Chemistry seeks to understand our physical world on an atomic level. This microscopic picture uses the elements of the periodic table as building blocks for a vast array of molecules, ranging from water to DNA. But some of the most fascinating aspects of chemistry involve chemical reactions, where molecules combine and transform— sometimes dramatically—to generate new molecules.
Chemistry explores many areas of our physical world, ranging from our bodies and the air that we breathe to the many products of the human endeavor—including art and a plethora of consumer products. Students at Sarah Lawrence College may investigate these diverse areas of chemistry through a variety of courses: Atmospheric Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry, Nutrition, Photographic Chemistry, and Extraordinary Chemistry of Everyday Life, to name a few. In addition to these courses, the College routinely offers General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Biochemistry to provide a foundation in the theories central to this discipline.
Just as experimentation played a fundamental role in the formulation of the theories of chemistry, it plays an integral part in learning them. Therefore, laboratory experiments complement many of the seminar courses.