Tutor profile: Morgan D.
What are the 5 defining features that qualifies a 'mineral' as a true mineral?
1. Solid: cannot be a liquid or gas at at standard temperature and pressure 2. Naturally Occurring: must be found in nature and not man-made 3. Inorganic: it cannot be made by an organism. For example, a pearl is not a mineral because it is made by an oyster 4. Chemical composition: must have an arrangement of atoms in the molecules (Halite= NaCl) 5. Crystalline Structure: the atoms in the minerals structure are arranged in a systematic or repeating pattern.
Subject: Environmental Science
Why is organic matter important to the health of soil?
Organic matter is one of the two most important factors in soil health. The other being minerals. Organic matter relates to any animal or plant matter that returns to the soil and through the process of decomposition, adds nutrients to the soil. For example, a dead and decaying animal carcass gives a ton of nutrients directly into the soil as well as encourages microbes to break down the body. The same applies to a leaf that dies and falls from a limb to the ground- it decays which provides nutrients and eventually microbes and fungi add to the nutrients. This organic debris and nutrients encourages more micro organisms to inhabit the soil and feed off the nutrients. All of this dead, organic, and decaying matter is transformed into useful nutrients to be used in the growth process of a new plant or fungi. In addition, organic matter binds particles in the soil together which allows for more holding capacity and intake of water to be stored as ground water. This groundwater keeps the soil and plants living in the soil hydrated.
Changes in states of matter: When boiled, why does Pasta become soft, but an egg becomes hard?
To start, pasta is made from carbohydrates whereas eggs are made of proteins. When pasta (already dehydrated in its hard form) is placed in boiling hot water, it starts to become re-hydrated through the process of Osmosis. The hotter and faster water is boiling, the faster the rate of Osmosis is, thus causing the pasta to absorb more and more water at a faster rate. This causes the pasta to become soft. Eggs on the other hand become hard/firm because of denaturing that occurs with the proteins in the egg. The hot water essentially breaks the chemical bonds that were previously holding the proteins together and allows them to form stronger bonds. Thus clumping together in a solid fashion which creates the "hard boiled egg".
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