What is Chemistry?

Chemistry isn’t a bunch of people in white coats mixing things together. It is not blowing things up. It is not melting things. And it is not romance (well, not completely). Those things are involved, but chemistry is so much more! Chemistry is like all science: it is everything and everywhere. It’s deep in our bodies and it’s light years away. Chemistry is the study of how everything interacts.

I’m sure we’ve all heard people say this before: “I prefer organic because it doesn’t have any of those nasty chemicals in it.” We all know what they mean, but there is a HUGE misunderstanding that leads to this thinking. It should be duly noted that literally everything is a chemical. (No offense, I also prefer organic things). Okay, time to drop some knowledge on you.

Where is chemistry found?

  • Food production, taste, preservation
  • Eating/digestion
  • Cleaning/washing
  • Love/hate (neurochemical reactions)
  • Living/dying
  • Energy production
  • Batteries
  • Medicine
  • Allergies
  • Sickness/health
  • Material’s properties
  • Cooking
  • Breathing
  • Depression/happiness
  • Mental illness
  • Birth (and its control)
  • Fireworks’ colors
  • Flowers’ colors and health effects
  • Your colors
  • Your computer’s colors
  • This post’s colors
  • How you’re reading this post
  • How you got on to this post
  • Perhaps even why you’re still reading this post
  • Need I go on?

As you can tell, this isn’t a very “sciencey” post on chemistry. That’s the point! I want to open your eyes and see how chemistry is all around you! For example, did you know that your pencil “lead” only differs from diamonds by how the atoms are put together? Graphite is cheap, diamond’s expensive, but they’re the made of the same thing: carbon. 

 

Well here we are now, entertain us.

We’re all carbon based lifeforms. Like you and I, Kurt Cobain was also made of carbon. Well, you’re here now, let me entertain you:

Bottles of water can expire… sort of: The plastic molecules in bottles diffuse in the water you drink. The diffusion is very slow, but over time (especially in heat), those molecules can get in your water. It’s not enough to poison you, but it may affect the taste. Nothing to worry about, but I bet you never expected to have drunk plastic before!

Water is one weird materialTo start, it’s one of the only materials to expand upon freezing. This is due to the hydrogen bonds and the shape of water molecules (I’ll go over chemical bonds in a future post). Also, adding salt to water will actually reduce it’s volume, not increase it.

There’s a metal that melts in your handMercury and bromine are the only metals that are liquids at room temperature. Gallium is solid at room temperature, but a little more warmth is enough to melt it.

Lightning makes ozone…a lot: We know ozone protects us from the Sun’s radiation. What we may not know is that lightning produces tons of it. The electricity excites the dioxide molecules (O2) and the excited oxygen atoms bind to form ozone molecules (O3). Follow this link for more information on ozone.


If you found anything here to be interesting, share it with a friend! Thank you for reading and I’ll see you next post! And by the way, start expecting more chemistry posts.


Pictures:

Firework Colors by Element: http://chemistry.about.com/od/coloredfire/

Neurons Firing Artist Rendition:  http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2014/may/19/laser-mimics-biological-neurons-using-light

Graphite and Diamond: http://periodical2015.weebly.com/graphite-and-diamond.html

Lavender: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants/lavender

Gallium in Hand: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/81/a4/5e/81a45ee7a584c8adfd3123c87d229302.jpg

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