There was an error in this gadget

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Bombs and Duck Tours

When I woke up at 7:30 AM this morning, I honestly did not want to get up. I was so exhausted, even though I just slept 30 minutes later than usual. My schedule for today was a little bit more different because I had to get to class by 8:30 AM. This means that I would not have time to get breakfast, so instead I quickly grabbed some coffee from the Dining Commons and headed straight to class. Thankfully, our professors gave us some bagels, donuts, and coffee for breakfast, since we had to be there earlier than usual. That was a really nice gesture, and the bagels were really good too!

Anyways, we began the lecture with Mary discussing about the different types of particles, such as alpha, beta, and gamma, and we also talked about radiation. This led to the topic of nuclear power in everyday life. Most of what she had discussed was sort of a review for me because I also learned about this topic in my Chemistry class. Both lectures were actually pretty similar, so I was able to recall a lot of things that she discussed, which made the lecture easier for me to follow. 

After the basics, Mary then began talking about the history of nuclear bombs, and essentially how they're made. In theory, it sounded so simple to manufacture atomic bombs, but I learned that it's rather difficult to obtain Uranium-235, a key component to these bombs, which is definitely a good thing. After an hour or so of talking about these weapons, I felt like I knew mostly everything, such as its history, its uses, and even its production. However, Mary left out one main topic regarding these bombs; the morality of it all.

Measuring device for tomorroq
This part of the lecture was left to Bill, who began talking about the mechanics of the bomb a little bit. He then quickly transitioned into the ethics of creating a bomb as dangerous as this. He talked about his own experiences with people that he had met in his life, as well as the effects of launching a bomb during World War II. He also talked about others in the same position as the man who created the bomb, because they were seen as animals, but from their point of view, they were merely trying to help. This talk came with so many loaded questions about whether or not the decisions made in the past were right that I ended up getting goosebumps while listening. Although I have already heard about the facts from World War II, it was still devastating to hear about the effects of just one bomb. 

When Bill was finished, he tried to lighten up the mood by talking about something else, but the subject was so weighted that it took the class a couple moments before we were finally began talking again. Afterwards, we were able to fiddle with the device that was going to measure the acceleration for tomorrow's experiment at Hershey Park. My group ended up running around everywhere just to try to see how the device works, but it was simple enough to understand. When we were finished with it, we then had another guest speaker come in at 11:30 AM. 

Professor Elliot Lipeles was the speaker that talked to us about the Higgs Discovery, which was about the discovery of the Higgs Boson. Through the use of an Large Hadron Collider, scientists were able to pictures of collisions of particles. The goal of this project was to observe and learn more about this particle because it didn't follow with the pattern of other particles. This was actually a very interesting topic for me, although it was a bit difficult to follow along because of how complex the topic was. Professor Lipeles ended up finishing at around 12:50 PM because of how many questions everyone in the class had.

We went straight to lunch after this, and got back at 1:50 PM. Right when everyone arrived, Bill quickly went into the topic of Electromagnetic Induction. I had little exposure to this topic, so I was fascinated by his demonstration. Through the use of magnets, he was able to create a current that powered a small LED light bulb. Although the lecture was a bit rushed due to time constraints, I got the general idea. 

However, once I got into lab, that's where I became lost. My group was sort of rushing the lab because some of my members had to leave by 4 PM, so I was just lost with what we were doing. I understood some aspects of it, but for the most part, we were just pressing random buttons on the digital oscilloscope. It wasn't until after the lab, where I asked Peter, one of our professors, more about the lab that I finally understood what we were actually doing. It made a lot more sense after he explained everything to me, and I'm thankful for that.

Getting ready to depart!
After lab, I met up with Jun, Chiamaka, Elexis, and Joanne as usual, and we walked around and ate dinner before we headed back to the Quad at 6 PM to wait for the Duck Tours. I had never been on one before, but it was basically a tour around Philadelphia in both the water and the land. We went to the Septa to get to the actual tour, but it was actually a really nice tour. We were able to see the city hall and all of the other wonders in Philly. The tour guide was also extremely nice and personable, so it was definitely an enjoyable tour.

Audrey, Sema, and I on the Duck Tour
On the Delaware River

We basically ended the tour at around 9 PM, and so we decided to go grab a quick bite at Cosi before heading back to our dorms. It was a long and exhausting day, but I know tomorrow's going to be even longer. I can't wait to ride Fahrenheit!

No comments:

Post a Comment