Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Another Day of Chemistry

Today I finally managed to get up at a reasonable time of 7:30 which allowed me to take a relaxed shower and eat breakfast before class. 

The weather also improved, as a breeze brought the temperature to much more hospitable levels. 

Our lab today involved the distillation of an ethanol-water solution through both the simple and fractional processes. We ended the lab with a qualitative test that involved setting the final solutions alight; it wasn’t the most precise method of measurement but it was very dramatic. 

After the lab we had lunch with some of the graduate students in the department. The man I talked to was a material engineer named Zach who happened to have grown up in Richmond, CA. He showed us around the building and explained his work in the synthesis of quantum dots which I admittedly did not fully comprehend. We ended the day with a lecture on the applications of chemistry in the modern world by Ronald Breslow, an internationally acclaimed chemist.

After class I explored the campus gym with Jamie and a chemistry classmate and then had dinner with them. Once I finish my homework I’m going to try and get to bed relatively early so that I can start to recuperate from my recent lack of sleep.


  1. I love small world stories. Did Zach go to Columbia?

  2. Michael,

    Considering your recent bout with the medical mysteries that almost sidelined you from this trip, you need to pay special attention to your sleep.

    I know that that's an easy thing for me to say since I can go to bed when I feel like it and rise under the same schedule but I can speak from experience about being overloaded with work and then paying the price for ignoring what my body's telling me.

    You have a holiday weekend coming up in a few days and you want to be fresh for that.