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Guiding Questions: Foundations of Science Module #7 20 th Century Science and Scientists Overview: In this module we will be exploring 20 th century science which in many ways is dominated by the discoveries in physics early in the century. These discoveries ushered in the atomic age and the discipline of quantum mechanics which raised new philosophical questions regarding the reliability of the scientific process. Reading: Gribbin chapters 10,11 and 13 Pearcey chapters 8 and 9 (pages 187-199) Video: Quantum Physics double slit experiment (available on the web) http://www.whatthebleep.com/trailer/drh-trailer.shtml Gribbin, chapter 10, Atoms and Molecules 1 What was the increase in the number of scientists from 1766-1844? Who discovered nitrous oxide? What was it used for? The number of scientists doubled approximately every fifteen years, partially in resonse to rapid growth in population. Humphry Davy discovered nitrous oxide which was used as a recreational drug and later was also used to numb pain in surgical operations. 2 What other elements did Davy discover and name? He discovered potassium, sodium and also chlorine. 3 What relationship did Dalton make between the molecular weight of an atom and its identification? Dalton said that individual elements were made up of different kinds of atoms and that the difference between the different atoms is their weight. 4 Which chemist coined the terms “halogen” and “organic chemistry”? How did the early chemists distinguish organic from inorganic atoms of molecules? Berzelius coined the terms halogen and organic chemistry. They distinguished organic chemicals by noting that they were often complex and all contained carbon. 5 How did the interpretation of the early discoveries in organic chemistry suggest that life is not unique? How did this concept go hand in hand with those of Wallace and Darwin? Organic chemistry seemed to show that there was no specific life force that guided the processes of life, just the same chemistry that occurred elsewhere in the world. Wallace and Darwin told humanity that they were part of the animal kingdom, chemistry strengthened this position and took away man’s uniqueness. 6 According to what atomic characteristic did Mendeleyev arrange the elements of the periodic table? He arranged them according to weight.
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7 Who was Lord Kelvin? What is his name “Kelvin” associated with? What is the lowest temperature at which nothing moves and no work can be done? Lord Kelvin, also known as William Thompson is known for creating the absolute scale of temperature. On this scale the lowest temperature possible is -273 degrees Celsius. 8 What are the two laws of thermodynamics? What is entropy? The first law says that heat is work, the second law says that heat cannot move from a colder object to a hotter object. Entropy is the mathematical measure of the amount of disorder in the universe.
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