The Science of Existence (77-1) Chemistry Synopsis – Chemistry


▫ Chemistry is the study of matter and the changes which substances undergo. Chemistry is extensively entangled with other fields of study, notably physics. The disciplines concerned with life rely heavily on biochemistry: the application of chemistry to biological processes.

▫ Molecules are the functional unit of chemistry, the basic building block of matter in an everyday sense.

▫ Seeking stability in the electrical charge created by the outer shell of an electron cloud, atoms combine into molecules by forming covalent bonds.

The internal vibrations of molecules drive the structural transformations that underpin chemistry and cellular function. ~ Indian American physical chemist Ara Apkarian et al

▫ The energy to effect chemical reactions may be meager. Slight differences at the subatomic level influence the dynamics of molecular transformation. Chemical butterfly effects are common.

▫ Chemical reactions are promoted by catalysts which lower the activation energy required for a reaction to occur. Without catalysts, chemical reactions would be much harder to come by.

Yet reactions readily occur where they should not. According to the classical laws of chemistry, the vast expanses of interstellar space are too frigidly forbidding for organic molecules to form. Via quantum tunneling – a term that labels but does not explain – prodigious amounts of alcohol and other organic compounds are formed in space.

▫ Radiation arises from energy fluctuations, which are pervasive throughout the universe. Electromagnetic radiation emits photonic wave energy. Particulate radiation arises from atomic decay. Radiation is an hd process initiated by quantum tunneling, where a subatomic particle escapes 4d confines.

▫ Molecular geometry characterizes molecules by the positions of their constituent atoms in space. Many molecular properties are affected by shape. The vibrational qualities of atoms also greatly affect their chemistry, but little is known of this.

▫ Water is a unique molecule, with unusual chemical and quantum properties. H2O behaves like H3.6O in its fluid atomic bonding, but a single snapshot of a water molecule appears as H1.5O.

Though molecularly stable and supposedly electrically neutral, water is an ionizing agent, and so is a universal solvent. Water acts as a catalyst in many biochemical reactions.

Water is one of the few chemical compounds that exists alternately as a gas, liquid, or solid within the temperature range of ordinary life. Water enacts an intricate quantum dance to transition from one state to another.

Water may selectively exist in multiple phases simultaneously. This occurs at the surface of water, in the nanometer interface between air and H2O.

All of life depends on water. The Earth’s hydrological cycle (water cycle) is a primary biospheric cycle. Polluted water ravages life.

▫ pH is a measure of aqueous acidity. Pure water is neutral (pH = 7). Acids have a pH < 7, while bases have a ▫ 7 pH.

Neutralization is the process of an aqueous solution approaching neutral pH. This is largely accomplished by proton transfer, not just deionization.