PHYSICS OF A HYPOTHETICAL JOURNEY
|I’m going to take you on a
little tour, a depiction of the lifecycle of
a carbon atom. And by lifecycle, I am not implying that this
guy has a half life. It literally is possible for this atom
through several phases over a long period of time and end up exactly
where it started off (as far as physical state is concerned, not
Although the ramifications of what is happening to this atom as it is grouped into various types of organic molecules are fascinating, that is a story for the chemists and biochemists. I would like to focus on the physical large-scale forces undergone by this atom. The use of “large scale” is deliberate – since although a full description of the nuclear and electrostatic forces that influence this atom would also be interesting, it is beyond the scope of what I would like to present. Therefore, I will be concentrating on the physical phenomena that can be observed to act on the materials of which this atom is a part.