Friday, July 9, 2010
Just Another Day at Columbia
I just barely made it to class on time this morning after almost oversleeping. Our lab today involved chromatography in two incarnations; first we did thin layer chromatography which serves as a test of various substances in a solution and we then performed column chromatography which is an actual method for separating multiple parts of a solution.
Lunch always follows the lab so I think I’ll take a moment to briefly describe the dining setup. The cafeteria is on the bottom part of our building, John Jay hall. I believe that all residential students pay for a meal plan as part of the tuition so there’s always plenty of people during meal times although it never gets too crowded. The food is always palatable and there are plenty of options although the quality does vary between meals. There’s nothing particularly unique about the dining experience but I’ve added some photos anyway.
After lunch we received a lecture by Professor Jonathan Owen, a materials scientist. Professor Owens’s work is in the field of nanoparticles which is rapidly becoming an important area of research due to the possible applications. One of the more memorable potential applications of nanoparticles is the creation of flexible surfaces which can act as computer screens because instead of needing some kind of lamp the nanoparticles can emit only the needed light thus also saving energy.