Studies in chemistry, or any realm of science, commonly consist of a series of directed examinations of parts of nature's realm called systems. A system is an identifiable fragment of the world that is recognizable and that has attributes that one can identify in terms of form and/or function. We can give examples at any level of size and complexity, and in essentially any context. Indeed, a dog is a system at a pet show; whereas the human heart is a system to the cardiologist; a tumor cell is a system to the cancer specialist; a star or planet or galaxy is a system to an astronomer; a molecule, or a collection of molecules, is a system to a chemist; and a macromolecule in a cell is a system to a molecular biologist. A system is, then, whatever we choose to focus our attention upon for study and examination.
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