1. Bodies, the metal.

2. Sprits, Sulphur, arsenic, Mercury, and salt ammoniac.

3. Stones, marcasite, magnesia etc.

4. Vitriols(known to pliny).

5. Boraces, borax, natron(soda), plant ash.

6. Salts, common salts, kali (potash), “Salts of eggs” (Saltpetre) used in china for fireworks.

Division of chemistry:  

Initially chemistry had divided into three different names according to location.

i.   Hindu

ii. China

iii. Europe

Hindu chemistry

 The Sanskrit Vedas mentioned five elements earth, water, air, ether and light( Aristotle said 384-322 BCE). The later Vedas mention gold, silver, copper, bronze, lead and tin. The Samkhya system of philosophy mentions five elements (tantmantras): sound, touch, colour, taste and odour, from which proceed five coarse elements (mahabhutas): ether, air, fire, water and earth, containing one to five of the subtle elements in the above order. The atomic theory occurs in the Vaisesika system, attributed to kanada and developed in Buddhist and Jainist works from the 2nd century B.C.

Chemistry in china

In China, the idea of chemistry came from India early in the Christina era. In this country, Bronze appeared about 1300 B.C. Chinese people used cast iron extensively in the Han dynasty. They were used many objects which made up of cast iron.

Alchemy in Europe

In Europe the beginnings of chemistry were unknown during the middle Ages. It was written on the “divine art”. Large numbers of books on alchemy written in the period 1250-1500 A.D. [3].

Beginning of chemistry education:

Chemistry is the branch of natural science which deals with the composition, structure and properties of matter, and the changes which it undergoes. For example there are certain chemical changes like rusting of iron, burning of fuels, obtaining metals from their ores etc.

The slow progress of science among the ancients was due to the divorce of theory and practice. By this we commonly understand the pretended art of changing the base metals into gold.

History of chemistry in India

The Modern science appeared only in the latter part of the nineteenth century. By the mid nineteenth century European scientists started coming to India. A science college was established in Calcutta in 1814. The study of chemistry was first introduced in the presidency college of Calcutta in 1872, followed by post-graduate teaching in chemistry in 1886. Indians had made considerable progress in the field of chemistry during the ancient and medieval periods, having evidence of P. C. Ray’s two volumes on ‘History of Hindu chemistry’. Then so many scientists started taking keen interest in modern scientific research activities in the field of organic, inorganic etc. Thus P.C. Ray established the Bengal Chemical of Pharmaceutical Works Ltd. in Calcutta. The Alembic Chemical works was established by J.K.Gajjar in 1905 at Baroda. The Indian chemical industry was established and it continued to grow with a slow but a steady pace in the 20th century [4].

Internal perspective on chemistry and training

The creation of a multi-disciplinary research community on science visualization is beginning to address the internal perspective with one important forum and driving force leads to training. A chemist who holds a Ph.D. or at least a master’s degree can understand the theory easily by his thinking ability. So training or research on a particular field is very necessary.   The chemistry – biology interface program of the national institute for general medical science has funded a landmark institution training program (T32). This training program integrates biology and chemistry through a common set of course requirements, a hands-on team based approach to laboratory training, a unique preceptor training.

The Nobel Prize in chemistry

The beginning of 20th century was also a very important turning point in the history of chemistry. Therefore, a survey of the Nobel prizes in chemistry during this century will provide an analysis of important trends in the development of this branch of natural sciences, and this is the aim of a present essay.

Chemistry has a position in the centre of the sciences, bordering onto physics, with provides its theoretical foundation, on one side, and onto biology on the other. Living organisms being the most complex of all chemical systems. Thus, the fact that chemistry flourished during the beginning of the 20th century is intimately connected with fundamental developments. There are some scientists who got the Nobel Prize for their invention:

1.  Joseph John Thomson: Electron (1906) in physics.

2.  Ernest Rutherford: Atomic model (1911)

3. Niels Bohr: The structure of atoms (1922)

4. Eduard Buchner got noble prize for Chemistry in the year 1907.

So, by doing experiments and recording the results, alchemists set the stage for modern chemistry.

 New direction in chemistry

In 1912, Rutherford and Bohr had to change their viewpoint on the nature of matter. On the study of the whole nature of matter was not paid attention as much as on the atomic nuclei and the movement of nuclei in the electric field. Therefore the range of chemistry was restricted to the nature of matter around us. However the meaning of matter denotes that the substances are made up of atoms and molecules. Nowadays Quantum and Nuclear chemistry are currently well developed under the chemical science but it categorized as a science based on the use of concept which describe the phenomenon matter to atomic or molecular scale.  So the field of chemistry is still, on our human scale very broad and it is everywhere is accurate.

 Three decades of Chemistry education in International level

The IUPAC role in pure and applied chemistry was established in 1950s. The junior author (KVS) was mesmerized by the chemical demonstrations of the legendary Hubert N. Alyea, A lifelong affair with third international components of chemical education in august 1977 at Ljublajana, The involvement of KVS with the Committee of teaching of chemistry (1977-1980), to serving as India’s national representative(1981-1985), to serve as CTC Secretary(1986-1990) and then as (1991-1995).

The first Decade

When the CTC- under C.N.R. Rao and David Waddington realized the urgent need to upgrade student laboratories in developing countries, an action plan was formulated in 1979. Its implementation began at DU under the title, “Locally produced Low Cost Equipment (LPLCE) for teaching of chemistry”. The field-testing part of the project, catalyzed by generous support from UNESCO made spectacular progress beginning in the late 1980s. The senior author (NKU) organized teacher training component under auspices of the center for professional development in higher education established at DU by the Indian University Grants Commission (UGC). BBC Open University made a documentary on the social dimension on the DU project.

The Second Decade

In the second decade, to start LPLCE was christened “Cost Effective Science Education”.  The new label provided the multidisciplinary orientation necessary for hands-on environment education. KVS strengthened the formal aspects of the teacher training program.

The Third Decade

The Indian adaptation, titled RASAYNIKA (Sanskrit word for Chemistry) was introduced in 2004. The award was chaired by the reputed Indian industrialist G. H. Singhania, who was made an IUPAC fellow in 2006. The award function was held during Chemical Education Week in January 2005 [5].


Chemistry education in next millennium

The shaping of chemistry was fundamentally important. At the beginning of 21st century, many forces shape the teaching and learning chemistry. So shapes depend on some factors. There are some practical ways for chemistry education to respond to those shaping forces, which include:

(a) Fundamental changes in the counters of chemistry as defined by new interfaces and research areas.

(b) Changes in our understanding of how students learn and how that applies to chemistry education.

(c) The wide spread implementation of computer and information technologies to visualize complex scientific phenomena and,

(d) External forces such as global concerns about energy and water resources and the environment, and the level of chemical literacy and public understanding of science.

Over the next decade we should take challenges related to energy in following fields:

·         Fuel cell chemistry and technologies

·         Materials for solar energy capture and storage

·         High-energy density, rechargeable storage batteries

·         Biomass as a renewable fuel source

·         Superconducting materials for energy distribution

·         Technologies and catalysts for coal as a fuel

·         Carbon dioxide sequestration

·         Lower cost, lighter weight, more durable, recyclable polymers for vehicles.

Finally we need to understand and address the energy crisis that exist in many part of our globe today and the challenge of findings sufficient food to meet daily caloric requirements for our body’s internal combustion engines and sufficient fuel to prepare that food.

In addition to required courses in analytical, organic, inorganic and physical, should study interdisciplinary course. Those interested in the environmental field also should take courses in environmental studies and become familiar with current legislation and regulations. Nowadays computer course are also become important along with chemistry. So along with chemistry can be increased computer skills to modeling and simulation tasks. Statistics are also useful in chemistry because both chemists and materials scientists need the ability to apply basic statistical techniques [6].


Therefore interdisciplinary study becomes very meaningful in this field. The amount of gain of knowledge or idea is not restricted, as much as possible can gain and use in relevant fields. Because all disciplines are relatively connected to each other and used. So the higher education helps to coordinate between different disciplines. Rashtriya Uchattar Shiksha Abhiyan is a centrally sponsored scheme which provides strategic funding to state higher and technical institutions.



[2] N. C. Datta, “Hellenic Connection, Cinnabar and Maharasa” in The story of Chemistry,  
      University press, India, 2005, ch. 2, sec. 2, p. 23.

[3] D. Jolly, “Chemistry in the Middle Ages- Alchemy” in History of Chemistry, IVY 
      Publishing House, Delhi, 2000, ch. 2, pp. 23-27.

[4] P. C. Ray, “The earliest times to the middle of the century A.D.” in A History of Hindu 
, 1902.

[5] Scientifiques Sans Frontiers, “Chemistry International” in The news magazine of the 
      international Union of Pure & Applied Chemistry(IUPAC)
, 2008, vol.30, no. 2.

[6] Peter MAHAFFY, “The future shape of Chemistry Education”, Chemistry Education: 
      Research and Practice, 2004, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 229-245.


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