Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Foundations In Science


  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic

#1 hazelm

hazelm

    Explaining

  • Members
  • 596 posts

Posted 06 July 2018 - 05:25 PM

I have a slightly different question.  I do not know if anyone here is familiar with the old Foundation courses that many colleges and universities required years ago.  Students were required to take a basic course in each of a list of certain fields of study:  Foundations in art, Foundation in history; Foundations in sociology, etc., etc., etc.  Students had two years of those courses before they could start specializing in their own choice for study and career.  That was long ago.

 

The other day I was at the web site of Open University and saw an entry for "Science Foundations".  It was, of course, marked as "no longer available" but the courses were still there:

 

Giant Molecules (this one is a mystery to me)

Science and Society

Science:  Its origins, scales and limitations

Observations and Measurements

.....Masses, Lengths and Time

.....Forces

.....Fields and Energy

 

My question:  Do those look like basic courses that would make a person familiar with the language of science and prepare him/her for entry into the study of any field of science?

 

Thank you.



#2 exchemist

exchemist

    Creating

  • Members
  • 1904 posts

Posted 07 July 2018 - 02:59 AM

I have a slightly different question.  I do not know if anyone here is familiar with the old Foundation courses that many colleges and universities required years ago.  Students were required to take a basic course in each of a list of certain fields of study:  Foundations in art, Foundation in history; Foundations in sociology, etc., etc., etc.  Students had two years of those courses before they could start specializing in their own choice for study and career.  That was long ago.

 

The other day I was at the web site of Open University and saw an entry for "Science Foundations".  It was, of course, marked as "no longer available" but the courses were still there:

 

Giant Molecules (this one is a mystery to me)

Science and Society

Science:  Its origins, scales and limitations

Observations and Measurements

.....Masses, Lengths and Time

.....Forces

.....Fields and Energy

 

My question:  Do those look like basic courses that would make a person familiar with the language of science and prepare him/her for entry into the study of any field of science?

 

Thank you.

A "giant molecule" is a term I don't like that is sometimes used to describe a giant covalent structure such as silica or diamond, in which there is a potentially infinite array of atoms bound together by covalent bonds, (i.e. directional bonds, of the type one gets in molecules) rather than the electrostatic bonding one gets in ionic giant structures such as salt. I don't like the term because the essence of a giant structure is that there are no molecules in it - it is all one.

 

Apart from the giant molecules one, which clearly must be one of a far larger set of course modules on aspects of chemistry, the headings look like reasonable ones to get started on physics and the history and philosophy of science.  



#3 hazelm

hazelm

    Explaining

  • Members
  • 596 posts

Posted 07 July 2018 - 04:25 AM

A "giant molecule" is a term I don't like that is sometimes used to describe a giant covalent structure such as silica or diamond, in which there is a potentially infinite array of atoms bound together by covalent bonds, (i.e. directional bonds, of the type one gets in molecules) rather than the electrostatic bonding one gets in ionic giant structures such as salt. I don't like the term because the essence of a giant structure is that there are no molecules in it - it is all one.

 

Apart from the giant molecules one, which clearly must be one of a far larger set of course modules on aspects of chemistry, the headings look like reasonable ones to get started on physics and the history and philosophy of science.  

Thank you.  And physics, I have come to believe is necessary in almost all science categories.   At least from what I have noticed as people talk/write about anything in science.  They seem to be using some basic physics tools in their expositions.

 

From what you say about giant molecules, interesting that it is the first thing listed. Or, that it is included at all.  So I'm missing something I have a mental picture of a large diamond that is all atoms which never reformed into molecules.  If I am misunderstanding, I'll find out when I do some more searching about them.

 

Thank you for the explanation.  I thought that might be a good guide to some basic reading.   That and "Philosophy Now" which seems to be on a binge of explaining everything.  And doing a good job of it, too.  :-)



#4 exchemist

exchemist

    Creating

  • Members
  • 1904 posts

Posted 07 July 2018 - 05:14 AM

Thank you.  And physics, I have come to believe is necessary in almost all science categories.   At least from what I have noticed as people talk/write about anything in science.  They seem to be using some basic physics tools in their expositions.

 

From what you say about giant molecules, interesting that it is the first thing listed. Or, that it is included at all.  So I'm missing something I have a mental picture of a large diamond that is all atoms which never reformed into molecules.  If I am misunderstanding, I'll find out when I do some more searching about them.

 

Thank you for the explanation.  I thought that might be a good guide to some basic reading.   That and "Philosophy Now" which seems to be on a binge of explaining everything.  And doing a good job of it, too.  :-)

About diamond, carbon atoms form four bonds. In organic chemistry, these are used in combination with hydrogen and other atoms to make mainly molecules in the form of chains or rings with units like this -CH₂- , in which 2 bonds are used to connect with hydrogen atoms and the other 2 can join to more carbon atoms to make links in a chain. Because hydrogen forms only one bond, each CH2 link does not want to bond any further than to 2 neighbours.

 

With diamond, on the other hand, all the bonds are to other carbon atoms, all of which want to bond to 4 more atoms. What is more, the 4 bonds on each atom point towards the corners of a tetrahedron, so if each atom bonds to four more like it, you must of necessity get a 3D lattice with a rather complicated shape, with no "ends". This is a giant structure. 



#5 hazelm

hazelm

    Explaining

  • Members
  • 596 posts

Posted 07 July 2018 - 05:27 AM

About diamond, carbon atoms form four bonds. In organic chemistry, these are used in combination with hydrogen and other atoms to make mainly molecules in the form of chains or rings with units like this -CH₂- , in which 2 bonds are used to connect with hydrogen atoms and the other 2 can join to more carbon atoms to make links in a chain. Because hydrogen forms only one bond, each CH2 link does not want to bond any further than to 2 neighbours.

 

With diamond, on the other hand, all the bonds are to other carbon atoms, all of which want to bond to 4 more atoms. What is more, the 4 bonds on each atom point towards the corners of a tetrahedron, so if each atom bonds to four more like it, you must of necessity get a 3D lattice with a rather complicated shape, with no "ends". This is a giant structure. 

This all sounds vaguely familiar.  I must get back to it when the day gets rolling.  Thank you.