Last updated 10-16-08*
<-Building Blocks <-CHM130

Building Block Series Quiz

1. In the picture we see that the man is made of lego building blocks. Later we will see that everything in the picture is made of building blocks. Those that make up the wood, glass, and cement are too small to see. If you were standing about a hundred yards from our lego man, could you see the lego building blocks? And might you mistake him as a real person?
2. On the right is a representation of a plastic called Low Density Polyethylene or LDPE for short. It is used to make squeeze bottles. The larger gray spheres are carbon atoms, and the white spheres are hydrogen atoms. What is the smallest repeating unit (building block) that would build these chains? (hint: It's 3 atoms)

#3. The equation E=mc2 can be used to calculate energy given off when mass is converted to energy or how much energy is required to create a certain amount of mass. A grain of sand weighs about one millionth of a kilogram (1/1,000,000). Plug this into the formula as:

E=     1    kg x 300,000,000 x 300,000,000

This answer will be in watt-second (joules). Divide that answer by 3,600,000 to get kilowatt-hours. Now multiply by 0.10 (10 cents) to get dollars of electricity to create the mass for a grain of sand. What's your answer?

#4. Here is a guy who scares his neighbors with his Tesla coils. The sparks are streams of electrons flying off the left donut-shaped metal. Electrons (or electricity) don't usually jump into the air because air resists any electrons trying to move through it.

Look at the below illustration of the electromagnetic spectrum. Sparks and lightning produce light (electromagnetic radiation) across most of the spectrum. You have noticed how your radio or TV gets interference from lightning. That's because these produce radio and microwaves. What you don't see is the dangerous ultraviolet light and xrays that sparks create. Our friend here probably doesn't realize the amount of electromagnetic radiation he is exposing himself. I'd say the ultraviolet rays would be the most abundant light. Do a Web search and report on some dangers to health that ultraviolet light causes.

#5. You learned that a proton, that is positively charged is attracted to an electron that is negatively charged. They pull on each other with equal force. So in our picture the two will move towards each other. But knowing that the electron is 2,000 times lighter than the proton, do you think they will meet halfway? Explain your answer.

6. From the salad, you are acquainted with the building blocks for the elements at a personal level. Match the atomic particle to the correct sense.

1. Protons

2. Electrons

3. Neutrons.

Senses: Sight, Taste, Pressure (from weight)

7. A fundamental law about charges is demonstrated in this static electricity picture. Electrons move up to the girls hair and then the hair separates. What can you say about the force that electrons have on other electrons?
static electricity girl with hair standing up
8. In the picture of the helium atom to the right, we see the electrons staying away from each other, but the protons (+) seem to disobey the rule about like charges repelling. How is it that protons will sit up against each other in the nucleus of an atom? (Also, mention the name of the force that overcomes the electrical repulsion force)
9. Ionic bonding occurs when two charged atoms (ions) have opposite charges. Which two atoms to the right will be attracted to each other? (hint: count protons and electrons)
10. In the movie, "Total Recall", the alien factory could decompose ice in the Martian soil into oxygen and hydrogen. That would require very high temperatures and would end up with a flammable mixture of oxygen & hydrogen. A better idea is use the iron oxide that is in Martian soil. That would turn into iron metal and oxygen gas at a temperature much lower than decomposing water.
What temperature is necessary to decompose red iron(III) oxide (Fe2O3) which will liberate oxygen?
(hint: Do a Google search for: iron oxide melting point. A Wikipedia article should come up. Check it out).

11a) What are the three most abundant elements in the Earth's crust?

11b) In the picture snow is on the Earth's crust, so what additional element besides the three mentioned in "11a" is sure to be present?

In an early tutorial you learned about stone tool technology. A favorite mineral used to make knives and arrowheads was obsidian. In the tutorial, I said it is made mostly of "silica." Go to the below site and type in silica to get more info.

12a)What is the chemical formula for silica? 12b) Name at least two things made from silica?

13. What element is in all organic compounds?
14. Hydrocarbons are the simplest of all organic compounds, but which hydrocarbon is the simplest?

15. Building blocks have to connect to other blocks. In the picture we see oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon. Looking at the number of outer electrons each have and the number of vacancies each have...
A) ...what is the maximum of atoms hydrogen can connect to? ...oxygen can connect to? and carbon can connect to?

B) Which element is the most versatile then?

16. To the right are some of the smaller organic acids, with formic acid being the smallest. Many birds hunt for formic acid. Do a Web search for bird anting and report what that is and why birds like formic acid.
17. Creating flavors is a big industry and two of our organic compounds (alcohols and organic acids) are common ingredients. Here we see how ethanol (drinking alcohol) and butyric acid combine to make a pineapple flavor. I like the aroma of pineapple and that of ethanol. But what does butyric acid smell like?
18. We often hear consumers complain about artificial flavors, but most products still have them. Visit the below link and read enough to come up with three reasons why artificial flavors are so common despite the complaints.
19. Collagen is a great example of building blocks. With just three amino acids that repeat, it forms long twisted strands (a triple helix). About one quarter of all of the protein in your body is collagen.
9a)What parts of the body use collagen?
9b) What is special about the places where I circled "H" and "OH"?
20. To the right is a summary of what elements are needed to make each category of organic compounds. There is just one error. RNA and DNA only need five of the six elements. Which element is not needed?
<-Building Blocks <-CHM130

Since Sept 25, 2004