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Chemistry: 1 > Life, Resources, and Atmospheric Change > Flashcards

Flashcards in Life, Resources, and Atmospheric Change Deck (10):

Name the theory we need to know for our exam regarding the Earth's early atmosphere and life on Earth beginning

The primordial soup theory


Describe the primordial soup theory

1. Billions of years ago, the Earth's atmosphere was rich in nitrogen, hydrogen, ammonia, and methane

2. Lightning struck, causing a chemical reaction between the gases, resulting in the formation of amino acids

3. The amino acids collected in a 'primordial soup'

4. The amino acids gradually combined to produce organic matter which eventually evolved into simple living organisms


Define 'primordial soup'

A solution rich in organic compounds in the primitive oceans of the earth, from which life is thought to have originated


Who carried out an experiment in the 1950s to prove the primordial soup theory?

Miller and Urey


Describe Muller and Urey's experiment

They sealed nitrogen, hydrogen, ammonia, and methane in thier apparatus, heated them, and applied an electrical charge for a week


What were the results of Muller and Urey's experiment, and what does this suggest?

That amino acids were formed, but not as many as there are on Earth.

This suggests the theory could be along the right lines, but isn't exactly right


What is the ultimate source of minerals and resources?

What does this mean?

The Earth's crust, oceans, and atmosphere.

We can get everything we need from them


Why do we fractionally distil air?

To get a variety of products for use in industry


Describe the steps to fractionally distilling air

1. Air is filtered to remove dust

2. It is then cooled to around -220oC - becomes a liquid

3. During the cooling water vapour condeses and is removed

4. Carbon dioxide freezes and is removed

5. The liquified air then enters the fractioning column and is heated slowly

6. The remaining gases are separated by fractional distillation...

7. ... Except oxygen and argon come out together, so another column is used to serparate them


Name the 2 ways the increase in carbon dioxide is thought to be harming our planet

1. Causes global warming and(/through) the greenhouse effect

2. The extra CO2 being absorbed from the atmosphere by the oceans is causing it to become too acidic - bad for coral and shellfish. Also, in the future it won't be able to absorb any more CO2