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Microbiology stands on the shoulders of chemistry, physics, mathematics and many other areas of study. To be able to talk the language of microbiology, there is an entrance fee in the form of a basic set of knowledge that must be acquired from these other disciplines. In this chapter we cover a number of important concepts that a student of microbiology needs as a foundation for the rest of microbiology. For some this may serve as a review, but you may want to read it anyway because it might give you a new perspective on the knowledge you already have.