My Math Forum Properties of a gas

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 July 7th, 2017, 06:08 AM #1 Newbie   Joined: May 2017 From: Monaco Posts: 21 Thanks: 0 Properties of a gas Just a question as I was having a conversation with my dad, and I came up with a theory that the Ozone layer is in Equilibrium with gravity and forms a protective shield which allows the planet to sustain life. the equilibrium arises because O three, is lighter then O two, and could be a special property associated with gases. My memory of electron fields are weak unfortunately! And I don't think current Chem can explain this - could be wrong. I was just interested in this, but I am not sure. I didn't look online because I thought it was a nice answer to a tricky problem. What is the Ozone layer, Any experts know anything about this? Do you know any observations to prove/disprove this?
 July 7th, 2017, 06:23 AM #2 Newbie   Joined: May 2017 From: Monaco Posts: 21 Thanks: 0 Doing some of my own research O three is heavier, but perhaps because it forms a layer it absorbs more heat from the sun and becomes lighter because of this. So in nature it is lighter..whilst on paper heavier. Also the heat from the sun could go into the equilibrium equation. 0 three in layer form x Delta = Ozone layer x g x distance from the Earth Something like this? Haven't had time to do the sums yet however As the Ozone layer is heavier it could give rise to atmospheric pressure, as it wants to fall down to Earth - it has more mass and creates a squeezing effect on the Earth. Last edited by skipjack; July 9th, 2017 at 12:59 PM.
July 7th, 2017, 07:02 AM   #3
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 Originally Posted by Dorky0 Just a question as I was having a conversation with my dad, and I came up with a theory that the Ozone layer is in Equilibrium with gravity and forms a protective shield which allows the planet to sustain life. the equilibrium arises because O three, is lighter then O two, and could be a special property associated with gases.
I'd probably agree that gravity is an important thing to consider in determining the structure of atmospheres as a general rule of thumb. Certainly in fluid physics you often have layers separating out because the substances have different densities and in a centrifuge you get a distribution of gas molecules based on molecular weight.

However, ozone is not an inert substance; it is a substance that reacts with oxygen, which is plentiful in the atmosphere. Therefore, its presence in layers is not determined by gravity (which is the main driver when modelling the structure for stable, inert substances) because the molecules don't survive long enough to float/sink to their respective equilibrium heights. Instead, the distribution of ozone, or anything that is being produced/destroyed, will instead be governed by the distribution of the ingredients required for the chemical reaction (in this case, diatomic O2 and UV radiation) and the places where the correct conditions are met for those reactions to occur.

From reading web articles, it seems that the structure of Earth's atmosphere is dominated by thermal characteristics and density characteristics. There's a non-monotonic temperature profile (i.e. it doesn't just decrease with increasing altitude... it can increase too), so that has a strong impact on the various phenomena going on in the various layers.

I might be wrong, but it seems that the ozone layer is primarily in the stratosphere because the density is high enough and the temperature is low enough that molecular oxygen exists and there's still a lot of unfiltered UV radiation there to cause the chemical reactions required for ozone to be produced. In the upper layers, the radiation seems to be too intense for molecular oxygen to exist, so that's one ingredient missing for the ozone to be produced.

See for example:
Composition of Earth's Atmosphere | Earth Science | Visionlearning
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmosphere_of_Earth
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stratosphere

Last edited by skipjack; July 9th, 2017 at 01:20 PM.

 July 7th, 2017, 08:03 AM #4 Newbie   Joined: May 2017 From: Monaco Posts: 21 Thanks: 0 I read what you said, and I tried to understand most of it but I didn't get this point: 'stratosphere because the density is high enough and the temperature is low enough that molecular oxygen exists' https://www.google.com/search?q=cond...hrome&ie=UTF-8 nothing relevant popped up It's very dense = so there are a lot of O? Just guessing Temperature is low, therefore = don't understand this part either Perhaps there is a (electromagnetic link) from Othree reactions and gravity that could be experimented, because I don't understand how it stays in place, it gets hotter because of the layer - all be it 3mm thick by absorbing heat or energy at least from the sun - maybe the coldness of the above layers keep it in place, and it creates some sort of thermal currents - convection currents which keep the thermosphere, the layer above warmer. *Those 3mm which can destroy comets and asteroids! probably enters the atmosphere and heats them up... Do we consider the ozone layer as a gas? or a solid? Or a layer? We refer to it as a layer, perhaps there is something more there Btw why isn't there more O in the atmosphere? It's known as O two on the periodic table, why doesn't it exist more in nature? I've heard it's produced in some machines with electricity btw I did Chemistry at high school and I'm not a scientist, I'm looking to become a business man! Last edited by Dorky0; July 7th, 2017 at 08:18 AM.
July 7th, 2017, 09:29 AM   #5
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 Originally Posted by Dorky0 I read what you said, and I tried to understand most of it but I didn't get this point: 'stratosphere because the density is high enough and the temperature is low enough that molecular oxygen exists'
Sorry, that sentence I wrote is rubbish... what I meant to say was something like this:

"the density is high, so there is an abundance of oxygen there. The type of oxygen is diatomic (i.e. molecular) because there isn't enough radiation to cause them to split into oxygen atoms (monatomic oxygen)".

The temperature is higher at the upper part of stratosphere, but I don't think that's particularly relevant for whether the oxygen is diatomic or monatomic (?) The intensity of solar radiation seems to dictate that, at least from what I read.

The articles in the links I gave describe the chemical reactions that occur. Note that for the chemical reaction to work, the monatomic oxygen (O) needs to come into contact with diatomic oxygen (O2), so there's not going to be much ozone in the mesosphere where the density is very low and therefore very little O2.

Quote:
 Perhaps there is a (electromagnetic link) from Othree reactions and gravity that could be experimented, because I don't understand how it stays in place,
Naaaaah... like I said, it seems the ozone is there because the conditions are ripe there for ozone to be produced. The ozone doesn't survive long enough for matter transport (like convection) to take it anywhere else, but that said there was mention in the articles about the ozone layer being non-uniform, so maybe there is something more to it.

I'm sorry, but the idea of an '(electromagnetic link) from Othree reactions and gravity' is really daft. Gravity is so incredibly, unbelievably weak at the atomic scale that it doesn't contribute to chemical reactions at all. It's not only ignored in particle accelerators, for example, it's basically impossible to detect at that scale and that's a problem for people trying to investigate whether there's things like gravitons (which have never been detected).

Gravity is only detectable and relevant for big, macroscopic bodies, like mugs and people and tennis balls. It's relevant for atmospheres, for sure, just not the actual chemical reactions themselves.

Quote:
 it gets hotter because of the layer - all be it 3mm thick by absorbing heat or energy at least from the sun - maybe the coldness of the above layers keep it in place, and it creates some sort of thermal currents - convection currents which keep the thermosphere, the layer above warmer.
Apparently, the temperature profile increases with increasing altitude in the stratosphere, so it's actually warmer above the ozone layer. That's new knowledge for me too!

Like I said, the literature seems to suggest that the ozone is there because the conditions are ripe there for ozone to be produced, not because it's produced in many places and then transported there through convection (or something).

I guess the ozone layer is a bit like a Venn diagram with two overlapping circles. Since the chemical reaction requires two ingredients (diatomic oxygen and radiation), the products of the chemical reaction (ozone) appear in the middle of the Venn diagram where the circles overlap, not in the other parts.

Quote:
 *Those 3mm which can destroy comets and asteroids! probably enters the atmosphere and heats them up... Do we consider the ozone layer as a gas? or a solid? Or a layer? We refer to it as a layer, perhaps there is something more there
I don't know about the effect of meteors on an atmosphere, but I suspect that there's only a minor impact (if at all) on the Earth's atmosphere simply because the energy content of atmospheres is high relative to the energy released from friction from falling meteors. Don't quote me on that though...

It's a gas and a layer... a gas layer! It's definitely in the gas state (like the rest of the air) and its called a layer because it extends right round the globe, so the layers are like 'skins' of an onion.

Quote:
 Btw why isn't there more O in the atmosphere? It's known as O two on the periodic table, why doesn't it exist more in nature? I've heard it's produced in some machines with electricity
It's often referred to as O2 because most of the oxygen in the lowest atmospheric layer (the air around us) is in the form of diatomic hydrogen (O2), but the properties of the periodic table apply to oxygen atoms (O).

Quote:
 btw I did Chemistry at high school and I'm not a scientist, I'm looking to become a business man!
No worries! I'm an astrophysicist that did a lot of work on stellar evolution, so I know a lot more about stellar atmospheres than planetary ones. I've never studied the Earth's atmosphere in detail... it makes for interesting reading

 July 7th, 2017, 10:08 AM #6 Senior Member   Joined: Jun 2015 From: England Posts: 891 Thanks: 269 Basically Ozone is formed in the upper atmosphere by the arrival of radiation from space (extreme ultra violet and cosmic), that does not reach the Earth's surface. As Benit says, ozone is a very reactive substance and any that is formed lower down in the atmosphere soon breaks down and reforms odinary oxygen molecules. All the ozone comes from the normal atmospheric oxygen. Temporary Ozone can sometime be found lower down after thunderstorms, up high mountains and near the sea.
 July 9th, 2017, 07:18 AM #7 Newbie   Joined: May 2017 From: Monaco Posts: 21 Thanks: 0 What about the mathematics of the heat given off and produced in the Ozone layer? Could be an interesting simulation.. I would have no idea how to calculate this...Calculus and Mechanics is where I peaked Consider a 3mm layer is probably responsbile for the heat change found in the thermosphere, where as it gets higher - it warms up a lot back to almost 0 Celsius at 90km above the Earth. What is the explanation for this if any.. Why is it so hot in the thermosphere? Although the measured temperature is very hot, the thermosphere would actually feel very cold to us because the total energy of only a few air molecules residing there would not be enough to transfer any appreciable heat to our skin. Last edited by Dorky0; July 9th, 2017 at 07:28 AM.
 July 10th, 2017, 04:04 AM #8 Senior Member   Joined: Jun 2015 From: England Posts: 891 Thanks: 269 If you can get hold of a book called The Emerald Planet By David Beerling (Professor of geology at Sheffield University) Oxford University Press You should read chapter 4 "An Ancient Ozone Catastrophe" This book is easily readable and, as far as I know, the only one devoted to the geological history of the atmosphere.
July 10th, 2017, 04:11 AM   #9
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 Originally Posted by Dorky0 What about the mathematics of the heat given off and produced in the Ozone layer? Could be an interesting simulation..
Yep, it would! Almost certainly there will be researchers modelling terrestrial atmospheres, but I haven't researched it myself so I can't tell you what they've accomplished. You'll have to research that yourself.

Quote:
 I would have no idea how to calculate this...Calculus and Mechanics is where I peaked
You could probably get some simple and interesting results using equilibrium thermodynamics (steady-state heat balance problems) but if you're more interested in atmospheric physics and the dynamics of atmospheric layers, you'll have to get into some serious mathematics and physics because you need to be able to model fluid flows and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is an art as much as a science.

Quote:
 Consider a 3mm layer is probably responsbile for the heat change found in the thermosphere, where as it gets higher - it warms up a lot back to almost 0 Celsius at 90km above the Earth. What is the explanation for this if any.. Why is it so hot in the thermosphere? Although the measured temperature is very hot, the thermosphere would actually feel very cold to us because the total energy of only a few air molecules residing there would not be enough to transfer any appreciable heat to our skin.
Some of the articles I linked explain why there's a temperature inversion as a function of altitude. I don't have the time to research this in detail right now, but maybe you could read up on it and then explain it for our benefit?

July 10th, 2017, 04:43 AM   #10
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 Originally Posted by Benit13 . . . ozone is not an inert substance; it is a substance that reacts with oxygen, which is plentiful in the atmosphere.
That's somewhat misleading. A more detailed description is given here.

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