Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Philly Cheese Steak With Benny!

What You Eatin' There Ben?
Well, you can guess what happened today! Today, we went to Jim's Steaks and it was delicious! Guess who I spotted on the walls listing all the famous people going there? Ben Franklin! Anyways, I've always heard that Philly cheese steaks were pretty good, but this place was tasty and some say that it rivals and is even better than another restaurant Geno's East which also has Philly cheese steaks. But my sense of time is out of place. It's out of wack. It's relative. Which is what we learned in physics today.
A Stream of Tired Photons
To start off the day, we talked about time and how there was no such thing as absolute time as time is relative to an observer. Time is basically just a stream of photons that pass us and so if we're moving past this line of photons while somebody else is standing still, we'll disagree on how many photons passed us and so we'll disagree on time. Basically, physics still works to each observer, but time and space for each person is relative. The only thing that never changes is the speed of light. To any observer, the speed of light is still the same. This concept reminds me of how events in life can be relative to each person in being good or bad until you compare it to a true moral standard.

Experimentally Driven Charlie Johnson
Computer Simulation Minded Bob Johnson
After this mind boggling concept about time, we had not 1 speaker, but 2 about nanotechnology. The first speaker Charlie Johnson talked about his work in merging biological molecules like DNA and proteins with nano-materials such as carbon nanotubes and graphene to create devices like an electronic nose or a cancer detector. After working with carbon nanotubes, Charlie decided to work on graphene instead because there was dying interest in carbon nanotubes. The physics were sound, but Charlie in his research had to deal with economic interests as well. He had to consider all factors in his research decisions to not only pursue what he loved, but to also make a living out of it which is a wise lesson. Charlie likened carbon nanotubes to be like a fad that lasted 10 years and even graphene is on its way out. On the flip side of Charlie Johnson was Bob Johnson. Though their last names were Johnson and though Charlie used some of Bob's slides, they were different in their approach to nanotechnology.  Charlie was more of an experimentalist while Bob created and ran computer models to simulate how the DNA would behave in experimentation before they actually created these devices. What I learned from Bob was that even though he worked on computer simulations, he actually studied physics in college and later on learned some computer programming in grad school. This taught me that people become a jack-of-all-trades when they need to be such as in learning computer programming within a week or learning how to use an atomic force microscope to gather some data. 

Today Gave Me Something to Chew On!
After these speakers, I decided to get dinner at Jim's Steaks as you are already aware of. In conclusion, today was an informative day as it taught me a lot of important lessons such as how one should be wise in taking into all things such as economic or political factors into consideration before deciding on something important. Another one was how people need to be versatile in being able to learn new things and skills on the fly when necessary. Thanks for these informative thoughts, UPenn! I'm going to chew and sleep on this.

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