By Dr. S.K. Shukla
(Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, MRU)
The cycle of life is supposed to have started with a Bang that led to events that we call the making of the Universe. If a slight attention is paid to the whole chain of the events that took place some millions of years ago, a basic question that will pop up in any prudent and reasonable mind would be ‘Why did this whole bang take place?’ Researchers opine that an exothermal reaction led by the fusion of some gases resulted in a blast. It was all due to the chemical reactions which we observe across the universe. It is amazing to know that chemistry has bestowed life upon this Earth.
Chemistry is a big part of our everyday life. One can easily observe this branch of science in different spheres of human life such as in the food we eat, the air we breathe, the various cleansing agents we use, so much so that even human emotions are sometimes a result of chemical reactions within our body!
Some of the most common chemistry related experiences are listed below:
Ever tried to think why a particular vegetable bears a particular colour and taste? It has been founded that the sunlight is a beam of white light and when it impacts on an object some of them get absorbed while others are reflected back. The vegetables that are green are due to the presence of a chemical compound named chromospheres which absorbs all the wavelengths while reflecting the green light. Similarly, the red colour of tomato which is used to judge its quality is a result of a chemical compound known as lycopene.
Who hasn’t been mesmerized by the fluffiness of cakes that metamorphose from pastry dough to a tasty well-raised bundle of joy? Thanks to the chemical reaction of magic ingredients called baking soda and baking powder!
The teardrops rolling out from eyes while cutting an onion is due to the chemical reaction that turn the sulphur present in the onion cells to burst and to become a volatile sulphur product, which once released in air causes itching in eyes, resulting in the outpour of teardrops.
Our body is made up of chemical constituents, present in a number of combinations of various elements – oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus.
Various emotions we feel are, in fact, a result of chemical messengers i.e. neurotransmitters. Love, jealousy, envy, infatuation and infidelity all find their roots in chemistry.
It is easily observed that the most unobserved and repetitive phenomena that take place in our daily lives are so much entwined in chemical science. The list may be continued to fill hundreds of pages with the miracles of chemistry in our lives that take place each and every day.
Thus, it is the Chemistry that is responsible for various unnoticed actions and reactions in the universe.