Chemistry is fundamental. To understand why an autumn leaf turns red, or why a diamond is hard, or why soap gets us clean, requires an understanding of chemistry. To design a synthetic fiber, a life-saving drug, or a space capsule requires knowledge of chemistry. The behavior of atoms, molecules, and ions determines the sort of world we have to live in, our shapes and sizes, and even how we feel on a given day. So chemistry is worth studying, first of all, just because it is such a good antidote for ignorance.