Atom

What is inside an atom?

Atoms are thought to be the smallest entities that take part in the chemical reactions. They join with each other in different ratios to form the molecules which then combine to form macromolecules. The molecules can exchange atoms with other atoms or molecules to give rise to different molecules. Atoms are not the fundamental particles of the matter. Even an atom contains protons and neutrons confined in a very small space called nucleus in the core of the atom and electrons occupy the rest of the space. Electrons are negatively charged particles and counterbalance the positive charges on the protons… Read More »What is inside an atom?

Achievements of a wandering mind

Many a times you must have experienced in your life that you cannot recall a certain incident, name of a person or a book or author although at other times you remembered it so well. In those circumstances, the harder you try to recall more it eludes you. It is not the case of poor memory or age as it happens with everyone at one time or another. You leave it frustrated and become busy in some other work and in a flash the things will come to your mind. The same has happened to many great scientists and authors.… Read More »Achievements of a wandering mind

Lonely Albatross

Sky was overcast with dark black clouds. It looked as if thick smoke has risen to skies. The evening was very gloomy and night was about to fall albeit prematurely. A lonely albatross was flying indolently towards its abode. Why was it lonely? May be its partner has been snatched by the claws of death or by another albatross. What was it thinking? Was the life worth living alone? What will it do after reaching its home? Sleep alone, Sun will come again, the survival instinct will force it to fly again in search of food. Again in the evening… Read More »Lonely Albatross

1905: Annus Mirabilis of Albert Einstein 

Annus mirabilis is a Latin phrase that means “wonderful year”, “miraculous year” or “amazing year”. This term was originally used to refer to the year 1666, and today is used to refer to several years during which events of major importance are remembered. Albert Einstein singlehandedly added 1905 as another Annus Mirabilis. In this year, his creativity peaked and he made the revolutionary scientific discoveries. He was just 26 years old. During that year he did: March: Proved that the light consists of photons thus proving the quantum nature of the light. May: Proved the existence of the atom. June: Special Theory of… Read More »1905: Annus Mirabilis of Albert Einstein 

Optical Isomerism

Everything is identical about these twins. Number of atoms, type of atoms are same. Only difference is the spatial arrangement of atoms or groups of atoms attached to the carbon atoms. There is one more trait of these twins-they are mirror images of one another. They are called stereoisomers. Stereo means spatial. There is a slight differences in the reactivity of these members. One very interesting property of these molecules is that they rotate the light passing through their solution in equal and opposite directions called Levo and Dextro. When such compounds are synthesized in the laboratory, we obtain both… Read More »Optical Isomerism

Carbon Dating

There are atoms which have same chemical properties but different atomic weights. They have same atomic mass because number of protons are identical but additional neutrons make then different in weight. Such atoms are called isotopes. For example carbon which has 6 protons and 6 neutrons have an isotope which have 6 protons but 8 neutrons.  They are presented as C14 and C12. Addition of protons make them less stable and many of them are radioactive. The rate at which a particular atom decays is independent of temperature, light or darkness. During decay the atom is trying to achieve state… Read More »Carbon Dating

A Soccer Ball and C60 Molecule

Carbon, a small atom with atomic weight of 12 amu and atomic number of 6, is the element on which the life on this planet is based. Carbon atom forms 4 single electron bonds of sp3 configuration and hence can combine with 4 different atoms including carbon atoms. Thus it can form giant or macromolecules often found in nature. Some examples are carbohydrates, hydrocarbons, proteins, lipids and so on. Carbon as such exists in two allotropic forms namely diamond and graphite with very different physical properties. While diamond is the hardest material and inert towards chemicals, graphite is active, chemically… Read More »A Soccer Ball and C60 Molecule

Graphene: Size Zero Allotrope

Carbon is the atom on which the life on the earth is based. Though it is not a complicated element having only 6 atomic number, it ability to form compounds with hydrogen, oxygen, sulfur and host of other atoms and its ability for catenation makes it the most distinguished element for us. We owe our existence to it. Most of the macromolecules which are bodies are composed of contain carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. This simple element show another very surprising properties. One of them is the allotropy. Two allotrope are two different arrangements in which an element can exist. Till… Read More »Graphene: Size Zero Allotrope

What Color are the Atoms?

Atoms are the smallest units of matter which are independent and have a definite address. Atoms of different elements are different in many aspects but size and atomic weight are the main attributes. I think there is no such thing as color of things. Color exists only when there is light.When the darkness falls, the color of things begins to dissolve and black color takes over everything. Black color thus obliterate all the differences due to colors. May be this is the reason why in Hindu mythology many Gods are dark complexioned. Take for example Rama, Krishna and Draupadi, all… Read More »What Color are the Atoms?

Cyclohexane: A Chemical Chair

Cyclohexane belongs to the category of hydrocarbons called naphthenes. It has a chemical formula of C6H12. Naphthenes are found in crude oil. Most abundant are mono ring compounds of which cyclohexane is the perfect example. In fact, the poly ring naphthenes are found in the high boiling fractions of naphtha and the name seems to have been derived from naphtha. The term Naphthene has become almost redundant except in petroleum industry.The other fractions present in the crude oil are paraffins which are long chain alkanes  with formula CnH2n+1. For example, when n=6, then we have hexane with formula C6H14. High… Read More »Cyclohexane: A Chemical Chair