Friday, November 18, 2011

The story of soap - Everything you need to know

The story of Soap

How soap originated?
Its believed that soap originated from a hill in Tyber riverside, called Saphoe. When organisms were dead and decayed, the fats inside their body flowed into the river. Romans believed this fats were good to remove stains from clothes. But there is no solid proof for the existence of a hill named Saphoe. But archaelogists found out some clues for the existence of soap-like things from what was Ancient Babilonia.
Soaps are molecules in which the two ends have differing properties, one dissolves in water, while the other dissolves in hydrocarbons. Or soaps are substances in nature, which are formed by the interlinking of straight chain carboxylic acid groups. (-COOH). Eg. Palmitic Acid C15-H31-COOH. Soaps contain Sodium or Pottasium elements. Inside water, these molecules have a unique orientation that keeps the hydrocarbon protion out of the water. This is achived by forming clusters of molecules in which the hydrophobic tails are in the interio of the clister/ This formation is called micelle. Soap in the form of a micelle is able to clean, since the oily firl will be collected in solution as a colloid and will not come together to precipitate ecause of ion-ion repulsion. Thus, the dirt suspended in the micelles is also easily rinsed away. The soap micelles are large enough to scatter light. Hence a soap solution appears cloudy. Soaps are of two types : Soft and Hard.

Soft soap : Soft soap are the soaps used toilets, and for bathing purposes.
Hard soap : Hard soaps are the soaps which are not that good for skin, and they are used for cleaning clothes.

How to make a soap?
Soap creation is a simple procedure. First lets make hard soap.
  • 100 g Oil
  • 17.5 g Caustic Soda (NaOH – Sodium Hydroxide)
Dissolve 17.5 g Caustic Coda in 40 ml Water slowly. We can observe that this is an exothermic process.
Take 100 g Oil in a flat steel can. Pour caustic soda into the can while mixing the oil. While the mixture gets coagulated,transfer this mixture into a new containers of shape that you'd like the soap to have. After 8-10 hours, your soap will be ready!

What is glycerin soap?
The quality of soap is determined by various factors. They include :
  • Hardness of the soap
  • Solubility
  • Soft soap
  • pH value
  • Ability to from lather
  • Colour
  • Odour
Glyecerin soaps are of high quality. These soaps are used to protect our skin from losing softness in humid conditions. Glyecerin play a vital role, in beauty packages and kids' soaps.
As Glycerin is an after product of soap creation, it is likely that soaps contain glyerin in them.
Those soaps which are created from the filtering of alcohol and glyercerin mixture, are glyerin soaps. They are good for protection of our skin.

Dirt removal – The backstage view
Normally Oils and Fats show less affinity towards water. Dirts are also just like the same. Chemically, like dissolves like. Means mixtures, dissolve in same kind of solutions. When we dip our dirty clothes in water, the dirt is not having any direct contact with water. This is due to the differences in surface tensions between two states of matter. And here is where soaps come in, they just reduce the force of surface tension, and soaps are just built for that.
The longer organic part is attracted towards dirt having similar properties. But when dirt's surface is filled with negative charge, they will repel each other. This is what happens when we soap our dresses in water. And to just complete the process, human's apply muscular force to throw away this already separated particles. And this is how dirt is removed.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What is a super-fluid?

A phase of matter which is capable of flowing endlessly without energy loss ; that is what super fluid is. This discovery is credited to Pyotr, John, and Misener. This was discovered in helium, one rubidium isotope and one lithium isotope too.

A super fluid can be of two states of matter ; gas and liquid. For a better idea, let us take the case of an example. The freezing point of Helium is 1 Kelvin and 25 atm pressure. The change occurs when atoms of helium begin to take over an identical quantum state. In other words, an element is converted into super fluid when all the component atoms in that element, takes a similar quantum state. 

What is a Phonon?

A phonon is the amount of energy found within a vibration. When an object vibrates, phonon is formed in that object. Similar to "photon", phonon is also a quantum particle within a light wave. This word was coined from a Greek word, "phone" which means sound or voice.
Structure of Phonon

This was first theorized by Igor Tamm. His ideas were integrated to Quantum Mechanics after the introduction of this concept.  Phonon is a phenomenon. We can't specifically extract this phenomenon as a physical object.

They behave as individual particles, but they show interaction within. These interaction forms many chains. Energy is transferred from one phonon from time to time. 

Phonon's uses
Creating very efficient conducting and insulating materials is easy with the better understanding of phonon's structure. Fields of computer science and power storage, requires the use of insulation much. A closer look at phonon's operation and interaction helps us to build useful materials in the future.
Frequency and Energy

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology created a sample in the year 2010. They combined several layers of cyrstal materials. This was done is a particular pattern that was efficient in reflecting phonon.

Time Travel : Concept Explained

Time travelling is a concept or idea about motion between two points in time. It relates to the motion of body along to points in a space having different coordinates (x, y, z). It means sending either an object or even a human, to a particular time in past or future.
Time travel is an interesting branch of science that developed as a result of imaginative fiction by novelists since the 19th century. One popular, hit was "Time Machine" by H.G Wells. These creations influenced both the minds of scientists and readers, and it opened a wide arena of possibilities for research.

Time travel would only be possible if the following theories are satisfied :
  • Theory of special relativity.
  • General relativity.
  • Geometries of space time.
To keep it simple, "time Machine" is any device, that makes time travel possible.

This post outlines the basic concepts of time travel. Hope you enjoyed it. :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

What is quantum theory?

Quantum mechanics is also known as quantum physics or quantum theory. It is a branch of physics that studies about dual nature of matter and energy - particle and wave nature. The first concrete explanation for the phenomenon of the black body radiation was given by Max Plank in 1900.
Quantum theory gives explanation for the nature of matter. And also it explains how matter behaves on various atomic or even subatomic levels. Quantum mechanics is closely related to quantum theory, of which it is a branch of. This theory states that matter is made of individual and quantifiable units. This theory was formulated by German physicist Max Planck. He first submitted his theory to German Physical Society.

Radiant energy is propogated in small packets and these packets are called quantum. When solids are heated, they emit radiation over a wide range of wavelengths. For example, when an iron rod is heated in the furnace, it first turns to dull red and then progressively becomes more and more red as the temperature rises. As this is heated further, the radiation emitted becomes white and then becomes blue as the temperature becomes very high. In terms of frequency, it means that the radiation emitted goes from a lower frequency to a higher frequency as the temperature increases. The red colour lies in the lower frequency region while blue colour belongs to the higher frequency region of the electromagnetic spectrum. The ideal body, which emits and absorbs all frequencies , is called a black body radiation. The exact frequency distribution of the emitted radiation from a black body depends only on its temperature. At a given temperature, intensity of radiation emitted increases with decrease of wavelength, reaches a maximum value at a given wavelength and then starts decreasing with further decrease of wavelength.

Friday, July 29, 2011

What are black holes?

Well, we sometimes hear about black holes. Black holes are a very important branch of physical sciences. The secrets of the universe is somehow related to blackholes.
We wonder what are they. A black hole is a place/region in outer space, where nothing can escape. No particles can escape from black holes, if they fall inside once, even light. Around a black hole there is place called event horizon ; once any particle is beyond this position, it cannot return.
Once a blackhole is formed, it grows continuously forever. It does so by absorbing mass from the surroundings. It gains mass from nearby planetary bodies and then continues to grow.
The idea of black hole was put forward by the scientist John Michell. He stated this in a letter to another scientist named Henry Cavendish, who is famous for his discovery of hydrogen.

A black hole

Here a question arises : Does gravity influence light's motion?

Einsteen answered the solution to this question. He proved that gravity influences light's motion. He developed his theory of general relativity in 1915.

Physical properties of Black holes
  • They have mass.
  • They do not have angular momentum.
  • They do not have charge.
Hawking radiation

Hawking applied quantum theory in a static black hole background. As a result of this application, he was able to show us black holes are not entirely black, and also that they emit small amounts of radiations.