ChemistryandSociety Intro Spring 2011 Dr. Victor Vilchiz
By the end of today… You should be able to explain why psychology is not a real science. You should be able to explain why the Theory of Intelligent Design is not really a theory. You should know the difference between a law and a theory
What is science? Study of events in order to gain a better understanding of natural phenomena. What is chemistry? Study of material transformation as reactions take place. Where can I find chemistry? EVERYWHERE Shower, clothing, food, farm, body, computers, buildings, etc.
Why Chemistry? Chemistry is all around us: Grocery bags Hip replacement Artificial Hearts Shampoos Flavored Cough Syrup Coffee Aspirin
Chemistry and Technology Everyone of you can influence the decisions in chemical technology!!! The huge demand for baby carrots lead to the development of a straighter carrot. The demand for thin, elastic clothing lead to the invention of lycra. The increase in environmental awareness has lead to a big push for more energy efficient cars along with environmentally friendly fuels.
What’s your point? I am sure some of you still asking why do I care? Am I better off knowing chemistry? Maybe you are, maybe you are not. It may help you make a better informed decision next time you are buying food, clothes, shampoo, a car, etc. NOTE: I said “better informed” not “better” decision. In the morning should you have coffee, an apple or a chocolate bar?
Coffee, Candy or Apple? No, this is not health class… Your choice will probably depend on what you are trying to accomplish… Most people will take the “go juice” since they claim it helps them stay awake… But what is the point of being awake if you do not have the energy to do anything… oh, yes. Sugar please!!! Lets go on a sugar rush/high “Grab a Snickers” What goes up…must come down!!! Lets get the best of both and eat the apple… oh yeah did I mentioned the apple is also healthier?
The Good and The Bad We have to be able to determine when something is good and when it is bad… Is water good or bad? Actually it is both… If you do not drink water you dehydrate and die If you have too much water, you will dilute/drain electrolytes from your body and your body can go into shock and you could die. Is salt good or bad? What about ozone?
How do we learn all this? We all have one giant lab available for us to play in… Mother nature provides endless process that once in our life we wonder how it works… How the clouds form? Why does it rain? Why is snow white? Why is the ski blue? How does a butterfly evolves from a caterpillar? Why does a tree leaf turn brown in the fall?
Curiosity Most science starts with someone being curious about a process. Some process are so complex that they must be broken down or it would be impossible to understand how they take place. The most widely studied process in the world is…Photosynthesis. Most scientists can somehow link their research to light harvesting. It is believed that the first person to explain photosynthesis is guaranteed a Nobel Prize.
The Scientific Method You are already familiar with it… you use it often but you don’t refer to it as the scientific method. You should learn the difference between hypothesis, theory, and law.
Scientific Method Once curiosity gets the best of us we must design a set of experiments that will try to answer our problem. As we perform the experiment we will record our data and observations. The data will be analyzed and we then decide if we have solved our problem or if we need more experiments
Scientific Method Eventually you have to tell others about your findings. Technically, you are to report both success and failure. Failure is hardly reported now-a-days. The report most likely presents a postulate that aims to explain the phenomena of interest. You better be ready to get your ego bashed.
Scientific method Other scientists will do their best to prove you wrong. It is not that they do not like you … they just want to make sure what you are saying holds. If someone can prove you wrong then you must go an perform more experiments to modify your postulate. If they can not prove you wrong then your postulate will become theory and eventually law.
Scientific Method The following are the steps of the scientific method. State the problem Design an experiment Collect data Analyze data Communicate Hypothesis Test Hypothesis Formulate Theory More experiments Law
SCIENCE VS TECHNOLOGY The goal of science is to learn more about natural processes. The goal of technology is to make a more comfortable way of life using the knowledge provided by science. Technology cannot survive without science. Technology provides money to scientists for new discoveries and inventions.
Consequences Most technological advances, while providing a more comfortable way of life come at a cost. Fumes Air pollution Acid rain Dying forests Less oxygen More CO2
Chemical Discoveries Many chemical discoveries have improved our lives, but them too come at a cost. Nobel Prize Lasers Vaccine Development
ALFRED NOBEL To the average person he is the person that is associated with a very prestigious award. Chemistry Physics Human Physiology (Medicine) Peace Literature Economics
ALFRED NOBEL To chemists he is also the inventor/creator of dynamite (1800’s). He developed dynamite in hopes of expediting the construction of railroad tunnels. A newspaper by mistake printed his obituary, which said he would be remembered for creating a horrible chemical that was used to make war and kill people.
LASERS They have revolutionized many fields Medicine Chemistry Physics Computers But they can be dangerous as well. If a laser can be used to cut steel it can be used as a weapon as well.
VACCINES & Research It is widely believed that we have achieved the total eradication of “chicken-pox.” The CDC in Atlanta is “required” to keep samples of all diseases known to human kind, including “chicken-pox.” Eradicated? I would have to say NO During the search for vaccines scientists develop new diseases.