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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Friends For Life

I woke up this morning and went to eat breakfast with my dorm mates. We have all become very close friends! It feels like I've known them for a whole semester. They have made my time at UPenn absolutely unforgettable! In class we learned a lot today. We began class with a lecture on the difference between waves and particles. Then we went into light and how it is both a wave and a particle. It was very confusing because light can either act like a wave or a particle, not both simultaneously.  We went from that introduction to emission and absorption of light by a gas or other source of matter. It was very interesting because we learned the physics behind why we can see light coming from very hot objects, such as lava. It was also interesting because we learned about the concept of Black Bodies. In theory Black Bodies can absorb all the radiation that falls on it. An explanation to how black bodies could exist is Quanta. This was explained by Max Planck who said that oscillating bodies (electrons) can emit radiation but only in discrete units of energy; molecules also absorb and emit energy in discrete units of energy (quanta). He showed this beautifully through math but it was taken as a joke until Einstein proved it in his theory of relativity and it started quantum physics a realm in physics that we know next to nothing about.

We then moved on to experiments by bill that showed that light could indeed change the charge of an object; she did this by using Zinc and Gold. When gold was positively and negatively charged it would spread out and be straight. He told us that Zinc is photoelectric but oxidized Zinc isn’t. He rubbed the oxidized Zinc off of the Zinc plate on top of the device that showed charge and then charged the plate and put UV light on it. While the UV light was on the plate the charge left fast meanwhile it wasn’t on the charge would seem to remain. Having shown us this he then told us that light isn’t the only particle to experience this duality and that basically anything moving at the speed of light would. Mary came back and gave us a lesson on Quantum physics that escalated quickly and we ended up learning many new words that had quite a wonderful story behind how they were named. We learned about matter and antimatter and how they annihilate each other if they come into contact. We talked about a theory on how the big bang came to be and gravity and how all the forces in the universe was all one force during the big bang.

We were originally having a staff lecture after but the staff couldn’t make it and so bill went into waves and how to understand them better. It was very helpful because he taught us a bout light refraction and how it works in more depth. He gave us a visual by using a shore and how the waves broke when they got to the shore and did this all around not just one direction. He also used a car to show us this which I though was really cool because I love cars. We were dismissed for lunch and came back to working with our exponential groups. We all thought we would be the last group done but were some of the first done collecting data. We did radioactive decay and used a radioactive substance to see how it decayed through the time expand of 42 minutes. We also got data from how rolling a bunch of dices and taking out the ones that landed on number 6 every time rolled represented exponential decay as well.
Background Radiation Graph

We then went back Perry and I went Rock Climbing for a long time and then went to sing at Cherokee night. We had so much fun singing we sang the whole night. We went up to sing so many times as a group we made the name “Rudy and the Boys”. When the night was almost over Perry and I went to dance to the front. Just before the night ended we all danced, Even Gervon joined us! It was an unforgettable night and an unforgettable day with all my friends.

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