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Story of Science and Exploring Methods

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As a student, I find science a really hard and complicated subject as it composed of different branches, different elements, different definitions and different methods. Upon watching the video, I realized the importance of science in our life, the importance of learning and understanding it. The video actually explained and answered every question I asked and curious about as I grew up. It showed the development of seeking answers on what does the world really made of. On the ancient era the alchemists, people who try to unlock the secrets of science, did a lot of experiment and investigation regarding the elements that make up the world. 

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One of the alchemist of ancient era is Hennig Brand, a German merchant, pharmacist and the first one to discover an element that makes up the world which is the Phosphorus. Phosphorus is found in Group 15 of the periodic table. Elemental phosphorus exists in two major forms, white phosphorus and red phosphorus, but because it is highly reactive, phosphorus is never found as a free element on Earth. Although, he discovered the phosphorus while trying to make gold from urine. The ancient period once believed that the world is made of the four elements namely, earth, water, air and fire, which is later on replaced as water, hydrogen and oxygen by the Middle ages.

 Air, being the building block of the world got Joseph Priestley’s, an English separatist theologian, chemist, natural philosopher, grammarian, multi-subject educator and liberal political theorist attention and curiosity. He used a substance called red calx of mercury on his experiment, this substance is a red powder that contradicts the Phlogiston theory. The result of his experiment was a remarkable new gas which he described as the “Good air”. Months have passed, he get to Paris and got the chance to dine with Antoine Laurent de Lavoisier and Marie Anne Lavoisier. Antoine Lavoisier, a French nobleman and chemist, got enchanted by Joseph Priestley’s work. 

He made Preistley to do his experiment once again and later on stole this discovery. Antoine Laurent de Lavoisier named it the “Oxygen”, which is the gas of life. It is a nonmetallic chemical element of Group 16 of the periodic table. Oxygen is a colourless, odourless, tasteless gas essential to living organisms, being taken up by animals, which convert it to carbon dioxide; plants, in turn, utilize carbon dioxideas a source of carbon and return the oxygen to the atmosphere. Have you ever wonder if Joseph Priestley didn’t feed his curiosity and stop experimenting? Would oxygen be discovered? Would other naturally occurring element be discovered? Well, lets just thank Priestley’s persistence and knowledge for discovering the gas of life.

New chemistry have emerged, it helped create a new vision of what the world is made of. New gases, new matter and precise measurement have flourished. Joseph Michel Montgolfier and Jacques Etienne Montgolfier, also known as the Montgolfier Brother were paper manufacturers on France. They were the first ever to make a hot air balloon and fly it to the air. The fist ever successful hot air balloon was entirely made of paper and it had reached a mile into the heavens. A lot of people gathered and watched as it flew to the air, amazed and mesmerized by the first ever successful hot air balloon. 

And it was on 1783 when the first two man rode onto the balloon. Just imagining moments like these feels so amusing and fascinating that I felt a little envy on those people who witnessed this magical and historical moment with their very eyes. On November 1973 two bold man volunteered to ride a balloon, and took them to the air. They were the first humans who were able to see the beauty and loveliness of the world from above. Just a few days later, inflammable air arose, the hot air balloon’s rival. Inflammable air is lighter than the normal air and definitely safer and secure than the hot air balloon that is made of paper and a blazing pile of straw. 

Antoine Laurent de Lavoisier, the ever curious experimenter and the champion of new chemistry, tried to break apart a fundamental substance which is water. He attempted to split a water into two very different gases, which is the oxygen and the new inflammable air. Antoine Laurent de Lavoisier’s experiment succeed and encouraged Napoleon, a French state man and military leader who led a lot of several successful campaigns during the French Military War and very prominent during the French Revolution. Lavoisier convinced Napoleon to create a military balloon corps powered by the hydrogen gas.These three different gases namely the oxygen, the water and the hydrogen, became the new vision of what the world is really made of.

Tentative new list of the building block of matter, thirty-three elements in all including the newly discovered, have been declare but they did not get everything right, as heat and light was still included. Lavoisier was a hated tax farmer. He was charged with tax fraud and selling unadulterated tobacco, because of these he was guillotined, an instrument for inflicting capital punishment by decapitation on France. The death of a great experimenter and explorer, Antoine Laurent de Lavoisier was really a mournful and bewailing moment for the world of science. No one knows what else could he discover and introduce to the world if he didn’t die. 

On the other hand, they say that after the rain there is always a rainbow. William Wordsworth, one of the great poets of the day. He was a n English Romantic Poet that means they gave more focus on emotion, imagination, originality and freedom in their poetry. On William Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage in Sublime Landscape of the Lake District which was the home of Wordsworth, found a painting of Humphry Davy. Davy was one of the Britain’s greatest chemist. Through his social connections, he was invited to a post at the Royal Institution in London. Here he was given a chance to have research and give public lectures to his audience. He impressed his audience by performing the one of the wonders of the age, the electricity.

Having no idea on what he was doing, he heated a white powder called potash and let electricity flow into it and produced a very soft metal like element with a lilac glow. Humphry Davy just revealed one of the building blocks, a new element the Potassium. It was very unexpected of Davy discovering one of the most important element of the world. He was just giving knowledge, lecturing people and doing experiments for fun yet he discovered and distribute a large portion on the world of science. The newly discovered element namely Potassium, came from an english word potash, is it is a very reactive element and is never found free in nature, and is a soft, waxy metal that can be easily cut with a knife. It reacts with oxygen to form potassium superoxide and with water to form potassium hydroxide, hydrogen gas and heat. 

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