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- Thursday 13 December 2012
- Lecturers: Dr Peter Wothers
Water is essential to life since every reaction in our bodies takes place in it. But what makes this fluid so special? What happens when you add a lighted splint to a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen? Kaboom! But why? What makes this particular rearrangement of atoms to form water so explosive? Can we tap this energy release to provide environmentally friendly solution to our energy problems? Plants have the ability to reverse this reaction by using the energy from sunlight to release oxygen from water. We are starting to learn how to do the same.
In this lecture we unpack how energy lies at the heart of chemistry. We’ll also look at the salts contained in water. Once again we will see the startling difference between a compound and its constituent elements. Take sodium chloride – aka table salt. Sodium is a soft silvery metal that explodes with water; chlorine a deadly poisonous, choking green gas. Both elements are lethal to us, but after they have met, a dramatic change takes place. The sodium and chloride ions that form are essential components in our bodies. They help generate the electrical impulses that make our brains and nerves work. We begin to see how chemistry plays a vital role in our lives.
We ask all attendees to arrive by 5.30pm for a 6.00pm start
This event is now fully booked.
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