X-Message-Number: 16412
Date: Sun, 3 Jun 2001 05:00:52 EDT
Subject: Ozone...


Here is a real odd Internet quirk for me.  If you go to the following URL, 
you will see the following text whereby the last sentence is very wrong (or 
at least is appears wrong on my monitor).


It should read as follows:

"...dark blue liquid at -112 C and freezes at -193 C."  (The "minus signs" 
have been omitted from in front of the temperatures cited on the webpage.)

Ozone is a form of elemental oxygen. In its most stable form, elemental 
oxygen exists as diatomic molecules (O2). The molecules of ozone contain 
three oxygen atoms (O3) and are unstable with respect to O2. Ozone is a very 
reactive gas, and even at low concentrations it is irritating and toxic. It 
occurs naturally in small amounts in the Earth's upper atmosphere, and in the 
air of the lower atmosphere after a lightning storm. At room temperature, 
ozone is a pale blue gas with a sharp odor, characteristic of the air after a 
thunderstorm or near an old electric motor. It condenses to a dark blue 
liquid at 112 C and freezes at 193 C. UNQUOTE

However, when I past that sentence into email, the two negative signs 
automatically insert themselves in their correct location.  What the hell is 
going on???

I sometimes report factual errors (or suspected errors) I find from websites 
which are intended for science students as it and can be very 
damaging/frustrating to the learning process for young students (and old 
students like myself).  Such errors are incredibly common findings--even 
worse than in published science text books).  I was sending email to the 
webmaster about this one when I discovered this apparent "Internet quirk." 
Has anyone ever heard of anything like this before?  You can post or email me 


Hey, I have an equally odd observation to make and might as well since I have 
gotten everyone reading about ozone just now.  Read the next paragraph from 
the site which I have reprinted to follow and then I will make the 

Ozone is much more reactive than O2. It is a very powerful oxidizing agent, 
second among elements only to fluorine. It can oxidize many organic compounds 
and is used commercially as a bleach for waxes, oils, and textiles, and as a 
deodorizing agent. Because it is a powerful germicide, it is also used to 
sterilize air and drinking water. Ozone is usually manufactured by passing an 
electrical discharge through O2 gas or through dry air. The resulting mixture 
of ozone and O2 or air is usually suitable for most industrial applications 
of ozone. Because ozone is very unstable and reactive, the preparation of 
pure ozone is both difficult and hazardous and is seldom attempted.  UNQUOTE

Here is the observation: When we smell ozone, the smell itself is not 100% 
intrinsic to the substance itself (or solely attributable just to that 
molecule--such as would be the case with the scent of a rose), but rather, it 
is the smell of the results of the ozone molecules' interaction with those 
olfactory receptors that has just detected them--which they have just ruined. 
 It has oxidized and damaged/destroyed the specific, tiny organic receptor, 
and it is this "damage" which we are actually smelling--not just the ozone 
molecule per se.  Same goes for any such organically unfriendly substance I 
guess.  Good to know we have thousands of such receptors and that they 
regularly repair and regenerate!


David C. Johnson, Raleigh, NC

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