Chemistry in everyday life

Have you ever wondered why chemistry is so important? Why do we study chemistry?

We all are made of chemicals and everything around us is made of chemicals. Everything we hear, see, smell, taste, and touch involves chemistry and chemicals (matter). Hearing, seeing, tasting, and touching all involve intricate series of chemical reactions and interactions in our body. Many of the changes we observe in the world around are caused by chemical reactions. Chemistry is not limited to beakers and laboratories. It is all around us, and the better we know chemistry, the better we know our world. Chemistry is present in every aspect of life, and few examples are-

1. sky is blue — An object is coloured because of the light that it reflects. The white light from the sun contains all the wavelengths, but when it impacts on an object some of its wavelengths are absorbed and some reflected. The colour of the sky can be explained considering phenomena named Rayleigh scattering that consists on the scattering of light by particles much smaller than its wavelength. This effect is especially strong when light passes through gases.

2. Ice Float on water- Ice is less dense than liquid water. The heavier water displaces the lighter ice, so ice floats on top.

3. How Sunscreen Works?- Sunscreen combines organic and inorganic chemicals to filter the light from the sun so that less of it reaches the deeper layers of your skin. The reflective particles in sunscreen usually consist of zinc oxide or titanium oxide.

4. Meals are cooked faster in a pressure cooker? — A pressure cooker has a more elaborated lid that seals the pot completely. When we heat water it boils and the steam cannot escape, so it remains inside and starts to build up pressure. Under pressure, cooking temperatures raise much higher than under normal conditions, hence the food is cooked much faster.

5. The chemistry of love- Chemistry is at the bottom of every step in a relationship. When we fall in love, our brain suffers some changes and also certain chemical compounds are released. Love is driven by these hormones: oxytocin, vasopressin, endorphins.

6. Coffee keeps us awake- Coffee keeps us awake because of the presence of a chemical called adenosine, in your brain. It binds to certain receptors and slows the nerve cell activity when sleep is signaled.

7. Vegetables are coloured- Many vegetables and fruits are strongly coloured because they contain a special kind of chemical compound named carotenoids. These compounds have an area called choromophore, which absorbs and gives off particular wavelengths of light, generating the colour that we then perceive.

8. How soap cleans?- Soap is formed by molecules with a ‘head’ which likes water (hydrophilic) and a long chain that hates it (hydrophobic). Then when soap is added to the water, the long hydrophobic chains of its molecules join the oil particles, while the hydrophilic heads go into the water. An emulsion of oil in water is then formed, this means that the oil particles become suspended in the water and are liberated from the cloth. With the rinsing, the emulsion is taken away.

9. We cry while cutting onions- Onions make you cry due to the presence of sulfur in the cells which break after the onions are cut. This sulfur gets mixed with moisture and thus irritates your eyes.

© Worldofchemicals Article


Originally published at www.worldofchemicals.com.

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