periodic table element

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What Is The Universe’s Third Most Common Element?

“But there’s one killer move that stars have that makes carbon a loser in the cosmic equation: when a star is massive enough to initiate carbon fusion – a requirement for generating a type II supernova – the process that turns carbon into oxygen goes almost to full completion, creating significantly more oxygen than carbon by time the star is ready to explode.”

When the Universe was first born, all we had was hydrogen and helium, with a trace amount of lithium and absolutely nothing else. 13.8 billion years later, hydrogen is still #1 in the Universe and helium is still #2, but lithium isn’t close to #3 anymore: more than two dozen elements have passed it. The key? Stars! Over billions of years, nuclear fusion in the cores of stars have built up all the naturally occurring elements we know of in the periodic table. You might think that since three heliums can fuse together to make carbon, that would be the third most common element in the Universe. And it’s close: carbon comes in at #4. But another element has it beat.

So who’s number 3, and how did it get to be that way? It’s oxygen! Find out why today.

Extracting Bismuth from Pepto Bismol!

So today I extracted bismuth from pepto bismol with the chemistry teacher and my partner for a project.  I have pictures explaining each step.  Enjoy!

So I went out and bought 180 pepto bismol pills (obviously not all of them are shown here).

Then we put them in a mortar…

…and ground them with a pestle:

When we were done grinding them we had a beautiful beaker of powdered Pepto Bismol.

Then we got to the fun part.

We dissolved the powder in a solution of six parts water and one part muriatic acid (also known as hydrochloric acid (HCl)).  While we were trying to dissolve it we got this (Ignore the NaOH it was on the flask originally and has nothing to do with this project):

You can see that we got a lot of foam. It even overflowed and we had to put it into separate flasks so we wouldn’t lose our work.  I found this to be hilarious.

I know the flask only shows a little bit of overflow but there was a lot more after! The end result of the dissolved pills was a foggy white solution with foam still present but the powder was dissolved.  Then we filtered it.

This type of filter was not sufficient enough so we switched to a coffee filter which was faster but it was still filtering slowly.  While the solution was being filtered the chemistry teacher was curious and wanted to know if the next step worked so he took some of the filtrate and put the aluminum foil in and it worked!

The black stuff that you see is the bismuth powder which formed as a result of the reaction between the aluminum and the filtrate! We filtered that too but it is not done yet but it probably will be done by tomorrow.  I will post an update if I can.  I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed doing this experiment!

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“IBM MAKES IT POSSIBLE FOR DATA TO BE STORED ON INDIVIDUAL ATOMS”

 Scientists at IBM have figured out a way to encode data on individual atoms, which would be the most compact information storage ever achieved.
 The common thinking amongst hardware designers is that as digital storage continues to get smaller, the basic unit of information storage is also shrinking as well. Eventually the amount of atoms required to store data will become so small that storing a single bit will someday require only a single atom.
 This is what IBM researchers have brought to life. Using holmium atoms embedded on a magnesium oxide base and a scanning tunnelling microscope, they have managed to encode data on an atom and managed to read the same data right after.
 Since the atom has a special characteristic called magnetic bistability, it has two different magnetic spins. Using the microscope, the researchers applied about 150 millivolts at 10 microamps to the atom. This electricity acted as a sort of lightning strike that caused the atom to switch its magnetic spin state (one state represents 1, the other 0 in binary code).
 "To demonstrate independent reading and writing, we built an atomic-scale structure with two Ho bits, to which we write the four possible states and which we read out both magnetoresistively and remotely by electron spin resonance. The high magnetic stability combined with electrical reading and writing shows that single-atom magnetic memory is indeed possible,“ the abstract read.

Read more about this fascinating story at: https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/08/storing-data-in-a-single-atom-proved-possible-by-ibm-researchers/

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Growing up, Brennan’s education was always enhanced at home. Her father’s occupation as a science teacher allowed her the opportunity to continue learning outside of traditional school hours. Her curiosity and insatiable thirst for knowledge were better able to be nurtured, given her situation. She had an advantage, for sure. In the past, Booth harbored concerns about his own child’s education. He was unable to provide Parker any such supplemental enrichment- at least not as it pertained to science. But Booth also knew that Brennan (his “partner” at the time) and Max could potentially aid in that department. And they did just that. Nowadays, Booth and Brennan still take that approach with their kids’ education. Learning does not come to a halt when the bell rings. Parker, Christine (and presumably little Hank) are consistently engaged in learning. Whether it’s how to play peek-a-boo, the periodic table of elements, the bone song (the REAL one), reading, riding a bike, or standing up to a bully (or a monster), their education is supplemented at home. It’s quite evident that these children immensely enjoy expanding their minds and skill sets (I assume Christine will eventually take to riding a bike just fine). And both Booth and Brennan are able to teach their children the most valuable of lessons- both academic and life. The two of them have so much knowledge to pass down.  And since their varying strengths and areas of expertise complement each other, their kids will undoubtedly be incredibly well-rounded. Whether they become writers, scientists, hockey players, or car salespeople, they will have had a solid educational and emotional foundation. 

Obviously, Booth isn’t always interested in science and logistics. He wanted Christine to learn to ride a bike without making it into a physics lesson. It does not mean he has any sort of contempt for science. Or that he doesn’t possess the utmost respect for his wife’s intelligence and her team’s expertise. And it certainly doesn’t imply that he does not want his children to reach their full intellectual potential. If you recall the end of 11x16, Booth would be the proudest father in the world if Parker turned out like Brennan. He understands how important science is. After all, it is absolutely vital to his job. There is a reason he wanted to work with Brennan after their first case together. There is a reason their solve rate is unparalleled.  And while he himself may not want to infuse a teachable moment into every facet of his home life, he can appreciate Brennan’s round-the-clock devotion to science and mathematics- and really, learning in general. It’s a part of her. And to be honest, it’s part of why he fell in love with her. He loves her mind just as much as any other component of her.  He read one of Brennan’s “thick” science books when she was on the run for three months. Did he enjoy it? Clearly not. But it made him feel closer to her. And there have been a number of instances where it is apparent some of Brennan’s scientific knowledge and desire to learn has rubbed off on him. Remember when he scored in the 97th percentile? He was going to try for 99% the next year. “You turned me into a monster.” Similarly, Brennan isn’t always concerned with the intangible. How many times has she dismissed Booth’s faith or his gut feelings? But there are also occasions during which she notes their tremendous value. “There’s a time, and a place.” Booth and Brennan will occasionally disagree on each other’s teaching methods and priorities. And because they are famously stubborn at times, the two of them may even get a bit competitive over the best way to impart their wisdom (i.e., the end of 12x06). That’s the heat though. They have been this way since the beginning. At the end of the day, they will inevitably come together and find a compromise. They will understand from where the other is coming. That’s what they have always done. “Mass graves for me, and a beach with liquor for you.” Booth has made it clear he wants his kids to grow up to be more like Brennan. And Brennan wants her kids to grow up to be like Booth. Those children will be obviously be the best of both parents. Ultimately, the most important thing is that Parker, Christine, and Hank have every opportunity to learn, grow, and succeed. And that they have a better childhood than Booth and Brennan. And most importantly, that they are happy, healthy, bright, and loved. 

Also…rainbows  ❤ 🌈 ❤