Electrochemistry

Thrilled you're here. If you haven't already, I would recommend checking out some of my previous crash courses on Chemistry, such as Chemical Equilibrium from last week. Electrochemistry is the study of redox reactions in the production of (1) electrical currents from spontaneous chemical reactions, and (2) non-spontaneous chemical changes by the use of electrical currents. There … Continue reading Electrochemistry

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Spontaneity, Entropy, & Free Energy

Hello there! If you're joining me for the first time, I would recommend checking out some of my previous crash course posts as well. My last post was on Thermochemistry. Today's lesson is going to be long and it's going to be hard! It won't be too bad, because I'm going to try my best to … Continue reading Spontaneity, Entropy, & Free Energy

An Initiation to Chemical Kinetics

In chemical reactions, we seek to answer two main questions: How can we know whether a reaction will be spontaneous? Once started, how fast will the reaction proceed? The laws of thermodynamics help us answer (1). Chemical kinetics help us answer (2). The energy difference between products (C+D) and reactants (A+B) pertains to thermodynamics. The … Continue reading An Initiation to Chemical Kinetics

A look at “many-electron atoms”

Last time, when talking about quantum mechanics, we used Hydrogen as our prime example. That's because Schrödinger's equation for H can be exactly solved, but that's not so for the other elements on the periodic table. Any atom that contains two or more electrons is called a many-electron atom. This excludes H, He+, Li2+, etc. … Continue reading A look at “many-electron atoms”

Intro to Nuclear Chemistry

Hey there. I'm assuming you know a little bit about what atoms, molecules, and ions are, and you might know a bit of stoichiometry and the types of chemical reactions that happen in our crazy big/little world, and you're probably reading this because either you (a) are taking a course covering this topic, (b) you … Continue reading Intro to Nuclear Chemistry

Why Rainforests are Important, & How/Why We Measure Them

Biodiversity and Rainforest Structure Do yourself a favor today and learn something about the big wet green and blue ball that we call Planet Earth. What is biodiversity? Biodiversity is a type of nested hierarchy where there is genetic diversity within a species, species diversity within an ecosystem, and ecosystem diversity within a region. What … Continue reading Why Rainforests are Important, & How/Why We Measure Them

What We Can Learn from Conducting (Music, not Electricity)

Believe it or not, conductors do not get up on that podium and wave their arms around until the music stops. (Just kidding. I'm sure you know that.) Well, I am no stranger to the art of conducting, though I am only relatively beginning my expertise in this area of knowledge. One of my favorite … Continue reading What We Can Learn from Conducting (Music, not Electricity)

The Sacrifice of Silkworms

Silkworms, like butterflies, have to die once at the risk of not living again, only they are all the more unselfish. We want the butterflies to hatch a second time to admire their beauty, but we boil the silkworms when they are the most defenseless and turn them into thread. If our own death is just another step in the life cycle, will we have used up all our silk before we have gone? Will we be brave enough to? Are we dedicating all our waking hours to growing, not necessarily physically, but in intellect, strength, character? Yes, perhaps the silkworms understood the risk of their last endeavor just as well as we do, when we fear using up all our talent and energy that we have now for the possibility of something not guaranteed in the future. But there's perhaps a greater risk not to try.