Moore 2 Life:Exploring the waterways

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Chas' Life, CREATION

I wonder about the creation of all things. My father was a navigator who told me about the night sky, the moon, the planets and the stars. I have been reading 'A Brief History of Time' by Stephen Hawking and 'A Short History of Nearly Everything' by Bill Bryson.

We humans are born to explore, discover and try to understand the environment that we exist in. Men explored the world first but wondered about the heavens. Now we have even dipped our toe in that outer space and walked on the Moon. Before that happened we had never seen the world we live in from the outside.

When men went out to land on the moon they were able to look back at the Earth, the world we live in, and what a glorious beautiful sight they saw, the blue planet. It is absolutely unique in the Universe which is the sun, planets, moons and stars. The majority of the planets and the moons are just desolate balls of rock. The Earth is just floating in space like the moon does but it is our home and our comfort zone. There may well be nothing else like it.

Our sun is just another star and is one among countless others that you see when looking up at night. Where did it all come from?

The big bang to big birth

A Universe is created, we are in one. There may be others? It is expanding from a singularity, the point of creation. A universe contains space, time and material. During the first second of its existence it would contain lots of atoms. Oh and a huge amount of energy. It is like an expanding balloon. There is absolutely nothing outside it, not even space or time. Our universe is absolutely vast, if you could travel about inside it you will never find an edge. It would be like moving on the outside of a sphere, there is no edge. If you could keep going in one direction you will come back to the same place. And all the while it is continuing to spread outwards forever expanding.

So at this starting point we think pure energy was created. What we see in space is the conversion of energy from one form to another. It is said that the quantity of energy remains constant.

Stephen Hawkins: "The universe is governed by the laws of science. The law may have been decreed by God but God does not intervene to break the law."

The dark matter

Space is not empty between the stars. There is a molecular cloud containing all known molecules which is the dark matter. Gravity exists within the atoms and molecules and gradually the cloud clumped together to form the stars and planets. Galaxies are huge groups of stars. Some stars would explode, a supernova, so much heat was generated that heavier elements were created by absorbing energy.

The Solar system

A supernova created a huge cloud of gas which contained all the elements required to create our sun and planets about 4.6 Billion years ago. 99.9 % of the gas formed our sun which is just another star. The planets, moons and rock were created from the rest of the debris left over.

The Earth

The earth took about 200 million years to form a molten core of heavy elements. It grew by continual bombardment from rocks and asteroids. It is thought that the moon was formed from debris thrown out from the earth when it was hit by something as large as Mars.

When the earth was about 1/3 its eventual size it started to form an atmosphere spewed out from volcanoes. The earth just happens to be large enough to retain the atmosphere. The original atmosphere would have contained 80% water vapor, 10% Carbon dioxide, 6% Hydrogen Sulfide and smaller amounts of Nitrogen, Carbon Monoxide, Hydrogen, Methane and other inert gasses. For 500 million years more material fell to earth bringing water with it. The earth is just far enough away from the sun to retain the water which neither evaporates into space or freeze completely. A major rain fall led to the buildup of a vast ocean.

The big birth

Somehow life got started in the water. All the material for life is here but we cannot make life, it makes itself. Life on earth regulates the environment. Carbon Dioxide has been reduced from 30% to less than 1% by life's activity. Too much and the environment gets hotter. Then life grows faster and absorbs the Carbon Dioxide by converting it to chalk or limestone. The original atmosphere has been modified when oxygen breathing life forms began to appear. It now contains 78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen and a 1% trace of other gases. The amount of oxygen in the atmosphere is regulated by burning when there is too much. Animals make methane which reduces oxygen levels.

Green house gas

More than one element or molecule can affect the temperature of the environment. These are carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane and ozone. But without these gasses in the atmosphere the earth's temperature would be -18 degrees centigrade and life would not exist.

Warm and cold periods

The Romans enjoyed a warm period between 200BC and AD600. Then between AD600 and 800 it was cold during the Dark Ages. The Medieval period between 800 and 1300 was warm again. This was followed by a little ice age between 1300 and 1850. Remember the Victorian Christmas cards with snow and ice. Now we are in a warm period again. If these periods last about 500 years it may get cooler after 2300.

The building blocks of material

I am trying to understand the structure of materials and the forces that exist in the atom. The majority of our understanding has been proved during the 20th Century. I wondered where light and heat come from so I start with the smallest thing known to man.

Particles

Particles are to be found inside the nucleus of an atom. So far at least 150 particles have been discovered. They include such things as Photons, Gravitons, Protons and Neutrons. All particles are considered to be waves.

Particle energy is measured in 'electron volts' and the higher the energy the smaller the wave length. Electron Volts can be generated by chemical reactions such as burning which emits energy as heat. They can also be generated by the chemical reactions in a battery.

There exist four categories of force that have an effect.

1) Gravity
This is an attractive force which holds us on the earth and keeps it in orbit round the sun. Every particle feels the force of gravity on it. It is the weakest of the four forces but operates over large distances.

2) Electromagnetic
This force interacts with electrically charged particles like electrons and quarks within the atom. The force can be positive or negative. It repels negative charges and attracts positive charges. It holds electrons in orbit around the nucleus of the atom. The attraction is seen as being caused by photon particles. When an electron moves from one orbit to another, energy is released and a photon is emitted. (LED). If a photon particle collides with an atom it may move an electron to another atom. This absorbs the photon's energy. (Photo cells use the photon energy to release electrons into a circuit). Magnets can also release electrons by giving particles energy. (Generators and Alternators)

3) Weak nuclear force
This force is responsible for radioactivity. Radioactive atoms have positive 'a' particles which are given off. These particles have energies of millions of electron volts. (Atomic Energy). But their influence extends to only the tiniest distances.

4) Strong nuclear force
This is a confining force that holds particles together inside the nucleus. Elements with large amounts of protons and electrons become unstable and radioactive because this force cannot hold them together.

Nucleus

This is to be found inside the Atom. It contains Protons and Neutrons which are bound by a nuclear force. An isotope has an unequal number of neutrons and protons.

Atom

The atom is a basic unit of matter consisting of a dense positive nucleus ball surrounded by a cloud of negatively charged electrons. They are bound by the electromagnetic force. An atom containing an equal number of protons and electrons is electrically neutral. Otherwise it is either a positive or negative ion. Radioactive atoms have positive a-particles which are given off.

It would seem that atoms consist of all things known to man from gravity to light and that is where energy is to be found. Sunlight energizes atoms. It increases their activity and releases heat.

Electrons

Electrons that are bound to atoms possess a set of stable energy levels or orbits round the atom. They can be moved from one orbit to another by absorbing or emitting photons and in doing so energy is used or released in the form of heat. Magnetic forces can push free electrons round an external circuit. The number of electrons and protons attached to an atom defines an element.

Elements

A chemical element is a pure substance consisting of one type of atom distinguished by its atomic number which is the number of protons in its nucleus and the number of electrons it has. The Periodic table lists 118 elements known. The first element made could have been Hydrogen because this element has only one electron spinning round its nucleus.

The sun is a star: a burning sphere of gas with a nuclear furnace at its centre. The energy from the original creation is converting Hydrogen to Helium. (The element Helium has two electrons.) In doing so the energy is being released as heat and light.

Molecules

Molecules are an electrically neutral group of at least two atoms in a definite arrangement held together by a very strong chemical bond. When a molecule absorbs a photon it increases the energy of the molecule producing heat.

The atoms combine in certain proportions to form molecules or compounds. Water is a molecule made from two elements, two atoms of Hydrogen and one of Oxygen. (H2O).

Crystals n rocks

A crystal or crystalline solid is a material whose constituent atoms, molecules or ions are arranged in an orderly repeating pattern extending in all three directions. The shape depends on the type of molecular bonds between the atoms. Some crystalline materials may exhibit special electrical properties such as the ferroelectric or piezoelectric effect.

Crystalline rock masses have consolidated from molten magma. Granite was formed by cooling very slowly under great pressure and has completely crystallized. The composition of Granite contains a mixture of elements ranging from Silicone to Uranium and consequently is very slightly radioactive.

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