Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Quiet! Do You Smell That?

[A brief diversion, as I am far too tied up in the pain of adjustments and a drop in temperatures (just when I was getting going, too!), I'll jump into an alternative topic, though still somewhat connected by waves.  Just about everything I believe came from extrapolating backwards from some ideas I have with regards to waves which I shall get into at some later date.  This is separate, just a realization I had about the sense of smell.  You can run around the web after reading and see just how stupid so many blindly remain trapped by the theories in which they were raised.  NOTE - I had this realization without ever having learned any alternative theories existed.  It was new to me, though out there in some forms for a minority.]

Until I actually bothered to think about it for a moment on my own, using my own brain, I was like most college educated individuals (somewhat worse when you realize I studied Cognitive Psychology) that believed the sense of smell was particle based.  That is to say, it occurs when the olfactory system detects a particle suspended in the air which enters the nose.

All it took to change my mind was a single supposed fact - Sharks can smell a minute amount of blood in water from hundreds of meters away.  Here are some shark facts if you are curious.  As little as "one part per billion" from "hundreds of meters away from the source" is noted, and everyone with a TV has at some point heard of sharks smelling blood from great distances.

Now, with air, it is easy to envision minute particles from the stove top, drifting up with the heated vapors, slowly making their way through the house, until they find your nostrils.  Yum.

It is not possible, however, for a particle of blood to so diffuse through sea water.  Blood simply cannot diffuse hundreds of meters from the source within a few minutes, maybe not even in hours.  It just doesn't happen.

Drop some food coloring into a swimming pool and see for yourself.  Your eye will see no more than a few feet of disbursement in a minute.  How much further do you think small, non-visible, molecules could have travelled?  Does a child's pee in the shollow section of a giant lake reach your skin in small amounts 100 meters away instantaneously?  No.

A few conclusions can be drawn.  Either the tests that have been used to determine these tidbits about sharks are grossly incorrect and have nothing to do with olfaction (possible, though I doubt it), or, the sense of smell is based on the detection of waves emanating from the particle.

I originally presumed (and may still be correct) that the waves were simply reflections off of the particles.  After a brief reading of the theory of Luca Turin on the detection of a molecules frequency, the identification of molecular oscillation as smells, however, I found that the particles themselves may be the source of their own waves.  Yet, I am even more certain that wave detection of some sort is actually the source of olfaction.

Just something to think about.  Obviously, if a nose as poor as a human's smells toxic fumes, the responsible chemical is present, probably close by, likely suspended in the air to some degree.  You probably are inhaling some acetone as you walk by a finger nail parlor.  Yet, simply because you and nearly everyone else thought that the sense of smell was particle based does not make it so. 

Yes, yes, you don't get the wave without the particle (or do you? see the Turin article's final paragraph), but the point is that what our scientists believe about the most basic aspect of a primary sense can be called drastically into question by a commonly known fact about sharks, yet most everyone, especially the scientists, go right on believing what they were taught anyways.

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