Science, particularly chemistry, is an integral part of everyday life. You can experience chemistry in an array of colours, various inventions and in different functions of the body. Here are 4 amazing everyday chemistry facts that are quite incredible.
Glass is Not a Liquid, Solid, or Gas
Sometimes referred to as a supercooled liquid, glass is technically not a liquid at all. It is an amorphous solid, similar to a gel but more rigid. When manufacturers cool the liquid form of glass, it never freezes to become truly solidified. Glass molecules still move, albeit very, very slowly. At the other end of the spectrum, glass does not have a definite melting point either. Instead it simply softens, becoming more viscous. According to Saint-Gobain Sekurit, the transformation temperature where this happens is near 520 to 550 degrees Celsius (968 to 1022 degrees Fahrenheit).
Mitochondria is the Powerhouse of…the Body?
Cells get the chemical energy they need from adenosine triphosphate or ATP. ATP comes from the mitochondria, which are organelles found within most plant and animal cells. Mitochondria convert cell nutrients into ATP. Additional functions are to produce heat, regulate metabolism, and store calcium at the cellular level. According to ASEA, mitochondria are also responsible for facilitating redox reactions, which are necessary for cell repair. With separate DNA outside their nuclei, they can reproduce themselves during times when more energy is required. The more energy an organ needs the more mitochondria its cells have. Mitochondria are commonly called powerhouses of the cells, but their role of supplying energy to the entire body is undeniable.
Iron Oxide Makes Mars Red
Mars was named after the Roman God of War because its red colour symbolizes the bloody aftermath of a battlefield. The red colour can be attributed to iron rusting of the rocks and soil if water was present. An emerging theory suggests the red colour stems from soil and sand being ground against the iron oxide magnetite in lava rock. It asserts this phenomenon occurs from the windstorms. This creates a red mineral called hematite. Either way, ferric or iron oxide in the dust and sand that lines Mars’ surface accounts for its red colour. This red dust is also present in Mars’ rather thin atmosphere. Interestingly, according to ThoughtCo, up close Mars has a diverse colour scheme of browns, yellows, and greens, which are still variants of iron oxide.
Solid and Liquid Oxygen Are Blue
Unless it is polluted, the air in our atmosphere is not visible. But according to Lumen Learning, although it is colourless as a gas, oxygen appears blue in its liquid and solid states. The colour absorption of O2 involves a photon and two molecules. Together they absorb light from the red spectrum to reflect a blue colour. In the gaseous state, these elements are too far apart to absorb enough light to reflect any colour that would be visible to the human eye. In the liquid and solid forms, they are much closer, giving off a pale blue hue.
Chemistry is apparent in most everyday occurrences. You can see amazing evidence of it at work in the atmosphere, industrial manufacturing, biological processes, and even the universe. If you wonder about bizarre facts like why a colourless gas might produce a blue liquid or why you cannot melt glass back into its fluid form, the answer usually lies in chemistry.
If your child is curious about chemistry and how it works, here are some fun activities you can use to teach your child all about chemistry!