Saturday, November 28, 2009

Possibilities for Extraterrestrial Life

Shivantha Withanage

Is there any kind of life out side of the earth? This is a question to everyone. Some people say there could be life outside of our planet and some say there couldn’t be life in any other place in universe other than earth. There are reasonable facts for both answers. But no one has proved them.

Universe is an infinite space. We have to believe it because we are still unable to travel through the whole universe. If universe is infinite, there could be many galaxies. Most of them may be even larger than our galaxy, the Milky Way. So there could be so many solar systems and also many planets. So how can we say that there are no such planets like earth in this universe? There is a huge possibility of having those kinds of planets. If those planets have water, minerals, temperature that is suitable for life and an atmosphere with sufficient gases there could be life on them.

According to human knowledge there is a temperature range that is precise for living beings and there are basic elements which can form living bodies. There are also some gases that living animals can use for breathing and some energy sources which can use as energy supply for living bodies. But all these are limits followed by present human knowledge about life. Why couldn’t be there a life which is entirely different from the life on earth?

People believe that carbon is the best element for living structures. But silicon can be a good alternate element for that. Carbon and silicon belong to the group IVA in the periodic table and elements belong to the same group have similar natures. So it could be possible of having living bodies made of silicon. Scientists had already found animals consisting silicon, in the earth. Diatoms that belong to the phylum Chrysophyta are photosynthetic, unicellular organisms with unique double shells made of opaline silica which are often characteristically marked. So they are called as the jewels of the living world.

Oxygen is considered as the breathable gas for most of the living beings on earth. Living bodies are designed to generate ATP (Adenosine Tri Phosphate), the compound which can store energy of chemical compounds such as glucose, amino acids and lipids. The energy in those compounds is transferred to ATP through a process happen inside the mitochondrion of live cells. Oxygen is the molecule that catches the last hydrogen atoms released by this reaction series. Oxygen acts as the dehydrogenator in this process. There could be molecules instead of oxygen, which are capable of combining with the last hydrogen atoms. We should remember that we have found only a little amount of elements. So there could be many elements in this planet that are not recognized or found yet. In the universe there could be more. We will never find most of those elements in earth. Some of those elements could form a molecule that can efficiently catch the last hydrogen atoms. Therefore oxygen could not be the only dehydrogenate molecule.

When we take the temperature range that is considered as suitable for life in to account, we get the same results as carbon and oxygen. We prefer this is the suitable temperature range for life because we experience it on earth. Temperature range suitable for a living body is selected by the nature, mechanisms occurring inside the body and chemical structure of it. But we should not forget that chemical structures can be varying in different situations. So there can be life in very cold places and also in extremely hot places. Today scientists have found life in cold ice cores and even inside volcanoes. So we have got some evidences even from our world. Therefore, theoretically it is logical to believe that there is life outside of the earth.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Unveiling the Origin of Universe

Shivantha Withanage

Scientists are working in order to find how does this universe appear? How does it exist? How large is it? They are using theories such as Quantum theory to reveal these matters. According to most of the scientists they believe that the universe was originated according to the big bang theory.
Big bang theory helps us to understand a one scientific way that could happen at the beginning of the universe. But before this theory ancient astrologists express various ideas about the beginning of the universe that is different from the big bang theory. According to the researches conducted by Sir Edwin Hubble, he certifies that the universe is expanding. This result was a port key to the scientists who were trying to unveil the truth about the beginning of the universe. They believe that early universe was a place with a high density and high temperature.
In 1940’s physiologist George Gamow and his crew with the help of two physiologists named Ralph Alfer and Robert Herman proved the there was a bang at the beginning of the universe. In 1950 British scientist Fred Hoil named this as the Big Bang. According to the latest calculations this explosion was happened about 13.7 billion years ago. In 1950’s American astrologist William Flower and his team prove that elements with small atomic mass such as hydrogen, deuterium and helium were the main reason for the big bang and to the beginning of the universe. Heavy elements such as iron originated after them.
Now scientists have discovered that there are elements which are heavier than helium and lighter than iron in the middle of active stars. So it gives us evidence that at the beginning of the universe there was a kind of process that is proceeding in the middle of an active star.
In 1940’s some scientists believe that universe doesn’t change and it is steady as it is. But this was by the discovery of a quasar group of galaxies found by Martin Schmidt in 1963 who is a Danish astrologist. Quasars don’t exist near to the earth. They are far away from our solar system. Scientists believe that quasars are originated just after the big bang. However in 1965 Robert.W.Wilson and Arnopensia discovered a radio signal coming from the open space. It was a same signal from all the way through the universe and they proved this kind of radio signals are originated from an explosion with high temperature and high density. According to these results, scientists believe that momentum after the big bang universe was born and the radio signals released from this explosion are now spreading through the universe.
The heat generated from the explosion could be billions of degrees. But after the explosion within less than one second this system starts to cool down. In this moment electrons could be generated. Within a one second protons were generated and within the next 1000 seconds elements like hydrogen and beryllium were originated. Then there were many changes occur in the universe in the next million years. Before this time photon were unable to pass through matter without colliding with electrons, but after helium was born photons able to do that.
Anyway now it matter to scientists whether this universe is going to collapse or will it exist as it is in the present. If universe is going to collapse, there must be a high density so the distance between galaxies should be reduced. So scientists are searching whether the distance between space objects are increasing or decreasing. But they have only found that universe is always expanding. So it means that the first process after the explosion is still going on.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Living together with others promoting tolerance and understanding each other

Shivantha Withanage

Our planet has passed many eras through thousands of years in its journey to present. As a result some regions have developed and some are still under developed. We can introduce these years that we are passing as a special period on the earth. Because this is the worst conflictive period of the earth.

Before a long time humans originated by apes. So it is clear that all the people originated from same species. The blood and the structure of the bodies are same of all humans. There are only a few differences between humans. So why are they fighting with each others? There were many conflicts among the nations and religions. But most of them end within some years. The conflicts now happening started long time ago and they are exist without ending.

Today the world has globalized and the whole world has become a universal village. In one hand there are many advantages of the globalization. It helps to transfer technologies, techniques, electronic devices, medicines and other goods among the countries. And it also useful to get help from other countries for development projects. However negative impacts of the globalization such as the immigrants within countries could be a reason foe explosive violents between different people. Present world and countries have a major diversity of people. They have grouped according to their casts, religions, nationalities and cultures. Most of them hate other ones who belong to other groups. These people live side by sides and fight for their rights. But all wars are useless and hard to understand what the real cause is. Mainly the ignorance of humans cause for these things. They don’t think about the future and only think about the present situation. So they destroy their whole future and also others. Low literacy rate is also a one reason for that. If you take those people who fight, most of them haven’t even attended to a school. The cunning leaders add ignorance to these people and fill them with hate. The discrimination among the people is also cause for these violent. The people unable to control their tolerance get weapons and get in to battle fields to destroy the other ones. Exclusion is another cause for conflicts. When the rulers or authorized people excruciate other people they will gather and fight for their freedom. These are some causes for the conflicts among the people in these modern societies.

At present people live in different countries immigrate to other countries as foreigners. These immigrants settle down in that countries and live in the main society. Some time they marry local women and mix with the society. When a huge number of immigrants such as refugees settle down in a country it will be a threat to the main society and it may cause many social problems. After they spread their nations or religions, the local people will surely get in a trouble. Somehow at last immigrants destroy the freedom of local people. There may be people who don’t like this. Then they will get actions against the foreigners. So it is necessary them to fight against the immigrants. But we can’t definitely recognize who is the responsible for this matter in a conflict like this. But definitely both sides have to suffer from the bad impacts. Mostly these kind of different socialistic people live and work on their side and most of young people get in to these conflicts and destroy their lives. They use their knowledge, talents, energy and abilities to destroy lives instead of using them to fulfill a life. So countries loss many valuable youth lives.

People should stop these violents. Because world can’t exist anymore with violent There must be a social integration. Then this will be reduce very soon. People should think and care about others. And be with them in their both happy and sad moments. Always we should friendly with others. Humans should admire other ones ideas. And they should take part in others cultural, religious and national festivals and try to strength the friendship. Then there will be no any matters. Because all the people think of others and friendly with them. Any one can’t destroy good and genuine persons. So the society with good people will be a safe place and the violent will stop. We should understand others needs and their culture and value them very much. And we also remember to protect others rights to help them to build a better social life. The religions help people to become calm and peaceful. People can learn them from temples, church and other religious places. Religions like Buddhism and Christianity help to make a disciplined person. One time lord Buddha said ‘People should live peacefully to success their lives’. So religions can play a huge role in this peace process.

Many governmental and non-governmental organizations provide facilities to live in harmony. They advocate people how to stop these violence. As a result, some international wars have temporary stopped. The peace process between India and Pakistan is a good example. Young people can also do many things to protect peace and make a peaceful society. They should be friend with different kind of people instead of take part in violence. And they can spread the idea about the peaceful society among the people. They can aware public about this and help to moderate peace between people. Then it will be a great dynamic and harmonious multicultural and peaceful society. If all the societies change themselves the whole world will change in to a peaceful place. We should forget all our physical differences between humans and get together from the heart. We also should initiate to achieve this target. Public and authorities must make a useful and practical process to do this. It will be great help for us to achieve this goal. Then the future world will be peaceful and all the humans will live together as sons and daughters of our mother earth.


Effects on the school students by mobile phones

Shivantha Withanage

Modern world is rather different than the past. Today the world has developed. And it will be develop for a so much time. In the past people use many ways to communicate with the far away ones. But through the Industrial revolution, Telephone was invented Alexander Grahambel has the credit of making it. This instrument helps people to communicate very easily. The distance was not a matter. But carrying this device was not practical. So some phone companies in that time made mobile phones. This easy the way of using it. Phones help to make a communicating network or a global network around the world.

In the present most of the people have a mobile phone because mobile phone has become a human need. And in this Globalizing period most of the school students around the world use mobile phones. Students are attracted by the beautiful cases and the options of the cell phones. The rich uneducated people don’t have any idea about the bad effect on cell phones; buy a one to their children spending lot of money. But they don’t know that they are gifting daemon to their own children. Students use cell phones to show their level on the society. But these cell phones that students think very friendly to them have the strength to destroy their lives.

Mobile phones can be effect to the students’ life from many ways. One such problem is the health matters. The radio signals of the mobile phones are harmful to the body. These signals entered to the human body when they use phones near to their ears. These signals can destroy the memory and some parts of the brain. And also the signals with high frequency will harm the body parts and form students to patients. This also helps to short their life time. Another main problem is the abuse to mobile phones.

Modern cell phones have facilities to play music and watch films. They also include are video games. So students try to buy a one of this, from any way. Some of them urge from their parents and others may steal or do bad things to earn money to get a one. The colorful options tie the students to the cell phones. So they stop doing home work and their other studies and used to spend a lot of time with their mobile phones. They don’t even attend the school properly. So in the examination these students fail and destroy their lives themselves. Another vast matter is that students get internet facilities through the mobile phones. Sometimes this is very helpful to get information’s from the web sites. But some use this for useless things that are really bad. And also students find companions from the internet who is seeking for another. Most of them are with bad ideas and they try to use students for their illegal works. The students are forced by these people to drugs and to many other bad things. Students may be arrested by the police for these things. So they get in trouble.

Now you can understand how the students effected by mobile phones. So parents should not give a phone to a student without an especial reason. Before giving a mobile phone to a student they must be advised by someone about the effects of the cell phones. After giving it parents must aware about what are they doing with mobile phones? If they are using them for bad things parents should stop them and get them to the correct way. Then their lives will be lit up. And also schools and other institutes work with students should advice students about the effects of using mobile phones. Then the bad effects of the mobile phones on students will be less than the present in the future.


Blue Gold

Shivantha Withanage

Water is the most important thing in the earth. Without water neither plants nor animals can live. Even there couldn’t be life on earth without water. Because life was originated through the water and also water is the most powerful thing in the world. As it can originate the life, it can threaten the existence of life. Ancient people recognize these behaviors of water and they worshiped water with some kind of spirituality.
All the civilizations on the earth were based around the water. So the civilizations in the past like Mesopotamian and Nile obey to water. And they never cross the line laid by the natural statistics of water. Because they knew their lives are depending on it. This theory is true for the present and will be true forever.
There is a natural water cycle on earth which is known as the Hydrological cycle. In this process water circulates from the atmosphere to the earth and back, from a height of 15km above the ground to a depth of 5km beneath it. Water that evaporates from the oceans and from other water resources on the earth goes to the atmosphere and creates a shield around the planet. The saturated water steams of it form clouds and when those clouds get cool they form rain, necessarily the rain drops that have a length of 1mm-5mm fall on the earth surface.
There is a huge amount of water in our planet. If you take a look at a photograph of our planet taken from space you may see a large blue area on the earth. That’s because a large area of the surface is covered from water. The total amount of water in the earth is approximately1.4 billion cubic kilometers. But the amount of fresh water is approximately 36 million cubic kilometers, it’s 2.6% of total water in the planet. Only 11 million cubic kilometers or 0.77% of water counts as a part of the hydrological cycle. But human can only use 34000 cubic kilometers of water for their needs that usually comes from the rain. It helps to renew the fresh water in rivers and lakes. This type of water is considered as the useful water for human, because it’s fresh and it’s the only way to grow crops without finite water resources. So anyone can understand that fresh water is limited and it has begun to runoff.
But people get the maximum benefits from this little of water. We need water mainly for drinking. We can live few more days without food, but we can’t live even a day without water, either we’ll die from dehydration. We need water for watering crops, washing clothes and for sanitary and fire brigades use water to control fire that isn’t caused by oil. Another main use of water is the hydro electricity that generated by the potential energy of water. All the boats and other ships float on the water. So it helps for transportation. Natural water reservoirs like oceans and lakes give habitats for various types of animal species. We eat fish and other animals which are from oceans and other places. So water also provides fish for food and all the plants need water to grow and harvest. So water helps to get sufficient food for all the living beings.
People all over the world use a huge amount of water for their daily needs. So the fresh water in the earth is running out. Reason for this is the changes of the ground water, caused by the deforestation. But we would like to believe that there is an infinite supply of fresh water and it will never run out even all of us consume it. But this assumption is extremely false. We don’t see that the precious resource is disappearing. The fresh water available on the planet is less than one-half of 1% of all water in the earth. And the rest is sea water, frozen water in polar and inaccessible ground water. So we should be very careful when we are using it.
Water pollution is a threat to water. This case was not such a problem in the past, because ancient people care about water. But in present, people pollute water from numerous ways. Such as mixing harmful chemicals, heavy metals, hot water and many other pollutants like polythine to the water. And people turn their toilet outlets and drains around towns, in to lakes and streams. And landfills on wet lands are disastrous. Many people in developing countries use sand for their constructions. So people dig river beds to get sand. There are many bad effects of polluting water. When water gets polluted with agro chemicals and from the hot water release from factories are causes to destroy the bio diversity of water. Many types of animals die from eutrofication and algal blooming in water as a result of water pollution. And it will be a reason to spread diseases. The chemicals released from factories are harmful for the crops. Sand mining on rivers and streams is a main reason for flooding and sea water starts to mix with fresh water because the water level in the river is lower than the water level in the sea. There are many other bad effects of water pollution. If we don’t recognize our relationship with the water, our knowledge, experiments and wealth will be meaningless. We should improve the sustainability of using water and we should decrease water pollution.
Water is a valuable resource. Any one can realize it from wars occurred to own water. According to the ancient records, there was a war in the period of Lord Buddha. It was to share the water of Rohini River in India. But Lord Buddha came there and settled the conflict. And Lord Buddha thought that lives are worth than water. The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is also to share water in the Jordan River. The conflict between Tamilnadhu and Karnataka in India for the Kaveri River and conflict between America and Mexico over Colorado are main water wars. The war for the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Middle East and the conflict between African countries over the Nile River are also water wars. There are some actions which are taken by international authorities to stop these kinds of conflicts. There are many international protocols and conventions on water. The Territorial Sovereignty theory, The Natural Water Flow theory, The Equitable Apportionment theory, The Community of Interest theory, Helsinki Rules and United Nations Convention on the Law of Non-Navigational are some of the main international guidelines.
Some rich people and business companies use fresh water as one of their products. They privatize water for their own benefits and they earn lot of money from selling natural resources. People have to pay them, because they haven’t got another choice. Water privatizing in Atlanta, Buenos Aires, Bogotá and Camden in USA are few examples for it. So water privatization has become a big case over the planet.
Now you have an idea about what is water, how much fresh water do we have, what are the uses of water, what are the effects of water pollution and how worth is water. Water is our life, it seconds only to the blood. So we shouldn’t waste it. But large amount of rain water goes back to the oceans without being used. King Prakrama Bahu who was an ancient king ruled in Sri Lanka has told once “Any drop of rain water must not flow to the ocean without any use”. He worked as he told and made many large tanks to store rain water. If we waste water it’ll be a reason for a lack of fresh water. We must not contaminate water, because the ecosystem is sustained on water. So actions against water are actions to destroy our selves. But humans have to make reverence to water. We are not too late. We almost have time to change this system and to protect it. We should preserve water the “Blue Gold”. Then the future world will be better than the present.


Thursday, September 10, 2009