Monday, March 25, 2013

CAB open day today and #83 is Matter

Another great UK institution
The CAB Citizens Advice Bureau)  is an interesting mix that is part Charity, part Social service and part an arm of Government, today I took part in one of their open days to see what I might be able to do as a volunteer  to assist them in their work  in the community.
With the start of the service in 1939 the CAB has faced many challenges including helping people with employment and housing issues, it supports vulnerable people during difficult times and is committed to provide Free, Confidential Impartial and  Independent advice on a non discriminatory basis.
The online advice guide is a rich resource but for many people online help alone is not enough and phone and drop in services are used to deliver tangible help to those struggling with what can for them be critical issues.

From Crofton today the subject is matter.. (number 83)

Matter is another of those areas that I would label 'Scientific' counter intuitively much of matter is  space - and that's the case not just in a gas (where it does not feel quite so surprising ) it in even the most dense elements like Iron or Lead.
John Dalton (1766 -1844) looms large in the subject of  'Matter' and came up with theories around 1803 into atomic structure (and also did work regarding Colour Blindness a condition that he and his brother suffered). Although he didn't get it all 'right he did some great pioneering work that he summarised:
1. Elements are made of extremely small particles called atoms.
2. Atoms of a given element are identical in size, mass, and other properties; atoms of different elements differ in size, mass, and other properties.
3. Atoms cannot be subdivided, created, or destroyed. (wrong John)
4.Atoms of different elements combine in simple whole-number ratios to form chemical compounds.
5. In chemical reactions, atoms are combined, separated, or rearranged.
Another giant in the field of matter is the Nobel prize winning Brit JJ Thompson who discovered what were then thought to be the indivisible building blocks of structure Electrons in fact later Scientists like Einstein refined the work of Thompson and splitting the atom is now a reality. Also E=MC squared shows matters relationship to energy. in 1923 the French Physicist  Louis de Broglie  produced Comptes rendus which hypothesised the wave particle duality that Neils Bohr and others further advanced.