The National Science Foundation conducted a study and found that only 33 percent of Americans know what a molecule is.
Pictured above is a water molecule, two little hydrogen atoms attached to an oxygen atom. Note that the hydrogen atoms aren’t directly opposite each other, but arranged more like Mickey Mouse’s ears.
When water molecules are placed in an alternating electromagnetic field, the ears are pulled one way, then the other. Do it at just the right speed, 2.45 gigahertz, or two-billion-four-hundred-fifty-thousand times per second, the natural ‘resonance’ of water, and a lot of friction is built up resulting in heat. That’s how microwave ovens work.
Computer scientists say our brains have a storage capacity approximately the same as an 11-terabyte hard drive, which with current solid-state technology can be stored in an area about the size of a fingertip.
Our eyes are each equivalent to a 137-megapixel camera, roughly ten times higher resolution than a typical modern digital camera.
These comparisons are a bit rough, because humans are made from wetware, not hardware. For instance, the retina has much greater sensitivity near the center than at the edges, while a camera has uniform sensitivity. The memory of a hard drive is digital. Each ‘cell’ in a hard drive can hold a one or a zero. Each cell in the human brain is more of an analog mechanism, firing or not based on many input factors.
You can run this program to find out whether you are colorblind. Approximately 12% of males are colorblind. Although fewer, millions of women are also. And if you are colorblind, you can play with this a few minutes a day as an exercise to discern colors better.
When you look up into the sky on a moonless night, you see even more stars than you think. That’s because about 75 percent of the ‘stars’ you see are actually groups of two, three, or more stars orbiting around each other.
Scientists estimate that the universe is 15 billion years old. By looking far out into space, they can see the past in other places, because light takes time to reach us. An event that happened on the sun nine minutes ago will just be now visible to us. Astronomers have recently discovered a place so far away that it dates back to almost the beginning of the universe. What we see today happened 14 billion years ago.
In a 1980 television show, popular astronomer Carl Sagan said, “All of the radio waves from space ever studied equal less than the power of a single snowflake hitting the ground.”
That wasn’t quite true then, but it was close. Today, with many more radio telescopes and many more years of collecting astronomical radio waves, the total power of all the waves studied from space is still much less than the energy your body used while you read this post.