Chemistry Logic and First Principles of right reason Mathematics matter, thus atoms, ions, molecules, phases etc

Burning a brick in Fluorine — physical/chemical properties in action

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In the demonstration below, a bit of acetone has been put on the corner of the brick to get the process started:

This demonstrates the remarkable effects of inherent, embedded, intelligible structural, quantitative properties of fluorine and other elements and molecules.

With lesser materials, we can see similar, even more spectacular effects:

Notice, the table of standard electrode potentials of selected ions:

HT, savvy-chemist blog

A world that exhibits lawlike, reliable properties that are structural and/or quantitative shows how such properties are integrated into the fabric or architecture of being. END

29 Replies to “Burning a brick in Fluorine — physical/chemical properties in action

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    Burning a brick in Fluorine — physical/chemical properties in action

  2. 2
    Brother Brian says:

    In short, chemicals react with each other.

  3. 3
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, chemicals react in accord with structural, quantitative properties and linked laws, where for example the measurable electrode potential of Fluorine shows it to be a very strong oxidising agent, well beyond oxygen. Sufficiently so that with just the help of acetone to heat things up by first burning, it can burn a brick, which will be made in large part of oxides etc. This shows the underlying issue at stake: there is clearly now a widespread rejection or at least denigration of the basis of science which rests on there being intelligible, rational principles, order, law, structure and quantity embedded in the world and in things in the world. For instance, redox reactions connected to the combustion we see will exhibit conservation of mass, conservation of charge, conservation of energy etc,as well as the quantum theory liked patterns exhibited in the periodic table, leading to definite patterns of reaction reducible to equations. The spectra involved in the emitted light will also exhibit similar patterns. All of these are antecedent to our thoughts on the matter and independent of our thoughts. Again. KF

    PS: Have you done the Mobius strip exercise yet?

  4. 4
    Brother Brian says:

    KF, chemical properties are all based on the predictable interaction of the electrons, protons, etc of hydrogen, helium and trace amounts of lithium and beryllium, All other elements are the result of solar fusion and novae. if you want to argue that electrons, protons, neutrons etc interact in ways that are dictated by physical laws, I don’t disagree. But to somehow suggest that the burning of a brick using fluorine is the result of something other than these basic physical interactions is simply wrong.

  5. 5
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, the physical/chemical interactions — as I already noted — are ” in accord with structural, quantitative properties and linked laws, where for example the measurable electrode potential of Fluorine shows it to be a very strong oxidising agent, well beyond oxygen . . . redox reactions connected to the combustion we see will exhibit conservation of mass, conservation of charge, conservation of energy etc, as well as the quantum theory liked patterns exhibited in the periodic table, leading to definite patterns of reaction reducible to equations.” KF

  6. 6
    Brother Brian says:

    KF, my point is that fluorine is not something special. It’s oxidative properties are completely predictable based on its atomic structure. There is nothing mystical or special about it.

  7. 7
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, the point is, that Fluorine exemplifies just how deeply quantity and structure are embedded as substance in the world and things in the world. That intelligible structure and quantity becoming the heart of scientific investigation. KF

  8. 8
    Brother Brian says:

    KF, we will just have to agree to disagree on the significance of how chemical interactions work.

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, the issue is not opinion but observable facts. The properties of Fl are observable and measurable. They are known to trace to atomic structure and linked quantum mechanics, commonly expressed in the periodic table — this is the most reactive halogen. What is happening is that yet another direct example of how structure and quantity are embedded in the world antecedent to and independent of our thinking about it is pointing to something that has obviously become very unpalatable to a common current mindset. KF

  10. 10
    ET says:

    The significance, that Brother Brian is unaware of, is that chemical interactions are as they were intelligently designed to be. Our role is one of discovery and understanding.

  11. 11
    Brother Brian says:

    KF, each hydrogen atom has specific properties. Two hydrogen fuse to form helium, a new element with properties based on its atomic configuration. All the way up to iron. Each step producing a new element. But the properties of each of these elements is predictable from the original hydrogen.

    You see this as some grand design. And you are certainly entitled to do so. But at the end of the day all you can say is that the universe functions in a predictable way because it is nothing more that the interaction of hydrogen atoms. Anything more is just unsupported speculation.

  12. 12
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, the stellar fusion process and the like simply make the atoms, they do not lead them away from the quantitative, structural properties that are for example summarised in the periodic table and linked quantum mechanics. All of that simply underscores the embedding of order, structure, quantity in the cosmos and its contents. KF

  13. 13
    Brother Brian says:

    The periodic table was designed by man to explain the characteristics of atoms as you add protons, neutrons and electrons. In short, as an atom behaves when an atom of hydrogen is fused to it.

    The periodic table is an amazing tool for prediction. This doesn’t mean that it is evidence of design.

  14. 14
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, the periodic table was developed originally on observed patterns with atomic weights, chemical interactions, family resemblances, leading to identified gaps. Decades later, spectral studies supported quantum analysis of orbitals, leading to the principal quantum number n and supportive ones addressing phenomena. We ended up with the s, p, d, f and g orbitals — originally, sharp, principal, diffuse and faint spectral lines. Crystal structures etc have been added. The other quantities such as electrode potentials (and there are electronegativity scales too) have added to the picture. These are all strongly based on observations and quantum mechanics of orbitals for electrons as spin-half fermions. All of this simply illustrates that structure and quantity are deeply embedded in matter. Carbon chemistry of course, adds a whole further world to that, as we know from biology, as C, H and O pretty much make a connector-block world, one in which mirror image molecules have interesting properties, e.g. Vicks is a L-handed form of a chemical, and the R-handed form is a highly controlled drug. The point is, that the substance of structure and quantity is observably there in the world, not projected out to it. KF.

    PS: Who is talking evidence of design? I am talking about evidence of key abstracta as part of the logic of being, and noted that some aspects — numbers in the structured sets N. Z, Q, R, C — are framework to any distinct logically possible world; that is the numbers are necessary entities in any possible world. We are looking at architecture of being, which happens to be intelligible in part. My concern, if any, has been that we must recognise and respect the mathematical aspects of reality.

  15. 15
    jstanley01 says:

    From my observation of online debates, one thing orthodox evolution seems good at, among its devotees, is acting as a catalyst for observable instances of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

  16. 16
    kairosfocus says:

    JS, I think the key point is, more and more we see a gap opening between the observable world, which clearly deeply embeds structure and quantity in the logic of being, and the positions taken by those afraid of where that might take them. Recall, part of the point I have made is that on distinct identity any possible world will necessarily embed the substance in N, Z, Q, R, C. In our actual one, atomic matter is deeply structural and quantitative, replete with quantum effects, that’s a big slice of physics and chemistry over the past 100+ years. We now begin to see the advocates or fellow travellers of scientism, naturalism etc turning away from major findings of the most successful sciences, a sign that something is seriously wrong. It is hard to find people willing to accept that a mobius strip embeds structural and quantitative features that are tied to its core characteristics as a body, leading to peculiar behaviours when cut around. Here at UD, this all started when I suggested that Mathematics is best understood as having two aspects: a world-embedded substance and a culturally influenced disciplined study of the logic of structure and quantity, which of course embraces change, space etc, and which puts on the table that various particular abstract entities hold a reality that is not material. It has gone on to embrace logic. Not even direct observations of quantitative properties in action have an effect — the vid shows a brick burning at white heat started up by a little acetone (which is easier to get burning) and fed by simply blowing Fl gas on it. KF

  17. 17
    Brother Brian says:

    J

    From my observation of online debates, one thing orthodox evolution seems good at, among its devotees, is acting as a catalyst for observable instances of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

    I agree that discussing evolution does seem to catalyze Dunning-Kruger effect. in those who oppose it.

  18. 18
    ET says:

    Brother Brian- ID is not anti-evolution. And the only people who think that blind watchmaker evolution is scientific exemplify the Dunning-Kruger effect.

    The evidence for design is in the strong and weak nuclear forces that allow for atoms to exist.

  19. 19
    kairosfocus says:

    No observations on combustion in something other than oxygen? Isn’t that of interest in its own right?

  20. 20
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    No observations on combustion in something other than oxygen? Isn’t that of interest in its own right?
    Not really. There are plenty of chemical reactions that only occur with a specific element.

  21. 21
    kairosfocus says:

    Combustion isn’t one of them, and already oxidised materials — here, a brick — are fuel for a Fluorine fire. KF

  22. 22
    Brother Brian says:

    KF, I agree that chemistry and physics are fascinating fields of research but a chemical reaction is a chemical reaction. I don’t see the one here being any more or less interesting that the reaction we see by striking picric acid with a hammer, mixing baking sod’s with vinegar.

  23. 23
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, there are many reactions out there, I am fairly sure most have never seen a non-oxygen combustion, or seen a brick as fuel, illustrating the power of Fluorine as oxidising agent. That alone is non-trivial and worth headlining. Such behaviour then happens to turn on specific measurable characteristics tied to atomic orbital structures and linked quantities. This aspect illustrates how substance of structure and quantity is embedded in our cosmos. KF

  24. 24
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    BB, there are many reactions out there, I am fairly sure most have never seen a non-oxygen combustion, or seen a brick as fuel, illustrating the power of Fluorine as oxidising agent. That alone is non-trivial and worth headlining.

    No reaction is trivial. But the one displayed here is no more significant than any other reaction. Atoms interact. molecules interact. Combine some and add a source of energy and the reactions are sometimes more “energetic”. How is this reaction any more significant than dissolving salt in water? Or the erupting volcanoes we used to make in school?

    This aspect illustrates how substance of structure and quantity is embedded in our cosmos.

    The use of the term “embedded” implies an intelligent source doing the “embedding”. Although this cannot be ruled out, there simply is no evidence for it.

  25. 25
    ET says:

    Brother Brian:

    Although this cannot be ruled out, there simply is no evidence for it.

    How would you know seeing that you are unable to assess the evidence? And it’s very telling that you don’t have a scientific explanation for it.

  26. 26
    kairosfocus says:

    BB. the particular type of combustion (of a very unusual and intense type) is interesting in itself. It is of course just one of many redox reactions. That is precisely the point: such reactions demonstrate how structure and quantity are deeply embedded in the atomic-molecular level of the world, independent of and antecedent to our thoughts. The patent dismissiveness towards that embedding is telling. KF

    PS: The rhetorical spin you tried to put on “embed” betrays a pattern of hostility to the design viewpoint that cannot even shift contexts enough to recognise that that is not the subject at stake. Structure and quantity are integral to the behaviour of chemicals and show how numbers, quantities, structures etc — the substance addressed by mathematical studies (including in scientific contexts) — are part of the framework of our cosmos.

    Thanks for inadvertently letting us know in advance that no inference to design or evidence of design from scientific study will ever be sufficient to persuade the mind already padlocked against recognising mere presence of observable structure and quantity in redox reactions or Mobius strips cut around. We are dealing with the fallacy of the closed mind and linked hyperskepticism.

    That’s why I have now concluded it is not the degree of evidence of design that is the question — that is far more than adequate — but the degree of openness and fairness of the minds.

  27. 27
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    The patent dismissiveness towards that embedding is telling.

    Putting aside the arrogance of your response, maybe you can tell me how this “embedding” was accomplished?

    The entire universe is the result of chemical and physical interactions of hydrogen atoms. A “simple” element composed of a single proton and a single electron. I know, there is more to the atom than that, but this is enough to get my point across. You get enough of these atoms together and fusing can occur, resulting in four hydrogen atoms combining to form one helium atom (plus photons and neutrinos, etc.). This process continues on up through carbon to iron. Each step along the way well understood and predictable. All based on the nature of a single atom. Remove these created elements from the star (nova) and they can start interacting in a non-nuclear fashion. But, agains, in a predictable fashion. I don’t see the example used in your OP as any more phenomenal or spectacular (other than in a visual and emotional sense) than any other chemical reaction. Am I amazed and in awe of these chemical reactions? Of course I am. But I don’t jump from this awe to suggest or imply something that cannot be proven.

  28. 28
    ET says:

    Brother Brian:

    Putting aside the arrogance of your response,…

    As opposed to the ignorance he was responding to?
    <blockquote…maybe you can tell me how this “embedding” was accomplished?
    That is what science is for. And seeing that we are not capable of producing a universe we may never know.

    The entire universe is the result of chemical and physical interactions of hydrogen atoms.

    The entire universe is the result of Intelligent Design using physical and chemical interactions.

    You get enough of these atoms together and fusing can occur, resulting in four hydrogen atoms combining to form one helium atom (plus photons and neutrinos, etc.).

    There has to be some sort of nudge or else they would just disperse. That nudge would be the force that started it all.

    But that is all moot because without the correct weak and strong nuclear forces you may not get hydrogen. And if you did you would be stuck with it alone.

    That is what you keep ignoring as if your ignorance is an argument- the laws that govern those chemical and physical reactions.

  29. 29
    kairosfocus says:

    BB,

    I will ignore the accusation as falling of its own weight.

    Your speaking as though I have not shown, several times in OP’s, that ANY POSSIBLE WORLD, SIMPLY ON HAVING A DISTINCT IDENTITY WILL HAVE IN ITS FRAMEWORK, THE STRUCTURED SETS N, Z, Q, R, C, is answer enough. You have never attended to the substantial matter, which simply compounds the force of the conclusion that you have never been open to consider logical demonstration on undeniable first principles, nor experiment to demonstrate to oneself that say a Mobius strip shows embedded structure and quantity in its being as a one-sided, one-edged figure, nor demonstration from a key science’s standard results i.e. the Chemistry of redox processes (not even in a spectacular case). Yet, it is clear that there are many laws at stake ranging from the quantum physics behind the periodic table and properties such as electrode potential. Redox reactions exhibit conservation of mass, charge and of course energy, which will all be structural and quantitative. Key abstracta are manifest in the world.

    That is sadly decisive and not in your favour.

    For record, I note again that a distinct possible world W must have in it some distinct feature A marking it apart from near neighbours, say W’ and W”. So W = {A|~A}, exhibiting simple unity in A, complex unity in ~A, duality in the combined presence of distinct units; showing nullity in the dichotomy and so showing inevitable manifestation of 0, 1, 2. Where on von Neumann succession, we may extend without end, i.e. N. Z appears on additive inverse (and is useful in charge conservation), thence Q, R and C, the last bringing in vectors and rotations in a plane. This will be necessarily present as part of the framework for any world. Which points out your resistance to the concept of necessary entities that are framework to any world. That has nothing to do with inserting into a world that could get along without such but everything to do with the framework necessary to a possible world such that no world can but have the substance in it that has such as part of its essential structure.

    The issue is not evidence when neither demonstration nor observation nor logic will suffice.

    That’s why I have declared intellectual independence.

    The objector’s veto is invalid; there being more than enough warrant for reasonable design inferences on reliable signs. But we are not dealing with design or engineering a world, we are looking at how structural and quantitative abstracta are embedded in the observed world and its behaviours. Here, burning a brick in fluorine.

    KF

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