Semester project By Michael Ruiz


Temperature Vs. Heat

Heat: The transfer of energy from one substance to another
Temperature: The measure of energy in a substance

Laws of thermo

  • First law: Energy and matter can neither be created nor destroyed only transformed or changed from one form to another.
  • Second law: In any spontaneous process there is always an increase in the entropy of the universe.
  • Third law: At absolute zero 0 nothing is moving (absolute 0 can never be reached)
  • Zeroth law: Heat flows from high to low (heat =q)

Calories and specific heat

Specific heat is used to describe heat transfer. The specific heat is defined as the amount of energy needed to heat one gram of a substance by 1 degree celsius.

Ex. specific heat= calories/grams


Up-Cycling vs. Down cycling

Up-cycling: Taking recycling and making it more valuable

Basically any old useless things you have in your closets and attics can be turned into something much more valuable. Coke cans into jewlery, dusty old curtains into a beautiful dress. anything that raises the value of its original form.

Down-cycling:Making something less valuable

Paper,plastic and glass can all be down-cycled. Writing paper to photo copy paper to cardboard to toilet paper. It lowers the price and value of its original form.

Recycling metals and paper

  • Aluminum: You can recycle aluminum as many times as you want but its extremely expensive to recycle.
  • paper: It must always be down-cycled
  • Glass: You can recycle and down-cycle it (brown glass)
  • Plastic: It must always be down-cycled also cheaper to make then to recycle it (takes a 1,000 years to break down)

Types of plastic and issues

  • Pet/Pete: also known as polyester is used in clothing, conveyor belts, and finish for guitars or pianos, but it also contains antimony that can cause skin irritation and breathing problems for women more chance of miscarriage.
  • High Density polyethylene: used in plastic bags, bleach bottles, tubs of butter and garbage bags, it safe for use in food but it could release endocrine chemicals that will harm your body.
  • Polyvinyl Chloride: Most bottles containing food and shampoo have this plastic, its said to have many toxic chemicals like mercury and lead.
  • Low Density Polyethylene: This plastic is mostly used to handle food since it more safe but has the same bad result as High Density Polyethylene.
  • Polypropylene: Also like Low Density Polyethylene it handles food the con of this is it maybe be linked to occupational asthma.
  • Polystyrene: This plastic is used for styrofoam, its bad effects are that it leeches styrene mostly in food containers when the food is hot and oily.
  • All other plastics: This category is for all other plastics but sometimes it will describe PC a plastic that has been linked to many health problems.

Soil Profiles

  • O-Horizon (Made of organic matter): The O-horizon depends on the amount of vegitation.
  • A-Horizon (Top soil/Bio-mantle): Has a dark red color to it and some humus. Plants get nitrogen from this horizon.
  • E-Horizon (Leeching layer): Not all soils have have this layer. You can recognize it between 2 dark layers, a very light color soil.
  • B-Horizon (Sub soil): Plants go into the B-Horizon to get water and minerals.
  • C-Horizon (Regolith): This Horizon has no nutrients
  • R/D-Horizon (Bedrock): This horizon has a color depending on the rocks around the area. Water goes through the R-Horizon, drinking water is below this layer.

Sand,silt and clay (soil texture)

sand: Small loose grains of worn or disintigrated rock
  • Has a gritty feel to it and can be seen with the naked hand, it leaves no residue on your hand.
Silt: earthy matter carried by water and deposited as sediment
  • When dry has a powdery smooth feeling almost like flower. When wet it can have a creamy/slippery feeling. It coats your hand but can be brushed off>
clay: Firm earthy material that turn to plastic when wet
  • When dry has a hard feel to it, when wet it can feel sticky. Clay can be seen from an a electron microscope. The material will usually stick to your fingers.

issues with soil and soil properties

soil properties
  • Fine textured soil: Made out of clay/silt. It can hold on to water greatly but it holds it too tightly that the roots can't reach the water, not much grows in this soil.
  • Course textured soil: Its mostly sand, water flows through here quickly which means you have to water it consistently, dose not hold nutrients at all and you can't even make a dirt ball with it.
  • Loamy soil: This soil is a mix of sand,silt, and clay, perfect for farming.
issues with soil

One issue of soil is the runoff, the water from the runoff goes down into the soil and hits bedrock made of limestone or soluable rock it erodes that part away with time and the bedrock can't support the ground above it which then causes a sinkhole.

Plant Nutrients

Micro and macro nutrients

Micro nutrients
  • Boron
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Manganese
  • Molybdenum
Macro nutrients
  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphorous
  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Sulfur

Most of these nutrients are very important in the development of a growing plant. Micro nutrients balance the plants nutrients.


Fertilizer: A substance that contains one or more macro nutrients
Organic Fertilizers
  • Best fertilizers for soil
  • Made from plant and animal waste
  • Its a bit expensive
  • Also has bacteria that can cause you harm
inorganic fertilizers
  • The minerals made from this fertilizer are man made
  • Its very cheap
  • When you overuse this soil it can destroy the soil
Ammonium nitrate
  • One of the most common nutrients in fertilizers, it can cause great harm because it has a tendency to explode.
  • Another name for it is ANFO
Compound fertilizer
  • This fertilizer has many macro nutrients
  • NPK for example is made from Nitrogen,Phosphorous, and Potassium.

Deficiencies and toxicities


A plant has a deficiency when the plant does not get the nutrients that it needs. It can be a macro or micro nutrient its lacking or not getting at all. An example here in Arizona would be that our soil lacks nitrogen which can cause nitrogen deficiencies in plants.


Toxicities happen when there is an overuse of a nutrient that kills the plant.


properties of water

  • Water is a polar molecule which means it will be attracted to other molecules of water like a magnet.
  • Water has a high polarity.
  • Water has a low density for ice, when lakes or ponds freeze the top part of the water freezes while the rest of water remains unfrozen.
  • here is a video with more info. on waters properties.

Types of water pollution

  • Runoff: The runoff from farms can cause water pollution. Which flows into lakes and rivers.
  • Point source pollution: Pollution that comes from one spot. If it happens we can fix it, the bad news is there is no preventing point source pollution.
  • Non point source pollution: This type of pollution is the one associated with runoff. It cannot be found at its source but when it is found theres no fixing it, the good news is it is preventable.

water treatment(removing pollution)

There are 4 types of contaminants in water we filter DSA (disease causing agents), Sediment, and organic compounds.

Disease causing agents: Any infectious organism that causes disease
  • Its a fact that we can't test for every organism/disease.
  • They only test for one type of bacteria to identify if there is any DSA, which is E. coli.
  • Sediment pollution is dirt and soil in the water.
  • Its problems is it blocks sunlight from entering the water, it brings toxins into the water, and it usually inorganic plant nutrients from fertilizer.
  • Sediment and water causes "dead zones" in areas, it has the same effect as sewage in water, and it kills aquatic life because the oxygen levels are so low.
organic compounds

This pollution is made from any chemical that has carbon atoms (Ex.Pesticides,herbicides,Industrial chemicals). Its also one of the most concerning pollution in the water since the effects are still not understandable.

In a country like america we filter and treat our water in plants, we split sewage in to different ways gray water and black water. Gray water can be recycled while black water has human waste so it is taken to the treatment plant so it can be filtered.

water issues

aquifer: a body of permeable rock that can contain groundwater

When we go to take this water for drinking we damage an area in the the aquifer called the recharge zone. The recharge zone is the area where water enters the aquifer. The problem is that we take this groundwater to fast before it can replenish itself then we lose are water source.

surface aquifer
  • This aquifer does not have a impermeable layer so its not safe to drink.
  • The good thing about this aquifer is that it has a fast recharge rate.
  • Bad news is that it can be contaminated with surface pollutants.
Confined aquifer
  • This aquifer has an impermeable layer so we can drink this water
  • Its con is that it has a slow recharge rate
  • In this aquifer it has no surface contamination.
Atoms and Ions

atomic theory

Over the years the concept of Atomic Theory has changed due to scientists own theories and ideas about the subject. Whether it be a model or laws about atoms their ideas helped contribute to this theory.

Democritus- Ancient greece

Democritus had one question "If you cut something in half does it change what its made out of?". Another idea of his was that each thing had its own individual atom.

John dalton-1803

Considered the "Father of Atomic theory" he came up with five postulates to atoms.

  1. All matter consists of invisible particles called atoms.
  2. Atoms of the same element are identical and different from other elements.
  3. Atoms cannot be created or destroyed
  4. Atoms combine in simple whole number ratios.
  5. Chemical reactions are atoms recharging.
J.J. thomsom-1897

He found a tiny part of the atom called the Electron. He also created what he called the "Plum pudding model" in which the atom has electrons in the middle. Another example would be a chocolate chip cookie in which the whole cookie represents the atom and the chocolate chips represents electrons.

whole cookie= atom , chips=electrons

Rutherford experimented with alpha radiation. He fired alpha particles at a thin sheet of gold, he noticed that the particles would go into different directions when it hit the sheet.Some would go straight, others would go to the sides, or would go flying straight up.

In this experiment he discovered that the atom is mostly empty space. Its also densely packed, also a positively charged center of the atom called the Nucleus.

Neils bohr-1922

Bohr discovered that electrons have a set orbit and when they drop to a lower level orbit they emit light corresponding to the distance in between the orbits, this is called Quanta.

An example of quanta would be an elevator going up and down, the elevator is the electron changing orbits while the floors represent the different orbits.


Schrodinger made a wave model of the atom called "Orbitals". Orbitals were the area that electrons can be found ninety percent of the time. Orbitals had shapes which had two electrons per shape.

Ions and ionic compounds

ion: Ions are atoms with positive or negative charges
  • Cation: An atom that has lost an electron and is positively charged
  • Anion: An atom that has gained electrons and is negatively charged
Ionic compounds: A chemical compound of cations and anions held together by ionic bounds

Mostly a metal with a non-metal element make a Ionic compound, their neutrally charged and when writing it the positive element is always written first.

Created By
Michael Ruiz


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