Saturday, March 25, 2006

Ignorant and Defiant (4): Form Over Substance

To appeal to the masses, this is a post dedicated to you kids out there reading my blog (don't underestimate them- NST even dedicated a whole front-page for them today!).

Kids, today we study a topic on Chemistry- "What is (a chemical) substance and what is form". The Wikipedia has these to say:

A (chemical) substance is any material substance used in or obtained by a process in chemistry. It can be an element, a compound, or a mixture thereof.

Form (Lat. forma), in general, refers to the external shape, appearance, configuration of an object, in contrast to the matter or content or substance of which it is composed...

Kids, let's take the water or H2O as an example of a substance. The following image is a cluster of six water molecules:

Image source- http://www.psc.edu/science/Jordan/cluster3.GIF

And as you may know, water can exist in 3 forms, i.e.:

Image source- http://fig.cox.miami.edu/~cmallery/150/chemistry/sf2x10b.jpg

So, when is 'form over substance'? That is when us Joe Public get this and this everyday and the YRF themselves get this and this, but yet YRF and milisters are debating about this.

That's the lesson for today. Hope that you are well informed enough when you grew up. Cheers!

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