The Protoplanet Theia

protoplanet-Theia

The protoplanet which hit the Earth and created the moon is referred to as “Theia”. When Theia hit the Earth, it’s core fused with the Earth’s core sending enormous amounts of liquid rock into orbit. Because this liquid rock was in a magma like state, it was very easy for it to coalesce and from the moon. The collision changed Earth’s trajectory as a planet because metals like iron were released from the planets core, resetting Earth’s basic chemistry. Gasses like methane, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen, seeped into Earth’s atmosphere, gasses which were the building blocks of life. During the 1950’s, American chemist Stanley Miller carried out a classic experiment which included creating a cocktail of these gasses and simulating life on Earth by introducing electricity. What emerged was a film of brown slime, full of amino acids, the raw material of proteins, created by nothing but the very gasses already present on Earth. During the cooldown of the Earth after the collision, water vapor condensed to form oceans, oceans which were tidal by nature due to the moons gravitational pull. Chemicals found within the early oceans were aided by the moon as the moon pulled upon the Earth creating low tides which in turn were introduced to ultraviolet radiation from the sun as the sun’s heat evaporated the remaining water within those tidal pools. This constant wetting and drying of these tidal pools was the catalyst which created ribonucleic acid, complex molecules created by very simple materials under very simple conditions

Tobacco Plant Defence


tobacco-leaf

Wild tobacco plants evolved tobacco as a defense mechanism. Tobacco paralyzes most insects after ingestion which keeps it from being devoured and helps it survive where it grows best, which is in the desert surprisingly. Various insects are immune to the paralysis caused by ingesting tobacco, insects like the hornworm caterpillar. The tobacco plant sends off chemical signals when it is under attack from an insect, signals to nearby tobacco plants to alert those other plants of the predator which is devouring it, but also to nearby insects which want to eat the insect consuming the tobacco plant. Not all plants have developed such a robust mechanism of defense like paralysis but all plants have a chemical S.O.S system, and this mechanism has the scent of fresh flowers and fresh cut grass to human beings. This is why freshly cut flowers and freshly cut grass smells as it does. This biological marker mimics tobacco in that it serves as a warning signal to nearby plants and as a dinner invite for insects to eat other insects. The reason plants are so effective when calling the right predator for reinforcement is because the plant uses the saliva of the insect devouring it, a resource which is left over during consumption. Plants can break down the compounds within the saliva of insects and figure out exactly which insect is eating it so that the correct chemical marker is sent out

Galileo Galilei Determining the Speed of Light

speed-of-light

The speed of light was once thought to be infinite and able to travel over infinite distances instantaneously. The polymath Galileo Galilei thought this to be incorrect and had an assistant stand atop a hill 1 kilometer away whilst Galilei shone a lantern and had the assistant shine one back as soon as he recognized the opposing lantern being lit. Galilei posited that he could measure the reaction time and divide it by the distance between both parties. The experiment failed to work because a much greater distance would be required for success. During the 1670’s, the Danish astronomer Ole Roemer closely observed Jupiter and its moon Io. Roemer noticed that his predictions of where Io should be did not synchronize with its actual position and subsequently realized that because Jupiter and Earth are sometimes closer together, the travel time of light between each could take between 1 hour and 1 hour and 15 minutes. Due to this realization, Roemer was able to calculate that light coming from Jupiter’s moon Io traveled at approximately 300,000 meters per second. Today scientists can verify Roemer’s experiment by pulsing a laser beam towards mirrors left upon the moon by astronauts during the Apollo missions NASA launched in decades past to confirm that the speed of light is indeed 299,792,458 meters per second. The lasers scientists use act upon the same principal RADAR, SONAR, and LIDAR utilizes in that they all measure objects at a distance by pinging them to approximate how fast they are traveling, and how far away they are

Bose-Einstein Condensate

 

Bose-Einstein condensate

When atoms become extremely cold and reach absolute zero on the Kelvin scale they enter what’s referred to as a “Bose-Einstein Condensate” which is a state of matter that causes individual atoms to lose their individual properties thus leading them to mash together and act strangely in their behavioral properties. Atoms become so smeared that their waves start looking indistinguishable from incredibly hot and compressed atoms like the kind found inside the inner core of neutron stars, stars which are so dense that a single teaspoon would weigh 10,000,000,000 (10 billion) tonnes

Ball Point Pen

ball-point-pen

The ball point pen was invented by Ladislao José Biro and originally sold for $55.00 as it was not a cheap, mass produced, consumable product at the time. Accounting for inflation, the ball point pen retails in today’s market for approximately $0.19 (19 cents) per unit. Biro’s first idea was to have a ball tip made from brass, steel, or tungsten carbide with quick drying newspaper ink, but unfortunately it did not work. Biro then moved to a slower drying ink cartridge and to his good fortune, the idea worked. The ball point pen works by rolling and picking up a thin film from the ink cartridge held above the ball point. Until this point, quills and lead pencils were used for writing as the quill had been around since 600 A.D., and the lead pencil had been in circulation since 1795. Biro’s first major customer was the Royal Air Force, as Biro developed and introduced the ball point pen in 1940 which was towards the beginning of World War II. The Royal Air Force was interested in the idea because it allowed their military to write at high altitudes, unlike traditional fountain pens. Interestingly enough, Biro was not the first person to come up with the idea of a rollerball system for delivering ink to the nib of a pen. John Loud is widely believed to have patented the first ballpoint pen back in 1888, but he failed to turn it into a commercial product and so his patent lapsed