Phenomena of Nature: Physical & Chemical Basis of the Universe – Dr. Sayed Abdul Wadud

The distribution of tasks in the universe. (51:4)

The planning and readjustment of the contents of the universe. (79:5)

All objects in nature consist of chemicals. Even the living objects originated from chemicals. There are 92 different known elements which form the ‘building bricks’ of the universe. These ‘bricks’ can be transformed one into another. Mendeleev (1834-1907), a Russian scientist, discovered the Periodic law which is a statement of the fact that “properties of chemical elements are periodic functions of their atomic weights”. That is, when they are arranged in order of  their   atomic   numbers,   elements   having   similar   chemical   and physical properties occur at regular intervals. Table of chemical substances illustrating the Periodic law is known as the Mendeleev Table (F-‘-
Fig.lO-.A PART OF THE MENDELEEV TABLE

The elements are arranged in this Table from No. 1 to No. 92, in order of their atomic weights. The elements in turn consist of tiny particles called atoms. An atom is the smallest complete unit of an element. For example, a carbon atom is the basic unit of the element carbon. Each element is given a chemical symbol. For example, the symbol of carbon is C and that of oxygen is 0. Under certain degrees of temperature, pressure and concentration, all atoms except a few are liable to attach to and remain linked to certain other atoms. Such combinations of two or more atoms are called compounds. The binding forces which keep the atoms in a compound linked together are called Chemical Bonds. Each compound has a particular chemical name and a particular formula, which indicate what kinds and what numbers of atoms are present in that particular compound. For example, carbon dixoide is technically the compound of carbon and oxygen and is represented as CO2 i.e., one atom of carbon is linked with two atoms of oxygen.

How are the chemical bonds between atoms produced? The atoms of all elements are constructed out of components collectively known as fundamental elementary particles which are of 3 types: Protons, Neutrons and Electrons. Protons and Neutrons are situated in the centre of an atom and are collectively known as Atomic Nucleus. Electrons revolve round the nucleus. (Fig. 11A). A Proton has a Mass (Weight) which is the same for all protons and is given the arbitrary unit Value 1. Neutron is the same as the Proton with no charge and thus its Mass is also 1. Mass of an Electron is 1/1800 and thus it is negligible. So the total mass of a whole atom is concentrated in its nucleus.

The mass of an atomic nucleus, i.e., the number of protons and neutrons present determine the Atomic Weight. For example, the simplest type of atom is that of Hydrogen. Its nucleus consists of a single proton and there is a single electron on the outside; neutron is absent. Since the nucleus of hydrogen has a mass of 1, its atomic weight is said to be 1. Next higher element is Helium. Its atomic weight is four and its nucleus contains 2 protons and 2 neutrons. Thus the atomic weights from element No. 1, i.e.. Hydrogen to element No. 92, i.e., Uranium, go on rising stop by step. Uranium is the heaviest of all elements. Its atomic weight is 238. Under certain conditions elements are interconvertible.

In addition to their mass, the elementary particles, of an atom also have certain electrical properties. Neutrons, as the name indicates, are electrically neutral. Protons are electrically positive, i.e., each proton carries one unit of positive electric charge. Electrons are electro-negative, each unit carrying one unit of negative charge. In each normal atom the number of protons is exactly equal to the number of Electrons. For example, the Oxygen atom has got eight protons positively charged and eight electrons negatively charged. Similarly in one atom of Sodium there are 11 positively charged protons and 11 negatively charged electrons. It means that the positive and negative charges in an atom are equal and thus an atom as a whole is electrically neutral.

Number of Electrons (or Protons) in an atom defines its Atomic Number. Thus hydrogen has Atomic No. 1, uranium has Atomic No. 92.

The electrons of an atom move around the nucleus at a speed of the order of 100,000 miles per second. An atom is thus like a miniature solar system. The nucleus is comparable to the central sun and electrons are comparable to the planets. Just as gravitational forces keep the planets in orbits around the sun, so also do forces of electric attraction keep the negatively charged electrons in atomic orbits around the positively charged nucleus. Moreover, just as the planetary orbits are situated at specific distances from the sun, so also are the electrons’ orbits located at specific distances from the atomic nucleus. The paths of the electrons at these distances may be said to mark out specific shells one outside the other known as Quantum Shells. Each shell can hold only a fixed maximum number of electrons. The first shell closest to the atomic nucleus can hold a maximum of 2 electrons the second shell a maximum of 8 electrons. Known maximums also characterise all other shells. In the case of a Hydrogen atom the single electron normally orbits in the first shell. As this shell could hold two electrons, Hydrogen is said to have an ‘incomplete’ or ‘open’ shell. By contrast an atom of Helium possesses two electrons both orbiting the first shell. In this instance the shell holds the maximum possible number of electrons and it is said to be ‘complete’ or ‘closed’. (Fig. 11B). In an atom of Oxygen 8 orbital electrons are present. Two of these fill the first shell and the remaining six occupy the second. Since the second shell could hold 8 electrons, this shell of Oxygen is open. In atoms generally electrons fill the orbital shells from the innermost outwards. Thus de­pending on the particular number of electrons present in a given atom, the outermost shell is either complete or incomplete. An atom is electronically and chemically stable only when all of its electron quantum shells are complete. A Helium atom possessing just the two electrons necessary to complete the first shell, is electronically entirely stable. It is also quite inert chemically, that is, it is unable to react with other atoms. Similar is the case with elements like Neon, Argon, Krypton, Xenon and Radon called inactive or inert gases. In the atoms of all other elements the outermost shells are incomplete and such atoms are electronically unstable. If appropriate kind and appropriate number of such atoms come into mutual contact, their incomplete outer shells may make them undergo a chemical reaction. The result of such a reaction is the formation of chemical bonds between the atoms, i.e., a chemical compound is produced. Thus the chemical properties of atoms are determined by their outermost quantum shells.

Ions. Every atom has a tendency to complete its outer shell and so to become electronically stable and this is the underlying cause for chemical interactions among atoms.

Now let us see how an originally incomplete shell becomes complete. (Fig. 11C). Consider an atom of Chlorine. Of the 17 orbital electrons, 2 form the first complete shell, 8 a second complete shell and remaining seven an incomplete third shell. Thus a Chlorine atom can satisfy its strong tendency for completing its shells by gaining one more electron in its outer shell. Consider now an atom of Sodium. Of the 11 electrons present in this atom, 2 form a first complete shell, 8 a second complete shell and the remaining one lies in a highly incomplete third shell. If this atom were to lose its single electron in the third shell, practically its second shell would then become the outermost shell. Thus the atom would become complete and stable.

In other words Chlorine is unstable because it has one electron short and Sodium is unstable because it has one electron surplus, in their outermost shells respectively. In view of this both atoms could become stable simultaneously, if a single atom is transferred from one atom to the other. Actually this can happen under certain appropriate conditions, and such a reaction is called an Electron-Transfer reaction.

Such a reaction may take place between more than two atoms; and the electrons transferred may be more than one. In electron transfer among two or more atoms, those atoms which loss electrons are called Electron Donors and those which gain them are called Electron Acceptors. Now why should an atom, say for instance, of Sodium always be a donor and that of Chlorine an acceptor. This is because 7 negatively charged electrons of Chlorine and their oppositely charged nucleus are attracted towards each other with a much stronger force than the one between a single negatively charged electron of Sodium and its nucleus. Thus it is exceedingly difficult to dislodge as many as seven electrons in one batch. Hence Chlorine will always act as an acceptor. Thus with two suitable atoms close to each other, the one containing a lesser number of electrons in the outer shell will become an electron donor and the one containing a larger number will become an electron acceptor. We may note that electron donors are commonly known as Metals and electron acceptors as Non-Metals.

As electrons are negatively charged, their transfer from one atom to another results in important electrical changes. Let us again take for example the transfer reaction between Sodium and Chlorine atoms. An atom of Sodium is electrically neutral because it contains eleven positively charged protons and eleven negatively charged electrons. After one electron is transferred from Sodium to Chlorine atom, the Sodium atom becomes positively charged. Similarly the Chlorine atom which was neutral before transfer took place, became negatively charged after it received an additional electron from Sodium. Atoms or groups of atoms carrying electric charges are called Ions. Substances with opposite electrical charges are attached to each other through electrostatic force. Thus the oppositely charged ions are actually bound together to form Ionic-Compounds.

The number of bonds that an ion forms with others, indicates the valence of the ions. Thus Sodium is said to have a positive valence of 1. Similarly Carbon ion has a positive valence of 4. This applies only to the number of bonds actually formed. Whole atoms have valence of Zero. They have potential valences which become actual through gain or loss of electrons.

Molecules. An atom with an incomplete outer shell may satisfy its tendency to become stable in a different way. An acceptor may not have a suitable donor nearby for interac­tion but it may have other atoms of its own kind available. In such an event an atom say of Chlorine shall complete its outer shell by reacting with another Chlorine atom (Fig. 11D). When in close contact, each one of the two Chlorine atoms tries to pull strongly an additional electron from the other. But in this mutual pull neither of the two atoms is able to detach an electron from the other. This is so because the force of attraction between the nucleus and electrons of one atom is equal to the force of attraction between the nucleus and the electrons of the other atom. Thus a mutual pull continues, each atom holding its own electrons, as well as trying to pull an additional electron from the other. This results in the two atoms holding each other together and at the same time sharing one pair of electrons. In this way each atom completes its outer shell by keeping under its influence 7 electrons in its own outer shell and one electron in the outer shell of the other atom. Each atom behaves as if it actually possessed 8 electrons in its outer shell. More than one pair of atoms may take part in this sharing process. Atoms such as Carbon, Oxygen and Nitrogen always share electrons, as contrary to such atoms as Sodium and Magnesium which always transfer electrons. The compounds formed as the result of electron-sharing are called Molecules and the reactions producing them are called Molecular reactions.

Just after the origin of the earth, probably free atoms were present all over. Later on they formed compounds. With certain exceptions free atoms are not to be found now. They are in the form of ionic and molecular compounds.

ENERGY

The energy of a body is its capacity for doing Work. It is measured by the amount of Work which a body under a given condition can perform.

Forms of energy. Since mechanical energy, heat, light, sound and electricity are capable of doing work under suitable conditions, they are considered as different forms of energy.

Kinds of energy. The energy is of two kinds. (1) The Kinetic energy and (2) the Potential energy.

Kinetic energy. The kinetic energy of a body is the energy which it possesses on account of its motion. Examples: A moving railway engine, a bullet fired from a rifle, a stone falling from a height are examples of bodies, which possess kinetic energy.

Potential energy. The potential energy of a body is the energy which it possesses on account of its position or some special situation. It is equal to the amount of work, which the body can perform in coming from its given position or condition to some standard position or condition, called Zero position. Examples: Water stored in elevated reservoir, ice lying on the top of the mountain, brick lying on the roof of the house are examples of bodies that possess potential energy on account of their relatively high position. On the other hand, the runner of a watch, a compressed spring and a bow with its string stretched are examples of bodies that possess potential energy on account of some special condition.

Every compound has a varying degree of energy content, depending on the atoms of which it is composed of and on its pattern of structure. As already noted the atoms in a compound are bound together by mutual electrical pull. These binding forces which hold the atoms together represent Chemical energy or Bond energy. The greater the force of attraction between two atoms or ions, the greater is bond energy or capacity to do work. A chemical bond is not a permanent structure. It may be broken up by an external force pushing apart the component atoms or ions. The amount of work required to break such a chemical bond is also called Bond Energy Once the two atoms or ions get disunited, they are free to unite again with each other or with some other suitable ions.

To start a certain chemical reaction, activating energy is required from an external source. How does this energy act? Take, for instance, heat which is the product of motion. As already described in Chapter HI, all atoms, ions and molecules continuously vibrate at random, making back and forth movements. These movements are felt in the form of heat and measured as temperature. The greater the temperature the more violent the motions; they decrease with the fall of temperature until stop at 273°C. Thus the temperature of a certain substance is proportional to the amount of thermal agitation in its chemical units. With the application of heat from an external source, the thermal agitation increases, and the chemical units collide against each other with a greater frequency. The more they collide, the greater is the possibility of reaction taking place between them. But this happens only up to a certain limit. If the application of heat exceeds that limit, so that the atoms and ions in the compounds become so much agitated that the force of the heat motion becomes more than the force which binds them together, then the bonds that already exists begin to break. Any type of energy other than heat, such as ultraviolet rays, will produce the same two effects i.e., increasing the possibility of bond-making up to a certain limit and the breaking up of existing bonds beyond that limit.

Once a chemical reaction is started, energy is also required to maintain that reaction. The maintenance energy comes from two different sources, depending on the potential bond energy that different compounds possess-(l) From the environments, (2) From the reaction itself. As is more frequently the case, the starting compounds entering a reaction have a total bond energy less than the total bond energy of the resulting compounds. In such an event there is an energy deficit in the reactants which can only be made up from an external source. Such reactions which require energy from an external source are called Endothermic.

On the other hand if the total bond-energy of the starting compounds is greater than the total bond-energy of the resulting compounds, the reaction is self-sustaining i.e., the energy in the starting compounds not only maintains reaction but is also released to the environments. Such reactions are called Exothermic. The burning of petrol is an example. Once it is ignited, the reaction goes on automatically and releases energy which can be used for doing some other work e.g., running a motor. In this case the total potential bond energy of the petrol is greater than the total bond-energy of the end products, which are gases.

Types of reactions between compounds. The chemical properties of a compound depend on the following:-

(1)    Arrangement of the component atoms. Two molecules may contain the same set of atoms, but if these are arranged differently the molecules  will have different properties. For example—

This difference in the binding properties of otherwise similar molecules is particularly significant in the chemistry of living matter. As we shall see later, how physically and biologically different substances come into existence, simply by change in the arrangement pattern of atoms in a given molecule.

(2) Number and type of the component atoms. The number of atoms being the same, a molecule composed of atoms of high atomic weight will obviously be heavier than a molecule composed of atoms of low atomic weight. In the living world the molecules are mostly composed of oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen and carbon, which are lighter elements. But the molecular weights of organic molecules are often exceedingly high. This is because an organic molecule is composed of hundreds and thousands of atoms. Here it is the large number and not the atomic weight which makes the organic molecule heavy.

As already noted, the compounds are not permanent structures. If subjected to the impact of appropriate amounts of external energy, they may undergo chemical reactions and become converted into different compounds. In the course of such a reaction, changes occur in the numbers, types or the arrangement of atoms of the participating compounds. Depending on the manner in which the structure of compounds become changed, four general categories of reactions may be distinguished:-

(1) Two or more compounds may add together and form a single larger compound. This is known as Synthesis reaction. For example,

NH3                   H2O                    NH40H

Ammonia    +    Water   =            Ammonium Hydro-Oxide

(2) A given compound may break up into two or more smaller ones. This is known as Decomposition reaction, the reverse of Synthesis. For example,

NH40H                                     NH3            H2O

(Ammonium Hydro-Oxide) = (Ammonia)   +   (Water)

(3) One or more of the atoms or ions of one compound may change places with one or more of the atoms or ions of another compound. This is known as Exchange reaction. For example,

+ —                       + —                        + –       + —

HCl                      NaOH                     HOH      NaCI

(Hydrochloric Acid) + (Sodium Hydroxide) = (Water) + (Sodium Chloride)

(4)Lastly, the numbers and types of atoms in a compound may remain the same but the bonding pattern of the atoms changes. This is called a Rearrangement reaction. For example,

Note that in all the four types of reactions the total numbers and types of atoms to the left of the equation are exactly equal to the totals on the right In the reaction as a whole, atoms are neither gained nor lost.

Catalysis. Organic compounds are very complex. Reactions between them require very high activation energy. Thus, theoretically, living processes require very hot environments. But it is a common experience that organic matter is liable to be destroyed when exposed to excessive heat. Then how is it possible for such complex processes to be carried out at a low temperature in which the living matter normally exists. This happens by means of Catalysis. The reactions in living matter are enormously accelerated by catalysts which serve as a supplement to thermal agitation. Various types of catalysts are also present in the non-living world. Special catalysts in the living world which are proteins and are thus very highly complex compounds are known as Enzymes. An enzyme combines with the reacting compounds only temporarily and thus brings them dose to each other. The reacting compounds which fit into the enzyme surface are called Substrates. Reaction between Substrates no more depends on chance collision but it becomes a certainty. Enzymes  have   definite   molecular surfaces and the configuration of these surfaces   differ,   as  the   internal structure of the respective proteins of which they are made up of, differs. Thus the nature of surface serves as a key to enzyme reaction. This is evident from (Fig.l2A.) The surfaces of molecules ‘a’ and ‘b’ fit into the surface of enzyme like lock and key. Reaction between ‘a’ and ‘b’ is thus no more a chance but a certainty. This indicates that every enzyme selects its own Substrates. Spatial   configuration   of  different enzymes differs and this accounts for the phenomena of enzyme specificity. It means that a particular enzyme catalyses only a particular reaction. In (Fig.l2B) Reactants ‘a’ and b fit partially into   the surface of the enzyme but Reactant ‘c’ does not. Hence the enzyme may speed up reactions involving ‘a’ and ‘b’, but not those involving ‘c’. When the reaction between two subtrates is over, the enzyme    molecule ultimately reappears unchanged, free to combine with a new set of substrates. The enzyme thus seves only as a medium and is not itself affected by such reaction.

Every chemical reaction has three basic characteristics. It takes place at a certain speed, it proceeds in a certain direction, and it has a certain duration.

Speed of Reaction. In addition to surrounding temperature and catalysts, the speed of reaction is also affected by the concentration of the reacting compounds present, the greater is their number, the greater the speed. The reaction is thus proportional to the concentration of the participating molecules. This is known as the law of Mass Action.

Direction and Duration of Reaction. This concentration of molecules does no affect speed only, it also affects the direction and duration of reaction.

For example:-1Glycerine + 3 Fatty-Acids = 1 Fat + 3 Water.

If the concentration of glycerine and fatty acid on the left of this equation is more than the concentration of fat and water on the right, the reaction will proceed to the right. On the other hand if the concentration is more on the right i.e., fat and water side, then the reaction will proceed to the left. The reaction shall continue, till a balance in concentration is achieved on either side.

The reaction is affected in two other ways. Firstly if we go on adding glycerine and fatty acid on the left, the reaction shall go on proceeding to the right. Secondly, if we go on removing the fat formed on the right side, the reaction shall again go on proceeding to the right. The latter shall happen rather more particulatiy in those reactions where the products of reaction are either gas or a precipitate.

The forces responsible for the distribution of tasks in nature

RADIATION

The term radiation is used in two senses. Firstly it is the process by which energy is propagated in space in the form of rays. Secondly the rays so propagated are also called Radiations.

Light Rays, Heat Rays, Gamma Rays are some examples of radiations.

Propagation of Radiant energy. Light and other such radiations are considered the result of rapidly alternating displacement current in the medium which gives rise to the magnetic effect. The two fields, namely the electric field and the magnetic, so produced, are inseparable, the one varying proportionately with the other. The variations of one field which give rise to the other, urge each other forward with a finite velocity, which is the velocity of light.

With regard to the origin of Electro-magnetic waves it may be stated that the atoms and molecules of matter contain electric charges, the vibrations of which send out electro-magnetic radiations. These radiations cover a very wide range of frequencies of wave lengths, depending on the quickness of alternation of the displacement currents. As a result we get the following chart of the different types of Electro-magnetic waves:-

Form the above chart it is dear that although these Electromagnetic radiations go by different names, in different regions, they are essentially of the same nature.

The shortest waves are the Cosmic Rays whose origin and nature are not fully known yet.

The next short waves are Gamma Rays which are emitted by the spontaneous disintegration of radioactive atoms.

Next come the X-Rays which are produced by an atomic process when fast moving electrons strike material objects.

The Ultraviolet Rays arise when atoms or molecules are subjected to energetic excitation bombardment with fast moving electrons.

The visible region which affects the human eye (Light Rays) occupies a very small portion of the whole electromagnetic chart. The waves of this region are produced by the vibrations of electric charges within both atoms and molecules.

The longer Infrared Rays which are produced by molecular agitation can be detected by their heating effect.

Finally we get the Wireless Rays which are produced by oscillatory electric circuits.

All these different types of radiations are propagated with the same velocity through space and all of them consist of alternating electric and magnetic fields in mutually perpendicular directions.

RADIO-ACTIVITY

There are certain heavy metals like uranium, thorium and radium which give out some kinds of radiations for all time continuously and spontaneously and thereby they are converted into a series of elements of lower atomic number. These elements and their salts which too exhibit this property are known as Radioactive Substances and the phenomena of giving out radiations by them is called Radio-activity. Three types of radiations are given out by radio-active substances:-

  1. Alpha Rays
  2. Beta Rays
  3. Gamma Rays

Alpha Rays. They comprise fast moving positively charged particles of mass, four times heavier than that of hydrogen nucleus. They are known to be nuclei of helium.

Beta Rays. They consist of a stream of electrons, moving with a very high velocity. As such they resemble the cathode rays in nature.

Gamma Rays. They are similar in nature to X-Rays and are. therefore, electro-magnetic waves in ether. Their wave-length is even shorter than X-Rays. They travel with the speed of light and have intense penetrating power. These rays carry neither mass nor charge. They are produced by the sudden stoppage of Beta-Rays, just as the X-Rays are produced by the sudden stoppage of Cathode Rays.

ATOMIC ENERGY OR NUCLEAR ENERGY

According to our common concept, matter and energy belong to two different categories and scientists too regarded them till recently as quite separate from each other. Matter in its own sphere was considered to be such that it could neither be created nor destroyed, by any physical or chemical means. This was the famous law of Conservation of Matter, upon which the whole science of chemistry was based. Energy in its own sphere was also considered to be such, that it could neither be created nor destroyed but only changed in form. In the year 1905, Einstein, the mastermind of modern physics, put forward the revolutionary idea that matter and energy are two aspects of the same stuff and that when matter is destroyed, energy is created in enormous quantity. He not only stated this fact but by his mathematical ingenuity discovered the famous equation E = MC2, which determines the relation between the matter destroyed and the energy created. (M-Mass of matter E-Energy in Ergs: and C-Velocity of light).

How large is the energy produced by the destruction of small mass of matter can be judged from the following example:-

If the consumption of electric energy in a house is 25 units per month, therein the energy produced by the destruction of Igm. of mass shall be sufficient to supply electricity to this house for 1,000,000 months, i.e., for more then 80,000 years. The enormous energy thus created by the destruction of a small mass of matter in the nuclei of atoms of some suitable substance is known as Nuclear Energy or Atomic Energy.

Fission and Fusion. The actual destruction of a small mass of matter and the consequent release of nuclear energy is caused by one of the two processes, the fission and the fusion.

Fission. In fission the nucleus of any suitable atom is split up into two parts by the bombardment of a proton or a neutron. For example, when nucleus of uranium 235 is bombarded with a neutron”‘, it undergoes fission and is split up into two parts, one of which is the nucleus of barium and the other is the nucleus of krypton while 3 neutrons are given off. Counting the exact atomic weights of the elements, including fractions, the total final mass produced is less than the total initial mass. The mass thus destroyed in the reaction is converted into energy.

Nuclear Fusion. The second process of the release of nuclear energy is by fusion; in which two or more nuclei of suitable substances are fused together to form a new nucleus, thereby destroying a certain amount of matter and converting it into energy. For example when two deuterium nuclei (a heavy Hydrogen Nudeus-1H2 ) are fused together, they form an atom of helium nucleus 2He4. In this case also the total final mass is found to be less than the total initial mass.

The solar radiations that supply energy for the maintenance of life on the earth, are produced by nuclear reactions inside the sun. The hydrogen is converted into helium. The actual processes are complex but the basic fact is that during fusion of the hydrogen atom and their conversion into helium, the total final mass produced is less than the total initial mass. The mass thus destroyed is converted into energy waves.

HUMAN ASPECT

We may thus summarize that electrons of all atoms in the universe move round their respective atomic nucleii at a tremendous speed. Moreover, all atoms, ions and molecules, regardless whether they are in a gas, liquid, or solid state, vibrate uninterruptedly at random, with back and forth movements except at a temperature below -273°C. The ionic or molecular bonds are being made and unmade in every nook and corner of the universe. The energy is being released at one place and supplied at another. Energy in one form is being convered into another. One form of matter is being replaced by another. The matter is being converted into energy and vice versa. A pinchful of matter when disintegrated produces an enormous amount of energy. If this energy is released suddenly in the form of an atom bomb, it would produce a tremendous amount of destruction. But in nature the energy is not released for destructive purpose, the radiation waves do not diminish in one jot the substance of God’s material creation but on the other hand they readjust the shape of the innumerable contents of the universe. Every particle of the universe has got a role to perform. Precious treasures are being shaped inside the oceans and in the depths of the Earth. The solar radiations reach the earth and promote photosynthesis in the vegetable kingdom. Food is thus prepared for the plants and animals. Innumerable other phenomena occur day and night. The making and breaking up processes continue uninterruptedly. All that is surplus is sorted out and all that is capable of survival is gradually raised up from one stage to another. Innumerable species of animals and plants become differentiated. The evolutionary processes are thus carried

‘Generally neutron is used for bombardment as it is not affected by the positive charge on the nucleus.
out constantly, in perfect silence and harmony and this all is due to the radiation waves. The Holy Quran describes the above phenomena in a graceful manner, so as to bring into light the process of Allah’s Rububiyyat

(77:1-7)

“By the (waves of Radiation) that are sent forth constantly for the benefit (of humanity). Those that turn into powder (all that is incapable of survival): and still those that diffuse and make things differentiated one from the other; and make the law of (construction and destruction) unveiled before the humanity so that one may be able to justify his existence by a positive act or take warning from the destructive effect of a negative act Assuredly that which you are promised must come to pass”.

At yet another place the Holy Quran says:

(51:1-5)

“By (the radiation waves) that scatter (energy); by the (centrifugal and centripetal forces) that lift heavy weights; by the ease and gentleness with which (energy waves) flow; and by the distribution (of tasks) by command; verily that which you are promised is true”.

We have already seen how the celestial bodies send out energy by nuclear fission or fusion and with what ease and gentleness this radiation flows. How the gravitational forces keep the huge big stars and planets with multimillion tons of mass in position? This pull of gravity is invisible and human knowledge is not yet fully developed to find out how it works. These forces of nature function in a state of perfect ease and gentleness. They distribute tasks at various levels not haphazardly but according to ‘Specific laws’. It is not possible to enumerate the number and distribution of these tasks which are processed in perfect coordination and are evidence of the unity of Allah’s plan.

MALAIKA

Two different roots of the word Malaika( ) as it occurs in the Holy Quran, are described in Arabic dictionaries. One is ‘ ‘ which means to send messages. The other is ‘ ’ which means power or energy.

All physical communication between any one point in the universe to another is carried out through the agency of radiation. On the other hand, all energy in the universe becomes manifest through radiation. The radiation waves, therefore, being the source of power and means of communication truly-come under the heading of the term Malaika, in so far as it relates to the physical universe.

Some of the functions of Malaika, as described in the Holy Quran are as follows:-

(1)       The distribution of tasks all over the universe-  (51:4)-as described above.

(2)      The planning and readjustment of the shape of innumerable

contents of the universe-( )

As stated earlier, the making and breaking up of chemical bonds depends on the amount of activation and maintenance energy. With the increase in the mount of energy the bond-making processes increase up to a certain limit; beyond this limit the greater the energy the more the speed and violence with which the bonds break. The radiation waves smoothly sail across the space and being of different wave lengths, one type exceeds the other in potency, penetration and consequent effects on environments which are constantly changing. The whole universe is thus perpetually in a state of commotion. The Holy Quran describes this phenomenon in connection with a greater commotion that lies ahead:

(79:1-6)

“By (the radiation waves) that undo (the bonds) with violence by penetrating (into Materials), and by those that undo (the bonds) with ease, and by those that smoothly float, one exceeding the other (in producing a particular type of effect) and thus readjust the shape of things (in the universe) by command of their Lord: that one day every thing that is in commotion, will be in violent commotion.

Means of communication other than radiation

The Holy Quran also describes means of communication other than the radiation waves:

(22:75)

“Allah chooses His messengers from amongst the ‘Malaika’ and also from amongst the mankind. Lo! Allah has infinite vision and hearing”.

According to the above verse the means of communication between the Creator and the creation are of two different kinds. Radiation is the link between the Creator and the physical word, including human body; and between the different constituents of the creation itself. The other link is the ‘Divine energy’. This link is between the Creator and the living objects, and in the case of man it occurs through the chosen messengers of God from amongst the human beings. The nature and working of this link is beyond the perception of human beings other than the ‘messengers’ themselves. As regards the reception at the (so to say) “control post” of the Creator, it is perfect and infinite. ( )

The other functions assigned to and performed by Malaika in the realm of  are equally beyond human understanding.

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