Thursday, February 2, 2017

Water flows, just like our imaginations

Today in lab, the main task was to play with water and observe the different behaviors it displayed as we mixed and added different substances. Our lectures on water have taught us the "scientific reality" of water, and in lab, we explored the "manifest reality" of water. We don't actually see the electrons and behaviors of the molecules, but we see the behavior of the water as a result of this microscopic activity. Through what we see, we can conclude that the things we've learned are correct even though we don't have a microscope. 
Water is something that we deal with every single day. We know the characteristics of water, but we have never seen the individual molecules. Their characteristics, although so small they are invisible, become visible in the characteristics of a whole bunch of these molecules together (e.g. a small beaker of water). 

Here is an excerpt from what some of our fellow peers did today!

"It was when we added salt that the water became cloudy, because the salt dissolved in the water, making it a solvent. We added a piece of paper towel, and it didn’t really do much besides float, and becomes soaked(obviously). We then put a piece of clay to complete the tiny island we accumulated at the bottom of the beaker, and it made the water level rise. What we noticed overall, was that when a new object entered the water, the hydrogen bonds break, but quickly recover. There was evident cohesion, which the water group into molecules in some parts of the beaker."

In the context of constraints and innovations, water is used as the energy source for many environmental innovations. For example, water mills use moving water as a mechanical energy source. The unique characteristic about water that makes it so helpful in this application is the fact that it will keep flowing past the mill, seemingly undisturbed. The water because of its liquid state can not be stopped by most solid obstacles. 
What use is innovation you ask? Well, by using natural and simple resources like water, we will hopefully be able to stop using wasteful fossil fuels and use renewable energy like water. Water can be used to help save our environment, but at the same time our lack of diligence has caused a water crisis. This makes it more difficult to harness the very helpful energy of water. Tidal turbines could come in handy in this case, because of its vastness, but the repercussions for the wildlife and high cost make it an unpopular and nearly impossible task. 

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