Sanctuary’s science, spin and songs
Bryan Sanctuary

December 14, 2011

Exams: Teach yourself to learn.

A “course” is a “path” through the material which your prof. decides is important and attempts to teach you. Exams come from that material, so listen to him/her. You need to organize that material, see how it fits in the big picture and manage your time properly: that is you must be efficient.
December 12, 2011

Entropy (Part 5): Randomness by rolling Avogadro’s dice

With Avogadro's number of dice, you can roll them as much as you want, and the chance that there is an outcome other than the one that corresponds to the position of the spike is so unlikely you can safely ignore them.
December 8, 2011

Is Learning Chemistry difficult? Are you stressed about it?

Exam time is coming and we have 1,100 freshman chemists getting stressed and nervous, so this is for them. You need “stress” in your live. No stress would mean you would stay in bed all day. Well I’m a chemistry prof and like physical chemistry, and not a psychologist, but over the years you get to know students worries. There are two types of stress. There is bad stress ("I'm scared", "I'm dumb" "It is too hard?") and there is good stress ("Great day, gotta get up!", "I really want to understand stuff" "I am looking forward to tonight, so got to look good.") Use the good stress.
December 5, 2011

Entropy (Part 4): Randomness by rolling ten dice

For 10 dice there are over 60 million arrangements and Figure 1 shows the outcomes for 30,000 rolls.
November 28, 2011

“We’ve lost our Nobel Prize winner!!”

At that time, it was customary for a week’s symposium to have an outing. Although it was mid-August, Bob, an avid skier, had planned a trip to Whistler mountain where the participants would take the gondola up to the Round House and spend a couple of hours in the clean mountain air and enjoy the surrounding scene of mountains and glaciers. However the day before the outing, by chance I called Whistler and found that gondola was closed for maintenance and at that time it was the only way up.
November 21, 2011

Entropy (part 3): Randomness by rolling four dice

The basic idea is that a physical system has many different arrangements (states) of particles which are consistent with some macroscopic quantity, like the temperature. Boltzmann found that out of all possible ways those particles can be arranged, only those that are consistent with the actual temperature need be considered. The chance of any other arrangements is negligible in comparison. Rolling dice illustrates this nicely.
November 14, 2011

Entropy (Part 2): Randomness by rolling three dice

it is suggested the difficulty students have in understanding that entropy is a measure of randomness can be approached by rolling dice. In the first entry two dice were rolled but in that case there are only 36 arrangements and 10 outcomes (rolls from 2 to 12). This does not show that the most random state dominates (i.e. the one with most number of arrangements consistent with a roll of 7) . To show that more dice need be rolled. In this entry three dice are shown to have more randomness in the outcomes (3 to 18).
November 8, 2011

Entropy (Part 1): Randomness by rolling two dice

To understand entropy, I roll dice. I start with two, then move to three, four, ten and then Avogadro’s constant of dice, and roll them randomly.
October 17, 2011

Am I the one who found the famous Solvay 1927 conference photo?

In that pile of glass plates I found in the Kamerlingh Onnes laboratory in 1974, was the original glass negative of the 1927 Solvay Conference. I had never seen the picture before and it was an exciting moment as I looked at my find, and started to recognize individuals.
August 26, 2011

The Ether and Michelson-Morley Experiment; Most Famous Failure

In a nutshell Bell thought that different reference frames would allow superluminal communication between particles. Einstein’s special relativity predicts the well-known space and time contractions in different inertial frames, and perhaps these could explain the EPR paradox and rationalize non-locality.
August 5, 2011

Survey of the Types of Chemical Reactions

Explosions are vigorous chemical reactions that take place very rapidly and produce large volumes of gas and a lot of heat. For the explosives shown here, all are solids or liquids with a small volume relative to the huge amount of gas that is released in the explosion. The rapid production of a large volume of gas causes damage.
August 4, 2011

Empirical Formula in Chemistry

The empirical formula is simplest whole number formula for a compound.

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