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Physical Chemistry: Multidisciplinary Applications in Society

Physical Chemistry: Multidisciplinary Applications in Society

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Physical Chemistry: Multidisciplinary Applications in Society

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Jun 14, 2018


The advancements in society are intertwined with the advancements in science. To understand how changes in society occurred, and will continue to change, one has to have a basic understanding of the laws of physics and chemistry. Physical Chemistry: Multidisciplinary Applications in Society examines how the laws of physics and chemistry (physical chemistry) explain the dynamic nature of the Universe and events on Earth, and how these events affect the evolution of society (multidisciplinary applications). The ordering of the chapters reflects the natural flow of events in an evolving Universe: Philosophy of Science, the basis of the view that natural events have natural causes - Cosmology, the origin of everything from the Big Bang to the current state of the Universe - Geoscience, the physics and chemistry behind the evolution of the planet Earth from its birth to the present - Life Science, the molecules and mechanisms of life on Earth - Ecology, the interdependence of all components within the Ecosphere and the Universe - Information Content, emphasis on how words and phrases and framing of issues affect opinions, reliability of sources, and the limitations of knowledge.

  • Addresses the four Ws of science: Why scientists believe Nature works the way it does, Who helped develop the fields of science, What theories of natural processes tell us about the nature of Nature, and Where our scientific knowledge is taking us into the future
  • Gives a historical review of the evolution of science, and the accompanying changes in the philosophy of how science views the nature of the Universe
  • Explores the physics and chemistry of Nature with minimal reliance on mathematics
  • Examines the structure and dynamics of the Universe and our Home Planet Earth
  • Provides a detailed analysis of how humans, as members of the Ecosphere, have influenced, and are continuing to influence, the dynamics of events on the paludarium called Earth
  • Presents underlying science of current political issues that shape the future of humankind
  • Emphasizes how words and phrases and framing of issues can influence the opinions of members of society
  • Makes extensive use of metaphors and everyday experiences to illustrate principles in science and social interactions
Jun 14, 2018

Informazioni sull'autore

Dr. Kenneth Schmitz earned BAs in 1966 for Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics from Greenville College in Greenville, Illinois. He earned his PhD in 1972 for Physical Chemistry and Biophysics from the University of Washington in Seattle. From 1972 to 1973, Dr. Schmitz was a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Associate in the Departments of Chemistry at the University of Washington and then Stanford University. Dr. Schmitz started his teaching career as Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida from 1973-1975. He then moved to the University of Missouri in Kansas City in 1975 where he was Assistant Professor of Chemistry until 1979, Associate Professor of Chemistry until 1986, and Professor of Chemistry until 2014. He is now Emeritus Professor of Physical Chemistry and Environmental Studies. Dr. Schmitz has won several awards/traineeships in his career including the National Science Foundation Summer Trainee, Department of Chemistry, University of Washington, Seattle in 1968 and 1969; Fellowship in the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science in 1997; and Fellowship in the Kyoto University Foundation in 1998. He organized the Gordon Research Conference in 1984, which continues to meet every other year under the name "Colloid, Macromolecular, and Polyelectrolyte Solutions." Dr. Schmitz has authored over 90 scientific publications in refereed journals, three books, an invited review article, and edited two more books. His areas of specialization include dynamic light scattering, statistical mechanics, computer simulations, and biophysics.

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Physical Chemistry - Kenneth S Schmitz

Physical Chemistry

Multidisciplinary Applications in Society

Kenneth S. Schmitz

Emeritus Professor of Biophysical Chemistry and Environmental Studies, University of Missouri at Kansas City

Table of Contents

Cover image

Title page


The Thread of Thought



Chapter 0 Science and Society: An Overview



SS-0.0. Introduction

SS-1.0. Earth Is a Paludarium

SS-2.0. Science and Technology: A Change in Society

SS-3.0. The United States: An Experiment in Government

SS-4.0. Notable Presidents Whose Leadership Helped Make America Great

SS-5.0. The Jefferson Nickel and the Kennedy Half Dollar

SS-6.0. How Mammals Learn

SS-7.0. Logical and Intuitive Responses

SS-8.0. Logic and the Complexity of a System: The Metaphor of Checkers and Chess

SS-9.0. Can Something Hard Capture the Attention of the General Public?

SS-10.0. Body Parts and Decision Making: Head, Gut, Heart, and Sex Organs

SS-11.0. Structure of Society

SS-12.0. Metaphor of Science in Society: The Lone Ranger Episode 100 The Devil's Bog

SS-13.0. Intertwinement of Science and Society

SS-14.0. Periods of Change in Society: The Three Faces of Eve

SS-15.0. The Years 2016 and 2017: A Beginning of the New Era in American Society?

SS-16.0. America as the Melting Pot

SS-17.0. The Only Thing Constant About Change is Change

Chapter 1. Philosophy of Science

1-0.0. Introduction

1-1.0. Eastern Philosophy and Western Philosophy

1-2.0. Overview of the Philosophy of Science and Eastern/Western Philosophy

1-3.0. The Greeks Did It All—They Just Did Not Fill in the Details

1-4.0. Philosophy, Politics, Religion, and Natural Philosophy

1-5.0. Confrontations of Natural Philosophy With Politics, Religion, and Superstition: The Early Years

1-6.0. Confrontations of Natural Philosophy With Politics, Religion, and Superstition: The Renaissance Period

1-7.0. Laying the Foundations of Classical Physics

1-8.0. Classical Physics: From the Renaissance Period to 1900

1-9.0. The Genesis of a New Era: Laying the Foundations for Spacetime Physics

1-10.0. The Struggle to Understand Quantum Mechanics

1-11.0. The Influence of Niels Bohr on the Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics

1-12.0. Entanglement: The Signature of Quantum Theory

1-13.0. Alternate Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics

1-14.0. Two Beautiful Equations Derived From Two Incompatible Theories

1-15.0. The Particle Zoo: The Atom Smashers

1-16.0. Particles, Forces, and Fields

1-17.0. Experimental and Historical Sciences

1-18.0. The Philosophy of Emergence

1-19.0. Space—From the Greeks to Quantum-Spacetime Physics

1-20.0. Religion, Politics, and Science

Chapter 2. Cosmology

2-0.0. Introduction

2-1.0. The Early Skywatchers

2-2.0. Time Is Movement: The Sun and the Moon

2-3.0. Time and Time Again

2-4.0. The Calendar Makers

2-5.0. The Ancient Greeks and Spherical Cosmology

2-6.0. Renaissance Period: Classical Cosmology

2-7.0. Newton's Equation for Celestial Motion—The Derivation

2-8.0. Stability of the Solar System

2-9.0. Classical Cosmology and What the Ancient Skywatchers Saw

2-10.0. The Formation of the Solar System

2-11.0. Pluto: An Enigma

2-12.0. The Planets

2-13.0. The Sun

2-14.0. The Interior Structure of the Sun: The Road to Visible Light

2-15.0. The Solar Atmosphere

2-16.0. Solar Eclipse and the Corona

2-17.0. The Activity of the Sun

2-18.0. The Birth, Life, and Death of Stars

2-19.0. Synthesis of the Elements

2-20.0. Relative Motion of Trains—Galilean Style

2-21.0. Relative Motion of Trains—Einsteinian Style

2-22.0. The Geometry of Spacetime

2-23.0. Theory of General Relativity

2-24.0. The Theoretical Universe: 1917–27

2-25.0. The Year 1927

2-26.0. The Lemaître Universe

2-27.0. How to Touch What Cannot be Touched

2-28.0. Think Outside of the Milky Way Box

2-29.0. Expansion: There Goes the Neighborhood

2-30.0. The Eye in the Sky—The Hubble Telescope

2-31.0. Seeds Sown by Lemaître and Modern Cosmology

2-32.0. The Year 1932

2-33.0. A Tale of Two CDs

2-34.0. The Double E Question

2-35.0. Who Put Eight Great Tomatoes in That Little Bitty Can?

2-36.0. Cosmological Conundrums

2-37.0. The False Vacuum and the Cosmological Conundrums

2-38.0. Supermassive Black Holes

2-39.0. Something is Rotten in the State of Denmark

2-40.0. The Time Profile of the Universe From the Big Bang to Atoms: A Scenario

Chapter 3. Geoscience

3-0.0. Introduction

3-1.0. The Periodic Table of Geosciences

3-2.0. The Early Solar System

3-3.0. The Origin of the Earth–Moon System

3-4.0. A Peek Inside the Earth

3-5.0. The Atmosphere in Three Acts

3-6.0. The Chemical Composition of the Earth's Atmosphere Today

3-7.0. The Earth's Atmosphere as an Onion

3-8.0. Reactions and the Temperature Profile of the Earth's Atmosphere

3-9.0. The Structure of the Earth's Atmosphere

3-10.0. The Age of the Earth: From Charles Darwin to Arthur Holmes

3-11.0. And Yet It Moves

3-12.0. Temperature Gradients and Flow of Heat and Matter

3-13.0. Plate Tectonics

3-14.0. Theory of Continental Drift

3-15.0. From the Instant to Geological Time

3-16.0. Earth Dynamics: The Moon, the Sun, and the Planets

3-17.0. The Earth's Magnetic Field

3-18.0. Upon Reflection: The Albedo

3-19.0. The Albedo and Temperature of the Earth

3-20.0. Solar Energy Distribution Based on the Geometry of the Earth

3-21.0. The Earth's Geometry, the Atmosphere, and Transport of Energy

3-22.0. A Gathering Storm

3-23.0. Water—The Liquid

3-24.0. The Structure of the Oceans

3-25.0. Ocean Currents

3-26.0. Lakes and Ponds

3-27.0. Rivers

3-28.0. Acidity of Oceans, Lakes, and Rivers

3-29.0. Weathering

3-30.0. Weather and Climate

3-31.0. Water as a Carrier: Waste Not, Want Not

Chapter 4. Life Science

4-0.0. Introduction

4-1.0. Origin of Life

4-2.0. Natural Selection

4-3.0. Genetics

4-4.0. Diversity of Life and Environmental Pressure: Natural Selection at Work

4-5.0. Life Is One Big Smorgasbord

4-6.0. Life is Like a Box of Chocolates

4-7.0. The Packaging of the Genetic Information

4-8.0. The Amphiphiles

4-9.0. The Worker Molecules

4-10.0. Ions and Polyions

4-11.0. The Central Nervous System

4-12.0. Heavy Metal Ions: Required

4-13.0. You Are What You Eat

4-14.0. The Biological Response to Toxic Chemicals

4-15.0. We Have Met The Enemy, And They Are Us

4-16.0. Toxic Heavy Metals

4-17.0. The Mercury Scare

4-18.0. Get the Lead Out: Don't Be Flint-Stoned

4-19.0. Pesticides

4-20.0. The Anthropocene Period

4-21.0. Environmental Protection Agency—Looking After the Health of the People and the Environment

4-22.0. Make America Toxic Again

Chapter 5. Ecology

5-0.0. Introduction

5-1.0. Our Ecological Heritage: America the Beautiful

5-2.0. Dictionary Definitions: Habitats, Environment, Ecosystems, and Ecology

5-3.0. Ecosphere, Hyper-Ecosphere, and EcoSystem

5-4.0. Some Population Problems

5-5.0. Agriculture

5-6.0. Fossil Fuels

5-7.0. The Anthropocene Era

5-8.0. Nuclear Energy

5-9.0. 1984—Bhopal Explosion

5-10.0. The BP Celebration Event

5-11.0. Fukushima

5-12.0. Don't Worry, Be Happy: The Religion of Technology

5-13.0. Toward a Self-Sustainable Ecosphere

5-14.0. A Religious Denomination Divided: Evangelicalism and Separation of Church and State

Chapter 6. Information Content

6-0.0. Introduction

6-1.0. Acquisition of Information: The Senses

6-2.0. The Representation of Information: Simple Examples of States of a System

6-3.0. Language as Communication: Letters, Words, and Sentences

6-4.0. We've Been Framed!

6-5.0. Science Communication With the General Public

6-6.0. Myths, Mistakes, and Outright Wrong

6-7.0. What Do Multiple Choice Quizzes Measure?

6-8.0. Framing and Wording of Multiple Question Quizzes and Surveys

6-9.0. Pew Research Center Tests on Public's Knowledge of Science and Technology

6-10.0. Conveyance of Information

6-11.0. Information Transfer Through Educational Systems

6-12.0. The Internet: The Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of Information

Constants of Nature

Appendix A: Basic Thermodynamics

Appendix B: Forces and Flows

Appendix C: Quantum Theory of Atoms and Molecules

Author Index

Subject Index



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The Thread of Thought

To believe is not the same thing

as to read;

To read is not the same thing

as to study;

To study is not the same thing

as to learn;

To learn is not the same thing

as to understand;

To understand is not the same thing

as to know;

To know is a temporary illusion.

Anonymous (April 2017)

By the end of the nineteenth century, things were different again. Now to understand how change occurred, you had to understand scientific theory, and especially the laws of physics and chemistry.

James Burke, from Part 10 in the British television series Connections

The title Physical Chemistry: Multidisciplinary Applications in Society reflects the statement made by Burke. The interdisciplinary field Physical Chemistry is the wedding of physics and chemistry fields, which describes the structure of everything in the Universe (chemistry) and how Nature functions (physics). The term Multidisciplinary is in reference to the artificial parsing of natural events into categories that humans invented, perhaps for the purpose of generating specialty areas to teaching subjects. In the present tome, these artificial categories are limited to Philosophy of Science; Cosmology; Geoscience; Life Science; Ecology; and Information Content. The ordering of these chapters reflects the natural flow of events in an evolving Universe: Philosophy of Science, the basis of the view that natural events have natural causes  →  Cosmology, the origin of everything from the Big Bang to the current state of the Universe  →  Geoscience, the physics and chemistry behind the evolution of the planet Earth  →  Life Science, the molecules and mechanisms of life on Earth  →  Ecology, the interdependence of all components within the Ecosphere and the Universe  →  Information Content, what can be known and the limitations of knowledge. The phrase Applications in Society is the thrust of this book: the application of knowledge gained through the study of Nature of the evolution of society. This book is dedicated to those in society who are interested in learning how science and society are implicitly intertwined as they both move to the future.

Advances in science change societies, and changes in societies affect advances in science. There is, however, one major difference between changes in science and changes in society. When there is a change in society, there may also be a change in power.

As a subgroup of society, scientists have a common goal to understand how Nature works, which are summarized in a set of basic building blocks and fundamental rules of construction. Scientists discover the Laws of Nature that lie outside of the society; they exist in the absence of life. The notions of the ancient Greeks do not differ significantly from the theories of today, or in the future. A popular example is the atomistic theory of matter of Leucippus and his pupil Democritus, in which all of matter can be divided into parts until one arrives at the point when matter can no longer be divided. In current theory, these indivisible parts are called fundamental particles, the building blocks of all matter. Another example is the theory of magnetization by Empedocles (492–432 BCE) as to why magnets attract iron. Empedocles proposed that tendrils passed effluvium from the iron to the pores of the magnet. The tendrils and effluvium of Empedocles are similar to the magnetic field lines of Faraday, which are revealed if iron filings are sprinkled on a piece of paper that covers a magnet.

As noted by Eddington, each revolution in science adds new words set to old music to refocus, that which has gone before. In contrast, each revolution in society replaces the old regime and introduces a new set of rules that govern the society. The laws of society lie within the society, because the laws of society are made up by members of a society. Because of diversities within the population, there is a diversity of opinions on several issues, such as family upbringing, views on religion, educational experience, quality of health, distribution of wealth, and personal opinions and motivations. Societies change in time because the members of society have no universal set of rules to follow.

The societies of 1800s, 1900s, and 2000s are different because of, among other things, the inventions related to transportation and communication that resulted from scientific inquiries. The funding of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 resulted in many advances in technology and inventions that were not foreseen by those legislators who voted for the act. As the population grew, corporations came into existence to meet the needs of the people. The form of government in the United States also underwent a change in the last century, from a democracy in which the elected officials respond to the people to a corporatocracy in which lobbyists of special interest groups influenced the lawmakers. The nature of our government underwent another metamorphosis in 2016 brought on by a shift in confidence and the perceived corruption of the elected officials. The presidential election of 2016 brought to power billionaires associated with multinational corporations.

There are many crucial issues in society today that have a scientific base. To not have a fundamental knowledge of the underlying science by either the politicians or the general public means that political decisions become uninformed guesses. But knowledge and understanding of science is not enough. The citizens should also have knowledge of the history of events. It is time to take heed the words of Thomas Jefferson:

Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.

Since there is a diversity of views on any subject within a society, decisions are made not on the basis of common goals, but on the framing of a problem and its solution. It is words, and the organization of those words in phrases, that shape society. An uninformed society can be persuaded by an emotional content of a message. This is why there is a rash of ads during a campaign season that are aimed to cast doubt on the opponent. This is why only half the truth is told when politicians state that oil exploration and pipelines are important for energy independence in the United States when, as a global industry, the oil can be shipped to any part of the world.

The purpose of writing this book was not to convince the Reader of one form of reality or another, but to encourage the Reader to develop an individualized way of thinking about the workings of Nature based on facts. The science is presented within these pages as the 4Ws: Why scientists believe Nature works the way it does, Who helped develop the fields of science, What theories of natural processes tell us about the nature of Nature, and Where our scientific knowledge is taking us in the future. One cannot fully appreciate the development of a field if one is not also exposed to the historical development of a field. The approach in this tome is to give a brief historical background of people and events that led to discoveries on which our society is based. Metaphors are used to aid in the understanding of more difficult materials that are always present when there are specialized vocabularies not used in everyday conversation.

This dedication is closed with two guiding quotations:

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forego their use.

Galileo Galilei

So long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men.


The following inequality symbolically represents what the Reader should aspire to be:

Hint: the summation on the right is a definition of average.


Every man's work, whether it be literature, or music or pictures or architecture or anything else, is always a portrait of himself.

Samuel Butler,

The seeds of this book were planted in the mid-1960s and early 1970s. The landing of Apollo 11 on the Moon on July 20, 1969, fulfilled the challenge President Kennedy gave on May 25, 1961, for a man to safely go to the Moon by the end of the decade. Science was top drawer in Society, as the people benefited from the science and technology required for that …one step for man, one giant leap for mankind. It was a time when the Universities set the milieu in which ignorance evolved into knowledge and understanding. It was a period of free-range course development to meet the needs and interests of the students in contrast to today's curriculum afflicted with formal organization, viz., the power point presentations, test questions, homework problems, and grading supplied by textbook companies to make all introductory courses look alike. It was a period of popular protests against an unpopular war. Every major folk singer, folk group, and rock group had at least one war protest song that brought the people together. People became aware of the exposure to health risks of industrial practices, for example, Rachel Carson's 1962 book Silent Spring regarding the use of insecticides such as DDT. In his State of the Union speech in 1970, Richard Nixon pointed out the importance of the restoration of Nature. It was in 1970 that Nixon founded the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to protect the public from irresponsible practices of industries that were polluting the environment with no regard to human health. The rules and regulations that restricted unsafe industrial practices changed America by putting the health of the American public first. It was a period of time when Science and Society were working toward common goals: Society placed its trust in Science, and Science gave hope to Society.

This was the backdrop of the years spent at the University of Washington, affectionately referred to by its students, faculty, and alumni as The U of Dub.

The graduate curriculum in the chemistry department at the U of Dub during this period required graduate students to have a broad understanding in their chosen field of study. The cumulative examination system was just that: an examination on the cumulative knowledge of the field. Areas to be covered on any cumulative examination were not announced before the examination. The topic on the physical chemistry examination could be quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, chemical kinetics, statistical mechanics, etc. One examination was on a specific paper published in the most recent issue of the Journal of Physical Chemistry. Whether intended or not, the system gave the student a broad understanding of the chosen field and their interrelationships as connected by basic concepts of physical chemistry. These tests of fire brought the graduate students together. Those students who successfully ran the gauntlet of the cumulative examinations threw a cum party in the summer in celebration. Students came early and stayed late at Bagley Hall, working on their research. After a long day at the lab, a group of students might go to the Northlake Tavern for beer and pizza, the latter was sold by the pound. There were Wednesday afternoon steak specials at the original Red Robin Tavern, with its excellent view of the UW campus across Union Bay. The Bagley Bombers were a group of ragtag graduate students who played softball in a summer. The team finally got a sponsor to buy team uniforms in the summer of 1971. The Chemistry Faculty provided a relaxed atmosphere for learning, more like a colleague relationship than student–faculty relationship. There were George Halsey and Leon Slutsky in statistical thermodynamics mechanics, Norm Gregory in classical thermodynamics, Bruce Eichinger in the field of polymers, to mention a few. The most influential faculty member was (and still is) J. Michael (Mickey) Schurr, who as a freshman faculty member in the area of biophysics took on four untested first-year graduate students. Mickey instilled in his freshman research group the joys and rewards of research, and the curiosity about things that went beyond their research project. Mickey displayed an excellent sense of humor that never failed with graduate students, whether playing handball, climbing beginners mountains with novice mountain climbers, or engaging in discussions about science at scientific meetings or at social gatherings. The 6  years the author spent in Seattle were wonderful and exciting and will remain so.

But times have changed. There are two major factions of Society that have not kept pace with Science: the Right Wing Evangelical Christian fundamentalists who place more store in inspired men writing about the Laws of God than an inspired God writing about the Laws of Nature; and those who choose to listen to the profits of Corporations rather than the prophets of Science. These divergent views from mainstream science are the acknowledged stimuli for new course materials and public lectures that appear on the following pages.

Acknowledgment is given to the many students in physical chemistry and environmental chemistry classes, who suggested lecture topics relevant to their particular interests and fields of study. These suggestions of topics outside the box broadened the range of applications of physical chemistry, many of which found their way between the covers of this book. Acknowledgment is given to Theo Shubert, organizer of programs of the Community of Reason in Kansas City, for scheduling many talks on subjects that appear throughout this book and to Rita Norton for offering contradictory points of view regarding sections in this book. A blanket acknowledgment is given to the many friends and acquaintances, fellow members in pool leagues and golf leagues, science savvy or not, for expressing their views on controversial topics.

Special acknowledgment is given to the people at Elsevier in the development and production of Physical Chemistry: Multidisciplinary Applications in Society. Many thanks are given to Beth Campbell, the Acquisition Editor, for the several discussions and suggestions that were invaluable to the development of this project. Appreciation is expressed to Michelle Fisher, Editorial Project Manager, for her patience of my slow pace of completing manuscripts and not using the crop in the process. This book could not have been completed if it were not for the tireless efforts of Anitha Sivaraj, Production Manager, and her team in taking the raw material of the chapter manuscripts to become the polished product of the book at hand.

The intertwining of Science and Society first occurred through astronomical events in our Solar System. These astronomical events are represented by the worship of the Sun, which gave us units of time (Summer Solstice in the 6th month, Winter Solstice in the 12th month, and the 4 Seasons), and the 8 Planets, which represents a better understanding of the objects in our Solar System. These events are acknowledged in the symbolic clock of time as a reminder that changes are brought about because of the interdependence of Science and Society.


Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.

Mark Twain, Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World, Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar, Chapter 23

E-0.0. Introduction

Have you ever wondered what sets the human species apart from all of the other species of animals on Earth? It cannot be the ability to run fast, because a cheetah can cover 100  m in 5.95  s. It cannot be brute strength. The St. Louis Post Dispatch had an article on Phil the Gorilla, a favorite at the St Louis Zoo in the 1940s and 1950s. Phil could lift a log that would take six men to lift. The maximum life span of a human is recorded to be around 122  years, whereas that of tortoises on the Galápagos Islands is 190  years, and that of the Japanese Koi is greater than 200  years. What about swimming speed? A human can swim about 5  miles per hour, whereas a California sea lion can swim at 25  miles per hour. Forget flying, it's for the birds. What about the five senses? Eagles and hawks can see much better than humans. How about the sense of smell? The use of bloodhounds to track criminals answers that question. How about hearing? Bats have the ability to fly in the dark because they have the gift of echolocation, the ability to locate objects reflected by sound. Surely, humans excel in the sense of touch. Because the catfish do not have scales, their skin has evolved to give them a heightened sense of touch and the tiny hairs along its side is so sensitive to vibration that they can detect earthquakes days in advance. The last of the five senses, taste, is again exemplified by the catfish. Their tiny taste buds located over their body can not only taste food that is nearby but also hone in to the exact location of the source. What about memory? The wagging of a dog's tail when the owner comes home from a long trip means that dogs have a memory. Certainly humans are the only species that can solve problems through reason. Not true. Televised documentaries on animal behavior have shown humanlike capability to solve problems. Apes, for example, have made tools to get at seemingly inaccessible food. If animals can reason, they must also have the ability to think. What about family values? It should not be surprising that chimpanzees have a family structure with family values similar to humans since 96% of their genes are common with humans. A collage of animals is shown in Figure E-0.1.

So again the question is asked: Have you ever wondered what sets the human species apart from all of the other species of animals on Earth? Within that question lies the answer. The one thing that Homo sapiens can do that other species on Earth cannot do is wonder about things. With wonder comes imagination. With imagination, comes knowledge, and with knowledge, comes understanding.

Figure E-0.1  Collage of animals. Animals excel in longevity, the five senses, running, flying, swimming, and strength compared to humans. (A) Phil the Gorilla (strength); (B) cheetah (speed); (C) Koi (longevity); (D) tortoise (longevity); (E) antelope (speed); (F) mother and baby gorilla (family); (G) bald eagle (flying and seeing); (H) king penguin (swimming); (I) bloodhound (smell); (J) catfish (smell and taste); (K) bat (flying and hearing); (L) sea lion (swimming).

But why should humans need to blush, as stated by Mark Twain in the introductory quotation? One only has to visit the Ask Marilyn column in the Parade Magazine, which is an insert in every Sunday newspaper. The columnist Marilyn vos Savant is reported in the Guinness Book of Records to have the highest recorded IQ. The format of the column is to answer questions sent in by the readers. Some of the questions are about science and math, and many of the math/science questions are interesting and informative. But there are also questions that should make humans blush because the answer can be established through everyday observations. Consider the following two questions:

1) What keeps islands in their place in the ocean?

2) Would the sunburn be more severe if the temperature is 90°F rather than 60°F?

The answers to these questions can be deduced from everyday observations. The answer to the first question can be deduced by comparing the relative motions of a beach ball in a swimming pool or in the ocean with a pole stuck in the river bottom or ocean floor that extends above the surface. The beach ball bobs up and down with the waves and may move away from the original location. In contrast, a pole anchored to the river bottom or ocean floor does not respond to the wave motion of the water. Since an island does not bob up and down or float away, the island must be connected to the ocean floor. In fact, islands are formed from lava of erupting underwater volcanoes. The answer to the second question can be found on the label on tubes or bottles of sunscreen lotion. Clearly stated on the label is that the sunscreen lotion blocks UV-A and UV-B radiation, where UV stands for ultraviolet. Sunburn is due to ultraviolet radiation from the Sun, hence the name sunburn. Temperature, on the other hand, is a measure of heat. What kind of radiation is heat? The answer is found in restaurants. In restaurants, heat lamps keep your food warm until the waiter/waitress has the time to pick it up to bring it to your table, as shown in Figure E-0.2. Heat lamps generate infrared radiation. The temperatures 90°F and 60°F are due to differences in the intensity of infrared radiation from the Earth, whereas sunburn is a result of ultraviolet radiation from the Sun.

Figure E-0.2  Heat lamp in restaurant to keep food warm.

More often than not, inspiration leading to understanding about how Nature works can be stimulated from fields outside of science. In some cases a scientific explanation of an observation in everyday life can be given before the system is examined by scientists. To illustrate, consider the poem The Hour Glass by Ben Johnson (1572–1637) (1910, The Works of Ben Johnson, Vol 3, London, Chatto & Windus, pp. 262–264).

"Consider this small dust, here in the glass,

By atoms moved;

Could you believe that this the body was

Of one that loved;

And in his mistress' flame playing like a fly,

Was turned to cinders by her eye:

Yes; and in death, as life unblessed,

To have expressed,

Even ashes of lovers find no rest."

The phrase ashes of lovers find no rest is the observation that inanimate objects seem to move on their own when suspended in a liquid. The poem also provides the mechanism that gives rise to the restless ashes of lovers: Consider this small dust, here in the glass, by atoms moved… In other words, the motion of the lover's ashes is a result of the constant agitation by random collisions with the solvent particles. What is so remarkable about a poem that describes dust particle motion as being caused by the random collisions of atoms? The description of the random motion of dust particles was about 200 years before the botanist Robert Brown (1773–1858) reported his observations of the jittery motion of pollen grains in 1827, and about 300  years before Albert Einstein (1879–1955) provided the theoretical explanation of Brownian motion as due to the thermal motion of solvent particles in 1905. It may be argued that Ben Johnson was not a scientist and the poem The Hour Glass was not a scientific paper; therefore the observation and explanation of dust particle motion in a drinking glass by Ben Johnson is not a scientific discovery. But that is not the point of this illustration: ideas that may be relevant to a scientific study can come from any source.

E-1.0. Organization of Physical Chemistry: Multidisciplinary Applications in Society

By the end of the nineteenth century, things were different again. Now to understand how change occurred, you had to understand scientific theory, and especially the laws of physics and chemistry. I'd like to show you at various levels, if you don't understand how those laws operate then what they do is several times removed from your comprehension.

James Burke, from Part 10 in the British television series Connection.

The discipline Physical Chemistry appears in the title of this book because this field embraces the laws of physics and chemistry in the above quotation. The phrase Multidisciplinary Applications in Society conveys the intertwining relationship between the advancements of science and society. To understand a field in science, one must also have knowledge of the historical development of that field through personal stories of the people and how society reacts to the discoveries and conclusions drawn from scientific facts and theories. This book is a charter member of the 4W club: Why scientists believe Nature works the way it does, Who helped develop the fields of science, What theories of natural processes tell us about the nature of Nature, and Where our scientific knowledge is taking us in the future.

There are six major areas covered in this book: Philosophy of Science; Cosmology; Geoscience; Life Science; Ecology; and Information Content. The six disciplines in Physical Chemistry: Multidisciplinary Applications in Society were chosen to reflect the time-course development of our understanding of the Universe from the point of view of science. The organization of the book reflects the natural flow of events in an evolving Universe: Philosophy of Science, the basis of the view that natural events have natural causes  →  Cosmology, the origin of everything from the Big Bang to the current state of the Universe  →  Geoscience, the physics and chemistry behind the evolution of the planet Earth  →  Life Science, the molecules and mechanisms of life on Earth  →  Ecology, the interdependence of all components within the Ecosphere and the Universe  →  Information Content, what can be known and the limitations of knowledge.

E-2.0. The Goal of Science

The word science comes from the Latin word scientia, which means knowledge, a knowing about something. However, common usage of a word has the potential to change a definition. The modern definition of science is broadened, as indicated by the definition in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (Fourth edition):

science: 1a. The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and the theoretical explanation of phenomena. b. Such activities restricted to a class of natural phenomena. 2. Methodological activity, discipline, or study. 4. Knowledge, especially that gained through experience.

The last definition retains the original definition that science is a body of knowledge—a collection of facts. The first three of the above definitions infer that science is an activity, or to be more general, a methodological activity. The methodological activity is what is referred to as the scientific method.

E-2.1. The Scientific Method Is a Set of Rules

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (Fourth edition) gives the following definition of scientific method:

scientific method: The principles and empirical process of discovery and demonstration considered characteristic of or necessary for scientific investigation, generally involving the observation of phenomena, the formulation of a hypothesis concerning the phenomena, experimentation to demonstrate the truth or falseness of the hypothesis, and a conclusion that validates or modifies the hypothesis.

According to Science Bob (, the scientific method is the organized approach:

1) propose a question,

2) do some research,

3) form a hypothesis,

4) do the experiment,

5) do the analysis, then

6) draw a conclusion.

The scientific method thus defined is like a recipe in a cookbook—a set of rules that, if followed, will lead to a conclusion. The scientific method is therefore a set of rules to follow if one does not understand the underlying principles of experiments in a particular field of science. This is why the scientific method is taught in introductory laboratory science classes, especially those designed for nonscience majors. The scientific method is a set of rules that may be applied to the experimental sciences, which includes chemistry, physics, and biology.

E-2.2. Advances in Science Are More Than Following a Set of Rules

Advances in science are made through all avenues of experiences. The structure of benzene is one example. Benzene is a ring of six carbon atoms connected together by chemical bonds. How was this ring of carbon atoms, a very important structure in the field of medicine, determined? Was it determined by experiment? Was it a result of a theory? The Reader may never dream of the answer, for it was in a dream that the solution was found. Friedrich August Kekulé was thinking about what the possible structure of benzene might be, but without success. But then it came to him in a dream. Kekulé dreamed of a snake eating its own tail led to his proposal of the cyclic structure of benzene.

While following set rules, such as laid out in the scientific method, may lead to knowledge, advances in scientific knowledge can come from anywhere. There are no set rules that one must follow to reach a successful conclusion if one understands that the objective is to find an answer.

Richard Feynman tells the story of his cousin who had problems in high school math (Feynman, 1999, pp. 5–6). Overhearing a conversation between his cousin and a tutor, he heard them mention something about x, Richard asked what he was trying to do. His cousin, being 3  years older than Richard, said, perhaps in a smug way, to Richard: "What do you know—2x  +  7 is equal to 15, and you're trying to find out what x is. Richard immediately answered: You mean 4. His cousin replied: Yeah, but you did it with arithmetic, you have to do it by algebra." Feynman then went on to say that is why his cousin was not able to do algebra—he did not understand what he was supposed to do. Feynman then went on to say:

I learnt algebra fortunately by not going to school and knowing the whole idea was to find out what x was and it didn't make any difference how you did it - there's no such thing as, you know, you do it by arithmetic, you do it by algebra - that was a false thing they had invented in school so that the children who have to study algebra can all pass it. They had invented a set of rules which if you followed them without thinking could produce the answer: subtract 7 from both sides, if you have a multiplier divide both sides by the multiplier and so on, and a series of steps by which you could get the answer if you didn't understand what you were doing.

Feynman, 1999, p. 6.

E-2.3. Hard and Soft Sciences

In antiquity, the word science simply meant a body of knowledge, regardless of how it was obtained. But today the word science is a way of obtaining knowledge. Any field in which the scientific method, the following of a set of rules, is used is now referred to as a science. For example, the science of psychology is the use of the scientific method to learn about behavior and mental processes. By attaching to adjective scientific to a field tends to enhance the innate validity of that field.

The universal identification of a field of study as a science has led to the division of hard science and soft science. The hard sciences include mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology. These fields of study focus on the nature of Nature. There are, however, fields of study in the hard sciences in which the scientific method cannot be applied, such as cosmology and evolution. One cannot go into the laboratory to perform experiments to test hypotheses on the early stages of the Universe or how species evolved. These hard sciences are the historical sciences. The soft sciences are so defined because these are studies on human behavior, institutions, society, etc. The soft sciences include psychology, sociology, and anthropology. Some fields even include the word science in their title, such as political science. One of the major difficulties in the soft sciences is the establishment of criteria on which a conclusion can be drawn.

E-2.4. Pseudoscience: A Scientific Study

There are many studies that claim to be scientific studies because of the added value validity of the study. Advertisement agencies attempt to convince the general public the validity of their product by announcing the results of a scientific study comparing their product with those of their competitors. In most cases what they mean is that they followed the rules of the scientific method: The results of this study indicate nine out of ten dentists recommend this brand of toothpaste. But following the rules of the scientific method does not make something scientific. The obvious motive of these advertisements, and similar pronouncements, is to persuade the public about something—buying their product. Likewise a field that employs the rules of the scientific method does not make that field a scientific field. These are the pseudosciences.

There are some areas of interest that appear to be scientific, but they clearly are not. Astrology is one of these interests and has actually been included as a science in a Pew Research Center survey (Pew, 2015). Astrologists appear to use the scientific method because they study star charts for the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies and interpret them as having an influence on the destiny of clients. Astrology is based on the premise that the alignment of heavenly bodies can affect the fortunes of a person. The problem with this view is that the gravitational affect of the astrologer has more influence on the client than all the heavenly bodies shown in the star charts.

E-3.0. The Experimental and Historical Sciences

The scientific method is a prescription one may follow to obtain information about a system of interest or to find a suitable material for a specific problem. In regard to the latter, trial and error may play an important part of the experiment. For example, Edison tested over 6000 materials for the filament of the light bulb before he came up with one that was suitable: carbonized bamboo ( Sometimes an experiment can give an unexpected result that may lead to a new industry. One example is the discovery of Silly Putty, which is composed of silicone polymers. The work was funded by the government to solve the problem of rubber shortage during World War II. The invention of Silly Putty has been attributed to Earl Warrick (newly formed Dow Corning) and James Wright (General Electric), who independently discovered that the reaction between boric acid and silicone oil produced a gooey substance that could bound high and had other unusual properties such as lifting colored comic strip images from newspapers.

There are, however, some sciences in which the scientific method is inapplicable. These are the sciences in which it is not possible to perform experiments to test hypotheses and theories. These are the historical sciences, which include some aspects of cosmology, geoscience, and evolution. One cannot perform a test of the Big Bang Theory for the origin of the Universe by creating a big bang in the laboratory to create another Universe. How does one prove in the laboratory how a species will evolve over the next million years? Historical sciences interpret the evidence of the past. Historical sciences take the jigsaw puzzle pieces from the past to put together a picture of how things went from there to here.

E-4.0. Chess: A Metaphor for Science

The game of chess likewise has no boundaries. The young and the old play chess on equal footing as shown in Figure E-4.1, where a man is playing chess with his great granddaughter.

Figure E-4.1  Chess across the ages and genders. Chess, like science, has no boundaries when it comes to age and gender. Both the man and his great granddaughter are intensely involved in a game of chess.

Shown in Figure E-4.2 is a standard chess setup at the start of the game. The squares are identified by numbers (rank) on the side and letters (file) at the bottom as displayed in the figure. The location of a piece on the chessboard is given by rank and file. For example, a piece at location e4 means it is on the square that is the intersection of column e and row 4. By convention, the darker square is at the lower left corner, and the white pieces are always at the bottom of a diagram. The pieces are the king (K), queen (Q), bishop (B), knight (Kn), rook or castle (R), and the pawns (P).

Figure E-4.2  Chessboard and pieces. The arrangement of the chess pieces at the start of the match is shown on the left. The white pieces are at the bottom and the squares in the 8  ×  8 array are denoted numbers (1 to 8, bottom to top) and letters (a to h, left to right). The dark square is always in the lower left corner, and the queen (Q) is always on its own color. The other pieces are the pawn (P), the rook or castle (R), the knight (Kn), the bishop (B), and the king (K).

E-4.1. Feynman's Metaphor of Chess

Feynman used the game of chess as a metaphor for how scientists discover the laws of Nature (Feynman, 1999, pp. 13–15). In his description, a game of chess is being played by the gods. The observer cannot see the gods, but can observe the moves of the chess pieces. From these moves the observer deduces the rules of the game of chess. Let the observer follow the moves of the white bishops. From the moves of the white bishops the observer concludes that bishops move only along the diagonal because they always maintain the color of the square. One bishop moves only on the red squares and the other moves only along the black squares. Then something happens. The bishop that moves along the red squares disappears. This is a new rule that is discovered. Bishops can be captured. This is why the bishop was taken off the board (disappears). Later in the game a new white bishop appears but now, like the other bishop, is on the black squares. Another rule of the game was discovered: a white pawn reached the squares at the other end of the chessboard, which happened to be on a black square, and that pawn was replaced by another bishop. The new rule is that a pawn, which reaches the far row of the chessboard can be exchanged for a previously captured piece. The observer eventually discovers the rules of the game of chess. The discovery is made because of the recognition of patterns in the movement of the chess pieces. Eventually the moves of each piece deduced through observation of the chess game played by the gods are established, as illustrated in Figure E-4.3. For convenience, the moves are color coded/dashed to identify the moves with the chess piece. Pawns (the foot soldiers) can only move forward one space at a time. The pawn can capture a piece that is located on an adjacent file by moving diagonally and replacing the captured piece. The bishops can move an arbitrary number of spaces only along the diagonal and the rooks can move an arbitrary number of spaces only along the vertical or horizontal directions. The knight moves in the shape of an L; two plus one square or one plus two squares. It is the only piece that can jump over other pieces. The queen is the most powerful piece as it can move in any of the eight directions and as far as it can in. The king is the weakest piece, moving in any of the eight directions but only one square at a time. Similarly, the Universe works under a fixed set of rules which are discovered through observation and reason.

E-4.2. Beyond Feynman: The Chess Metaphor Is Much More Than Rules

The game of chess, the antithesis to the games of action and short duration, exemplifies how Mother Nature, the personification of Nature, works. But the metaphor of the chess game for how science works goes far beyond the description given by Feynman. Feynman stopped at the discovery of the rules of chess and made the analogy that the rules of Nature are likewise discovered. But Feynman did not explore strategies in chess in which a combination of particular moves is anticipated. For example, if a knight is moved, how does the opponent respond? Move the queen? Move the pawn? Move the bishop? Each potential response has a set of potential outcomes. But some moves in chess are forced, beyond control of the opponent. Perhaps a move puts the opponent's king in check. The opponent is forced to move the king out of check or move another piece to protect the king. Mother Nature works the same way with the Laws of Nature.

E-4.3. Strategies in Chess and the Experimental Sciences

Strategies are such a major component of chess that famous strategies are given names. For example, in the 1972 World Chess Championship between challenger Bobby Fischer and defending champion Boris Spassky, Fischer, who was noted for always playing the Najdorf Variation of the Sicilian Defense, surprised Spassky by switching openings and even using openings he rarely, if ever, used before, such as the Alekhines Defense.

Figure E-4.3  The moves of the chess pieces. The king (K) can move only one square in any direction. The pawn (P) can move only one square at a time in the forward direction. The following pieces can move any length of unoccupied squares: the queen can move in any direction, bishop (B) can only move along the diagonal, hence it can never change to a square of a different color, the rook (R) can move only in the horizontal and vertical directions. The knight (Kn) has an L shaped move, first two square and then one, or first one square and then two. The knight is the only piece that can jump over other pieces. A piece is captured when an opposing piece lands on its square, and the captured piece is removed from the chessboard.

There are books devoted to solving chess problems. For years Grandmaster of Chess George Koltanowski (1903–2000) wrote a chess column for the San Francisco Chronicle for a period of 52  years. Koltanowski is noted for a form of chess known as blindfold chess in which the player is blindfolded and must commit the game to memory. In 1937 he performed the remarkable feat of playing 34 simultaneous games and defeating all opponents. All of these chess puzzles have the same motif: white is to play and checkmate in x number of moves. The implication is that the rules of chess are so rigid that the outcome of a game can be predicted. Such a view does not take into consideration that the rules of chess are interactive. What happens to the white pieces affects what happens to the black pieces, and vice versa.

Serious chess players try to plan their strategies, many moves in advance. Any chess move that is not given much thought, such as an intuitive decision on the spur of the moment, may have unexpected long range consequences. One such event occurred in the rematch between Spassky and Fischer that was held in 1992 at two different locations that were part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia was then under heavy UN economic sanctions. On November 5 Spassky was playing white, which gave him a slight advantage at the start of the game. But a choice he made on the 18th move got him into trouble that quickly led to the capture of two of his knights. The loss of the knights forced Spassky to resign on the 27th move. Since this was the 10th win in the series for Fischer, he won the match. The error in judgment made by Spassky on the 18th move was a fatal error.

If the rules of chess are so exacting, how could Spassky have made such an error? It is because the decision of a move of one chess piece on the board influences the decision of how the other pieces might be moved to respond to that single move. If there are 10 possible responses to one move, then there are 10N possible outcomes after N moves. Even for computers, to plan a winning strategy after the first move is made is an impossible task during the time between moves. Errors in judgment are not errors at the time the move was made. It is only when the game is lost that the effect of the fatal mistake is revealed, and then it is too late.

What is the relevance of the discussion on chess strategies to the experimental sciences? The answer is suggested in the speech given by George W. Bush on the White House lawn on June 11, 2001. The subject was on the uncertainty of human activity on climate change. In regard to sulfur emission control, Bush stated (Bush, 2001):

For example, our useful efforts to reduce sulfur emissions may have actually increased warming, because sulfate particles reflect sunlight, bouncing it back into space.

What are the implications of this statement? Is this a purely political statement, or is it based on sound science? If based on sound science, is the statement only part of the story or the complete story? On the surface, Bush is pointing out that sulfate particles in the atmosphere scatter light. This statement is only partially true. Sulfate particles in the atmosphere dissolve in water droplets. The dissolved sulfates enhance the scattering ability of the water droplets, and most of the scattered light goes to outer space. If less light reaches the Earth's surface, then there is less infrared radiation to be trapped by the carbon dioxide to warm the Earth: the temperature of the Earth cools down. This is what one experiences when a cloud drifts between a person and the Sun. Therefore, according to this statement, by reducing sulfur emissions put out by automobiles, there is more sunlight reaching the Earth's surface, thus contributing to the global temperature. In other words, by reducing the amount of natural warming by the Sun, one can partially compensate for the artificial warming due to the human burning of fossil fuels. Some scientists even proposed that purposely putting sulfate particles into the atmosphere would solve the problem of global warming. But that is only half of the story. What goes into the atmosphere must come out of the atmosphere. How do the sulfate particles that were put into the atmosphere by automobiles come out of the atmosphere? Bush did not address this side of the coin. When sulfates dissolve in water, the water becomes acidic. It is the water droplets in the clouds that dissolve the sulfates. The sulfates come out of the atmosphere when the water droplets coalesce to form rain drops. The sulfates put into the atmosphere will fall to the Earth as acid rain, and acid rain alters the properties of the soil.

The statement by Bush is a political statement to justify easing the regulations put on automobile makers in regard to sulfur emissions that are placed there to protect the public. The justification is based on half of the story: scattering of sunlight by sulfate particles into outer space reduces global warming. The complete story is that the sulfate particles fall to Earth in the form of acid rain, which has a long-range consequence of altering the properties of the soil that provides food on our tables.

Just as a chess game evolves with choices of moves that are made, so does the environment with political decisions that are made. As Spassky learned, one bad move at the beginning can have devastating consequences in the future.

E-4.4. Retrochess and the Historical Sciences

The chess metaphor of science shows how undesirable consequences may arise in a future outcome of an event even though the rules are exacting. In contrast, historical sciences trace events backwards in time and follow the same Laws of Nature. Archeology is obviously a historical science because it is the study of human history and prehistory through analysis of artifacts left by past civilizations. Evolution is another historical science because it depends on fossil finds as well as laboratory experiments on the genes. Cosmology is also a historical science because it observes the different stages of developments of stars through telescopes that cover a wide range of wavelengths, from radio frequencies to the high-energy gamma rays. Chess is also a metaphor for the historical sciences.

These historical sciences are represented on the chessboard in what is known as retrograde analysis, or retrochess. Raymond Smullyan presented 50 retrochess problems in his book that appropriately has Sherlock Holmes as the main character (Smullyan, 2011). What is of concern in a retrochess game is not what the next move is, but rather the previous move. Retrochess is a game of determining the past history of a game. Unlike moving into the future where decisions have yet to be made, retrochess moves into the past where decisions have already been made. Therefore the backward moves are exact. One is shown a chessboard with pieces in place, and the object is to deduce the move that led to that configuration, and the move before that, and so on. Retrochess is not only a metaphor of what could have happened in the past, but also what could not have happened in the past. It is important to know what could not have happened in the past because that knowledge can eliminate theories in the historical sciences.

Did the Pawn Reach the Eighth Square?

In historical sciences it is sometimes necessary to rule out theories on how a system evolved. Did something occur or not? The first example in Smullyan's book is an exercise in the determination if a pawn reached the eighth square or not (Smullyan, 2011, p. xi). The pieces on the chessboard are arranged in Figure E-4.4 in a slight variation of the Smullyan example. The question is did a pawn reach the eighth square? The Reader should attempt a solution to the problem before reading further. If unfamiliar with the move of chess pieces, use the moves that are shown in Figure E-4.3.

In the analysis of this problem, the first thing to take into consideration is the restrictions placed on the pieces as to the color of the square. There are no color restrictions on the kings, queen, and pawns. The only piece on the board with a restriction is the white bishop at g3, which is a black square. Therefore in the original setup of the chessboard the bishop must be on a black square in row 1 (see Figure E-4.1). Since pawns can only move forward, the white pawn on b2 and the white pawn on d2 have not been moved. What this means in that the white bishop, initially on the black square c1, could not be moved. It could, however, be captured. Since the only bishop on the board is on a black square at g3, the only way this could happen is when a pawn reached the eighth square and was promoted to a bishop. The answer is

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