Datafor Stack It!
Table1: Surface Area and Volume
Skin of the apple
Water balloon’s outer layer
Insides of the body (flesh, bones, organs)
The inside of the apply
SurfaceArea of Cheese Cube:LxWx6= 4cm x 4cm x 6 = 96cm2
Volumeof the Cheese Cube:LxWxH= 4cmx 4cm x 4cm = 64cm3
SurfaceArea of 2 Cheese Cubes Stocked:(8cmx 4cm) x 4 + (4cm x 4cm) x 2 = 160cm2
Volumeof the 2 Cheese Cube Stocked:4cmx 4cm x 8cm = 128cm3
(SurfaceArea of 2 Cheese Cubes Stocked)/ (SurfaceArea of Cheese Cube) = 160cm2 /96cm2= 1.67 times increase in surface area
(Volumeof the 2 Cheese Cube Stocked) / (Volume of the Cheese Cube) = 128cm3/ 64cm3=2 times increase in volume
Answer:Volumeincreases faster than Surface Area
Datafor Bag It!
SurfaceArea of 8 stocked Cheese Cubes = (16cmx 16cm) x 2 + (8cm x 16cm) 4 = 1024cm2
SurfaceArea of 8 Cheese Cubes in Line =(16cm x 32cm) x 2 + (4 x 32) x 2 + (16 x 4) x 2 = 1408cm2
Volumeof the 8 Stocked Cheese Cube = 16cmx 16cm x 8cm = 2048cm3
Volumeof the 8 Cheese Cube in Line = 4x 16 x 32 = 2048cm3
Answer:While the Surface Area changed with difference in arrangement of thecubes (stocked vs. line), the volume did not.
JournalEntry 1: Stack It! Bag It!
AsI reflect back on “Stack It” there is one realization that I had,which I did not know yet before I performed the experiment. This isthe experiment with regards to surface area and volume. In theexperiment I had to measure the volume of the cheese cubes as theyincrease in sizes. The case in volume is very simple, there is notmuch new knowledge that I gained from it. I already understandlogically that bigger objects occupy or has larger volumes and viceversa, with the assumption that all other parameters, such as densityor porosity are kept constant. This was something that was logical tome. Nevertheless, on the experiment with surface area, I was amazedat the results. At first, I though the same case is true for bothvolume and surface area. I thought that as objects become bigger theywill have more surface area and higher volumes then smaller objects.Then in the experiment I realized I was wrong about the relationshipbetween surface area and object size. The relationship between thetwo variables was an inverse relationship. This means that as wecontinue to decrease the size of the object let’s say we chop thecheese cube into smaller cubes then the total surface area of thesmaller cubes combined will be higher than the initial surface areawhen it was un-chopped.
Icaught myself smiling when I realized this. Then some of theknowledge I had when I was younger came in sync with the results.When I was still very young I used to play with sand. I put the sandin a cup, apply pressure in it, and then release it from the cup andI have a “sand cake.” I usually use moist sand in doing thisbecause. I will then wait for the sand cake to dry up and crumble dueto lack of moist. It usually takes a very long time for it to dry. Ihad smaller cups and I do different sizes of sand cakes, I observedthen, that smaller sand cakes dry faster than bigger sand cakes. NowI know why, it I because a larger surface area per the total numberof sand particles is exposed on my smaller and cakes than on mybigger sand cakes. This larger surface area allows air and the sun todry the smaller sand cakes faster.
On“Bag It,” I was able to understand better what surface area isand what volume is. Accordingly, I know understand that surface areais the part of the object or an organism that is exposed to anoutside environment. The surface area of the cheese is the area thatis exposed to air causing it to change color overtime. I learned thatsurface area can change depending on how we arrange objects. Forexample, if we stock blocks of cheese by putting together the sideswith larger surface area (when they are stocked to one another) thenthe overall surface area are lesser compared to the cheese blocksthat is arranged side by side so that their smaller sides stick toeach other. With regards to volume, I realized that volume does notchange so easily as surface area can. The example with the balloon,made me understand better that a change in density may occur if weadjust the volume – inflating a balloon will make it lighter but itwill have higher volume.
AsI reflect on the results on surface area, I realized that we canchange our surface area by changing our positions when we sleep. WhenI sleep I have many sleeping positions and the reason for this is thechange in temperature in my room. When it is hot, I usually laysideways and my body slightly bent. This allows me to expose much ofmy body to the air for cooling effect. But when it is cold, I curlmyself up to a fetal position so that my tummy and chest are notexposed to air so I do not feel cold easily.
Ialso came to appreciate the role of surface area and volumedifferences among organisms. For example, while tape worms canexcrete efficiently their waste through their skin, we cannot do thisas efficiently when we excrete sweat through our sweat glands. Wehave to excrete too much water because we have a larger volume thantape worms. So their larger surface area to volume ratio gives themthat advantage. However, our smaller surface area to volume rationgives as an advantage also. I thought of a mind experiment tounderstand that if I expose the tape worm to the sun, it will diefaster compared to a human. This is because humans can maintain theirhomeostasis mare efficiently because of larger volume. While the skinis exposed to the sun, the inside is shielded from the heat. For tapeworms, however, they are so thin so the heat of the sun penetratesthrough them and they dry faster. In other words, my internal organsare more protected due to my higher volume, but the tape worm’sorgans are not as protected.
JournalEntry 2: We have to Hand it to You! Scavenger Hunt
“Wehave to hand it to you,” confirmed my assumptions or conclusionfrom “Bag It!” My hand that was in closed fist and was immersedin cold water was less affected by the coldness compared to my handthat open and immersed in cold water, too. This is because thesurface area that was exposed to the cold water was smaller in myclosed-fisted hand compared to the other. This also confirmed mymind experiment about the tape worm and my body. I also realizedupon letting y hands stay longer on cold water that my hand that wasopen felt painful already and the pain was already going up my arms. There was little pain on my hand with closed fist, too, but it wasnot as intense. Because of this experience I realize why duringwinter people tend to cover themselves up with as much as covering aspossible. It is because to avoid exposure from the cold by makingsure that the surface area that is exposed is minimized (MarineMammals – MarineBio.org, 2014). The more surface area exposed themore heat our body releases into the cold environment, the more wefeel cold faster. Frostbites also came into my mind. I realized howwonderful our skin is and tour large volume size that we do not getour organs damaged so easily. Frostbites is the destruction byfreezing of the body’s extremities until all the cells there dieand the entire body part has to be cut and thrown away (Marx, 2010). This experiment has helped me experience the effects of differentsurface area sizes in actuality. I now understand better why smallerorganisms tend to be less tolerant to temperature variation.
Onmy scavenger hunt for the relationship of organism’s surface areato volume ratio I was able to find an interesting topic about theevolutionary adaptations of marine mammals such as whales anddolphins (Vassili, 1993). Accordingly, these biological organismsdevelop a cylindrical shape and reduce body protrusions (Miller,1998). Their mammary glands and sex organs are not visible from theoutside. This is to minimize the friction due to water contact whenswimming. In general, marine mammals have small surface area tovolume ratio. This allows them to minimize heat loss (Castro andHuber, 2003).
JournalEntry 3: Example at Your Site!
Mychosen field is the desert or hot climate. In my scavenger hunt I wasable to find some articles that discus how plants in hot regionsevolved to survive. Accordingly, one of the most popular plants inthe desert is the cacti. Cacti usually have thorns all over theirbody and you cannot really distinguish which is their body and whichare the leaves. In general, a cactus has small surface area to volumeratio. This small ratio allows the plant to minimize water loss dueto transpiration. It is also able to store lots of water inside itdue to its large volume capacity. Its small leaves are alreadyadequate to absorb sunlight which is very abundant in the desert.
Thesurface area to volume ratio is, therefore, not just affecting thepassage of compounds such as nutrients towards inside the body. It isalso important in controlling or minimizing the exit of chemicals orcompounds from inside the body. When the surface area is relativelysmall to the volume, then very small amounts of compounds can passthrough the surface area at a particular time. The reverse is truefor larger surface areas (Ganong, 1896).
Thesecond plant that I came across in my scavenger hunt is thetumbleweed. Compared to the cactus, tumbleweed has larger surfacearea to volume ratio (Dirk, 2007). The reason for this is that ituses its large surface area to utilize the force of the wind to getinto far distances. Tumble weed is a type of desert plant which upperpart detaches from the roots when it gets matured. It then gets flownby the wind to other places where it will start to grow new roots andproliferate. It is also interesting to note that this plant, despitehaving larger surface area to volume ration avoids too much lost inwater because its body is like bark which does not allow too muchwater to go out (Manning, 2008).
BBC.co.uk(2014). Darwin`s theory of evolution. Retrieved from:<http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science/edexcel_pre_2011/environment/evolutionrev4.shtml>.
Baker,D. V. (2007). Dispersalof an Invasive Tumbleweed. ProQuest.
Castro,Peter, and Huber, Michael E. (2003). Marine Biology. 4th ed. NewYork: McGraw Hill.
Ganong,W.F. (1896). "Anoutline of phytobiology". Bulletinof the Natural History Society of New Brunswick13(1),pp. 3–26.
Manning,John (2008). Field Guide to Fynbos. Cape Town: StruikPublishers.
Marx,John (2010). Rosen`s emergency medicine: concepts and clinicalpractice (7th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Mosby/Elsevier. p. 1862
Miller,David. Seals and Sea Lions. Voyageur Press. 1998
Vassili,Papastavrou. Whale. Dorling Kindersley. New York, 1993.
"MarineMammals – MarineBio.org". MarineBio Conservation Society. Web.Wednesday, August 13, 2014.<http://marinebio.org/oceans/marine-mammals.asp>.
Energy,Matter, and Biological Organism
Itis almost a common knowledge among physicists and students takingscience courses, mainly due to the popularity of the person whocreated the equation, that matter and energy are interchangeable. Thesaid equation is the popular equation made by Albert Einstein: E= mc2(Einstein, 1905). This equation explains the nature of the universe,even the nature of everything that there is in this world. What thisequation says is that matter and energy are just two different formsof the same thing and it is not possible to completely separate onefrom the other. Such is true in biology as matter and energy areindispensible for the existence and evolution of all biologicalorganisms (BBC.co.uk, 2014).
Whilewe know that matter can be converted to energy by nuclear fission,which is defined as the splitting of atoms, particularly the nucleus,into smaller parts and into pure energy, we are not as familiar tohow energy helps to form matter and the physical and biological worldthat we experience every day. Today, most people are familiar withnuclear power plants or the nuclear bombs. All these man-madetechnologies exhibit just one aspect of Einstein’s equation –that matter can be converted to energy (Jannsen and Mecklenburg,2007). Nevertheless, it may not be so obvious, but biologists andpeople from its affiliate fields are already witnessing the role ofenergy in the interaction between matter and energy in theenvironment. Accordingly, energy sustains the integrity of matter ittherefore helps create and support life.
Howdoes energy help to create matter how or through what process doesit take place? The answer to this question is, “through biologicalorganism and biological processes.” While nuclear reactor andnuclear bombs are process matter by destroying them to create energy,biological organism process energy to help create the physical ormaterial and the biological world that we know today.
Accordingly,photosynthetic biological organism can transform energy intointeractions. The process is called photosynthesis (Bidlack,Stern and Jansky, 2003).We may sometimes focus more on what the material reactants are forphotosynthesis, and we rarely pay attention to the non-materialreactant, which is the light. The process of photosynthesis requiresenergy from the sun, particularly, visible light (Reece, 2007).Visible light is low energy light, compared to other types of lightsor electromagnetic radiation such as the X-rays and the Gamma rays,which could actually kill biological organism. The visible lightcontains just the right amount of energy to drive photosynthesis(Blankenship,1992).
Notethat the process of photosynthesis requires the formation of bondsbetween atoms. In photosynthesis molecules of carbon dioxide arecombined with water molecules to form more complex chemicals. Theatoms of these two molecules are combined through chemical bonds. Thechemical bonds are what give chemicals their characteristics. Thebonds are composed of energy. It is due to these bonds that we canobserve growth among biological organisms. Throughout their lifespan, plants continue to process light into bonds – from invisiblemolecules to giant branches and trunks. Other organisms, such as theconsumers then move this energy through the environment in the formof consumption and reproduction.
Howefficient organisms are in processing energy and distributing itthroughout the environment is greatly dependent on their evolutionaryadaption in size in terms of volume and surface area. Note that thesetwo terms have very different meanings. Surface area pertains to thesurface or part of the organism exposed directly to the outsideenvironment, while volume pertains to the amount of space that ittakes for itself. Surface area may change it size through differentconformation or position for example, a closed fisted hand has ahigher surface area than an open hand. The volume of both hands, onthe other hand remain unchanged on both cases. In general surfacearea is changing when the total amount of area exposed to the outsideenvironment increases while volume increase when the total areaoccupied by an object or an organism increases. There can never be ageneralization on the benefits and disadvantages in the differencesin surface area and volume among biological organisms, but ingeneral, large surface area to volume ratio would result to moreefficient consumption of compounds produced by the producers, whetherthey are at the first level or lower levels of the food chain. Plantswith broader and thicker leaves, for example, are more likely toprocess energy and distribute it more efficiently than smallerplants. Organisms that obtain their nourishment through their skinwill have a greater advantage if they have larger surface area tovolume ratio (Sterelny,2007).
Eachorganism evolves according to what is best for its survival. Thisevolution is determined by their genes. Genes carry the geneticinformation that determines how large or how small the organism is interms of its volume and surface area, which are essential insurvival. What this means is that energy and other biologicalorganisms drive evolution. In other words, these two factorsdetermine which genetic material will remain and which has to goaway. For example, it is energy that drives the most importantnatural processes such as the water cycle and the carbon cycle.Without these cycles no life could be possible, no evolution willtake place. The eventual changes in temperature are allmanifestations of energy changes – the changes in climate. The iceage which drives many organisms to evolve is due to energydifferences between eons. It is energy that determines the scarcityor abundance of food supply in nature, which directly affect themovement and the rate of reproduction of different biologicalorganisms (Williams,1992).
Inconclusion, with all the discussions and explanations discussedpreviously, it is obvious that energy, matter, and biologicalorganism are inseparably connected to each other. That is, energyhelps create matter it also helps in the process of evolution.Matter in term serve as the building blocks of everything physical inthis world, our muscles, the chemicals and compounds found in natureand their characteristics. Organisms in turn help in the processingof energy and in its distribution throughout the environment.
BBC.co.uk(2014). Darwin`s theory of evolution. Retrieved from:<http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science/edexcel_pre_2011/environment/evolutionrev4.shtml>.
Bidlack,J.E., Stern, K.R. and Jansky, S. (2003). Introductory plantbiology. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Blankenship,R.E. (1992). "Origin and early evolution ofphotosynthesis". Photosyn. Res. 33 (2): 91–111
Einstein,A. (1905), Zur Elektrodynamik bewegter Körper. Annalender Physik 17(10),pp. 891–921.
Jannsen,M., and Mecklenburg, M. (2007). From classical to relativisticmechanics: Electromagnetic models of the electron.Interactions:Mathematics, Physics and Philosophy,1(1), pp. 65–134
Reece,J, Campbell, N (2007). Biology.San Francisco: Pearson, Benjamin Cummings.
Sterelny,K. (2007). Dawkins vs. Gould: Survival of the Fittest.Cambridge, UK: Icon Books.
Williams,G. C. (1992). Natural Selection: Domains, Levels andChallenges. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Deforestationor the denudation of the world’s forest lands due to humanactivities is increasing at an alarming rate. Accordingly,approximately 52 square miles of forest is denuded annually. Thisrate of lost is equivalent to 36 football fields of forest lost perminute (worldwildlife.org, 2014). With the rate of deforestationincreasing at an alarming level, what are the adverse effect thatthat this brings to us in the near future?
Plant’sEye View Initial Post
Inthe video entitled, “Plant’s-eye view” by Pollan (2014), hetouched on the subject of being able to feed the entire world withorganic farming. He argues that if we use the “Plant’s-eye view”in our dealing with nature, then we and nature will be able tobenefit from each other at the maximum level. Will this way oflooking our relationship with nature affect food sustainability? Whatwill this type of perspective have against the common religiousperspective that man is the overseer of nature- will there a greaterconflict among people due to this perspective in the future?
Pollan,M. (2014). A Plant’s-eye View. Retrieved from:<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p54VVLSS6Qk>.
Worldwildlife(2014). Deforestation Overview. Retrieved from:<http://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/deforestation>.