Chemistry is everywhere, in fact, chemistry is in every matter. It’s definite that today’s industrialized age introduces chemical presence in almost every step, but don’t forget, chemistry is the base on which the whole life cycle built-up. It’s really a vast topic and someone needs to go through a very in-depth learning curve to uncover almost everything, which is literally impossible. So there is no wonder if some amazing chemistry facts are unknown to you.
Amazing Chemistry Facts: Picks of the Month
In every issue we highlight 10 amazing chemistry facts that you may not be aware of. Let’s uncover the list of the issue.
1. Natural Ripen Machine
Have you ever noticed the natural ripen machine in your fruit basket? Didn’t you?
It’s not a tough quiz, but it our favorite fruit, apple!
If you keep apples along with other fruits/vegetables, you may notice, everybody is ripping a bit faster than usual. Actually, when the apple starts ripping, it takes every member of the basket together. What’s the chemistry behind this fact?
When an apple begins to ripen it releases ethylene (C2H4), which accelerates the ripening of other fresh fruits and vegetables. So, you can get aware of the fact or take advantage of the behavior, whatever you need on time. If you are from a colder region, it’s definitely a great trick to make your fruits ripen naturally.
2. 9K pencils – Your body carries enough resources to make it!
Pencil, is made of wood and graphite, right?
Do you know, your body carries enough graphite to produce 9000+ pencils! (if you are an adult)
Next to oxygen, the second most abundant element in our body is a carbon (by mass). So, it’s very usual that our body is capable of resource sufficient graphite rods for 9000+ pencils.
Definitely, the woods can’t be afforded by the human body. 😊
3. Airbag Fact
The airbag in the car is a safety agent, more specifically it’s a life-saving equipment.
Do you know about the key material inside it? It’s a dangerous agent that can blow an uncareful chemist’s hand in the laboratory. Yes, it’s Sodium azide (NaN3).
The bags remain filled with sodium Azide salt, which upon strong friction (by a collision) become heated and subsequently burst the airbag out of its compact place. But don’t worry, it can’t harm you further as it does with the bare hand of an unaware chemist in the laboratory; the released material stays inside the expanded bag safely.
Upon rapid fiction between sodium azide molecules, they start releasing nitrogen rapidly, which actually causes the expansion.
4. Origin of our origin: One of the most amazing chemistry facts
There is plenty of water in our body (about 60% in an adult); oxygen and hydrogen are the building blocks of the water molecule and abundant in our body. However, these two elements also act as associates in almost all the essential chemical units in our body (nucleic acids [DNA], amino acids [peptides], etc.). eventually, they are the winner and runners up based on the number.
However, considering the mass, oxygen still holds the top position (65% of body mass) but hydrogen lags behind with an abundance of only 10% by mass.
Based on mass, apart from oxygen, the most abundant element in our body is carbon.
Carbon resides in the skeleton of every single molecule (except water) in the body and undoubtfully this is the master element of our origin, while water is the associate.
Do you know what is the origin of our origin? Big bang? Presumably, this is the name you remember fast.
But, NO! Carbon originated from helium (He) during the star war!
During star war (star formation), by the simultaneous collision of three helium nuclei (alpha particles), nuclear fusion reactions occur. In the triple-alpha process, Initially, helium reacts with hydrogen or another helium to produce unstable lithium-5 or beryllium-8, respectively. Due to unstable characteristics, they get back to the smaller nuclei almost within no time. However, during Bigbang this triple-alpha process happens at a temperature that is above 100 mega-kelvins where rapid cooling and expansion are prohibited. Thus, it has been assumed that no carbon was created during the Big Bang.
According to cosmology theory, carbon forms on the horizontal branch of the star. When such a massive star dies, it scattered into space as dust, and ready to form next-generation star systems with a number of planets.
Fortunately our solar system is one of such example that is having lots of carbon and the existence of life as well.
5. The smell of the earth
The unique smell of earth after a thunderstorm, do you like it? If Yes, then you must be interested to know about the source of the amazing smell.
When a thunderstorm strikes an electrochemical reaction happens between the areal oxygen (O2) to produce ozone gas (O3) in the air. After the thunderstorm, the ozone gas spread over the air of the region to offer the unique smell of earth.
6. Why copper bottle?
It is well known to most of us that, drinking water in a copper bottle is healthy. But why? What’s the chemistry behind it?
It’s the only metal within the whole periodic table that got natural antibacterial properties and at the same time, this metal is not harmful to the body. So, there are strong reasons behind carrying a copper bottle instead of steel or plastic.
By the way, don’t try to intake copper powder knowing the above property🙂; copper is an essential trace element in our body, but excessive copper causes illness, such as Wilson’s disease.
7. Did you notice the list of non-silvery metals?
Gone through the periodic table? Then you must know how to define metals.
By characteristics, metal can readily form cations (positive ions) by realizing the loosely bind outer shell electron; and noticeably, most metals can reflect all colors of the visible spectrum equally. No absorbance of visible spectrum lights made their surface silvery.
Certainly, this statement is applicable to most but not all metals. Did you ever notice the list of non-silvery metals on the metal table?
There are only two, gold (Au) and copper (Cu) are only 2 non-silvery metals that absorb blue and violet lights, respectively, and appear as yellow (or brownish).
8. Rarest natural Element
The rarest natural element on the earth is Astatine (a semi metal). That’s not a big deal, because among 118 elements (latest) in the periodic table, one must be most abundant and another one must be the rarest.
But the nature of Astatine made it so curious and the rarest.
It gets produced from the decay of uranium and thorium, and it owes only 8.1 hours of half-time in its most stable form! However, it is pretty difficult to trace Astatine naturally, rather scientists have to prepare it from scratch for immediate use. Believe it or not, only 0.00000005 grams of astatine have been made so far!
9. “I don’t obey Archimedes’ Law” – Someone says
Archimedes’ Law is very much universal, if you dip anything in the water, the level of the water increases!
But, there is a naughty chemical to violet the rule; it’s sodium chloride (NaCl), the salt we eat regularly. As the salt starts dissolving, the ions in it offer the water molecules a better room to order and organize themselves properly, which actually helps to decrease the water level.
Well, sodium chloride can disobey Archimedes’ Law until the range of its solubility; upon over-saturation, it shows some respect to the great philosopher.
10. Novel flame retardant
DNA is known as the building block of life that contains biological instructions to specify species, characteristics, nature, behavior, etc.
Have you ever listened about its flame retardation properties?!
Yup! The chemical structure of DNA made it a natural flame retardant and suppressant. DNA contains a phosphate backbone, and lots of carbon and nitrogen. When DNA gets heated the phosphate breaks to phosphoric acid, which removes water leaving the carbon-rich residue alone (the flame-resistant). On the other hand, ammonia generates from nitrogen to inhibit combustion.
So, definitely, it’s a great idea to make organically coated fabric for inflammable garments.
That’s all about 10 amazing chemistry facts for now. We shall come up with a more interesting list in the next issue.