Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Sense of Falling in Love With Chemistry

    Chemistry is all around us all the time. I am  able to write this and you are able to read and understand this sentence because chemical reaction are taking taking place in my and your brain. The food we ate for break-fast or lunch is now furnishing energy through chemical reactions. Trees and grass grow because of the chemical changes.
Chemistry also crops up in some unexpected places. When archaeologist Luis Alvarez was studying in college, he probably did not realize that the chemical elements iridium and niobium would make him very famous when they helped him solve the problem of the disappearing dinosaurs. For decades scientists had wrestled with mystery of why the dinosaurs, after ruling the earth for millions of years, suddenly became extinct 65 million years ago. In studying core samples of rock dating back to the period, Alvarez and his co-workers recognized unusual levels of iridium and niobium in these samples-levels much more characteristic of extraterrestrial bodies than of the earth. Based on these observations, Alvarez hypothesized that a large meteor hit the earth 65 million years ago, changing atmospheric conditions so  much that the dinosaur' food couldn't grow, and they died-almost instantly in the geologic timeframe!
     Chemistry is also very important to the historians . Did you realize that lead poisoning probably was a significant contributing factor to the decline of the Roman Empire? The Romans had high exposure to lead-glazed pottery, lead water pipes, and a sweetening syrup called sapa that was prepared by boiling down grape juice in lead lined vessels. It turns out that one reason for sapa's sweetness was lead acetate (sugar of lead) that formed as the juice was cooked down. Lead poisoning with its symptoms of lethargy and mental malfunctions certainly could have contributed to the demise of the Roman Society. 
      Chemistry is also apparently very important in determining a person's behavior. Various studies have shown that many personality disorders can be linked directly to imbalances of trace elements in the body. For example: studies on the inmate at Stateville Prison in Illinois have linked low cobalt levels with violent behavior. Lithium salts have been shown to be very effective in controlling the effects of manic depressive disease, and you have probably at some time in your life felt  a special " Chemistry" for another person. Studies shows that there is literally chemistry going on between two people who are attracted to each other. "Falling in love" apparently causes changes in the chemistry of the brain; chemicals are produced that give that "high" associated with a new relationship. Unfortunately, these chemical effects seem to wear off over time, even if the relationship persists and grows. 
The importance of chemistry in the interactions of people should not really surprise us, since we know that insects communicate by emitting and receiving chemical signals via molecules called pheromones. For example: ants have very complicated set of chemical signals to signify food sources. danger, and so forth. Also, various female sex attractants have been isolated and used to lure males into traps to control insect populations. It would not be surprising if humans also emitted chemical signals that we were not aware of on a conscious level. Thus chemistry is pretty interesting and pretty important.

Source: Chemistry Instructor's Annotation, Zumdahl (7th Edition)


sijan paudel said...

This article is so convincing about chemistry's importance a young reader might feel why to study other subjects like biology, chemistry.....

sijan paudel said...

Oops I meant physics😄