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Science, Systems, Matter, and Energy. G. Tyler Miller’s Living in the Environment 13 th Edition Chapter 3. Dr. Richard Clements Chattanooga State Technical Community College Charlotte Kirkpatrick. Key Concepts. Science as a process for understanding. Components and regulation of systems.

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Science systems matter and energy
Science, Systems, Matter, and Energy

G. Tyler Miller’s

Living in the Environment

13th Edition

Chapter 3

Dr. Richard Clements

Chattanooga State Technical Community College

Charlotte Kirkpatrick

Key concepts
Key Concepts

  • Science as a process for understanding

  • Components and regulation of systems

  • Matter: forms, quality, and how it changes; laws of matter

  • Energy: forms, quality, and how it changes; laws of energy

  • Nuclear changes and radioactivity

Science and critical thinking
Science, and Critical Thinking

  • Scientific data: facts, observations and measurements

  • Scientific hypotheses: tentative explanation that explains scientific data and makes predictions; testable

  • Scientific (natural) laws: description of what we see

    happening over and over again in nature. Highly reliable

  • Scientific theories:widely accepted explanations of data and laws; high degree of certainty, supported by extensive evidence

  • Consensus science vs. Frontier science

Fig. 3-2 p. 41

Science and critical thinking consensus vs frontier science
Science, and Critical Thinking: Consensus vs. Frontier Science

  • Frontier science: Preliminary results; untested,

    scientific “breakthroughs”

    Reputable scientists question and disagree about

    the meaning and accuracy as well as the validity

    of the hypothesis

  • Consensus science: data, theories , and laws;

    widely accepted

Science and critical thinking inductive vs deductive reasoning
Science, and Critical Thinking: Inductive vs. Deductive Reasoning

  • Inductive Reasoning: Using specific observations and

    measurements to arrive at a general conclusion or hypothesis

    “Bottom-up” reasoning: specific to general

    Very high probability or degree of certainty that it is true

  • Deductive Reasoning:Using logic to arrive at a specific

    conclusion based on a generalization or premise

    “Top-down” reasoning: general to specific

    Conclusions are valid if the premise is correct and

    we do not use faulty logic to arrive at the conclusion

Intuition, imagination, and creativity are also important to


What scientists do
What Scientists Do. Reasoning

Ask a question

Do experiments

and collect data

Interpret data

Well-tested and

accepted patterns

In data become

scientific laws



to explain data

Do more

Experiments to

test hypothesis

Revise hypothesis

if necessary

Well-tested and




scientific theories

Fig. 3-2 p. 41

Systems: Reasoning

A set of components that

1. function and interact in some regular and theoretically predictable manner and

2. be isolated for the purposes of observation and study

The environment has many interacting systems involving living and nonliving things

Models and behavior of systems
Models and Behavior of Systems Reasoning

  • Inputs: such as matter, energy or informationinto

    a system

  • Flows (throughputs):of matter, energy, or

    information within a system at certain rates.

  • Stores (storage areas):within a system

    where matter,energy, or information can accumulate

    for various lengths of time before being released.

  • Outputs:matter,energy or information that flows

    out of the system into sinks in the environment.

Why use models
Why use Models? Reasoning

Find out how systems work

Evaluate which ideas or hypotheses work

Some of the most powerful models are mathematical models.

Models are only as good as the assumptions built into them and

The data fed into them to make projections about the behavior of a complex system.

System regulation feedback loops
System Regulation/ Feedback Loops Reasoning

  • Feedback Loops: Occurs when an output of matter,

    energy, or information is fed back into the system as an

    input that changes the system

  • Positive Feedback: Change in a certain direction

    that causes further change in the same direction

  • Negative Feedback: One change leads to a lessening

    of that change

Most systems contain one or a series of

coupled positive and negative feedback loops

System regulation
System Regulation Reasoning

  • Time Delay: Delay between input of a stimulus and

    the response to it.

    Time delays allow a problem to build up slowly until it

    reaches a threshold level and causes a fundamental shift in

    the behavior of a system.

    ex. Pop. Growth, leaks from toxic waste dumps, etc.

  • Synergy: when two or processes interact so the

    combined effect is greater than the sum of their

    separate effects.

Systems coupled feedback loops homeostasis
Systems/ Coupled Feedback Loops: Homeostasis Reasoning

Homeostasis: Maintenance of internal conditions in a

system despite fluctuations in the internal environment

Fig. 3-3 p. 46

Law of conservation of problems
Law of Conservation of Problems Reasoning

The technological solution of one problem usually creates one or more new unanticipated problems

Anticipating environmental surprises
Anticipating Environmental Surprises Reasoning

We can never do one thing: any action in a complex system has multiple and often unpredictable effects.

Results from:

Discontinuities due to a breaching of an environmental threshold

Synergistic interactions

Unpredictable, chaotic events

Solar water heater project
Solar Water Heater Project Reasoning

Purpose: In a group of no more than 3 you will design, build and test a passive solar water heater.

Design: this is your hypothesis, so it must be researched and based on known information or evidence from other research. You must include a written description of the process you went through to come up with the hypothesis, including your research information.

Include a diagram of your design and a list of materials

Procedure: Identify the procedures you went through to build the project (pictures must be included that show the group working together in the process). In addition, include a journal of the steps as well.

Solar water heater project1
Solar Water Heater Project Reasoning

Testing: Identify your controlled, manipulated and responding variables then perform at least 3 tests of your design. One test may be the final one done at school. Alterations may be performed to modify your design (hypothesis), but they must be documented.

Data: keep a data table for a control and your experimental design. Be sure to include data at multiple intervals, not just beginning temp and ending temp.

Analysis: Look at your data and rework the data into a graph or some other way to analyze the data other than a chart of numbers. Determine what the data tells you.

Conclusion: is your design/hypothesis efficient at heating water and if it is not why and what would you do to improve it. Were there any experimental errors you could identify?

Solar water heater project2
Solar Water Heater Project Reasoning

Reporting: You may turn in only one report but each person in the group must have contributed equally in all aspects of the project. In other words; you can not have one person design it, another person build it and another person write up the report; you must all be involved at all steps in the process.

We will have the final testing day as close to two weeks from Friday as possible, all depending on weather, so keep track of the weather report. I will give you at least a day notice as to when you need to bring in your project for the final testing.

Matter forms structure and quality
Matter: Forms, Structure, and Quality Reasoning

  • Elements

  • Compounds

  • Molecules

  • Mixtures

Atoms Reasoning

Subatomic Particles

  • Protons

  • Neutrons

  • Electrons

Atomic Characteristics

  • Atomic number

  • Ions

  • Atomic mass

  • Isotopes

Examples of atoms
Examples of Atoms Reasoning

Fig. 3-4 p. 48

Chemical bonds
Chemical Bonds Reasoning

  • Chemical formulas

  • Ionic bonds:

    transfer of electrons

  • Covalent bonds:

    share electrons, with in a molecule

  • Hydrogen bonds: bonds between


Organic compounds
Organic Compounds Reasoning

Carbon containing compounds

Carbon in bonds with itself and one or more other elements like; H, O, N, S, P, Cl, and Fl

May be natural or synthetic

Do not have C-C or C-H bonds

Ex. NaCl, H2O, N2O, NO, CO, CO2 , NO2, SO2, NH3, H2S, H2SO4, HNO3

Organic vs. inorganic


Organic compounds1
Organic Compounds Reasoning

  • Hydrocarbons:compounds of carbon and

    hydrogen atoms. Ex. Methane CH4

  • Chlorinated hydrocarbons: compounds

    of chlorine, carbon and hydrogen atoms. Ex. DDT

    and PCB’s

  • Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s): compounds

    of carbon, chlorine and fluorine atoms. Ex. Freon-12

Organic compounds polymers and monomers
Organic Compounds/ Polymers and Monomers Reasoning

  • Simple carbohydrates: Monomers,compounds

    of carbon and hydrogen and oxygen. Ex. Glucose

    Building block for larger polymers of complex

    carbohydrates. Ex. Starch

  • Amino Acids: monomer composed of C, H, O, N

    for the larger polymer of Proteins

  • Nucleotides: monomers also composed of C, H,

    O, N for the larger polymers of Nucleic Acids

    (RNA and DNA)

Genetic material
Genetic Material Reasoning

  • Genes

  • Nucleic acids

  • Gene mutations

  • Chromosomes

Fig. 3-6 p. 50

The four states of matter
The Four States of Matter Reasoning

The three physical states of Matter

  • Solid

  • Liquid

  • Gas

Differ by spacing and

orderliness of its atoms,

ions, or molecules

  • Plasma: not a physical state of matter but

    composed of a high energy mixture of roughly

    equal numbers of positively charged ions and negatively

    charged electrons.

Fig. 3-7 p. 50

Matter quality and material efficiency
Matter Quality and Material Efficiency Reasoning

  • High-quality matter:

    Concentrated, close to surface,


  • Low-quality matter:

    dilute,deep underground, not so


  • Entropy: A measure of the

    disorder or randomness in a

    closed system.

  • Material efficiency(resource productivity)

Fig. 3-8 p. 51

Energy forms
Energy: Forms Reasoning

  • Kinetic energy

  • Potential energy

  • Heat

Fig. 3-9 p. 52

Electromagnetic spectrum

Transfer of heat energy
Transfer of Heat Energy Reasoning




Heat from a stove burner causes

atoms or molecules in the pan’s

bottom to vibrate faster. The vibrating

atoms or molecules then collide with

nearby atoms or molecules, causing

them to vibrate faster. Eventually,

molecules or atoms in the pan’s

handle are vibrating so fast it

becomes too hot to touch.

Heating water in the bottom of a pan

causes some of the water to vaporize

into bubbles. Because they are

lighter than the surrounding water,

they rise. Water then sinks from the

top to replace the rising bubbles.This

up and down movement (convection)

eventually heats all of the water.

As the water boils, heat from the hot

stove burner and pan radiate into the

surrounding air, even though air

conducts very little heat.

Heat: the total kinetic energy of all the moving

atoms, ions, or molecules within a given substance.

Fig. 3-11 p. 553

Energy quality
Energy: Quality Reasoning

  • High-quality energy: concentrated and performs useful work

  • Low-quality energy: dispersed and does little useful work

Fig. 3-12 p. 53

Physical and chemical changes
Physical and Chemical Changes Reasoning

Fig. In text p. 54

The law of conservation of matter
The Law of Conservation of Matter Reasoning

  • Matter is not consumed

  • Matter only changes form

  • There is no “away”

Matter and pollution
Matter and Pollution Reasoning

  • Chemical nature of pollutants: How active

    and harmful it is to living organisms

  • Concentration: the amount per unit volume of

    Air, water, soil, or body weight

  • Persistence: How long it stays in the air, water,

    soil or body

Categories of pollutants based on persistence
Categories of Pollutants Based on Persistence Reasoning

  • Degradable (nonpersistent) pollutants:

    broken down completely by natural physical,

    chemical, and biological processes

  • Biodegradable pollutants: degradable

    pollutants that are broken down by bacteria

  • Slowly degradable (persistent) pollutants:

    Take decades or longer to decay. Ex. DDT and most


  • Nondegradable pollutants:cannot be broken

    down by natural processes. Ex. Lead mercury, arsenic

Nuclear changes
Nuclear Changes Reasoning

  • Radioactive isotopes (radioisotopes):

    unstable isotopes that emit high energy radiation or fast

    moving particles or both at a fixed rate.

  • Gamma rays: High energy EM radiation

  • Alpha particles: fast-moving positively

    charged matter consisting of two protons and two


  • Beta particles: high speed electrons

Penetrating ability of the 3 types of ionizing radiation emitted by radioactive isotopes
Penetrating ability of the 3 types of ionizing radiation emitted by radioactive isotopes

Fig. 3-13 p. 56

Nuclear changes1
Nuclear Changes emitted by radioactive isotopes

  • Half life (See Table 3-2 p. 56): amount of time it takes for one-half of the nuclei in a radioactive isotope to decay and emit their radiation to form a different isotope

Nuclear changes2
Nuclear Changes emitted by radioactive isotopes

  • Ionizing radiation:

  • How much?Not too much most of it is background and natural. Usually the excess comes from medical X-rays and diagnostic tests

  • Effects:genetic damage and somatic damage

Nuclear reactions
Nuclear Reactions emitted by radioactive isotopes


Fig. 3-16 p. 57

  • Nuclei of certain isotopes with large mass numbers are split apart into lighter nuclei when struck by neutrons; each fission releases two or three neutrons and energy.

  • Each of these neutrons, in turn, can cause additional fission.

  • There must be a critical mass of the fissionable material for the multiple fissions to take place. This is known as a Chain Reaction.

Ways of using nuclear fission
Ways of Using Nuclear Fission emitted by radioactive isotopes

Atomic Bomb: Uncontrolled nuclear fission caused by the release of an enormous amount of energy.

An explosive charge forces two fissionable masses together so that the critical mass may be reach and a chain reaction can take place.

Nuclear Power Plant: Controlled nuclear fission so that the chain reaction only uses one of every two or three neutrons to split another nucleus.

The splitting of a nuclei causes the release of heat to produce steam to power a turbine.

Nuclear reactions1
Nuclear Reactions emitted by radioactive isotopes


Fig. 3-17 p. 58

  • Nuclear change in which to smaller nuclei (such as H) are forced together at extremely high temperatures until they form a heavier nucleus and excess energy is released.

  • Fusion of HHe is the source of energy in the sun.

  • Hydrogen weapons form D-T fusion reaction.

  • Attempts to have controlled Fusion for energy purposes are still in the experimental phase

Laws governing energy changes
Laws Governing Energy Changes emitted by radioactive isotopes

First Law of Thermodynamics (Energy)

  • Energy is neither created nor destroyed

  • Energy only changes form

  • You can’t get something for nothing


Laws governing energy changes1
Laws Governing Energy Changes emitted by radioactive isotopes

Second Law of Thermodynamics

  • In every transformation, some energy is converted to heat (lower quality)

Always end up with less energy than we started with. Energy Efficiency will never be 100%.

Cannot recycle or reuse

  • You cannot break even in terms of energy quality (always goes from more useful to less useful form)

2 nd law of thermodynamics
2 emitted by radioactive isotopesnd Law of Thermodynamics

Connections matter and energy laws and environmental problems
Connections: Matter and Energy Laws and Environmental Problems

  • High-throughput (waste) economy: advanced

    industrialized nations, increase economic growth through

    increase flow of matter and energy resources

  • Matter-recycling economy:allow economic growth

    without depleting matter resources or increases pollution

  • Low-throughputeconomy:

    Sustainability based on

    energy flow and matter


Fig. 3-20 p. 60; see Fig. 3-21 p. 61