Can diamonds burn?

Yes, if you heat them to somewhere between 1,400 to 1,607 degrees Fahrenheit, diamonds will burn. A blowtorch will do the trick. Diamonds are composed of pure carbon and will convert into graphite under such temperatures.

Who discovered the speed of light?

The first to approximate the speed of light roughly was French physicist Armand Fizeau (1819-1896). In 1849 Fizeau obtained a value for the speed of light that was about 5 percent too high. Fizeau’s contemporary Jean Foucault (1819-1868) obtained the first accurate measurement (within 1 percent of the correct speed) in 1862.

How does the average American travel to work and how long does it take?

According to 1980 figures, the average worker’s one-way trip covered 9.2 miles and took 20.4 minutes. By far the favorite mode of transportation for workers was the private vehicle (car, motorcycle, or truck), accounting for 84.3 percent. Those who took public transportation comprised 6.3 percent, and 5.5 percent walked. The remainder used other means or … Read more

When was Halley’s comet first spotted?

Chinese astronomers made the first recorded observation of Halley’s comet in 240 B.C. In 1705, English astronomer Edmund Halley was the first to theorize that comets travel in regular orbits around the sun. Proposing that “the great comet” observed in 1682 made periodic visits about every 76 years, he predicted that it would return in … Read more

How many species of grasses are there?

There are about 6,000 to 10,000 species of “true” grasses, members of the family Poaceae. They are the most widespread and numerous of all the flowering plants.

What is the world’s largest plant?

The largest plant in the world is said to be the General Sherman Tree, a giant sequoia in Sequoia National Park, California. The tree is about 272 feet tall and more than 100 feet in circumference. It is about 3,500 years old.

What is the apple of one’s eye?

The apple of one’s eye is the pupil, which was likened to an apple because, in the ninth century, it was believed to be a solid round mass.

Is Chicago the windiest city in the United States?

Far from it. With an average wind speed of 10.4 miles per hour, Chicago ranks 16th in the list of windy American cities. Here are the top five, with average wind speeds (in miles per hour): 1. Great Falls, Montana. 13.1 2. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. 13 3. Boston, Massachusetts. 12.9 4. Cheyenne, Wyoming. 12.8 5. … Read more

What does saltpeter do?

Contrary to dormitory fears, it does not inhibit sexual desire. Instead, saltpeter, or potassium nitrate (KNO3), is a diuretic. Another form of saltpeter is Chile saltpeter, or impure sodium nitrate (NaNO3). Lime, or Norwegian saltpeter, is calcium nitrate. It is used to make explosives.

Who named the quark?

American physicist Murray Gell-Mann (b. 1929) named the quark in 1964. He took the name from James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake. A quark, a subatomic particle with a fractional electric charge, is believed by physicists to be the fundamental unit of matter.

What are neutrinos?

Neutrinos are objects produced by the decay of certain subatomic particles. They have energy but little or no mass, and they travel almost at the speed of light.

Who first said “Eureka!” and what did it have to do with a bath?

The Greek word heureka, meaning “I have found it,” was made famous by Archimedes, a Sicilian philosopher (c. 287-212 B.C.). Archimedes was given the task of finding out whether a crown presented to the ruler of Syracuse was really pure gold or alloyed with an inferior metal. The philosopher was baffled until he stepped into … Read more

What makes a firefly give off light?

The light from a firefly comes from an area on the sides of its stomach. Fatty tissue located there contains air tubes and nerves that when stimulated give off oxygen. The oxygen combines with a pigment in the fat called luciferin, producing the familiar heatless light.

Where did Sigmund Freud get the term id?

Sigmund Freud’s original term for the unconscious mind was not id but es, the indefinite pronoun it in German. Freud borrowed that term from a physician, Georg Groddick, who in turn had borrowed it from his teacher Ernst Schweninger. As Freud’s ideas became popular in English-speaking countries, translators felt that simply calling the unconscious it … Read more

What does the term plasma mean to a physician?

The term plasma to a physician means the fluid part of blood, lymph, or milk as distinct from suspended matter. The term plasma to a physicist means a collection of negatively charged electrons and positively charged ions, existing in about equal numbers in a neutral state; plasma is considered a fourth state of matter, distinct … Read more

When did dinosaurs become extinct?

Dinosaurs lived during the Mesozoic era, 225 million to 65 million years ago. By the end of that era, all Archosauria (or “ruling reptiles”), except crocodiles, had died.

How much mail is handled by the U.S. Post Office per day?

According to the Report of the Postmaster General, 106,311,062,000 pieces of mail traveled through the system in 1980. On a given day, therefore, approximately 291,263,000 items passed through the country’s post offices. What’s more, this prodigious amount of mail traveled through many fewer post offices than at the turn of the century. In 1900, there … Read more

What is the pressure at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean?

At the Pacific Ocean’s greatest depth-36,198 feet (in the Marianas trench southwest of Guam), the pressure is 16,124 pounds per square inch, more than 1,000 times the atmospheric pressure at sea level (14.7 pounds per square inch).

Why do we get goose bumps when it’s cold?

Goose bumps are a vestige from the days when humans were covered with hair. When it got cold, the hairs stood on end, creating a trap for air and providing insulation. The hairs have long since disappeared, but in the places where they used to be, the skin still bristles, trying to get warm.

What is Newton’s law of gravity?

Actually called Newton’s law of gravitation, it describes the degree to which one body of matter attracts another. That attraction is in direct proportion to the product of the bodies’ masses, and in inverse proportion to the square of the distance between them. This law can be expressed in a formula first set forth in … Read more

How does a knockout punch knock someone out?

A knockout punch causes a chain reaction in the victim’s circulatory system. The supply of blood pools in the abdomen, reducing circulation to the brain, and resulting in loss of consciousness.

What are polymers and are they the same thing as plastics?

Plastics are only one kind of polymer, a substance composed of very large chain-like molecules that consist of smaller, repeating chemical units. Natural polymers include proteins, cellulose, diamonds, and quartz. Besides plastics, man-made ones include concrete, glass, and paper.

When does a human embryo have its first heartbeat?

A human embryo has its first heartbeat at the age of three weeks, when the heart of the embryo looks like a tube. As it begins to beat, it starts the blood circulating through the few blood vessels that have formed around it.

What is the most despised household chore?

According to a Gallup poll, washing the dishes far outweighs its closest competitors, cleaning the bathroom and ironing. Seventeen percent of those questioned listed doing the dishes first; only 8.8 percent named cleaning the bathroom and 8.5 percent named ironing, with 9.8 percent saying they didn’t know what they didn’t like.

What causes the most household accidents?

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that the five most dangerous sources are: stairs, glass doors, cutlery, glass bottles and jars, and home power tools.

When was the first leap year?

The first leap year was 46 B.C. It was then that the Julian calendar of 365.25 days was adopted. The calendar required that an extra day be added every fourth year.

What is the earliest era of geologic time?

The earliest era of geologic time is the Precambrian age. It began when the earth’s crust formed, 4.6 billion years ago, and ended with the dawn of the Cambrian period, 570 million years ago. About seven-eighths of earth’s history since the formation of the crust took place during the Precambrian age.

How much energy does a supernova produce?

The explosion of a star is called a supernova and is estimated to release 10^49 ergs or 1 followed by 49 zeros. By comparison, pronouncing an average syllable releases 200 ergs, and the first atom bomb produced 1021 ergs.

What are shooting stars?

Shooting stars are not stars but meteorites, particles from space entering and burning up in the earth’s atmosphere.

What are noble gases?

The term noble gas refers to the lack of chemical reactivity in these inert gases. For the record, there are six noble gases: helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon, and radon.

What is the chemical content of guano?

Bird guano is the accumulated excrement and remains of birds such as cormorants, pelicans, and gannets. Guano is 11 to 16 percent nitrogen, 8 to 12 percent phosphoric acid, and 2 to 3 percent potash. The excellent fertilizer is harvested from islands off Peru, Baja California, and Africa. Bat and seal guano is also highly … Read more

What is the continental shelf?

The continental shelf is an underwater ledge around the coastline of the world’s oceans. The edge of the shelf lies at depths of between 360 and 480 feet. The width may vary from a few feet to several hundred miles.

What does E = mc2 stand for?

According to Albert Einstein’s law on the equivalence of mass and energy, the energy (E) of a quantity of matter is equal to the product of the quantity’s mass (m) and the square of the velocity of light (c).

What makes houseplants turn toward the light?

Growth hormones called auxins makes houseplants turn toward the light. When light falls on one side of a plant, the auxins tend to concentrate on the shaded side, causing the cells on that side to grow longer. As a result, the plant gradually leans toward the light. This bending movement in response to an outside … Read more

What is Saint Elmo’s fire?

Named for the patron saint of sailors, Saint Elmo’s fire is actually discharges of electricity that occur during storms. These discharges are seen as blue or bluish white lights at the tips of masts and bowsprits of ships at sea, as well as on church steeples and building spires on land.

When were the planets discovered?

Mercury, Mars, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn were known from ancient times. Uranus was discovered in 1781, Neptune in 1846, and Pluto in 1930.

How much is the human body worth?

Newspaper columnists and others have claimed that the body’s chemical worth is between 98 cents and $5. But one doctor argues that, at the rates currently charged by large chemical distributors, the body’s worth is at least $169,834, not counting $1,200 worth of blood. The key is to market the body’s products intelligently and not … Read more

How old is the moon?

The oldest moon material brought back to earth by the Apollo program crews has been soil-dated to 4.72 billion years.

What part of the brain is Broca’s area?

Broca’s area is the part of the brain associated with motor control of speech. It is usually located in the left but sometimes in the right inferior frontal convolution. It is named after its discoverer, the nineteenth-century French surgeon Paul Broca.

Did the planet Vulcan ever exist?

Astronomers once believed that a planet called Vulcan existed between the planet Mercury and the sun. Its existence, first proposed by French astronomer Urbain Jean Joseph Leverrier in 1845, was hypothesized to explain a discrepancy in Mercury’s orbit. Vulcan was even reported to have been observed once, but the observation was never confirmed. Einstein’s general … Read more

In what geologic era did man evolve?

Man evolved in the Pleistocene epoch, which began about 2.5 million years ago and ended about 10,000 years ago. We now live in the Recent (or Holocene) epoch, beginning about 10,000 years ago.

Who came up with the phrase survival of the fittest?

Charles Darwin did not come up with the phrase survival of the fittest. The British philosopher and scientist Herbert Spencer introduced the phrase in Principles of Biology (1864-1867) as a way of describing Darwin’s theory of natural selection.

Is typhoid fever the same thing as typhus?

No, typhoid fever is not the same thing as typhus. Typhus is caused by microbes called rickettsiae and is carried by fleas, mites, and ticks, which in turn are carried by rats and other rodents. Typhoid (also called typhoid fever or enteric fever) resembles typhus in its symptoms but is caused by a different microbe, … Read more

What makes a wave break?

A wave breaks when the water that supports a wave is only about 1.3 times as deep as the wave is high. At that point, the water at the crest is moving faster than the water below. This condition commonly occurs in shallow water at the shore, but it may occur farther off if the … Read more

How long is a cosmic year?

A cosmic year is the length of time it takes the sun to complete one revolution around the center of the Milky Way galaxy. A cosmic year is about 225 million earth years. The sun is between 20 and 21 cosmic years old.

What’s the difference between a stalagmite and a stalactite?

Both stalagmites and a stalactites are elongated deposits of minerals at points where slowly dripping water enters a void. Stalagmites build from the bottom of such a cavity; stalactites hang from the ceiling. When the same dripwater source creates both a stalactite and a stalagmite, the two may meet and form a column.

How many types of clouds are there?

There are 10 types of clouds: cirrus, cirrocumulus, cirrostratus, altocumulus, altostratus, nimbostratus, stratocumulus, stratus, cumulus, cumulonimbus. Each of these clouds has a different shape and internal structure.

Why did George Washington Carver study the peanut?

The scientist George Washington Carver (1864-1943) was trying to find ways to diversify southern agriculture. Long dependent on cotton, the South’s economy was threatened by the boll weevil and depleted soil. Carver showed that the neglected peanut, soybean, and sweet potato could produce hundreds of trade goods and replace soil minerals depleted by cotton. The … Read more