Monday, January 30, 2012

Odor O Meter

So there I was...

I was in the restroom the other day and the foul smell of feces got me thinking.  I started wondering if there was some sort of scale or chart that registered smells; or if there was some sort of order to odor.  You know how light is right, with its wavelengths and only some of it is visible to human eyes and all that?
 Same with sound...some tones (wavelengths) we hear, others we don't.  There is a range. The picture below doesn't really make a lot of sense unless you are smart. hahahaaaaa!

Even with taste, your tongue, certain areas of it taste different things. one section is for...well here's a picture.  Makes sense right?

So my thought was: I wonder if smells are the same way.  Things that smell good have similar characteristics like audible wavelengths.  I had to do some research...and by some I mean hardly any.  Come to find out there are 2 main theories that try to explain why and how we smell.

1.  The Shape Theory of Olfaction - The Shape theory of smell states that a molecule's particular smell is due to a 'lock and key' mechanism by which a scent molecule fits into olfactory receptors in the nasal epithelium.
2. The Vibration Theory of Olfaction -  The Vibration theory of smell proposes that a molecule's smell character is due to its vibrational frequency in the infrared range.

So...I guess all my studying has been in vain because we aren't sure what causes us to smell things good or bad.I would like to see something graphically displayed.  Four quadrants with dots? I don't know what it is I want but now I am intrigued with the idea of being able to look at something and understand the smell spectrum.

Happy Monday!

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