Everybody knows that chemistry with its today's possibilities is a young science. But its history began several thousand years ago. A great number of facts which are still useful in modern chemistry were discovered in ancient Greece, Rome and especially Egypt. But that knowledge was purely practical. They could not explain many things which they were observing in the material world. They prepared medicines from plants but could not tell what elements they consisted of.
Today, chemistry is revolutionising the material conditions of life of contemporary society. Its impact on the development of production is accounted for by the fact that many new technological methods are based on the chemical transformation of matter, the use of catalysis, synthetic materials and other achievements of chemistry and chemical industry. Those methods as a rule promote the growth of output and improve its quality, allow a more intensive use of equipment and cut costs on material and labour.
Everybody knows that chemistry is an extremely useful thing. We are aware of the fact that none of the key industries can develop without chemistry. This applies to machine-building, rocketry, agriculture, light and building industry, medicine, national defence, etc. There are other sciences (biochemistry, molecular biology, geochemistry, astrochemistry, etc.) which have been considerably affected by the progress of chemistry.
We all realise that the successes of Soviet chemistry have been amazingly great. Take, for instance, the chemistry of polymers. Our scientists, who are working jointly with the chemical branches of industry, have created the world's best polymers as far as durability and thermal stability are concerned. In our everyday life we are using beautiful fabrics and other materials which can now be made "to order" out of polymers obtained from natural gas, coal, shale, wood or oil. They are much more durable, cheaper, and of considerably better quality. Polymer substances are used in making bolts, screws, bodies for motor cars and motor boats, skis, tanks, belts, springs, bearings, blood vessels and joints, and a lot of other quite improbable things. We also know that almost all detergents, fertilisers, lubricants, fuels, antifreezes, pesticides, cosmetics, solid-state devices, energy-converters (magnets, lasers) and thousands of other products are constructed wholly or in part of synthetics.
In the not too distant future, when the atom, the Sun, the heat of the Earth, and the tides become the main sources of energy, the great quantities of coal, oil, gas, shale and wood, which are extracted and burned up all over the world every year, will be used to make consumer goods.
Today we are witnessing the development of a new scientific and technical branch — biochemical technology. The chemists-researchers have already succeeded in determining the place and the role of each atom in a complex bioorganic compound. We are also reading quite frequently about the scientists who can retrace and organise the processes in a living organism and change hereditary properties by introducing artificially created carriers of hereditary characters. The combination of biological or microbiological processes with those of direct chemical synthesis helps obtain new substances or micro-organisms. This also will provide humanity with unlimited sources of food, medicines, fodder, many types of highly valuable raw materials, etc. We are sure that there will be many new discoveries in our chemistry. They will create new opportunities in the future of mankind.
2.Find in the text English equivalents to the following words and word combinations: