“What is the world, our world made up of and what holds it together?” I ask myself.
This universe isn’t just some kind of random spark that has fluctuated in an empty void somewhere beyond the space/time continuum. It may be that, but it is also much more than that.
Why do so many things in this world share the same characteristics? Matter of the world is made from a few fundamental building blocks of nature. The word “fundamental” is key here. According to particleadventure.org, fundamental building blocks are objects that are simple and structureless – not made of anything smaller.
Everything started in the third middle age with alchemists studying the world. Alchemy was based on the belief that there are four basic elements in nature: air, fire, water and earth. Alchemy is an ancient practice shrouded in secrecy – with messages and codes. It’s main mission is to turn lead into gold, a quest that has captured the imaginations of people for thousands of years according to Benjamin Radford from Live Science.com.
Below are some chemists who discovered some of the elements that are very important to us and are present in the periodic table:
Hennig Brand was a German alchemist who thought could change worthless materials into precious metals. And Brand was convinced he could make gold from a golden substance that he encountered every day: human urine.
His efforts involved a lot of boiling and cooking and waiting. He wasn’t able to make gold, but he did end up with a white, waxy substance that we call “Phosphorus” now (specifically white phosphorus, which is highly flammable and self-igniting when exposed to oxygen) and can be found just below Nitrogen in group 15 in the periodic table. Phosphorus is an incredibly powerful element which has been used in deadly explosives and in the fertilizers that help feed the world according to Adam Cole from Npr.org.
Joseph Priestley was an air experimenter. He heated and tested out different substances. He discovered oxygen (the good air) by reacting mercury oxide with heat through the use of a burning lens which emitted a flame of orange to rich red color. However, it was French chemist Antoine Lavoisier who gave oxygen its modern name.
Antoine Lavoisier, the father of chemistry, created a special lab tool for precise measurements and calculations. He discovered the role the oxygen plays in combustion, he also recognized and name the elements oxygen and hydrogen.
He reversed the experiment of Henning Brand and found that everything’s balanced – you get the same amount of elements as what you started with. He discovered that in chemical reactions the total mass is always the same. He formulated the basic law of chemistry. This is called the law of conservation of mass.
Lavoisier also decomposed water into oxygen and inflammable air, which we now call hydrogen using one of the special lab tools he created. Another way of splitting water (H2O) into oxygen (O2) and hydrogen gas (H2) is called Electrolysis.
Humphrey Davy Isolated promising gases in his laboratory, especially nitrous oxide, and tested their effects on himself and his friends. Davy coined the term laughing gas to describe its delights. This laughing gas, Nitrogen, is used nowadays as aesthetics for medical uses.
What is our world made up of? The world is made up of many elements and fundamental particles that provides us with all the things we need. The world is made of sensations, subjective to each one of us.