8. Climate change and reefs
A Very Short Introduction
3. Take the strain: materials from molecules
6. Such quantities of sand
Among things that alarm us are running out of energy and making too much carbon dioxide. The materials sector contributes to both anxieties. Even if these problems went away, we would still worry about running out of materials. And we know that both making and using materials often damage our health and our environment. All these concerns come together in the search for sustainability. Using less stuff, using it for longer, and using it again are among the important ideas that are in play.
1. Water, water everywhere …
2 O—water—about. We know that there’s a lot of it on the Earth as liquid, ice, and vapour; in fact it’s the most abundant compound on our Earth’s surface. But in the universe as a whole, it’s one of the commonest molecules after hydrogen (H 2 ) itself. It occurs not only as gas in interstellar space and as ice on some other planets and moons in our solar system, but also in the atmospheres of some stars, including our own sun. It is also abundant as a solid ice phase adsorbed on grains of
David C. Catling
6. Life in the Solar System
8. Polymers, plastics, and textiles
3. Its principles: energy and entropy
, the study of energy and the changes that it can undergo is the world of thermodynamics, to which we now turn.