The mystery of matter is an exciting three-part series about a great adventure in the history of science. The movie describes the long search for essential elements that forms matter by looking at the lives and times of seen influential scientists who seek to identify, organize and understand the primary building blocks of matter. However, out of the seven scientists, two scientists by the name Joseph Priestly and Lavoisier catalyzed the conventional thinking of other six scientists during that period. Their discovery laid a foundation for another scientist to push for the development in the field of chemistry and precisely what the world is made of.
One of the biggest clues to solving the mystery of matter came from the discovery of air. Even though individuals had known something about air, for instance, they felt it in storms there was something they did not know the composition of air. In 1754, this notion changed when a young Scottish student identified as Joseph Priestly was investigating on the cure of kidney stones. He poured acid on the choke substances and trapped the air that came out; he realised that the air was heavier than any other air and it put off the flame. This discovery of fixed air which is now referred to as carbon dioxide was the major breakthrough and a game changer in the history of science as people had known about solid, liquid but now there was another state of matter which was gaseous. Joseph was so curious in the field of gaseous and he went all the way and discovered nine new gases more than any other person in the world.
Lavoisier after learning on the invention of Joseph pioneered the study of gases and became more curious. The work of Joseph hinted on what happens when the air is taken out and released from different substances. He reviewed previous experiments including Josephs while taking new precautions to develop a cohesion theory. In 1774, he carried out an experiment on the calcinations of lead and tin in sealed vessels which convincingly confirmed that the increment in weight of metals in combustion was as a result of air. The air was also responsible for rusting of metals; later he discovered this new element was oxygen. He found that air was not just a pure substance as ancients believed but rather a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen and water too was a product of the two gases and fire were not an element but a process of combining with oxygen
This discovery prompted scientist all over the world to look for more elements to identify what the world was made of since water, earth, fire and air were abolished, thanks to the discovery of oxygen. It was the discovery of these gases that led to the emergency of Humphry Davy whose work was to make these gases and test them as some of this gases were believed to cure diseases. However, he abandoned the testing of gases and focused on electrolysis using volatile, and he is known as a pioneer in this field. One of the experiments used was using of the volatile pile which was the first electric battery that provided electric current continuously. The volatile product produced both oxygen and hydrogen at the electrolytes.
Every substance gave up different colours as it burned, but as some substances grew, the test became less useful as some elements gave out similar colours and it was hard to separate them. In 1859, two Germany scientist carried out experiments which involved using an instrument made of two telescopes, a wooden box and a used the Bunsen burner to heat the elements. The light from the burning element was passed to the prism which split the light to the spectrum of colours and what they saw in the eyepiece was the collection of colours believed to be showing different elements. Later the person who brought the order to the elements was Dmitri Mendeleev who came up with the periodic table.
Marie Curie, a well-known scientist, pioneered research on radio nativity Marie Curie focused on a different kind of ray given up by the element uranium on the periodic table that had been discovered earlier. These uranic rays were powerful to penetrate pieces of the object and give out an image. She discovered that uranium rays had the power to charge the air around the allowing the electricity to leak across. To measure the electric effect, she placed the layer of uranium on a metal plate then charged the plate with the battery, as expectedly, the electricity leaked across the gap to the plate above. Her experiment went on for four years until she invented two elements which were polonium and radium.
Other scientists who were motivated by earlier inventions were Henry Moseley who investigated atomic numbers and uncovered more new details regarding the periodic table. Experimentally, when electricity was applied to the metal at one end, it gave out a glow. When Thomson moved the magnet near the two modified to reveal the rays, he saw that it banged the path of both pins. He concluded that electrons were the tiny piece of every atom and the race began to identify the rest of atom species. Henry developed the application of X-ray spectra to study the structure of atoms. He was able to discover a more precise positioning of elements in the periodic table.
The essay has focused on the journey that scientist went through while making breakthrough inventions that shaped the world up to the moment. Curiosity is the mother of invention as it is portrayed in the series. The scientist faced a lot of challenges during their inventions, took many years, had failed experiments, but they did not give up until made their discoveries.
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