Understanding the Material World
A study guide for some early lectures
The Material World
Perception of the basic building blocks of material
- Robert Boyle's view of chemical elements proposed almost three hundred
years ago is still true. Thus, you should be able to define and explain
what are chemical elements.
Parts of the atomic theory proposed by John Dalton more than two hundred
years ago are no longer true, but merits of his theory remains.
Discuss his atomic theory, and point out the faults and merits of this theory.
Describe the modern view of atoms in terms of their constituents, sizes,
nuclear and atomic and structures.
Materials in the universe
Describe the life of a star including how it forms, begin as a star, reaction
during the time it is recognized as a star, evolving during it life time,
and what happens after its fuel is burned out.
What reactions take place in the Sun? How is energy generated? How is energy
transmitted from the Sun to other places in the universe?
Materials in the solar system
From the table of data for the solar system, sketch a picture of the solar
system, including the orbits of the various planets. Do not worry about
the exact scale in the sketch.
In your opinion, how was the solar system formed?
Materials in the planet Earth
Sketch the structure of the planet Earth to show the layer structure and
indicate the major material present in each of the layers.
Atoms and molecules as building blocks of material
Fully describe and distinguish these terms: atoms, molecules, ions,
mixtures, solutions and aggregates.
Material, matter and energy
Discuss the three laws of conservation: conservation of mass, conservation of
energy, and conservation of mass and energy due to Einstein's equation
E = m c2
Photons as Bundles of Light Energy
How did Einstein's experiment confirm Planck's formula? In answering this
question, explain the photoelectric effect and conservation of
energy. Show how to evaluate the Planck constant, h.
Apply Planck's equation E = h v to calculate energy of photon
of giving wavelength or frequency. If the energy of the photon is given,
evaluate the wavelength or frequency.
Properties of Material
Organizing Properties of Materials
This section is intended to direct your attention to where properties
information may be found.
Sketch and describe the phase diagrams of water and carbon dioxide.
Define and describe the following terms: thermal expansion coefficient,
thermal conductance, heat capacity, specific heat, polarized light.
What is magnetic susceptibility? What type of material is paramagnetic?
Describe the Lewis concept of acids and bases, and use examples to illustrate
your points if applicable.
List ten (10) terms that are used to describe chemical properties of a
Assume that methane, ethane, and propane behave like ideal gases. Their molar
heats (enthalpies) of combustion are 212.8, 372.8, and 530.6 kcal/mol
respectively. Which is the best buy if these gases are purchased at
$1, $2, and $3 per 100 cubic meter? Supplement your claim with derived
Hydrochloric acid, HCl, can be made by distillation from a mixture of
sufuric acid and sodium chloride, why?
What is meant by hydrophilic and lipophilic material?
What properties of ceramic make this class of material suitable as
Why is diamond the hardest substance? Explain the reason based on its
Why is copper the best material for electrical wires?