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21 questions for the most brilliant scientist

December 5, 2008

Q. Hi I am Aaron Kersten, and these are my questions if you had to ask the world most brilliant and successful scientist 21 questions what would you ask him about elements?

I've always been interested in science and stuff like that.

and one more question what kinda field do you work in like do you work in fossils or something like that. Thanks for readin!

Aaron K.
student - Davison, Michigan, USA

December 5, 2008

Hi, Aaron. I'll start:

1. Why do elements have neutrons and what law or rule is it that drives them towards having a particular number? Like why does oxygen have 8 neutrons rather than 0 or 4 or 16?


Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

December 6, 2008

Hi Aaron!

My questions would be on (ferro)magnetism- I'd first ask why iron, nickel, and cobalt are ferromagnetic at room temperature, but none of the other metals are. (I think. Hmmm, that might be the first thing I should ask...)

Second, I'd ask why some stainless steels can go from being non-magnetic ("paramagnetic") to quite magnetic ("ferromagnetic") when cold worked. Yes, I realize there is a change in crystal structure: but if the cause of ferromagnetism is in the atoms themselves, then how the atoms are arranged shouldn't make a difference, right?

lee gearhart
Lee Gearhart
metallurgist - E. Aurora, New York

December 10, 2008

I would ask why mercury is liquid at standard temp and pressure. There could be a Nobel prize in there somewhere.
Keep curious my friend.

Trent Kaufman
Trent Kaufman
electroplater - Galva, Illinois

December 14, 2008

Lee, you've asked my favorite question!

As an alternative, ask the scientist why different elements have different colours - for instance, copper is coppery and silver is silvery; chlorine is green and bromine is brown.

Leading on from this, are the component parts of an atom, electrons, neutrons and protons, coloured and if not, why not?

trevor crichton
Trevor Crichton
R&D practical scientist
Chesham, Bucks, UK

December 25, 2008


Added to above,

Is there any invention to quickly nullify the Atomic explosions? As Newton's 3rd law states,"For any action there is an equal and opposite reaction"...

Might be very helpful during this fear of nuclear war!

Keshava Prasad M
- Chennai, India

January 6, 2009

Why do snowflakes have so many shapes but always six sided?

Why do we never sneeze when we are asleep?

What was the name of Schroedinger's cat?

geoff smith
Geoff Smith
Hampshire, England

January 16, 2009


While googling thru' I came across this website:


It says, "Agnihotra" nullifies the Harmful radiations.

warm regards

Keshava Prasad M
- Chennai, Tamil nadu, India

February 16, 2009

Hey Everyone, just popped in to see what was new in the plating world. I am now out of the plating industry, another American Company fell to foreign trade. Our place closed 6/15/07. Anyway in response to Geoff Smith's one question: What was the name of Schroedinger's cat ... Her name is Persephone?

Best Regards,

Brian C. Gaylets
scranton sewer authority - Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

February 17, 2009

Hi, Brian. If we told you we'd have to kill her.

She didn't have nine lives like most cats, but 8-1/2, and she was certainly half dead in that stupid box.


Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

July 31, 2020

1. "Why do elements have neutrons and what law or rule is it that drives them towards having a particular number? Like why does oxygen have 8 neutrons rather than 0 or 4 or 16?"


Sorry to revive an old thread but I was just looking around at old trouble shooting to add to my knowledge base and I saw this and thought it was interesting.

I'm willing to hazard a guess that the number of neutrons has to do with the shape of the atom which keeps the protons a specific distance from the electrons where they reside in the various shells.

It's likely why some isotopes are very unstable.

Jason Gallea
- Owatonna Minnesota

August 2020

A. That sounds believable to me, Jason. But personally I believe in a variation on Plato's man chained into a cave, face to the wall, trying to deduce the nature of reality from the play of shadows from the outside world.

We have a physics with great mathematical formulas that allows us to make very good predictions. But the man in the cave, with some acquired experience, could probably make very good predictions of such things as how fast the shadows of birds would move across the cave wall without acquiring any real understanding of what a bird is.

I think someday we may understand what a neutron is at a much much deeper level than "3 quarks" :-)

Luck & Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

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