What I learned this semester:
- At the quantum (read: itty-bitty) level, particles act like waves
- A wave that hits a wall won’t end right at that wall (according to the constraints of quantum mechanics), it will continue on, though it will rapidly decay.
- If the width of the wall is thin enough, it won’t have decayed entirely by the time it hits the other side of the wall. Once it arrives there, it will continue on its happy way like it did before it hit the wall the first time, but with a much diminished amplitude.
- This transmittance of the wave through the barrier is called Quantum Tunneling. The higher energy the wave is, the slower it will decay, and thus the more it will be transmitted (i.e. the more it will tunnel).
- Quantum tunneling of electrons and hydrogen atoms in reactions is a large contributor to the over rate of reactions
Chemistry, one of my favorite subjects.
Wright Brothers’ Flying Machine Patent, missing from the National Archives
December 17 is the anniversary of the Wright Brother’s historic first flight in 1903. For most, it’s a day to celebrate a pivotal milestone in aviation history. But here at the National Archives and at other archives, libraries, and museums it’s a reminder of the threat that cultural institutions face on a daily basis. The patent for the Wright Flyer is missing—presumed stolen—last seen in 1979, and it’s not the only item missing.
Night Watch, by Rembrandt, my most favorite painting.
Macaroons, one of my most favorite sweets
It does not seem to matter the time of day or year; a cup of mint tea always soothes my mind.