What is the meaning of the word “Tangible”?
As per the Oxford English dictionary, it means “Clear and definite; real.”
or “A thing that is perceptible by touch.”
Today (12/09/2015) I came across a story on facebook in my newsfeed from the account of Dr Prashant Gautam ( https://www.facebook.com/drprashantgautam?fref=nf).
I liked it, as it was based on the strong scientific foundation and not merely a fable or a part of gossip mongering.
So, I gave myself a thought,“If what is mentioned in the story is true, why can’t I prove this scientifically, it won’t be and shouldn’t be that difficult if indeed it was correct”.
So here I go.
Kindly read it with patience as I have made a few deliberations.
The story is in the language ‘Hindi’ and is as follows (kindly use the site translate.google.com for a rough translation into any other language):
एक राजा का दरबार लगा हुआ था क्योंकि सर्दी का दिन था, इसलिये राजा का दरवार खुले मे बैठा था पूरी आम सभा सुबह की धूप मे बैठी थी । महाराज ने सिंहासन के सामने एक टेबल जैसी कोई कीमती चीज रखी थी पंडित लोग दीवान आदि सभी दरबार मे बैठे थे, राजा के परिवार के सदस्य भी बैठे थे । उसी समय एक व्यक्ति आया और प्रवेश मांगा । राजा ने बुलाया और कहा,” क्या बात हैं ?” प्रवेश मिल गया तो उसने कहा,
- [English translation- Once a king was holding a darbaar (court). As it was during winters, it was being held in open and every person was sitting under open skies under the morning sun. A precious table was kept in front of the throne of the king, and all his courtiers, his family along with his prime minister, were also sitting in that darbar. Suddenly, came along a traveller, who asked for king’s permission to present himself in front of the king. King asked him, “What is the matter?” When permission was granted, he said,]
“मेरे पास दो वस्तुए है मै हर राज्य के राजा के पास जाता हूँ और अपनी बात रखता हूँ। कोई परख नही पाता सब हार जाते हैंं और मै विजेता बनकर घूम रहा हूँ। अब आपके नगर मे आया हूँ।”
तब उसने दोनो वस्तुये टेबल पर रख दी बिल्कुल समान आकार, समान रुप रंग, समान प्रकाश सब कुछ नख सिख समान। राजा ने कहा,” ये दोनो वस्तुए एक हैं।”
- ” I have two items, whenever I go to a new place or a kingdom, I keep these items in front of the king. No one has ever been able to examine these two items and tell their worth, as yet. Now I have come to your kingdom with the same problem and an air of invincibility.” Then, the traveller kept those two items on a precious table which was kept in front of the king. Both were of the same size, look, shape, colour etc. Superficially, both looked as exact copies of each other. The king also said, “These two items are one and the same.”
तब उस व्यक्ति ने कहा,“हाँ दिखाई तो एक सी देती हैं लेकिन हैं भिन्न। इनमे से एक हैं बहुत कीमती हीरा हैं और एक हैं काँच का टुकडा। लेकिन रूप रंग सब एक हैं। कोइ आज तक परख नही पाया की कौन सा हीरा हैं और कौन सा काँच। कोइ परख कर बताये की ये हीरा हैं या ये काँच। अगर परख खरी निकली तो मे हार जाउँगा और यह कीमती हीरा मैं आपके राज्य की तिजोरी मे जमा करवा दूंगा । यदि कोइ न पहचान पाया तो इस हीरे की जो कीमत हैं उतनी धनराशि आपको मुझे देनी होगी। इसी प्रकार मे कइ राज्यो से जीतता आया हूँ।”
- Then that traveller too replied, “Yes, superficially they look the same, but they are different. One of these items is a diamond and the other one is made of glass, but their colour, size, shape etc. is same. No one, till date has ever been able to examine them and tell the difference, if someone succeeds, I would accept defeat and deposit the diamond in your treasure. If no one can tell the difference, I would like to have the actual price of diamond be given to me as a prize. This is the same deal I have presented, before the others, and winning all these years in the kingdoms I have travelled to.”
राजा ने कहा,“मैं तो नही परख सकूंगा”, दीवान बोले,“हम भी हिम्मत नही कर सकते क्योंकि दोनो बिल्कुल समान हैं ।” कोइ हिम्मत नही जुटा पाया। हारने पर पैसे देने पड़ेंगे, इसका कोई सवाल नही था क्योकि राजा के पास बहुत धन हैं । राजा की प्रतिष्ठा गिर जायेगी, इसका सबको भय था, अगर कोइ व्यक्ति पहचान नही पाया। आखिरकार पीछे थोड़ी हलचल हुई। एक अंधा आदमी हाथ मे लाठी लेकर उठा। उसने कहा,“मुझे महाराज के पास ले चलो मैने सब बाते सुनी हैं । और यह भी सुना कि कोइ परख नही पा रहा हैं । एक अवसर मुझे भी दो।”
- The king replied,” I will not be able to do the same”, Minister also said, “I cannot also dare to tell the difference, as both of them look the same.” No one present was able to gather enough courage to come forward to take that challenge. As the king had lots of money, a monetary loss was not amongst his first and foremost priority but if none could tell the difference, losing pride and self-respect of the kingdom were what everyone feared. Then suddenly one could hear some commotion at the back. A blind (having little or no visibility; one who lacks vision) person with a cane in his hand got up from his seat and entered the premises. He said, “Take me to the king, I have heard everything. Give me a chance.”
एक आदमी के सहारे वह राजा के पास पहुँचा अौर उसने राजा से प्रार्थना की,“मैं तो जनम से अंधा हूँ फिर भी मुझे एक अवसर दिया जाये। मैं भी एक बार अपनी बुद्धि को परखू और हो सकता हैं कि सफल भी हो जाऊ, और यदि सफल न भी हुआ तो वैसे भी आप तो हारे ही हैं।” राजा को लगा कि इसे अवसर देने मे क्या हरज़ है। राजा ने कहा,“ठीक हैं ।” तब उस अंधे आदमी को दोनो चीज़े छुआ दी गयी और पूछा गया,“इसमे कौन सा हीरा हैं और कौन सा काँच, यही परखना हैं ।”
- With assistance from another person, he reached near the king, where the table with two items was kept and there he requisitioned the king,“I am blind since birth, still I would like to request you to give me an opportunity. I would like to use my intellect to examine these items, it is a possibility that I may eventually tell the difference, even if I am unsuccessful it’s of no consequence to you as you’ve already accepted defeat.” The king said,“You have my permission.” Then that blind man was asked to touch those items and enquired from,“Kindly examine them and inform us which is diamond and which is not.”
कथा कहती हैं कि उस आदमी ने एक मिनट मे कह दिया कि,“यह हीरा हैं और यह काँच”, जो आदमी इतने राज्यों को जीतकर आया था । आदमी नतमस्तक हो गया और बोला,“सही हैं । आपने पहचान लिया, धन्य हो आप अपने वचन के मुताबिक यह हीरा मैं आपके राज्य की तिजोरी मे दे रहा हूँ।” सब बहुत खुश हो गये और जो आदमी आया था वह भी बहुत प्रसन्न हुआ कि कम से कम कोई तो मिला परखने वाला। वह राजा और अन्य सभी लोगो ने उस अंधे व्यक्ति से एक ही जिज्ञासा जताई कि,“तुमने यह कैसे पहचाना कि यह हीरा हैं और वह काँच?” उस अंधे व्यक्ति ने कहा,
- As the story proceeds, it was believed that within a minute, that blind man was able to tell the difference and identified exactly which one of them was a diamond and which one was a fake or glass, he triumphantly said,“this is a diamond and the other one is made of glass.” The traveller who had visited so many kingdoms and previously won this bet accepted defeat and informed the blind man,“You are right, you could indeed tell the difference, may GOD bless you, and as per my promise, I would like to deposit this diamond in the treasure of king.” Everyone present there was gratified including the traveller, who could take solace in the fact that at least there was someone on this planet who could tell the difference. But the king and the traveller were curious to know how could a blind man achieve what none else could even think of. So they asked the blind man,“How could you tell the difference between a diamond and a glass.” The blind man replied,
“सीधी सी बात हैं। मालिक! धूप मे हम सब बैठे हैं। मैने दोनो को छुआ। जो ठंडा रहा वह हीरा जो गरम हो गया वह काँच ।”
जीवन मे भी देखना जो बात बात मे गरम हो जाये उलझ जाये वह काँच।
जो विपरीत परिस्थिति मे भी ठंडा रहे वह हीरा है।
- “It’s very simple sire, all of us are sitting under direct sunlight. Hence, when I touched these two items, the one which was the same temperature as the environment, was diamond and the one which warmed up due to the heat of sunlight was glass,”
Here’s another informative story I would like to share with you.
The first day I walked into my 10th-grade chemistry class, the lights were off. The teacher was waiting at the front of the room, holding a small candle in front of him. The candle’s tiny flame was the only source of light in the room.
The class murmured a bit, confused and excited. Once we’d all quieted down, the teacher said, “Tell me some of the observations you can make about this candle.”
We paused for a moment. That seemed a little too easy for chemistry class.
“But keep in mind,” the teacher added, “that observations are the things you observe, empirically. Inferences are the things you conclude… and inferences can be wrong.”
We stared at him, wary now.
At last, someone piped up, “Um…The flame is yellow?”
“The flame gives off heat.”
“The wick is burning.”
“The wax is cylindrical!”
The teacher raised his eyebrows at that one. “Are you sure?”
We stared harder at the candle, not sure how to respond to that one. It definitely looked cylindrical.
The teacher shrugged. Then he put the candle into his mouth and started chewing.
The class stared at him.
At this point, I was wondering if I ought to call the emergency room or something, but the teacher just kept chewing as though nothing was wrong. Eventually, he swallowed, shrugged again, and said, “Actually tastes okay.”
As it turns out, the so-called “candle” wasn’t made out of wax at all. It was actually just a slice of banana, with an almond slice for the wick.
The student’s “wax” statement had actually been an inference.
After explaining this to us, the teacher turned on the lights and said, “If there’s one thing I want you to learn in this class, it’s the first rule of scientific thinking: Never assume that your mind can’t lie to you.”
And that’s the story of how my 10th-grade chemistry teacher swallowed a candle to teach us the first principle of scientific thinking. Here’s to you, Mr. Miller. Hannah Yang
Here teacher also draws a wrong inference when she says,“If there’s one thing I want you to learn in this class, it’s the first rule of scientific thinking: Never assume that your mind can’t lie to you.”
The mind rarely lies. It’s not the fault of mind but that of intellect, and how one uses it. The inference is always drawn after careful observation, reasoning and analyses of the given problem, wherein one should use all the five senses, and sometimes even our sixth sense. Sometimes the limiting factor (or senses) can act as a facilitator (as in the story Quality of Being Tangible: A Story of Different Attitudes – Different Perception) and sometimes (as in above example wherein vision and touch is a limiting factor) act as an impediment. Kindly read this story wherein absence of vision acts as a facilitator in arriving at a solution. Quality of Being Tangible: A Story of Different Attitudes – Different Perception
The diamond cubic crystal structure is a repeating pattern of 8 atoms that certain materials may adopt as they solidify. While the first known example was diamond, other elements in group 14 also adopt this structure, including α-tin, the semiconductors silicon and germanium, and silicon/germanium alloys in any proportion. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diamond_cubic
The diamond structure, which is made up of a carbon atom joined to 4 other carbon atoms, this is an example of a giant covalent structure. http://lucychemistry.blogspot.in/2013/05/triple-144-draw-diagrams-representing.html
Numerous mineral structures are based on the fact that tetrahedra can be inscribed in a cube. If atoms have a face-centered arrangement, we can join a corner atom to the three nearest face-centered atoms to create a tetrahedron. Four similarly-oriented tetrahedra can be created in the cube. Image source
There are two ways to orient tetrahedra in a face-centered cubic array.Image source
Diamond is one mineral that employs this structure. There are carbon atoms in a face-centered array (dark gray) plus an extra one (light gray) at the center of each tetrahedron. At left, the relationship of the carbon atoms to the tetrahedra is shown. On the right, the carbon-carbon bonds are shown. Image source
Above is the diamond structure in a different orientation showing the tetrahedral structure a bit more clearly. As above, carbon atoms at the corners of the tetrahedra are dark gray, those in the middle are light gray. Image source
Above is the diamond structure showing the carbon-carbon bonding. Bonds closer to the viewer are shown thicker. Image source
Very well said, the above-mentioned fact, has even been proven scientifically, the tight, evenly-packed crystalline structure of diamonds makes them disperse heat quickly; thus, real diamonds will not heat up easily.
Same principle is used behind “diamond testers”. Commercial pen-size probes, called simply “diamond testers,” can test the thermal conductivity of the gem.
(In physics, thermal conductivity (often denoted k, λ, or κ) is the property of a material to conduct heat. Heat transfer occurs at a lower rate across materials of low thermal conductivity than across materials of high thermal conductivity. Correspondingly, materials of high thermal conductivity are widely used in heat sink applications and materials of low thermal conductivity are used as thermal insulation.)
Of course, these tests don’t tell us anything about the VALUE of the available diamond. According to the Gemological Institute of America, jewellers grade diamonds on the “4Cs” — cut, clarity, colour and carat weight.
It also proves another philosophical point.
Having all our senses intact, sometimes can be a handicap in real life, where in, we get so used to using all of them, simultaneously, that we forget their individual importance.
Furthermore, heat test can be used to differentiate between a fake and a real diamond, but still, it can not decide the true value of a diamond, or a person, or an individual.
I would also discuss one more fact here, the specific heat (or the heat required for raising the temperature of a given mass of substance). Heat capacity or thermal capacity is a measurable physical quantity equal to the ratio of the heat added to (or removed from) an object to the resulting temperature change. The SI unit of heat capacity is joule per kelvin or J/K and the dimensional form is L2MT−2Θ−1. Specific heat is the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of a certain mass 1 degree Celsius. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_capacity
Diamond (carbon) = 516 J/kg degree C and
for Glass = 670 to 753 J/kg degree C.
This means that in a controlled environment, and if evenly heated, the energy required for raising the temperature of diamond (1 kg) by 1-degree centigrade is less compared to that of glass (1 kg). Diamond (carbon) has a lower specific heat, and thus requires the least heat in order to have an increase in temperature. It’s (diamond) temperature will thus increase the most for a given the amount of heat. Temperature reflects the average randomised kinetic energy of constituent particles of matter (e.g. atoms or molecules) relative to the centre of mass of the system, while heat is the transfer of energy across a system boundary into the body other than by work or matter transfer. Translation, rotation and vibration of atoms represent the degrees of freedom of motion which classically contribute to the heat capacity of gases, while only vibrations are needed to describe the heat capacities of most solids, as shown by the Dulong–Petit law [Dulong–Petit law, statement that the gram-atomic heat capacity (specific heat times atomic weight) of an element is a constant; that is, it is the same for all solid elements, about six calories per gram atom]. Other, more exotic contributions can come from magnetic and electronic degrees of freedom in solids, but these rarely make substantial contributions. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_capacity]
Glass absorbs more heat for a given temperature rise, compared to the diamond of the same mass, when the energy/heat is provided evenly.
Extrapolating the above findings one can also opine that a people/group of individuals who has been likened to have a diamond like quality would withstand more stresses or difficulties in life when stressed or when energy is provided to it on a singular basis rather than uniformly, as they have a property to uniformly distribute that singular energy amongst it’s constituents (high thermal conductivity) more evenly. Though they will be able to tolerate less stress/energy on group basis (as a whole) when compared to glass. (diamond=low specific heat)
On the contrary, people or a group of individuals who have been likened to have a glass like quality would be able to tolerate more stress/energy on a group basis compared to diamond when done on a uniform basis i.e. every individual is stressed with equal amount of heat/energy/stress. (glass=high specific heat) but less or lower when the same is done on individual basis.(glass=low thermal conductivity)