What does toothpaste have to do with a dwarf?

dwarf disneysmall toothpaste-cartoon

This is how fluorine, a life-essential heavy element, is made: unlike other life-essential heavy elements made by supernovae explosions, fluorine is made in sufficient quantities only on quite rare an object: the surface of white dwarf stars bound into binary systems with larger star-companion, where the larger star must orbit closely enough to the white dwarf that it loses significant material to the white dwarf. At the surface of the white dwarf, some of this material is converted to fluorine. Then the white dwarf must lose this fluoridated material into interstellar space for it to be incorporated into a future solar system. This sequence means that the universe, our galaxy, and the sun’s position in our galaxy must assume narrowly specified characteristics if Earth is to obtain the fluorine it needs for the support of life (Hugh Ross).


When I sat in my favorite graduate building materials class (taught by my favorite Cambridge PhD) three years ago, my mind was blown on discovering how expensive aluminum is to mine and then to ship to opposite ends of the world to smelt and refine, and that we are using aluminum as soda cans. Now this fluorine, stuff we associate with toothpaste (fluoride), requires procedures of such cosmic scale to make, is just mind-blowing.

About R. Lin

依靠主8年。感謝主給我們好老師和好教材,欲將在北美聽到的講道以及課文翻譯成中文與更多朋友分享。提姆凱勒有一句極有趣的話:文是為福音所造。"The ultimate purpose of language is the Gospel." - Tim Keller 福音美兮,願我在這裡的拙文能同大家享受也分享上帝的福音。 現職建築工程業界,禱告順服給上帝使用。 C.S. Lewis Institute Fellow (Chicago Chapter) 魯益師研究院 同仁 Registered Translator in British Columbia (Chinese to English); Translator and interpreter of English to Chinese literature Enthusiast of Christian apologetics, art, culture, history, literature, religion, science, philosophy, design, music, and thoughtful living.
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