Contrary to what many students believe, chemistry is much more than just a subject experienced in a lab. A good chemistry tuition in Singapore helps chemistry come alive, showing its uses beyond the classroom and in our daily living. Here are 5 examples of how chemistry is present all around us.
Eating is a classic pastime of Singaporeans, and it wouldn’t be possible without chemistry. From heating to mixing and blending, these principles are just as present when stirring a test tube or swirling cake batter. Students learn about the Maillard reaction, which is where sugars and proteins combine to cause browning and caramelisation – responsible for the sweet and nutty flavours many of us love.
Beyond cooking, chemistry plays a key role in Singapore’s food manufacturing industry, a thriving sector contributing billions to our GDP through exports. It utilises industrial-scale chemical processes to produce food that’s tasty and nutritious in large quantities. A reputable O Level chemistry tuition helps to strengthen students’ fundamentals in chemistry, providing the first step to stepping into this industry.
Almost all of us own a smartphone or a laptop/computer, and many of our homes also feature high-definition TV screens that let us unwind after a day of work. Our electronic devices utilise chemistry to run, be it from rechargeable batteries to their LCD screens.
LCD screens get their name from liquid crystals, a substance that has properties of both a conventional liquid and a solid crystal. They utilise the principle of chirality to work, which is taught by Singapore’s chemistry syllabus and at tuition centres as well. When exposed to a light source, these crystals twist and rotate light waves, vibrating and causing pixels to light up with colours conferred by a filter.
Be it taking the bus or riding an airplane, travel wouldn’t be possible without chemistry. An internal combustion engine combines both physics and chemistry through the ignition and combustion of fuel such as petrol or diesel. It then uses the converted energy to move pistons, which in turn drive a vehicle’s wheels through gears and rotating crankshafts.
Rechargeable electric cars also utilise chemistry principles to function. When hooked up to a charging station, lithium-ion batteries utilise electrochemical reactions to facilitate ion and power transfer. These same reactions are also taught in Singapore’s chemistry syllabus, and a good tuition centre helps students grasp these concepts and score well in their exams.
Many of us are used to popping painkillers to treat headaches or migraines, which rely on biochemistry to do so. Painkillers such as paracetamol and NSAIDs work in different ways, with paracetamol blocking chemical messengers that signal pain to our brain. NSAIDs block specific enzymes that produce prostaglandins, which are associated with inflammation and pain.
Beyond medicines, many medical procedures utilise principles of chemistry too. For example, barium’s radioactive properties allow it to show up on X-ray scans, while chemotherapy utilises chemicals that disrupt tumour cells’ proliferation and cause their death. Learning at a chemistry tuition helps prepare Singaporean students to pursue a medical or pharmaceutical career in their future.
While laundry is often seen as just a household chore, making your clothes fresh and clean utilises principles of chemistry as well. Laundry detergents contain molecules known as surfactants, with a hydrophilic head and hydrophobic tail. This allows the tail region to bind to grease and dirt in clothes while the head stays in the water, with powerful attractive forces removing the dirt for easy washing.
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