We all have our ideas about chemistry. Who should fault us? After all, we are consistently learning more about our environment and what it entails. Nonetheless, there are some commonly held misconceptions about chemistry that are downright laughable. The sad part is that many of us share the same viewpoint. It is therefore our duty to outline the ten most common chemistry misconceptions and help our readers out by letting them in on the truth.
Image credit: utexas
10. All objects containing air float
Image credit: Leap Frog
It has been a commonly held believe that light objects float and heavy objects sink regardless of what shape, size, or type of material is used to make them. Other aspects of these chemical misconceptions are that to be a true floating object it has to be wholly above the surface of the water and objects must contain trapped air to float. However, the scientific view is simply that objects are capable of floating when the weight force on the object is equaled by the upward push of the water on the object.
9. Liquids with high density are liquids possessing high viscosity
Image credit: Middle School Notes
One of the funniest misconceptions about chemistry and physics is that only liquids of high density possess high viscosity. However, here are some facts to debunk these chemical misconceptions. There is no relationship between the density and viscosity of a liquid. A The viscosity of a liquid simply refers to how thick or thin a liquid is. However, the density refers to how far apart its particles are.
8. Adhesion means the same thing as cohesion
Image credit: Slide Share
Some chemistry misconceptions are actually quite laughable. Possibly one of the funniest misconceptions about chemistry is that adhesion is quite the same as cohesion. However, cohesion simply means the clinging together of molecules of like nature while adhesion is the mutual attraction of unlike molecules causing them to cling to each other.
7. Pressure and force are the same
Image credit: Aaron Swanson
Chemical misconceptions are everywhere. We do what we can to debunk them. And if you still believe pressure and force are the same thing then you have fallen a victim to one of the funniest misconceptions about chemistry. Force is simply the total impact an object has on another object. On the other hand, pressure is defined as the ratio of force on an area over which the force has been applied.
6. Moving fluids contain higher pressure
Image credit: Science Clarified
The sad part about chemical misconceptions or basically, our presumptions about science, are that they originate from our basic ideas about how things are supposed to be. Take for example the idea that moving fluids generate higher pressure. This makes a lot of sense given that fluids that are moving (i.e. squeezed together should generate higher pressure. This is not the case.
5. Heat is not energy
Image credit: Study
This certainly is one of the funniest misconceptions about chemistry still prevalent today. Indeed heat is energy resulting from the movement of atoms, ions or molecules in solids, liquids and gases. Heat is energy capable of being transferred from an object to another.
4. Is metal naturally cooler than plastic
Image credit: Dornob
The answer is no. The origin of one of the most hilarious chemical misconceptions is interestingly our bodies. When our hands touch metal, it generally feels cooler than plastic. Unfortunately our hands are not the best judges of temperature. If it were, then it would be mysterious why ice tends to melt faster on a metal plate than on a plastic plate. The temperature of metal and plastic is generally determined by the environment it finds itself. But if both the metal and plastic are kept in the same room long enough to maintain the same temperature, metal would feel cooler yet ice would still melt faster on the metal plate. This is thanks to a process known as thermal conductivity. This is the parameter which determines how quickly an objects loses heat. Objects with higher thermal conductivity such as steel give off heat faster than plastic. Hopefully, this has put to bed one of the most fallacious chemical misconceptions of our time.
3. Solid particles lack motion
Image credit: Middle School Chemistry
There are ridiculous chemistry misconceptions everywhere. However, this is most untrue. It is correct to say that solid particles are arranged tightly together. However, though we cannot see it, solid particles are constantly moving, vibrating on the same spot.
2. Gases are invisible
Image credit: Red Dot
Allow us the opportunity to put to bed one of the greatest chemical misconceptions of our time, that gases are invisible. Some gases are actually very visible. An example is nitrogen dioxide. Air only appears invisible because its molecules do not absorb visible light.
1. Materials are only capable of exhibiting the properties of one state of matter
Image credit: Keyword Suggest
The truth is, though most materials exhibit only the properties of one state of matter, there are a few outsiders. Some materials can exhibit the properties of more than one state of matter. Examples of these are mercury, a metal, which is liquid at room temperature.
This is our compilation of the funniest misconceptions about chemistry. Many of these misconceptions are borne out of our ideas about how life should be. Sadly, nature is not exactly how we wish it to be. The theories of today may be the misconceptions of tomorrow. As our awareness expands about the world we live in, so will we continue to realize some previously held misconceptions.