OPEN THREAD 20191126

Basically, all legal free speech is allowed. We will assist the authorities in dealing with illegal speech. You are each other’s moderators. Have fun. And don’t forget to MAGA at nuclear levels.

Citizen U

Day 20 – CALCIUM.

16 thoughts on “OPEN THREAD 20191126

  1. For some reason, I tend to think of Calcium as the gateway element to the “big league”. Back in the rows of the periodic table with seven elements each, reactions are almost cartoons — sure, you can have rings and chains of carbon, but in the next several rows, you can make intriguing things like chromium steel (which normally contains nickel, as well). That’s Cr, Fe, and Ni from the next 10 days. We’ll also encounter bronze (copper and tin — Cu and Sn), brass (copper and zinc — Cu and Zn), and high-tech metal ingredients like Titanium and Vanadium (Wednesday and Thursday).

    That’s not to say that Calcium is uninteresting, but — like a cuckoo clock on the edge of a precipice — it’s difficult to maintain focus on the specific item.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. OK, calcium……it’s easy to get lazy and talk about calcium carbonate (CaC03) as being bones, shells, marble, and water hardness. And it’s not like you’re completely out of the ballpark in thinking they’re related. But bones are mainly hydroxyapatite (Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2) [no carbon], shells are largely calcium carbonate, marble is largely recrystallized calcite, which is calcium carbonate, and — certainly — calcium carbonate is a portion of hardness…..but also bicarbonates and sulfates are present on the right-hand side, and magnesium frequently subs-in for Calcium on the left.

    Calcium is also found in lime (calcium oxide and hydroxide), chalk (mostly calcium carbonate), and gypsum (CaSO4Β·2H2O).

    Oh, here we go….the ‘lime cycle’…..if you take things with enough calcium carbonate in them and bake them, you get calcium oxide (CaO) — “burnt lime”, AKA “quicklime” or “unslaked lime” — this is the highly reactive stuff you use to get rid of bodies quickly. If you add water to it, it will become calcium hydroxide (Ca(OH)2) or “slaked lime”. A quick mortar can be made with only slaked lime, water, and sand. As such mortar stands, the slaked lime will absorb CO2 from the air and become CaCO3 again, binding everything together (Ca(OH)2 + CO2 β†’ CaCO3 + H2O). Portland cement uses the same lime cycle, but is shipped in unslaked form (with other ingredients, mainly silicates). The hydroxide conversion occurs when you mix it, and the CO2 conversion happens as it sets.

    Calcium is essential to blood chemistry, and its lack can lead to hypocalcemia. Similarly, its excess can be characterized as hypercalcemia. It is involved in passing items through the walls of cells, conduction of neural impulses, and triggering muscular action…..which, if you think about it, you kind of need to work properly.

    As a fun side note, and this is anecdotal — if you get a drop of dilute hydrofluoric acid (HF) on your skin, it may well pass straight through. With hydrogen at atomic number one, and fluorine at atomic number nine, the molecule is very light, and both atoms bond to each other well…..until the fluorine encounters the calcium in hydroxyapatite, which it strongly prefers to bond with. Of course, this leads to bone demineralization and a dump of angry H, PO4, and OH ions in the area. Supposedly, it’s extremely painful.

    As far as isotopes go, there are nine of them 40-48. Seven are natural, five of which are stable. Roughly 97 of the stuff found in the wild is 40, which is stable. It ain’t going anywhere. It’s the fifth most common element in the earth’s crust and the third most common metal.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I have a suspicion that I got a VERY small amount of HF on me one time in a lab in college. I had a very sore bone in one finger for a couple of weeks, this began immediately after we worked with “buffered oxide etch” which contains HF (it was a lab to learn how to make “chips”)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Maybe time for a dose of late night music.

    This one’s called Melissa, by the Allman Brothers Band, written in 1968 by Greg Allman and recorded in 1972 for their Eat a Peach double LP.

    This is a much more recent live recording, not sure what year, but I’ve had it (or one that sounds very much like it) on one of my Various Artists compilation CDs titled ‘Acoustic Aid since the mid 1990s.

    The guitars always have me smiling big by the end of this one. If you’ve never heard this before, you’ll recognize the part I’m talking about, when it starts to make you smile too 😎

    Crossroads, seem to come and go, yeah.
    The Gypsy flies from coast to coast

    Knowing many, loving none,
    Bearing sorrow havin’ fun,
    But back home he’ll always run
    To sweet Melissa… yeah…

    Freight train, each car looks the same, all the same.
    And no one knows the Gypsy’s name

    No one hears his lonely sighs,
    There are no blankets where he lies.
    In all his deepest dreams the Gypsy flies
    with sweet Melissa… oh…

    Again the morning comes,
    Again he’s on the run,
    Sunbeams shining through his hair,
    Appearing not to have a care.
    Well, pick up your gear and Gypsy roll on,
    Roll on…

    Crossroads, will you ever let him go? (no, no)
    Will you hide the dead man’s ghost,
    Or will he lie, beneath the clay,
    Or will his spirit float away?

    But I know that he won’t stay without Melissa.

    Yes I know that he won’t stay…
    Without Melissa.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. The Allman Brothers are quite simply the best of their kind of music. “Melissa” is one of the greatest songs ever recorded. Thanks for posting this live piece this morning. I really enjoyed it.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. I have to agree with you, the Allman Bros. was one of the best! Saw them live many times.
      Ran across this by Greg Allman, ties in nice with Wolf.

      I have to be honest with y’all this element thread or what the heck you call it is over my head πŸ€” but I like to read it anyway and learn. Always learning no matter where were at in life.

      Like

  4. outmaneuvered and they blew it…now Dems have a huge problem…

    MSM Fake News Impeachment Fiasco…Pastor Marty ! πŸ˜€

    …while support for impeachment is tanking fast…especially among blacks and hispanics.

    way to go, Pelosio ! LOL

    latest !

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Calcium, indeed.

    We’re now headed into the “transition metals.” In fact, the overwhelming majority of everything from here on out is going to be metals of some sort or another, and the chemistry of transition metals generally isn’t taught in “beginner” chemistry classes. [So I personally don’t feel like I understand it very well, and that’s an understatement. Watching stuff from the Nottingham elements channel (which Wolf has linked to on prior days) where they go through five reactions just to change the oxidation number makes me wonder why that’s such a hard thing to do. And properly speaking, metallurgy is largely the chemistry of metals, and they really don’t talk too much about the metallic bond in beginning chemistry either, other than to say “here it is, it kinda works like this, but we’re going to talk about covalent and ionic bonds in this course.”]

    I’m probably going to use a couple of terms a bit sloppily here; I would welcome a pedant “fine tuning” what I’m about to write.

    Transition metals, the group we are about to embark upon, are those whose “outer” electrons lie in “d” orbitals, each d group takes ten electrons (prior to this, we’ve filled only “s” (2 each) and “p” (6 each) orbitals).

    However, I do know that a lot of things that used to puzzle me about aluminum through chlorine have to do with that same group of “d” orbitals that we are about to start filling over the next ten days or so. An atom of something like phosphorus can bond with four oxygen atoms (in spite of looking like it only has room to accept three electrons) because it basically sticks the extra electrons into the 3d orbital that would otherwise be untenanted; apparently it isn’t much higher energy than the 3p orbital it’s using. Nitrogen, one row further up, doesn’t have this luxury; when its 2p orbital fills up, it’s done. So carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and fluorine tend to have very predictable valences, but phosphorus, sulfur and chlorine can be all over the map, doing things you wouldn’t expect from the column they lie in.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, and Calcium-48.

    Up to this point the stable isotopes have typically had about the same number of neutrons as protons, maybe a few more. Ca-48 sticks out like a sore thumb, it has 20% more neutrons than protons!

    To make new elements (out past 100 or so), one method is to aim a small nucleus at a big nucleus, to see if it “sticks” and you get a new element.

    Starting with Californium (#98) and throwing Ca nuclei at it, you might get 98+20=element 118 (now called Oganesson). But here’s the thing–the heavier the element the more extra neutrons it needs to be stable. So they like to use Ca-48 because it has eight more neutrons than the much more common Ca-40. You STILL end up with new elements that have too few neutrons; invariably at that end of the table you find out that the most stable isotope known is the one with the most neutrons–making one wonder what would happen if you could create an isotope with even more neutrons?

    Instead of having half lives of seconds, or less, could some of those super-heavy elements have more neutron-rich isotopes that have significantly longer half lives? Like days, years, tens of years?

    I know Wolf has speculated on this, thinking that element 115 (moscovium) might have a fully stable isotope (though I tend to think that if something “up there” is stable it will be an even number like, 114 is apparently a prime candidate (flerovium).

    Liked by 2 people

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