Benzene. Dimensions. Reality.

Photo by Spiros Kakos from Pexels

Nearly 200 years after the molecule was discovered by Michael Faraday, researchers have finally revealed the complex electronic structure of benzene.

This not only settles a debate that has been raging since the 1930s, this step has important implications for the future development of opto-electronic materials, many of which are built on benzenes.

The atomic structure of benzene is pretty well understood. It’s a ring consisting of six carbon atoms, and six hydrogen atoms, one attached to each of the carbon atoms.

Where it gets extremely tricky is when we consider the molecule’s 42 electrons.

“The mathematical function that describes benzene’s electrons is 126-dimensional,” chemist Timothy Schmidt of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science and UNSW Sydney in Australia told ScienceAlert.

“That means it is a function of 126 coordinates, three for each of the 42 electrons. The electrons are not independent, so we cannot break this down into 42 independent three-dimensional functions. (1)

126 dimensions.

3 dimensions.

2 dimensions.

Does it matter?

Benzene is here. And so are you.

Roaming the cosmos.

In a thousand dimensions!

Listening to the rain.

In one single dimension.

Touching happiness.

In three dimensions.

Does it matter?

Are you defining dimensions?

Or are dimensions defining you?

As more dimensions reveal themselves, the more the cosmos will be extinct from one. And the more we see through the broken glass, the more we will ignore the fact that once upon a time, it was not broken.

Without 126 dimensions.

Without benzene.

Just you.

Ready to go home.

And discover benzene!

Electrical paradoxes. (Do they exist?)

A number of chemistry researchers from several institutions including Lund University in Sweden, have managed to identify a new mechanism that makes certain charged biomolecules attach to each other. The biomolecules in the present study serve as models for antibacterial peptides, that is, protein-like molecules that fulfil important functions in the body.

“Antibacterial peptides are important for our immune system. If we can figure out how they work, it may be of value in the development of new drugs”, says Mikael Lund, chemistry researcher at Lund University.

The present study combines theoretical computer models with experiments. The researchers were very surprised when the data indicated that the small biomolecules were drawn to each other even though they had the same electrical charge. Nevertheless, the results were later confirmed by experiments.

“We were very surprised. These biomolecules have a high electrical charge, and the expectation was therefore that this would make them push each other away”, says Mikael Lund.

Instead, the biomolecules in this study demonstrated apparently paradoxical behaviour. And the explanation for this lies at the atomic level. More specifically, it is about how certain atoms bind together at the ends of the molecular chain. The researchers’ study can be described as atomic level detective work, which involves mapping the exact structure of all the atoms of the molecule. (1)

A really surprising result.

But only for those who believed science in the first place.

Should they repel each other?

Do electrical charges exist in the first place?

The rules are based on observations. And the more observations we make the more rules we seek breaking apart in pieces. Until we observe everything. Until we learn that there are no rules…

Chemistry Nobel 2018: A sad reminder…

Techniques that put natural evolution on fast-forward to build new proteins in the lab have earned three scientists this year’s Nobel Prize in chemistry.

Frances Arnold of Caltech won for her method of creating customized enzymes for biofuels, environmentally friendly detergents and other products. She becomes the fifth woman to win the Nobel Prize in chemistry since it was first awarded in 1901. Gregory Winter of the University of Cambridge and George Smith of the University of Missouri in Columbia were recognized for their development and use of a technique called phage display. This molecule-manufacturing process can generate biomolecules for new drugs.

The trio will share the 9-million-Swedish-kronor prize (about $1 million), with Arnold getting half and Winter and Smith splitting the other half. (1)

Analyzing data. Finding new molecules.

Analyzing more data. Finding more molecules.

This is what science is today.

Additions to an existing structure.

Nothing exceptional.

Nothing truly magnificent.

Scientists today are builders, not architects.

They may add their own brick to the cathedral.

But they will never have the courage to question its design.

What we need today though are not builders.

What we seek is not a way to make the cathedral taller.

But someone who can judge its foundations.

And tear it down…

Final state. Concsiousness. Matter…

Nano builders rejoice: for the first time, scientists have watched crystals grow atom by atom, offering incredible control over their microscopic structure. The technique could lead to customisable crystals that would find uses in diverse fields, from water purifiers to cloaking technologies.

“For the first time, we can actually image the motion of individual atoms, and observe the atom-by-atom assembly of crystals,” says Nicolas Barry at the University of Warwick, UK. (1)

Great! someone might say…

But wait a minute!
Something does not add up.

How do the crystals “know” from the beginning the ultimately best way to reconfigure their structure so as to achieve the one with the smallest energy? Because they surely cannot reshuffle their whole structure until they find the best possible.

Read Penrose.
The fallen emperor is still down.
Long live the empreror!

Inside a crystal, something important happens.
Every moment, wavefunctions collapse.
Every moment, “something” makes them collapse.

Inside your head, a new battle is won.
Every single second, wavefunctions collapse.
Every single second, SOMEONE makes them collapse…

If matter can think of the best FINAL state,
then maybe it is not “matter” at all…

The emperor is not lost (?) after all…

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