## Calculate Atom Weight Two Ways

[caption id="attachment_8437" align="alignright" width="400"] Radon atom statistics.[/caption] Ever wonder how much an atom weighs? One atom. Different varieties of atoms weigh different amounts—helium weighs one thing, lead another. But how can the weight of any sort of atom be determined to within reasonable accuracy? We present two simple methods to calculate atom weight. Two Ways One can calculate atom weight from knowing the weights of the constituent electrons, protons, and neutrons. If you know the weight of each of those and the number of each in an atom, you can readily calculate its weight. Yet, there is an easier and a better way. Let’s pick an element out of the hat. Let’s take gold (If we can’t afford it, at least we can talk about it.). To calculate atom weight…

## Is 304 Stainless Steel Magnetizable?

[caption id="attachment_5822" align="alignright" width="440"] Gateway Arch (304 Stainless Steel) - GNU Free Documentation License Version 1.2 by Rdikeman[/caption] Can 304 stainless steel be magnetized? The answer rates more than a simple yes or no. Iron is alloyed with different amounts of chromium to produce 3 classes of stainless steel. These are martensitic, ferritic, and austenitic steels. These three are classed separately because each has a different microstructure. Stainless Steel Type 304 stainless is austenitic. It is non-magnetic. Special treatments change that. The treatments may be to produce fasteners or other items that require it. Magnetic & Non-Magnetic Both ferritic and martensitic stainless steels are easy to magnetize. Austenitic steels such as cold worked 304 undergo partial conversion of their austenite microstructure to martensite. Because stainless type 304 is cheap yet…

## Transition from Ice to Water to Vapor

[caption id="attachment_5490" align="alignright" width="440"] Hydrogen Bonding - CCA SA 3.0 Unported by Magasjukur2[/caption] The transition from ice to water to steam. What happens? A block of ice has a temperature well below freezing and is warmed gradually. It reaches above the boiling point. What transitions occur along the way? What are the processes? Transition: Solid to Liquid At first, the heat supplied simply increases the temperature of the ice. The temperature of the surface is somewhat warmer than the ice inside. It takes time for heat to penetrate. Eventually, the outer layer of the ice reaches the melting point. The outside ice melts first—then the inner ice. [caption id="attachment_5491" align="alignleft" width="220"] Melting Ice[/caption] During melting, the heat energy is spent breaking the stiff hydrogen bonds. None of it is spent…

## Imaginary Space, Imaginary Time?

[caption id="attachment_5427" align="alignright" width="480"] Square Root of -1[/caption] What do you think? Could there be imaginary space? imaginary time? In the real world, there are many and varied ideas we can comprehend, or at least find conceivable. However, there are concepts beyond our comprehension. This does not automatically make them unreal. One such concept is the imaginary number. Physically, the imaginary number is real. To date, however, no one has satisfactorily explained the phenomenon. Simplest Case The simplest imaginary number is the square root of –1. Does that sound like it should be no problem? Well, the square root of 1 has two values: –1 and 1. That can be proven. 1 x 1 = 1, right? And –1 x –1 = 1, right? Well, what number n is there,…

## Electron Structure in Atoms

[caption id="attachment_4966" align="alignright" width="440"] 4dxz Orbital[/caption] Chemistry is the study of the interactions of atoms, determined largely by the outermost or surface electrons. Electron structure in atoms obeys the laws of quantum mechanics. They do not move randomly as if in some sort of cloud, but are organized into shells, subshells and orbitals. Electron Structure in Atoms Four quantum numbers are responsible for this structure. They are the principal quantum number, the azimuthal quantum number, the magnetic quantum number and the spin quantum number. Principal Quantum Number - Shells The principal quantum number, “n”, must be a positive integer. That is n = 1, 2, 3… This number dictates an electron’s energy level. Electrons fill the lowest energy level first, then the second energy level, the third and so on.…

## Scale Independent Math Expressions for Physical Processes

[caption id="attachment_4949" align="alignright" width="440"] Spiral Galaxy NGC 1232 - ESO[/caption] Scientists seek the ability to explain all physical processes by means of single math expressions independent of scale—from the subatomic to the astronomic. Is that possible? There are also physics anomalies. Or, perhaps, they are best described as dichotomies. For example, light is known to act sometimes as a particle, sometimes as a wave. Can these two behaviors be reconciled into one, describable using one mathematical expression? I believe the answer in both instances is, Yes. Perhaps I feel so because historically scientists have believed there should be simplicity in the laws of nature. Disclaimer: The author, though not an unintelligent man, does have moments when his mental prowess can be more closely described as bone-headed. This may be one…

## Three Hydrogen Isotopes: Protium, Deuterium, Tritium

Elements are the building blocks of a chemist’s world. The first and simplest element is hydrogen, H. It is a gas at room temperature. A molecule of hydrogen gas consists of two joined atoms. However, we will discuss the lone atoms, which exist in three varieties: protium, deuterium, and tritium. All hydrogen atoms have an atomic number of 1. This means the central core or nucleus of any of the three varieties of hydrogen contains just 1 proton. All hydrogen atoms have 1 electron in an orbital outside the nucleus. What makes the three varieties different? The nucleus of hydrogen can include in addition to the proton, zero, one, or two neutrons. Protium Hydrogen without any neutron is protium. Hydrogen with one neutron is deuterium. Hydrogen with two neutrons is…

## Pyrophoricity: How Does It Work?

[caption id="attachment_3651" align="alignright" width="440"] Pyrophoric ferro-cerium striker[/caption] A substance exhibiting pyrophoricity (including certain metals) reacts quickly with oxygen, producing heat, and bursting into flames. Alkali metals are pyrophoric, but there are other pyrophoric metals as well, given the proper conditions. Otherwise, they are stable and may be put to a number of uses without fear of bursting into flame. The overall principle is a simple one: metals are electropositive. Oxygen is electronegative. Almost all metals will react with oxygen to some extent. As a metal oxidizes, the reaction releases a little heat energy. If the heat cannot dissipate, it builds up. This speeds further oxidation, increasing the heat yet more. The metal may burst into flames. Those “Other” Metals Some alkaline earth metals such as calcium, and a few other…

## Distance, Velocity, and Acceleration

[caption id="attachment_3512" align="alignright" width="440"] Porsche 911 image - CCA 2 Generic[/caption] Do you know the relationships between distance, velocity, and acceleration? In learning about a matter, the primary obstacle is likely to be understanding the concept of it. For instance, as a young teen, I was introduced to algebra. Algebra is the first form of mathematics that contains not only numbers, but letters as well. Numbers are constant (after all, 3 is three), but letters are used to indicate variance in value, i.e. they are variables. Distance The concept of distance is so very simple, it is taken for granted. But should it be? Some young ones may not fully comprehend the concept of distance. That being said, we will assume here that the reader and his or her pupil…

## Mysterious Saint Elmo’s Fire

[caption id="attachment_3371" align="alignright" width="330"] Coronal discharge in plasma - www.Lucnix.be[/caption] Saint Elmo's Fire is far from being a variety of combustion associated with a heaven bound Muppet. Rather, it is an historic phenomenon observed by sailors at sea, and is named after the supposed patron saint of sailors, Erasmus.¹ Saint Elmo's Fire has also appeared to pilots in connection with aircraft wings. Rarely, it is seen elsewhere. The single feature each of these occurrences shares in common is sharp or pointed surfaces. The Nature of the Beast Such surfaces do not provide fuel to some conflagration. In fact, they are generally metallic, and are not consumed at all. Saint Elmo's Fire is an electrical and atmospheric phenomenon. It comes about because of a coronal discharge of electricity that leads surrounding…