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Molecules back to singular atoms.

  1. Sep 30, 2008 #1
    Do the atoms in molecules seperate quicker if they are moved more vigourously in their lifetime and therefoe cause death of the living organism they makes up sooner? For example: A giant tortoise is slower than a cheatah during its life and lives longer. A tree is slower than a tortoise and lives longer. During a hydrogen Bomb the molecules are seperated allmost instantly. Does this make any semse to anyone?
     
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  3. Sep 30, 2008 #2

    ZapperZ

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    No.

    How do you equate something moving slower (a tortoise) has having "slower" molecular motion? Do you think such movement actually provides THAT significant speed to what is already present with molecular vibration?

    Zz.
     
  4. Sep 30, 2008 #3
    So do molecules allways vibrate at the same speed no matter what forces are put against them? Sorry i'm no expert on this so not completly sure on molecular vibrations. It just confuses me how a animals which have very similar molecular make-up live for different times. Why if the molecules are the same do they change back to atoms at different speeds? And these speeds are not random. Animals have average ages to living too.
     
  5. Sep 30, 2008 #4

    ZapperZ

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    This is more of a question for biologist then a physics question, because the speed that we move normally is MINISCULE when compared to how fast molecules, atoms, and other particles move in material.

    Biology is a complex field. I think you are missing a lot of other factors beyond just "molecule speed" when considering lifespan.

    Zz.
     
  6. Sep 30, 2008 #5
    Well is it known why molecules seperate back to atoms, do all water molecules last the same ammount of time and is there anyway to predict when certain molecules will break up?
     
  7. Oct 1, 2008 #6

    ZapperZ

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    It is?

    I don't know. You were the one who claim they somehow spontaneously break up. So it is you who needs to provide the reference on where you got the idea from.

    Zz.
     
  8. Oct 1, 2008 #7
    If slow speed determines longevity, then I guess Windows Vista will be around forever!

    OK, back to science now :)

    A gaint tortoise may move slow and have a long lifespan, but a giant bowhead whale moves faster than the tortoise and has been recorded as having a lifespan longer than that of the Galápagos tortoise! From the BBC:

    Bowhead whales are believed to be the longest-lived animals on Earth ... and one individual was estimated to be 211 years old.​

    Look at the *really* slow moving Pale-throated three-toed sloth with its 12 year lifespan vs the fastest land animal -- the cheetah -- with a lifespan of around 12 years also.

    So, there are definitely lots of animals out there that don't fit into your "slower movement = longer lifespan" model. In fact, locomotion speed may not even be correlated with lifespan, as you can see from my example.

    Maximum lifespan of an animal, on the other hand, is probably very closely tied to its genetics, especially with how well it can repair damage to its DNA:

    Thus the activity with which nuclear and mitochondrial DNA is repaired in somatic cells is likely to be an crucial determinant of maximal lifespan (MLS)​
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2008
  9. Oct 1, 2008 #8

    mgb_phys

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    For mammals life span is about inversely proportional to heart rate - so all animals have roughly the same number of heartbeats!

    Ultimately it's a question of thermodynamics, for small animals you lose heat quicjly and must have a high metabolism to keep going. This means you can grow a small body quickly and reach reporduction age fast. For large animals a slow metabolism takes time to grow a body to adult hood and hence a longer lifespan.

    Remember evolution in general tends toward SHORTER lives, your genes want to get the next generation of genes out there as fast as possible - they have no interest in prolonging your life after you finished breeding.
     
  10. Oct 1, 2008 #9
    I read it in a book by Bill Bryson. Its obvious your molecules break up when you die and change to something else as your body is no longer there.
     
  11. Oct 1, 2008 #10

    mgb_phys

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    A slight misunderstanding, generally molecules are stable. It takes energy to break a molcule apart but gives off energy to create one.

    Often for a large molecule the energy you need to break it up is less than the energy you will get by forming many new smaller molecules. This is true of you burning diesel into water and CO2 in a truck engine and for large molecules in your body breaking up.

    This is a constant process and you are using the energy given off when these burn to heat your body you also take in new large molecules that have been helpfully made for you by plants. They use the Suns's energy to break up the smaller molecules and put them together into large ones.
     
  12. Oct 1, 2008 #11

    ZapperZ

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    You have a severe misunderstanding of "tissue/cellular breakdown" versus molecular break up. Try to break up H and O out of water if you can and see what is needed.

    Also, when we require a citation in here, you need to make a FULL citation. This means name of author, title of the book, edition number, publisher, year, etc. This is how it is often required in most scientific discussion, and we try to have a higher standard than most open forums.

    Zz.
     
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