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How are smells created?

  1. Aug 2, 2009 #1
    I was recently thinking about how smells are created and came to the conclusion that when you're cooking the boiling water pushes out other atoms before it.

    I then realized that this idea doesn't explain the smell that comes off of a brass handle for instance.

    Hence the question: How are smells created and mediated?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 2, 2009 #2

    Perhaps you should understand the physiology of smell first - smell is essentially a chemosensory mechanism. Diffused atoms - every substance has a vapor pressure - reach olfactory receptors, which send information to the brain.
  4. Aug 11, 2009 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    Let's hope you meant molecules...

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