Why This Matters

In 3.091, chemistry is connected to the questions surrounding us.

For example:

  • why the Haber-Bosch Process helped world population to soar,
  • how painting with electrons led to color television, how defects cause the same jewel to have different colors,
  • just how efficient batteries really are,
  • how automobiles became safer through tempered glass as well as less polluting through the catalytic converter,
  • how graphene can help us obtain clean drinking water,
  • why tires can’t be recycled,
  • and how nanotechnology requires an understanding of chemistry.

Some of “Why This Matters” touches on the chemical reactions of climate change and its causes, including why chlorofluorocarbons stopped being used in refrigeration and what is happening to the oceans as they absorb excess carbon.

The Ages of Humanity (Stone Age, Bronze Age, etc.) and named for the materials used most prevalently.Humanity's ages became more sophisticated as materials use developed.Chemistry is the key to understanding materials.Understanding chemistry overcomes questions of materials use. Haber-Bosch processdevelopment of electronic screenstelevision tubes to LED screenschemistry of colorschemistry of materials determines the colors of fireworksozoneelectron miscroscopynew battery technologythe chemical composition of toothpasteWhat is unusual about water?weak forceswhite LEDstransistorsnew communications technologiesperiodic structurex-rayCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageglass-makinghardened materialwhy berries are healthypolymersheat storage