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Offline neilep

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What Is A Free Radical ?
« on: 12/02/2008 21:33:53 »
Not too sure if this should be in physics !!

But you hear all these things about Free Radicals !!

So, what are they ?...where do they come from ?....and why are they Free ?


 

another_someone

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What Is A Free Radical ?
« Reply #1 on: 12/02/2008 21:42:01 »
Probably a terrorist let out of jail.

OK, think about it this way - you have a nice high voltage electrical circuit, and one of the wires gets loose and you have this dangerous electrical voltage now flying around the place.

Now scale that down to a single molecule.  That molecule is held together with electrical forces.  The overall molecule is electrically neutral, but some parts of it are more electrically negatively charged, and some parts are positively charged.  Now tear a chunk of that molecule off - so it now has an unstable electrical charge - that loose chunk is a free radical (probably quoting freely from Das Kapital, or Mein Kamf, or some such text).
 

Offline neilep

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What Is A Free Radical ?
« Reply #2 on: 12/02/2008 23:22:39 »
Probably a terrorist let out of jail.

OK, think about it this way - you have a nice high voltage electrical circuit, and one of the wires gets loose and you have this dangerous electrical voltage now flying around the place.

Now scale that down to a single molecule.  That molecule is held together with electrical forces.  The overall molecule is electrically neutral, but some parts of it are more electrically negatively charged, and some parts are positively charged.  Now tear a chunk of that molecule off - so it now has an unstable electrical charge - that loose chunk is a free radical (probably quoting freely from Das Kapital, or Mein Kamf, or some such text).

THANK YOU AGAIN GEORGE.


..so why does this make them so bad for me and you ?
 

another_someone

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What Is A Free Radical ?
« Reply #3 on: 12/02/2008 23:32:04 »
..so why does this make them so bad for me and you ?

Firstly, it is too simplistic to say they are bad, or good, for you.

As I said, these are electrically charged bits of molecules, so they are highly reactive.  Just as I was saying with the analogy with the loose HT cable, this reactive electrically charged bit of molecule can react with things, and damage other molecules; but in the same way as we can use electrical discharges to zap insects, so too the immune system can actually use free radicals to zap various nasty pests circulating around our bodies.

In any case, radicals are an important part of chemical reactions (as molecules are braking up and reforming), but the problem is when they get free to combine with what they should not be combining with.

I am sure some chemist will come along and now zap be for my somewhat loose and free explanation of all of this.
 

Offline lightarrow

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What Is A Free Radical ?
« Reply #4 on: 13/02/2008 08:04:21 »
Not too sure if this should be in physics !!

But you hear all these things about Free Radicals !!

So, what are they ?...where do they come from ?....and why are they Free ?


An oxygen atom is a free radical, for example. Now I have a question for you: why then we don't die breathing oxygen? (It's simple, I want you to think about it!)
 

lyner

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What Is A Free Radical ?
« Reply #5 on: 15/02/2008 18:03:16 »
You DO, if the Oxygen is too concentrated.
 

Offline lightarrow

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What Is A Free Radical ?
« Reply #6 on: 15/02/2008 18:06:07 »
You DO, if the Oxygen is too concentrated.
I meant: "why don't we die breathing the natural occurring oxygen in the air?"
 

Offline neilep

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What Is A Free Radical ?
« Reply #7 on: 15/02/2008 23:10:14 »
Not too sure if this should be in physics !!

But you hear all these things about Free Radicals !!

So, what are they ?...where do they come from ?....and why are they Free ?


An oxygen atom is a free radical, for example. Now I have a question for you: why then we don't die breathing oxygen? (It's simple, I want you to think about it!)


I'm still thinking !!! [:I] [:I]
 

Offline lightarrow

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What Is A Free Radical ?
« Reply #8 on: 16/02/2008 08:10:58 »
Not too sure if this should be in physics !!

But you hear all these things about Free Radicals !!

So, what are they ?...where do they come from ?....and why are they Free ?


An oxygen atom is a free radical, for example. Now I have a question for you: why then we don't die breathing oxygen? (It's simple, I want you to think about it!)


I'm still thinking !!! [:I] [:I]

Ok, don't want to be responsible for your sleepless nights!  :)
When two oxygen atoms collide, they immediately react forming molecular oxygen O2 and releasing a lot of energy (the same for many other gases, included nitrogen, hydrogen ecc.). It's molecular oxygen that is present in air and that we breath, not atomic oxygen; if we breathed the atomic, we would have fast a serious injury and then probably death.
 

Offline neilep

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What Is A Free Radical ?
« Reply #9 on: 16/02/2008 21:08:13 »
Not too sure if this should be in physics !!

But you hear all these things about Free Radicals !!

So, what are they ?...where do they come from ?....and why are they Free ?


An oxygen atom is a free radical, for example. Now I have a question for you: why then we don't die breathing oxygen? (It's simple, I want you to think about it!)


I'm still thinking !!! [:I] [:I]

Ok, don't want to be responsible for your sleepless nights!  :)
When two oxygen atoms collide, they immediately react forming molecular oxygen O2 and releasing a lot of energy (the same for many other gases, included nitrogen, hydrogen ecc.). It's molecular oxygen that is present in air and that we breath, not atomic oxygen; if we breathed the atomic, we would have fast a serious injury and then probably death.




FIVE MORE MINUTES and I was to write down exactly what you have written above...verbatim !! ;) ;)

THANK YOU Alberto.



 

Offline demografx

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What Is A Free Radical ?
« Reply #10 on: 15/10/2008 01:10:57 »
Not too sure if this should be in physics !!

But you hear all these things about Free Radicals !!

So, what are they ?...where do they come from ?....and why are they Free ?


A free radical is an antiwar hippie protestor out on bail.
 

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What Is A Free Radical ?
« Reply #10 on: 15/10/2008 01:10:57 »

 

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