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Reason, a deterrent to truth

August 11, 2011 1 comment

Our perception of the world relies much on our senses as our brain’s analyzing of them. The thing is, we cannot really just rely on one sense to give us the real truth of a thing, we need the others to counter check what we perceive to bring us as close to the truth as possible. Of course, we being human cannot really rely on our senses alone, we need our brain to receive, analyze them and give us a conclusion of what they are and what do they mean in relation to us, to our lives.

These senses also determine the decisions we make as a human being. I quote “10% of life is made of external factors the other 90% is our reactions to it.” Then how can we know what these external factors are let alone know what they mean without our perceptions and more importantly how does the brain deduce from the data gathered by our 5 senses and why and how does it relate one to another.

I believe that all of us experience some degree of synesthesia. This is because, at times, when we think about an idea, or a replica of a perception retained in our brains, the mind incorporates another idea with that idea you think about making you view that idea in a different light than when you actually experienced it. For me for example, whenever I think of the letter A, I associate it with red, but then again, how can I see it in red? How did the color incorporate itself to the image of the letter when I usually see the letter A in the color of black? where did this color come from, isn’t it a separate entity altogether? one possibility is it’s the brain’s mechanism to differentiate one idea from another or to highlight it and make it easier to remember. I mean just as the picture in the first part of the blog proved. It is very hard to separate the twos from the chart of fives because they were all in the same kind of font and in the same color as compared to the lower picture where the digits were highlighted in different colors. now imagine, what if our brain just viewed the world that way, just as it is, the way we see it, then we will be limited to what we see and what we see alone, we would not be able to create things in our mind because the way I see it, when the paragraph talks about associating other properties to a perception, isn’t it akin to creating things with our mind. I mean when we see the world as it is and only as it is where we cannot give another idea the properties of another, how then can we invent things? or more commonly create fictional stories? Aren’t most of them created through interchanging some of the properties we see with each other forming a new thing altogether? creating something that we can turn into reality and not just perceiving reality as it is, being able to change the world we live in.

Now what I really want to ask is through this, how much do we rely on our senses to understand the world outside. The quote to see is to believe but then how do we know that what we see is the real truth and not perceived in a different light by our senses. I mean how do we know the perceptions that our senses send to our brain are the real deal? Or that what the brain interprets is the exact same thing our senses perceived? As Immanuel Kant  said, how do we know that what we perceive is the real truth and that it exists independently from everything else? Meaning it exists outside our interpretations and therefore is not subject to bias from our brain. He says something like we view the world from the rose tinted spectacles of our reason.In relation to the article we read, the McGurk effect is a proof of this, despite what we see is correct, our perceptions are correct, the interpretation from the brain is wrong. Therefore how can we say that all what we sense is correct and not subject to the same biases of our reason as what happened when taking the McGurk effect experiment?

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Categories: ToK

Sulfur

August 11, 2011 Leave a comment

Sulfur is an atom, a happy creature we can say, happy with all his 32 cells 16 positive brain cells, 16 neutral muscle cells and 16 negative emotional cells. He was brought to light from the darkest and deepest caverns of the earth and finally recognized for who he really is in the early days of our history and was given the name shulbari (direct translation of enemy of copper (shulba) in sanskrit) Of course the name has change right now to Sulfur because he has to make himself hip to fit the times.
He is quite a balanced creature, albeit not the strongest with a total nuclear charge of 16, has 3p⁴ as his valence electrons to look good and has electronegative charge of 2.5 to pull his girlfriend potassium in.It takes a lot to take sulfur down, he is also quite well built having an ionization energy of 10.360 eV. Being the creature he is, it takes 112.8ºc to melt him and 444.6ºc to boil him. The body build of sulfur is also not too bad since he has an atomic radius of 127 pm and an ionic radius of 30 (6e) 184 (2e). The shielding effect preventing it from being too small.
Sulfur and his girlfriend potassium bond together a lot. when they do, they can really make quite a bang and injure others. Sulfur is also the creature that slaves off in car batteries helping it run so never underestimate or ignore sulfer, he’s a lot more important than we may think at first.

Categories: Chemistry

Orbitals

August 2, 2011 Leave a comment


I’m sure you’ve ridden on an airplane before. As you know, in PAL, there’s Economy Class, Fiesta Class, Mabuhay Class and Business class, with each of them having it’s own levels of comfort and number of people. An atom’s electrons and orbitals aren’t too different. Wait a second….before we can compare them…..we need to find out what an Orbital is! An orbital is the region where an electron is found! So putting it that way….if people are electrons…..then orbitals are there seats!

If there are seats on an airplane, then there must be different flight classes! If orbitals are the seats then the subshells are the flight class! By definition, Subshells are a cluster of Orbits together. Like different flight classes, subshells also have different types which have different “seating capacities” for electrons.

There are 4 Subshells that are commonly used

1.)Spheric(spheric shaped) subshells are subshells which comprise of a maximum of two electrons. Think of these as the “business class seats” since there is only one orbital here with a maximum of two electrons making it more quiet and expensive.

2.)Principled (dumbell shaped)subshells are subshells which comprise a maximum of 6 electron. Think of these as “Mabuhay Class”seats. They have a maximum of 3 orbitals, which is still a luxury ride although a little bit cheaper than business class, albeit it’s a little bit more packed.

3.)Diffused(four planar) subshells are subshells which comprise of a maximum of 10 electron. Think of it as “economy class” since there are many electrons who cannot “afford” business or mabuhay class so they’re all stacked together within 5 orbits.

4.)fundemental(complex) subshells are subshells which comprise of a maximum of 14 electron. The electrons are all stacked within 7 orbits.

Too completely understand all of this, we need to learn 3 important principles.

1.)The Aufbau

All electrons would wand to be in the lowest subshell, 1s since it is nearest to the nucleus and the attrction of the positive protons is  at its strongest. unfortunately this cannot be so each of the following electrons would take an orbital in the subshell just above it. the electrons make a compromise since the first choice of the lower subshells are already taken. This continues until all the electrons are in orbitals already. Basically, it’s arranged in increasing order because of the lack of space for an electron in the previous orbital.

Pauli exclusion principle.
This is perhaps the most complicated principle to understand. it states that no two electrons can have the same quantum state. what does this mean? first the basics

the quantum state (physical state of a particle) of an electron are determined by 4 variables which are called quantum numbers. they are
1. principal numbers or (n)
2.  the azimuthal quantum number (l)
3. the magnetic quantum number (Ml)
4. the spin quantum nubmber (Ms)

what are these numbers?

the principal number or n is signifies the electron shell of that specific electron this means that 1s, 1 being n, states that it is in the first electron shell which is how far it is from the nucleus. it also describes the size of the orbital

the azimuthal quantum number or l is the subshell of the specific electron whether it is s, p, d or f since it signifies the angular momentum or shape of the orbital

The magnetic quantum number or ml determines the orientation of the orbitals within the sub level. let’s take subshell P as an example. Since there are 3 orbitals in this subshell, they are aligned in the x, y, and z axes so the magnetic quantum number or ml of this particular. these are noted by -1, 0 and 1 representing the 3 different orientations of the orbitals. this video will help.

before explaining the spin quantum number, we should first explain why its needed. The principle states that no two electrons can have the same state. it refers particularly to this property. Since we say that there are two electrons are in the same orbital, they will probably have the same velocity angle, and whatever the past 3 variables were talking about. so how do we differentiate them? also, another reason we cannot have electrons in the same state is that if they were put in the same orbital, they will cancel each other out and result in no electron at all. let me clarify

If an electron’s wave is going clockwise, and its counterpart is also spinning clockwise, they will be in opposite sided of the orbital at all times because we assume that it is negative so they repel each other. when they spin, at the same speed and everything, the wave will end up being a line thus nullifying it so there will be no electron at all. This calls for something to differentiate them which is their spin. their spin will be opposite to each other one will spin clockwise, while the other goes counterclockwise creating the difference needed to maintain the electron’s presence in its orbitals. These are signified in the box model as and .

Basically….
1.Principle Numbers-Which electron shell it’s in(like, what building you need to go to)
2.The Azimuthal Quantum number-The specific subshell of an electron, shows you the shape of the orbital(Like, what floor you go to in said building)
3.Magnetic Quantum Number-Each orbital have a unique angle/axis when combined form a subshell. (Like what office you go to in each floor)
4.The Spin Quantum Number-Since in orbitals, electrons have the same velocity, they need a different spin. Why? Because. If both electrons had an equal amount of spin, they would cancel each other out. (Like the way two employees can’t have the EXACT same tasks in an office)

3.)Box Model

What is the box model?
We now know that orbitals have 2 electrons and each electron has a unique spin, either up or down. One way to visualize this is through the box model. let us get a box which is the orbital.

as you see in the picture, lets take number 1 and 2. the box has 2 arrows showing the 2 electrons with different spins.

You might be wondering why in number 3, 2p3 has 3 arrows going up instead if 2 boxes of one up and down arrow and the second box with only one up arrow. This is where Hund’s rule comes in.

He says that every orbital in a subshell is singly occupied with one electron before any one orbital is doubly occupied, and all electrons in singly occupied orbitals have the same spin.
This method increases the stability of the atom because the dilution of electron-nuclear attraction is decreased. ie there will be more attraction happening when only one electron is present in the particular orbital. see the video for more clarifications!

How do we write something in the electron notation?
-That’s very easy! All you need to know is a few things.
A.)The number of electrons
B.) The order of which they go to(Refer to the Aufbau Principle’s picture)

Taking Krypton as an example, it has 36 electrons. In standard notation, that is
1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d10 4s2 4p6
Why?
1s2, 1 is the electron subshell level(it’s lower energy to higher remember!), s refers to the subshell type(Spherical) and 2 refers to the number of electrons in said subshell. All in all, this makes 36 electrons.

http://www.kentchemistry.com/links/AtomicStructure/PauliHundsRule.htm

http://library.thinkquest.org/C006669/data/Chem/atomic/quantum.html

http://antoine.frostburg.edu/chem/senese/101/electrons

http://www.wikihow.com/Write-Electron-Configurations-for-Atoms-of-Any-Element

http://www.brazosport.edu/sites/CurrentStudents/Faculty/JudyChu/Tutorials/elecconf3.htm

http://www.chemguide.co.uk/atoms/properties/atomorbs.html

http://library.thinkquest.org/3659/structures/shapes.html


©Bryan Giger, Paolo Buted; 2011

Categories: Chemistry