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Humanities LibreTexts

Critical Thinking Questions

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    1. The most abundant elements in the foods and beverages you consume are oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen. Why might having these elements in consumables be useful?
    2. Oxygen, whose atomic number is eight, has three stable isotopes: 16O, 17O, and 18O. Explain what this means in terms of the number of protons and neutrons.
    3. Magnesium is an important element in the human body, especially in bones. Magnesium’s atomic number is 12. Is it stable or reactive? Why? If it were to react with another atom, would it be more likely to accept or to donate one or more electrons?
    4. Explain why CH4 is one of the most common molecules found in nature. Are the bonds between the atoms ionic or covalent?
    5. In a hurry one day, you merely rinse your lunch dishes with water. As you are drying your salad bowl, you notice that it still has an oily film. Why was the water alone not effective in cleaning the bowl?
    6. Could two atoms of oxygen engage in ionic bonding? Why or why not?
    7. AB+CD→AD+BE Is this a legitimate example of an exchange reaction? Why or why not?
    8. When you do a load of laundry, why do you not just drop a bar of soap into the washing machine? In other words, why is laundry detergent sold as a liquid or powder?

    9. The pH of lemon juice is 2, and the pH of orange juice is 4. Which of these is more acidic, and by how much? What does this mean?
    10. During a party, Eli loses a bet and is forced to drink a bottle of lemon juice. Not long thereafter, he begins complaining of having difficulty breathing, and his friends take him to the local emergency room. There, he is given an intravenous solution of bicarbonate. Why?
    11. If the disaccharide maltose is formed from two glucose monosaccharides, which are hexose sugars, how many atoms of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen does maltose contain and why?
    12. Once dietary fats are digested and absorbed, why can they not be released directly into the bloodstream?
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