Welcome to this month's Science in Fiction feature! Science in Fiction is a meme I created to showcase the wonderful aspects of science in Young Adult fiction novels. For more information and previous feature, check out the "Science in Fiction" tag!
This month, I'm featuring P.S. I Like You by Kasie West!
P.S. I Like You is one of the cutest YA contemporary novels I've read in 2016. It's more than fluffy goodness - the characters are lovable, the romance is sweet, the story is surprising and entertaining. This book is clearly not a science fiction novel! However, it ties into this feature really well.
Our female protagonist, Lily, often daydreams during chemistry class. It's in chemistry class that the notes between her and her mysterious pen pal begin, and thus, the story is born.
So today, I'm going to tangentially relate this book to science, in which I talk about the recent happenings and discoveries in the exciting world of chemistry!
(I love chemistry, in case you didn't notice. Lily and I are very different in the aspect!)
- Organic computers could be a thing. Scientists have discovered that a derivative of -radialene can be used as an organic semiconductor. For reference, the basis of computer chips and memory are semiconductors. So this is very cool!
- A type of cement material has been designed to be used on the moon for construction. Scientists and engineers have created a lunar cement material from tektite powder and a sodium hydroxide activator. The material needs to have very specific characteristics to be stable on the moon. See more on this in the linked source!
- Europa, one of Jupiter's moons, could have life chemistry very similar to Earth's. The moon's underground seas have a chemical balance that could support life like on Earth!
- This underwater city, off the Greek island of Zakynthos, was constructed entirely of microbes. And totally not man-made! This is fascinating. The structures were formed by sulfate-reducing bacteria whose activities and life processes changed the soil chemistry and began the formation of the round structures. This process took millions of years!
- Four new elements (with atomic numbers 113, 115, 117, and 118) were added the Periodic Table. The names of the elements are ihonium (Uut), moscovium (Uup), tennessine (Uus), and oganesson (Uuo).
- A type of sand has been engineering to cool electronic devices. You read that correctly. According to the article, silicon dioxide nanoparticles would act like a conductor, and this would increase the thermal conductivity, thus dissipating the heat.
- A "smart" nanoparticle could change how tumors are treated. PEARLs (photo-thermal enhancing auto-regulating liposomes) are unique nanoparticles in that they can melt (or "ablate") tumors, using its properties of absorbing light and generating heat.
These are only a few of the many chemistry and chemistry-related discoveries in recent times! Our friend Lily should pay more attention in chemistry class - it's a bizarre and intriguing field that holds so many keys to the future!
When you were in school, did you like chemistry? What's one way chemistry affects your life (spoiler: there are infinite ways)? Did any of those discoveries surprise you?