For life to begin, a combination of inorganic and organic substances need to evolve biochemistry. When 20th century scientists accepted and elaborated on J.B.S Haldane's primordial soup hypothesis, their guesses and suggestive experiments centered mostly around the mature field of organic chemistry. But biochemistry as a science was still in its infancy. Their hunches were like those of aliens trying to account for our transition from hunter gatherer-groups to civilization without understanding the roles of agriculture, division of labor and writing.
Viscous materials do not follow standard laws - below a sub-melting point threshold, anyway.
Glass-formers are a class of highly viscous liquid materials that have the consistency of honey and turn into brittle glass once cooled to sufficiently low temperatures. Researchers have examined the behavior of these materials as they are on the verge of turning into glass. Although science does not yet thoroughly understand their behavior when approaching the glassy state, the new study relies on an additional type of dynamic measurements and clearly shows that they do not behave like more simple fluids, referred to as "activated" fluids. This is contrary to recent reports.
By definition, elements, whose atomic nuclei have the same number of protons, and compounds, which have two or more elements bonded together, are both pure substances. Not to confuse the "pure substance" term with chemical "purity" in the analytical sense, what matters more is that pure substances can be anywhere on the spectrum in terms of how they impact humans and the rest of nature. When evaluating chemical elements and compounds from this point of view, the following classification may prove useful.
1. Not Quite Perfect Superheroes: Essential Life-Giving Substances
Numerical results are not gospel. After crunching them again, even if they turn out to be valid, time is not lost. Investigating will often teach one something. So to learn a little more, I wondered how the EPA arrived at the figure of 8.92*10-3 metric tons CO2/gallon of gasoline.
First, since I'm a middle-aged Canadian half-raised on imperial gallons and half on liters, I'll begin with a more trivial matter---a conversion:
Even though arsenic is toxic for many organs in the human body, it is used in therapeutic medicine and the treatment of some forms of cancer, and is an active component of drugs against parasitic diseases.
A new study shows that ursolic acid, a natural substance found in apple peel, can partially protect mice from obesity and some of its harmful effects.
What do diamonds and chocolate have in common? Well, urban legend says girls love them both. Maybe we can add volcanoes if we are using correlational woo.
A previously unrecognized volcanic process similar to one used in chocolate manufacturing is important in the dynamics of volcanic eruptions. 'Fluidised spray granulation' is a type of gas injection and spraying process used to form smooth coatings on confectionaries but it can also occur during kimberlite eruptions to produce well-rounded particles containing fragments from the Earth's mantle - most notably diamonds.
The mixture appeared in the troubled imagination of a character in Bugliosi's Helter Skelter. I almost grew up thinking the mixture was a solid because my parents stored it but rarely used it. If you think of water as the customary solvent of solutions, and if a solvent, by definition, is the major component of a homogeneous mixture, well, we have a problem. Water makes up only 17% of this concoction, so technically it is one of its solutes.
If you're an anti-science hippie obsessed with the notion that 'natural' is always superior to whatever 'inorganic' means to people who know nothing about science or medicine or food or generally what carbon-based life means, I have good news for you; you may soon be able to determine if that caffeine in your Organic, Free-Range Red Bull is really natural.
What? Organic, Free-Range Red Bull doesn't exist? Well, it should. Farmer's Market shoppers will dutifully line up for that, I can just feel it.
In my ever-continuing quest to become an actual adult, I have recently begun to cook. I use a real oven and everything!
In my usual encounter with the oven it takes just a few minutes of pre-heating before I realize that I have yet again left the big skillet inside. Panicked, I pull it out of the oven, and notice something weird! Finally I decided to repeat the skillet-in-the-oven experiment and document my findings. Here we go!
Step #1--observe the condition of the skillet before its trip into the oven.