Thursday, October 10, 2019

Chemistry and Society Essay

Chemistry is very important in our lives even though we may not realize that chemistry is everywhere. This paper serves to examine the ways in which chemistry is relevant in everyday life and in society. It will also examine the difference between accuracy and precision and provide examples of when accuracy and precision are crucial in measurements and why society depends on these measurements to be accurate and precise ( Tam 2012). Chemistry in Society  When we turn on the tap and fill a glass with water and drink it, we are benefitting from the chemical process that removes impurities from water, providing us with clean drinking water. When we use a laundry detergent to remove a stubborn stain from clothing, we are able to do so because of a chemical reaction. The medicines that heal us are a result of a chemical reaction within our bodies. The time-released medicines that we take, delay certain chemical reactions until our bodies need them. There are chemical reactions happening around us every second of every day. Chemistry also plays a role in assuring that we protect and preserve our planet. Green chemistry or sustainable chemistry is the branch of chemistry that focuses on ways to reduce the damage to our environment through waste prevention, proper waste disposal, and identifying renewable energy sources (Ravichandran, 2011). Precision vs. Accuracy Precision is the state of being exact and the ability of a measurement to be reproduced consistently (â€Å"precision†, n. d. ). Accuracy is the freedom from mistakes that arise as a result of being careful (â€Å"accuracy†, n. . ). Precision incorporates the element of time whereas accuracy is the correctness of a single event. You can achieve precision if you do something accurately and consistently over time. In science, the precision of a number lies in the number of reported digits. The greatest amount of precision of measurement is with numbers with the greatest number of digits and the least amount of precision of a measurem ent is with numbers with the fewest number of digits ( Chapter 2, Measurement and Problem Solving, 2009). Society relies on the accuracy and precision of measurements in many areas of our lives. The manufacturing industry relies on the accuracy of measurements when manufacturing components that must be assembled to produce an end product. If the measurements of each component aren’t correct, you will not be able to assembly the product. Manufacturing requires precision because each part must be cut exactly the same as the previous one. Have you ever purchased a product that required assembly and found that one of the pieces was cut incorrectly and thus the product could not be assembled properly? We rely on the precision and accuracy of the manufacturing process to deliver us goods that assembly the way they should. Another area where society relies on the precision and accuracy of measurements is the medical field. When a doctor prescribes a medication to a patient, the accuracy of the measurements of the medicine is crucial. If too much is prescribed, it could be deadly; if too little is prescribed it may not be effective in producing the desired results. Accuracy and/or Precision of Measurements There are several types of tools we use to measure; some are more accurate than others. When a doctor prescribes a medication, he uses ml instead of ounces. While both are forms of liquid measure, the ml is the most precise measure because it has smaller increments than the ounce. If we were talking about the amount of soda in a can, the use of ounces is an accurate enough measure because that does not require the same type of precision as the dispensing of medication. We us a watch or clock for the measurement of time. We measure time in seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years. The measurement of time using seconds is the most precise and accurate unit of measure when measuring time. With current technology, a sprinter’s time can be recorded in fractions of a second. With the addition of auto start and auto finish, the clock begins when the starting gun is fired. The clock stops when the sprinter crosses the finish line which is a beam that stretches across the finish line. Determining the winner of a 100m dash requires precise and accurate measurement because in many instances the sprinters are so close that it is difficult to determine the winner of a race. Before auto start and finish, the sprinter’s time was recorded by people using a stopwatch. The stopwatch was started at the sound of the gun firing and was stopped when you saw some body part cross the finish line. This method was subject to human error. There were fractions of a second lost in human reaction time to what they saw and heard. The addition of the auto start and finish has provided the needed increase of precision and accuracy. Times are measured with a precision of . 001 seconds. Conclusion Chemistry is relevant and present in our everyday lives. Now, in the morning when you boil an egg too long and the yolk turns a grayish color, know that is a chemical reaction taking place. When an egg is boiled for too long at high temperatures, ferrous sulfur is produced and that is what causes the grayish color on the yolk (Karukstis, 2003). We can now appreciate why a doctor gives us our medications in ml and not ounces because we know that ml are a more precise measure than ounces. We have and continue to rely on the precise and accurate measurement in so many aspects of our lives even if we don’t realize that we do.

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