Slippery Bonds

Atoms merge into molecules by sharing electrons. Chemists have categorized the ways these relationships are managed. The reality of chemistry is not so neat.

Fractional Charges

An electron is an elementary particle with a negative elementary charge. That supposed integral negativity is positively compensated by protons, thereby providing the balancing incentive for atomic matter. This fundamental physical charge constant is now known to be violated in everyday matter. Fractional charges have been found.

Roughing It

Roughness – the presence of irregularities on the surface of a material – is commonly thought to be a source of stickiness and slower motion. Molecules feel differently about such a situation.


The slimy, hydrated gel called mucus lines all wet epithelia in our bodies – over 200 square meters, including the eyes, lungs, and gastrointestinal and urogenital tracts. Healthy individuals produce several liters of mucus daily. Mucus was long thought merely a lubricant and physical barrier against pathogens. Mucus also acts as a communication filtering device to potentially nefarious microbes.

Molecules of Sight

While looking out, the human mind creates a visual image corresponding to 1,600 megapixels (million pixels) each millisecond (1/1000th of a second). This is 274 times more detailed than high-definition TV images. The astonishing process of sight cannot be explained physiologically. Further confirmation of this has recently been provided by researchers who identified the receptors responsible for catching the photons which supposedly compose a visual image.

Earth’s Carbon

Carbon is one of several chemical cycles which define Earth’s biosphere. Nitrogen, phosphorus, and oxygen are others. Carbon holds the distinction of principally acting, in the form of carbon dioxide (CO2), as the radiative “control knob” that sets global temperature for the air and oceans. While attention has focused on the atmospheric carbon level, that is a small component of a much larger cycle.