Monday, July 14, 2014

"The One That Held the Rock's Al Capone"

Mary's Funny Physics Cat!
Today was another crazy day, not just because of the events I did today, but because of what the random things that life threw at me today! I'll get back to this later. In physics today, we talked about the wave-particle duality of nature. Basically, it means that in certain circumstances, matter such as light tends to act like a wave and at other times acts like a particle. For example, light diffracts which is a property of waves, but light also emits energy at certain frequencies on metals which is a property of particles. This blew up Lord Kelvin's idea that physics was already complete except for 2 small issues like blackbody radiation! A famous scientist named Erwin Schrodinger helped shape quantum mechanics with his thought experiment of a cat being in a box with a radioactive material and not knowing if it was alive or dead. It reminded me of a meme that Mary showed to us in class today!

Professor Lande's Talk on Energy
After Mary's talk, we had a guest speaker named Ken Lande who talked to us about energy. It was very interesting because it was really in tune with what I want to study which is energy engineering. First, he explained the main principles of a certain type of energy source such as solar cells and how it worked physically. Then he would debunk the myths about it being the energy source that would solve all our problems by doing pure math on how much energy people in the U.S. needed, how much the energy source would produce, and how much area or construction was needed to fit these needs. It turns out that wind power can actually be very helpful in solving our energy needs in the future and can be swiftly implemented for the future! Fusion, though ideal, will always be the energy source that's ready in the next 25 years which is what they said about it 25 years ago.

Al Capone's Fabled But Mysterious Prison Cell!
Following class, I met up with a friend named Nadia Park for dinner who I hadn't seen in a couple of years. The funny thing was that I didn't know they were also at UPenn until yesterday through Facebook! The wonders of technology! This encounter made me realize that it really is a small world after all! Soon after this, I went off to see the Eastern State Penitentiary in the evening which was pretty scary looking. It was supposed to be a scary looking castle to ward off the Philly public from entering the prison. The prison also housed the famous Chicagoan Al Capone for having unlicensed weapons who with conflicting reports seemed to have a cushy cell with expensive furniture and lamps! But what sucked was that it started to pour like crazy and I had a really small umbrella! Then again, it was better that I had an umbrella as some other people didn't and got drenched! In conclusion, through the random events of today, I was able to experience both the unpleasant and fun side of life! Man, I sure didn't expect the things that happened today to have occurred!

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