2.2 Going up: using scientific notation for large numbers

Think again about the value for the total volume of water stored on Earth: 1460 000 000 km3.

When dealing with large numbers such as one thousand four hundred and sixty million (1460 000 000), it is tedious to write the number in words or to keep writing all of those zeros. Worse still, it is very easy to lose some of the zeros or add extra ones by mistake. Fortunately, large numbers can be referred to without having to write out all of the zeros. The powers of ten not
Author(s): The Open University

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2.1 Where water occurs and how we measure it

When astronauts first ventured to the Moon in the late 1960s, they were captivated by a vision of the Earth in colour as it had never been seen before (Figure 2). It is not surprising that, after pictures like this were published, the Earth became known as the ‘blue planet’.

Figure 2
Author(s): The Open University

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1 The power of water

The ways in which human activities interact with the water cycle can have devastating consequences for all forms of life. These range from the very large scale – for example, the effects of the movement of large volumes of water in a tsunami – to the molecular scale and the ability of water to dissolve solids, such as agricultural fertilisers (Figure 1).

Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should be able to:

  • read data presented in tables;

  • use scientific notation to express both large and small quantities;

  • appreciate why chemists use different models to represent molecules;

  • identify the number and type(s) of atom present in a molecule from its chemical formula;

  • identify the reactants and products of a reaction in a chemical equation;

  • read and write using chemical
    Author(s): The Open University

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8.1 Iodine (I)

Iodide ions (I) derived, like all mineral elements, from the breakdown of rocks, is present in some soils, but much of it has been dissolved out by water over millions of years and washed down into the sea. It is concentrated by some marine organisms, and so can occur at quite high concentrations in edible seaweed, and in fish and other seafood. Thus people living near coasts often have sufficient iodine in their diet, whereas those living in mountainous areas, such as the Himal
Author(s): The Open University

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4.1 Introduction to minerals and why we need them

Both vitamins and minerals are essential in the diet in small quantities and so they are often grouped together as micronutrients.

Activity 24

Which items in the diet are classified as macronutrients?

Author(s): The Open University

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