Tuesday, 22 December 2009
The notion that some of the fascination of lecture
demonstrations results from the fact that they may be
discrepant events has an important implication:
Demonstrations don't have to be spectacular to be
effective. They should, however, contain an element
of the unexpected.
Let me offer an example, from my own experience.
When I took chemistry for the first time, I was told
that equal volumes of different gases contained the
same number of particles. Until I took physics, this
was the most absurd thing I had heard a teacher
claim to be true. I knew that gases contained empty
space, but I seriously underestimated the fraction of
the space that is empty. It therefore seemed
reasonable to expect that equal numbers of gas
particles of different size would occupy different
amounts of space. I now know I was in good
company; Dalton rejected Gay-Lussac's data on
combining volumes for the same reason. To me, and
to many of my contemporaries, Avogadro's
hypothesis was just as counterintuitive as it was to
I am reasonably confident that I could have stated
Avogadro’s hypothesis, if asked to do so on an exam.
I am equally confident that I couldn’t have used
Avogadro’s hypothesis to solve a problem because I
didn’t really believe it to be true.
About 15 years ago, I learned a lecture
demonstration that provides a discrepant event that
confronts the intuitive model of gases I brought to
my first chemistry course.11 Start with a plastic 50-
mL Leur-lok syringe, a syringe cap, and a 10-penny
nail. Pull the plunger out of the barrel until the
volume reads 50 mL. Now drill a small hole
through one of the veins of the plunger into which
the nail can be inserted, as shown in Figure 1.
Push in the plunger until no gas remains in the
syringe, seal the syringe with a syringe cap, pull the
plunger back out of the barrel of the syringe, insert
the nail into the hole, and weigh the ‘empty’ syringe
to the nearest 0.001 grams with an analytical
balance. Fill the syringe with different gases* and
determine the weight of 50 mL of each gas. Now use
the molar mass of each gas to calculate the number
of gas particles in each sample.
Typical data obtained with this apparatus are given
in Table 1. Within experimental error, the number
of gas particles in each sample is the same. It might
still seem strange that equal volumes of different
gases contain the same number of particles, but it is
no longer possible to avoid this conclusion.
Although this demonstration isn’t as spectacular as
the thermite reaction, or one of the oscillating
clocks, it can still be exocharmic because it contains
an element of surprise for many students.
CaCO3(s) + H2CO3(aq) Ca2+(aq) + 2 HCO3-(aq)
When water rich in carbon dioxide flows through limestone formations, part of the limestone dissolves. If the CO2 escapes from this water, or if some of the water evaporates, solid CaCO3 is redeposited. When this happens as water runs across the roof of a cavern, stalactites, which hang from the roof of the cave, are formed. If the water drops before the carbonate reprecipitates, stalagmites, which grow from the floor of the cave, are formed.
Wednesday, 16 December 2009
A POPULAR VIEW OF ELECTRONS AND QUANTA
"Now imagine^ if you can, two types of particles, each invisible, intangible and infinitesimal in the
ordinary senses of these words, and indeterminate in form and substance. For one tjrpe, wonderfully enough, we know the name "electron/' but for the other type there is no agreement. We are free to choose from a number advanced by various scientists and shall arbitrarily adopt the term "proton."
Electron and proton are complementary. Together they may merge in a union so close that their combined size is less than that of the electron alone. Such a statement may sound absurd but experiments seem to indicate that ihe union of two or more protons with one or more electrons is a smaller particle than is a single isolated electron. The form and size of the electron and proton must then be different in combination from that of the free electron and free proton respectively.
The protons and electrons are complementary, mutually supplying each other's needs. Electrons, however, are mutually antagonistic and depart from each other's presence unless restrained. The same is true of protons. It is only by virtue of the complementary properties of proton and electron that two or more electrons, for example, are constrained to the same infinitesimal space.
According to some theories^ however, two electrons or two protons are pictured as mutually attracted when they are very dose together, although at larger separations they are repellent. Similarly an electron and a proton would start to repel each other after they had approached to within a certain small distance of each other. In any case the permanence of a group of protons and electrons will depend upon the geometrical arrangement.
Electrons pellate, protons pellate, but an electron and a proton tractate.
Measurements of the tiny wave lengths involved in X-rays are, therefore, made possible by the use of crystals for which the dimensions of the "lattices" are known. The frequencies corresponding are then obtainable by simple arithmetic.
In sudi measurements the crystal is merely a portion of the instrument and there is no further concern with the physical mechanism whereby it operates. Such was the use to which Moseley put crystals in his famous investigations of 1914 before his life was sacrificed to a World War. He used the crystal grating which we have described above for the determination of the characteristic X-ray frequencies of various substances. The oscillators of the crystal will respond to radiations of a wide range of X-ray frequencies and re-radiate the same frequency as that with which they are excited.
Moseley took photographs successively of the X-radiation from various types of anti-cathodes.
Apparently each element of the periodic series differs from the next lower by the addition of a definite amount of electricity which is accompaoied by an increase in frequ^icy of the characteristic radiation. It is the nuclear charge which increases and thus gives rise to greats restoring forces and more rapid vibrations when the inner electrons are displaced.
Moseley's discovery of a simple numerical relationship between charactmstic frequencies did not involve measurements on all the known elements. Below aodium^ for example, there are ten elements for which no X-ray spectra have yet been obtained. The inert elements also must of necessity be omitted. Thus you will notice that krypton (atomic number 36) is omitted in Fig. 25. His work and conclusions, have been corroborated by many other tests and may be considered the first definite proof of the structure of the atomic nucleus by grains of positive electricity (protons).
Two phenomena are observable when X-rays impinge upon a substance. X-rays are re-radiated and electrons are ejected.
Just as substances exposed to X-rays give off their own characteristic vibrations when these are of lower frequency, so fluorescent substances when exposed to the invisible ultra-violet radiations will give off visible radiations. Electric arc-lights are quite rich in ultra-violet radiations, so that fluorescent sub- stances exposed to such light will glow with their characteristic radiations.
The electrons which are ejected when an X-ray passes through a substance start off with speeds and energies like those of the cathode rays whidh originated the radiation. As they pass through the substance they disturb other electrons and hence ionize large nxunbers of the atoms.
The phenomenon of the ejection of electrons, when the exciting radiation is ultra-violet or lies within the visible range, is known as the photo-electric effect. It promises to be of wide scientific interest, for it is apparently the cause of photo-chemical effects like those utilized in photography, of photo-synthesis in the formation of carbohydrates in plant life, and even of the effect of light on the retina of the eye.
The moment a substance is exposed to light of the proper frequency the photo-electric emission b^ins. This would appear to indicate that Hiere was a hopperful of energy in some electronic system which was tripped off, as by a trigger, and allowed to discharge. The energy which is released was either obtained from the beam of light, despite the short time of exposure, or was already stored in the atomic system. The further fact that the energy of the emitted electron is the same whether the intensity of the light is large or small would seem to indicate such a storage.
...When a body radiated energy it would really be shooting out in all directions a shower of invisible particles, small bundles of energy. The electron must then receive or reject a whole bundle. The picture of the ejection of electrons by X-rays which was quoted on page 140 would be ejcplained if the X-rays were really small bullets of energy which followed radial paths outward from the anti-cathode. What appears to us as a continuous distribution of energy in a wave is probably not really continuous but conforms in analogy to a fine shower of rain such aa one experiences when a fog blows m.
When an electric current is passed through a gas light is emitted.^ By using a spectrometer or a grating, involving the principles of interference which have been mentioned in previous chapters, this light may be analysed into a series of spectral lines, similar to but more numerous than those appearing in an X-ray spectrum. It is found that any element produces a spectrum in which lines recur at intervals throughout a given frequency range. These lines form a series, the frequency of each member of which may be calculated from that of the highest frequency by very simple arithmetic. In the case of incandescent hydrogen three such series are known: one in the visible range of frequency called the Balmer series; one in the region of lower frequency, the infra-red region, which is known as the Paschen series; and the third, known as the Lyman series, in the ultra-violet.
When the disturbance is excited by impacts, as in the case of "white'' X-rays, the highest frequency which is radiated is determined by the quantum of energy which is brought to the radiating substance by an impinging electron. A quantum relationship is also involved in radiations of lower frequency.
Let us suppose, however, that a radiating body is placed in an enclosure, as that of Fig. 33. Let the body be in equilibrium with the walls of its enclosure, that is with its surroundings, receiving from them by radiation just as much energy as it in turn is radiating to them. If either partner in this exchange were to absorb more radiation than it emitted its temperature would rise.
Suppose we construct a vibrating system by connecting a number of corks together by elastic bands. Imagine a complicated system, if you will, with a large number of cross connections between various corks. Now disturb this by pulling some of the corks from their equilibrium positions and then allow the natural oscillations to occur. Let this system with several different oscillations be placed on water. The corks simulate a vibrating system. The water, with its almost infinite niunber of tiny molecules, and hence mfinite possibilities for forms of vibration, simulates the ether. We know what happens.
To a very large extent, as we shall see, Planck's theory constituted a theory of probability for electrical oscillators.
As you remember, he assumed that an oscillator could handle only a quantum of energy; and by quantum he meant an amount proportional to the frequency of vibration, the amount hn. Oscillators of low frequency, even if relatively numerous, will handle but a small portion of the total energy and contribute but little because the amount which each individual oscillator may handle is small. On the other hand, oscillators of large frequency will respond only if there is available a relatively large amount of energy since their quanta are greater. To function, however, the higher frequency oscillator must receive its quantum all at once; it cannot make it up from several successive smaller quanta. Since large quanta will probably occur only infrequently, this requirement means that there will be little total energy associated with the oscillators of higji frequency. The maximum radiation, therefore, will occur in the middle range of frequencies, as the experimental sulta indicate.
You will remember that reflection is really re-radiation. Any reflected radiation must then include most prominently those radiations which are of the same frequency as the oscillators would themselves naturally emit. The phenomenon is one of resonance, so-called — ^that is the phenomenon of greatest response when the appeal strikes the proper personal note."
Monday, 7 December 2009
ALFRED Wr STEWART, D.Sc.
PROFESSOR OF CHEMISTRY IN THE QUEKN's UNIVERS1TV OF BELFAST
When solids are bombarded with cathode rays, various gases seem to be given off; and the examination of these by the positive ray method yielded facts of some interest. The results point to the presence in the gas mixture of neon, helium, and a third substance to which the name X 3 has been given.
With regard to the sources of X 3 , it has been found that it is produced by the action of cathode rays upon a very varied series of substances. Platinum, palladium, aluminium, copper, zinc, iron, nickel, silver, gold, lead, graphite, diamond dust> lithium chloride, and other metallic salts as well as some meteorites have been. found to liberate the gas. The presence of mercury vapour in the bombardment tube diminishes the intensity of the line due to X 3 ; from which Thomson deduces that X 3combines with mercury vapour under the influence of the electric discharge.
If we assume that the maximum number of charges which can be carried by a particle is limited, there appear to be only two possible explanations for the X 3 line. It must be produced by something in which the ratio of mass to charge is three times that found in the case of a hydrogen atom. This can be accounted for by assuming that X 3 is either (1) a carbon atom carrying four electrical charges; or (2) a molecule containing three hydrogen atoms and carrying a unit charge.
With regard to the possibility that X 3 is a singly-charged molecule containing three hydrogen atoms, we have the following evidence. Whenever large amounts of X 3 are produced, spectroscopic examination detects the presence of a considerable quantity of hydrogen in the gas liberated by the cathode bombardment.
Thomson assumes that X 3 is really a triatomic molecule of hydrogen, H 3 ; and he considers it to be the hydrogen analogue of ozone. It is evidently more stable than ozone, as is seen from its resistance to high temperatures. No particular spectrum has been observed for X 3 ; for a mixture of it and hydrogen exhibits only the normal hydrogen spectrum.
Against this may be urged the evidence brought to light by Collie and H. S. Patterson in the course of work in a different field. 1 They found that when a heavy discharge is passed through a vacuum tube, quite considerable quantities of hydrogen can be made to disappear. For example, in one experiment, as much as 3* c.c. of hydrogen apparently vanished. A gas is produced * which gives a carbon spectrum ; and this gas, like X 3 , disappears when sparked with mercury vapour. Further, it is not easily condensed by the use of liquid air.
The fairest course in the matter appears to be to regard the problem of X 3 as still unsolved. It may be merely a carbon atom carrying four electrical charges; or it may be an allotropic modification of hydrogen. Some of the evidence points in one direction, some in another. It is too early yet to decide definitely in favour of either hypothesis.
I thought that it was interesting to see hydrogen simply "disappear", and to then see in it's place, a gas with a "carbon spectrum". It reminds me of something that happens in the composition of water with an electric discharge. Decomposed water(9) has the formula H + H2C6, while for composed water (11) it's H2C9. Basically, it looks like the value for carbon has been pumped up after a unit of hydrogen has disappeared. I have wondered if this happens because the hydrogen is somehow converted into carbon in the reaction to make water.
I personally feel that hydrogen is somekind of cyclonic structure. I think alpha particles are actually two hydrogen ions which stay in a pair formation as two cyclones. This is why an alpha particle is doubly charged, because it is made up with two ions. The above explanation of X3 is that it is a "singly charged molecule containing 3 hydrogen atoms". If X3 was made up by 3 hydrogen atoms, as 3 protons, I would expect to find a triple charge, and this does not appear to be the case because X3 has a mass-to-charge ratio of 3:1.
Today we know substance X3 as protonated molecular hydrogen, trihydrogen cation, or H3+. It is one of the most abundant ions in the Universe. H3 is supposed to have two electrons, which under my model, looks very different from the textbook atomic model. This is because I think an electron, or more preferably "electrion", is the same size as a proton. If H3 has two electrions, then this is very exciting because we must be seeing the conversion of hydrogen ions into electrions. I am starting to imagine H3 as a structure made up of two electrions sat either side of one proton. That is, two anticyclones sat either side of a cyclone.
In this formation, the cyclone's charge will be neutralized by the opposite charge of an anticyclone. That means that the charge of the other anticyclone shall be percieved as being dominant over the formation. This might help explain why we see only one unit charge for H3.
If you know me, you probably know how much I like to test ideas wherever possible by seeing if there are any examples in nature. I found the following post on the blog of Cloudman 23. The author goes by the name of Tonie Ansel. "The Coriolis Effect In the Real World – A Tutorial (Part 2) – Cyclones & Anticyclones". I would just like to say thankyou to Tonie for sharing. In his tutorial, Tonie has used an illustration that shows the cyclone Hurricane Ike, squeezed between two anticyclones. You can find the post here, if you like:
Anticyclones are high pressure areas. With weather systems, in high pressure areas, the pressure increases towards the centre from the periphery. Vertical winds are drawn down into the centre of a high pressure system, whereas vertical winds move up the centre of a low pressure area. Low pressure systems are commonly known as cyclones. In the northern hemisphere, cyclones turn counterclockwise while anticyclones turn clockwise (in the southern hemisphere the direction is reversed).
In weather systems, horizontal winds move from high pressure areas to low pressure areas. However, vertical winds move from low pressure areas to high pressure areas. What I'm trying to convey is that the winds are actually performing a loop. If the cyclone and anticyclone are dipolar vortices, then these winds emerge as the current circulating round inside the vortex ring.
Now I'd like to translate these winds, and how they circulate, onto H3. I'd like you to join me in drawing the structure of H3 on a bit of paper. Have three circles in a row. The cyclone in the centre turns counterclockwise, while the anticyclones either side turn clockwise. From left to right, we'll number them 1, 2 and 3; 2 being the cyclone in the middle.
Starting from 1, we draw a line going down and then across to 2. It moves up 2 and goes back down at 3. Now carry the line on. Keep moving down and then back up on 2. Go up 2 and come back down on 1. Okay? From these instructions you might now have some incoherent squibble which looks vaguely suggestive, OR, more hopefully, you are now staring at the symbol for "infinity" - a figure eight on its side. Is that Homer staring at you?
You may well notice that the cyclone between the two anticyclones is basically acting as an idle-wheel. James Clerk-Maxwell knew of the importance of the idle-wheel in the construction of his model for EMR. Maxwell fell upon the idea that the idle-wheels were relatively small compared to the vortices in the aether, and that a stream of these idle-wheels represented an electric current.
I think that it is true that this stream of tiny particles, made up by the fluid of the aether, flows around the atomic vortices of matter and makes them turn. This motion, this resistance to the fluid of the aether, might be the cause of what we see as EMR. The thing is, all EMR has a frequency - electricity on the other hand has no frequency. The frequency we see with AC electricity is man-made by manipulating magnetic poles at the generator, and is not essentially a property of electricity itself. In other words, electricity is not being made by something resisting the aether, but by something which, quite literally, goes with the flow.
If we now return back to this new model for H3, the cyclone is an idle-wheel which serves to grease up the accompanying vortices either side. This harmony in the direction which all 3 vortices follow can only allow for greater and greater speeds. Under the constant applied pressure of the aether, the vortices revolve, generating vertical winds which make a loop. It is these winds which stream around the vortex ring which actually represent electric current. In weather systems, the wind is made up with the fluid of the air, but here, in atomic structure, this fluid is the incompressible fluid of the aether.
I think the fluid of the aether is something like vapourized carbon. These tiny particles are what Tesla referred to as "neutrons". Carbon is essentially neutral, but I think the movement of this fluid from high pressure areas to low pressure areas, AND vice-versa from low pressure areas to high pressure areas, gives the fluid a charge. As the fluid charges from place to place - it becomes electricity.
These currents in the aether exist as winds made out of carbonic fluid. It might help explain how decomposed water (H + H2C6 = 9) appears to gain extra weight in the form of carbon when it becomes composed water (H2C9 = 11). It also might help explain the appearance of a carbonic gas after an electric discharge has passed through a vacuum tube containing hydrogen.
Further still, the currents moving through H3 represent a closed system. It is a continous loop of energy which essentially feeds itself. Under the constant applied pressure of the aether it is acting as a self-perpetual motor. However, an electric discharge is often seen to be short-lived. H3 only has a half-life of about one minute. How is it possible to create a system where the movement of energy can be infinitely maintained?
Tuesday, 1 December 2009
I think that the common air not only contains water vapour, I think that it IS water vapour. Under the phlogiston theory, nitrogen was considered to be air saturated by phlogiston. I suspect phlogiston is another name for carbon.
Common air, being water vapour, will also have the same atomic weight as water: 22, and therefore, they also share the same formula: 2(H2C3). In an attempt to derive atomic structure from the formula, we might say that the hydrogen ions present in H2C3, actually represent the cyclones that make up the dipolar vortices which are a part of atomic structure. Based on this idea, H2C3 shall therefore represent 2 donutoms. This being the case, then the value for C needs to change in order for us to dismantle the formula. I think this entire process would be more effective if we just include the ACTUAL value for C in the formula, for example:
half vol water = H2C9 = 2(H C4.5) = 11
Whereas a full volume of water, atomic weight 22, shall be:
4(H C4.5) = 22
The atomic weight of nitrogen is 14. We've seen that the weight ratio of hydrogen to carbon in nitrogen is 1:6. The formula for nitrogen might look something like:
H2C12 = 2(H C6) = 14
This formula for nitrogen is conspicious because it looks like we've pumped up a water-donutom with more carbon to give us our nitrogen-donutom.
Which brings me, somewhat abruptly, to carbon monoxide. The atomic weight of carbon monoxide is 28. Classically, carbon monoxide is made up by one volume of carbon (12), and one volume of oxygen (16). In previous posts we have come to understand oxygen a little differently. Oxygen is not an element at all, but a compound of hydrogen and carbon. Oxygen now has the formula H4C12. The overall formula for carbon monoxide will be:
carbon + oxygen = C12 + H4C12 = H4C24 = 28
In the past, we've also played around with the idea that carbon monoxide is made up by water vapour and carbon. Happily, this formula concurs nicely with the above formula:
water vapour + carbon = H4C18 + C6 = H4C24 = 28
H4C24 might also be represented as: 4(H C6) = 28
Remember, that the formula for nitrogen was found to be: 2(H C6)
The formulas for carbon monoxide and nitrogen share a very obvious similarity - the weight ratio of hydrogen to carbon (1:6) appears to be the same in both substances. It remains to be seen though that carbon monoxide is twice as dense as nitrogen, and perhaps the formula should do more to reflect that:
carbon monoxide = H4C24 = 4(H C6) = 2(2H C12) = 28
The value for carbon here is 12, the largest value that we have seen so far, and which might explain why carbon in the form of soot is more conspicious in carbon monoxide. The mass of the hydrogen ion (protium) has effectively doubled, and so the next appropriate question that I am now going to ask is - is that actually deuterium hanging out in there?
I think that deuterium (2H) is a cyclone just like protium, but that it has twice the mass. As far as I'm aware, deuterium does not make up a donutom - it is protium which makes up donutoms. From what little I have managed to learn about deuterium thus far, I think it generally hangs-out on its lonesome. At this stage mind, it does appear that deuterium and C12 have evolved somekind of partnership. Are we looking at a fat donutom?
Carbon dioxide is made up by carbon monoxide and oxygen, hence the formula CO2, giving it the atomic weight of 44. We know oxygen, atomic weight 16, has the formula H4C12, which might also be written as 4(H C3). The overall formula for carbon dioxide is therefore:
carbon monoxide + oxygen = 4(H C6) + 4(H C3) = 28 + 16 = 44
According to Priestley, half the weight of carbon dioxide was made up by water. The formula for water can be written as H4C18, or as 4(H + C4.5) . In order for water to make up half the weight of carbon dioxide, then it is necessary for the value of carbon to be spread out over the formula, so that the new value for carbon is 4.5, something like:
CO2 = 4(H C6) + 4(H C3) = 8(H C4.5) = 44
The value for carbon in carbon dioxide is therefore the same as it is in water. I am now weighing-up the idea that carbon dioxide could be somekind of water vapour which manages to retain twice the density of ordinary water. Just as we did previously with carbon monoxide and nitrogen, let's try and reflect the difference in density between carbon dioxide and water in formula:
CO2 = 8(H C4.5) = 4(2H C9) = 44
There are a few things to be gathered from this formula then. From what little experience I have of nuclear fusion, there does not appear to be a higher value for a proton than deuterium, so I'm pretty sure that the value of 9 for carbon in carbon dioxide is the right one.
I wonder if we can now apply all that we have learned into something which is intriguing me. If I run my hand through the yellow part of a flame (not that we do that much round here, we're not in a biker gang or anything) it will certainly get hot, but it will also get black from where it picks up soot. The soot is evidence of carbon monoxide.
If I now run my hand over above the flame, the presence of soot is far less obvious because it has effectively been vapourized. If you imagine that we have a flame burning in pure oxygen, we have carbon monoxide reacting with the oxygen to produce carbon dioxide:
carbon monoxide + oxygen = carbon dioxide
2(2H C12) + 4(H C3) = 4(2H C9)
2H + 2H + C24 + H + H + H + H + C12
= 2H + 2H + C24 + 2H + 2H + C12
= 4(2H) + C24 + C12
= 4(2H) + C36
= 4(2H C9)
The thing which strikes me the most about the reaction is how the hydrogen ions are converted into deuterium. I think we've seen this happen someplace else - nuclear fusion! The very first step in the Proton-Proton process is where two protons form to make one deuterium atom, with the release of a positron and neutrino. Can something as exotic as a positron and neutrino be found in a simple flame?
Obviously, a flame emits light and heat. These wavelengths of EMR are not as active as those gamma rays released under nuclear fusion, but they are present nonetheless. I think these formulas pave the way for a greater understanding of how exactly ALL the energy is released from a flame.