Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Lab # 1


Saecond day of Chemistry class!!

Today's class was slightly different from yesterdays session. Yesterday was a day of introductions and class rules. Today's excitment was our fist lab. What made this lab seem professional was the lab coats and protective glasses given to us before starting the lab. Before getting started we had to cover basic safty and lab rules in case of an emergancy. The perpose of the lab was to indicate the freezing point of a Glacial Acentric Acid. In order to measure the freezing point of an organic conpound you need to slowly cool the liquid to a point where it will eventually cool below it's freezing temerature and then finally crystalize. This lab was the best lab I've ever done in my life and clearly its not going to be the last one.

In addition to having done our first lab today we also had the opportunity of having lunch with about eleven chemistry graduates. Most of these chemists if not all of them now work in the Columbia laboratories. Our professor wanted for us to engage a conversation with one of the many chemist who volunteered to spend their lunch with us. We were to ask plenty of question to sort of have an idea of how they became interested in chemistry and much more. Each chemist majored in a special field in chemistry such as an organic, physical, and biochemistry.

I had the opportunity to meet Dan who actuallt majored in Organic C hemistry. Dan now is working in the Chemistry building at Columbia University. Did i mention that he is currently working on recieving his Ph.D and getting paid. ( I wish I could get paid for going to school ) Some advantages of being an organic Chemist is that Dan has flexible working hours which means he can go on and off campus. He also has the liberty to choose what he wants to research. being an Organic chemist means that you have to work with alot of materials that are natural and can be found in our enviorment. Organic Chemistry sounds like a fun carrer to look into.

For the second half of today's session we had the honor to meet and be lectured by well known Gerard Parkin. Gerard Parkin assisted Queens College of Oxford University then in 1988 joined the faculty at Columbia University. Did I mention he is a MAGICIAN!!!!!!!

Well I guess thats it for today. NIGHT.

1 comment:

Don Gosney said...


I don't want to burst any bubbles for you but before you become too enamored with organic chemistry as a profession, you might want to talk to a few more people who have taken organic chemistry. There are the one percenters who end up majoring in that field that may--and I use that word sparingly--say kind words about organic and then there are the 99% percenters that will threaten to kill you if you ever bring the subject up again.

There is no middle ground on that issue, Sofia.

Go for it if that's your passion but before you go gaga over this subject, learn more about it and what it takes to even take the class.

Take a survey of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay an ask them if they would rather stay there and continue be water boarded or whether they might like to visit an organic chemistry class and I'm pretty sure the organic class would stay empty.

By the way, the process used in your lab experiment is called super saturation where the test matter is fooled and because of the super saturation of the compound it takes only the slightest disturbance to kick it into high gear and make the transformation.

I've even seen this effect in ocean water outside of Antarctica. Water normally freezes at 32 degrees but down there the water becomes super saturated with salt and doesn't freeze until it gets slightly lower than 26.5 degrees. Right up to that point it just gets very thick and then the slightest change and it suddenly freezes right up. It's really cool (no pun intended) to watch unless one of your appendages is in the water when it turns into a huge ice cube.

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