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QuantumChemist
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15 Mar 2021, 10:23 pm

I encourage you to look at a career in the sciences if you are interested in the field. Just be aware of the pitfalls that happen in graduate schools when you get to that level of education later on. Grad students are often treated like poorly paid slaves by their research advisers. The most important choice you can make in graduate school is who to work under for research. If you pick the wrong one like I did, you will struggle just to survive. Not all research advisers are this way, so you need to find them.

Please do not be discouraged by my experiences. I tend to have bad luck in dealing with certain people. Higher education just happens to be full of those types.



NaturalEntity
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16 Mar 2021, 3:21 pm

Your warning will be heeded. Thank you.
Aside from that, though, do you have a favourite topic or subunit in chemistry apart from the quantum side? I'm slowly warming to organic myself. (I'm doing chemistry A level.)


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QuantumChemist
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17 Mar 2021, 7:38 am

I am quite partial to radiochemistry (nuclear), but also organic, inorganic and physical chemistry. While as an undergrad, I completed nearly half of a nuclear engineering degree along with my Bachelors of chemistry degree. Looking back, I would have likely finished that engineering degree if I would have had the funds to do so. My minors were in physics, math and history. History was something I did just for fun. I often blew out the grading curves in those courses, as I can absorb historical facts without much effort.

At the time, I had to fight with two advisors who wanted me to go two different career routes. This was before you could just enroll yourself online, so I had to have both of them sign off on my classes each semester. After two years of doing the dual major I gave up on the hassle of needing to take two sets of literally the same classes, one for chemistry and one for engineering.

Biochemistry is my least favorite overall. If you are interested in biochemistry, you are actually better off to get a solid Bachelors degree in biology or chemistry first rather than specializing at that level. Many students who graduate with a Bachelors degree in biochemistry from our university tend to regret it when they go out to get a job.

The skill set is different than either the chemistry or biology degree if you go strictly biochemistry for a Bachelors degree. Rather than be a master of one area of science, most tend to only know a little of both at that level if that makes sense. I do not want to slam all biochemists, as that is not my intent. Those that have advanced degrees in biochemistry have the skills needed to do the job well. I just want to point out what I see from my own department. I have talked to a tenured biology professor from my university who totally agrees with me on this point.



NaturalEntity
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17 Mar 2021, 3:29 pm

Ah, that's interesting to hear about biochemistry. I'm doing both biology and chemistry as A levels, and from what I'm looked at British university courses on it seem to blend the two together. It's a field I'd love to go into if I could. I have no idea if the job field for it is the same as in the US, though.
(I don't think we have the concept of minor degrees here in the UK, either. I never really understood majors/minors.)
Nuclear engineering sounds interesting too. Physics is cool when you get to the good concepts but there's just such a lot of applied maths in it. A large chunk of my GCSE Physics course being electricity didn't help. The actual bit about radiation, and the electromagnetic spectrum topic, were some of my favourite bits. There was just too little of them.


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22 Mar 2021, 11:37 am

I thought you might be interested in this bit of information on newer hard drive technology. It is not at the level of molecular storage, but is slowly getting there.

https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/upsc ... 23504.html

The world’s smallest molecular storage device is around thirteen atoms (all metals), but it is not that stable overall. It is very susceptible to electromagnetic pulses. I think it can be done much smaller than that with increased stability over electromagnetic pulses. The key is to get away from the concept of using metal atoms and use non-metals or metalloids for the devices that are less affected by magnetic fields. Carbon-silicon or carbon-selenide bonds are a good starting point for this area of research.

Nuclear processes are fun to study. It all revolves around Albert Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity, as both energy and matter/anti-matter are transformed into one or the other. Nuclear reactions have a similarity to an equilibrium equation, as one side is energy and the other is matter/anti-matter. It must always equal out in total, regardless of what side is favored. Without that piece, it becomes much harder to understand what is going on.



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22 Mar 2021, 3:29 pm

Very interesting insights, thank you. I've always liked matter/antimatter and dark matter. They just seem like deep fascinating concepts - much like cells and carbon.


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25 Mar 2021, 9:58 am

NaturalEntity wrote:
Very interesting insights, thank you. I've always liked matter/antimatter and dark matter. They just seem like deep fascinating concepts - much like cells and carbon.


The key to understanding matter/anti-matter pairs is to realize that they are much like a mirror opposite. While they appear to be the same, they have subtitle differences that cause them to be opposite charge. I could give away how this likely happens, but that would ruin part the story. Rather than that, I would encourage you to look up Richard Feynman and his diagrams. He described the differences by treating particles of anti-matter as if they were particles of matter going back in time. He was very close to the truth in my opinion.

There exists one particle that is it’s own anti-particle, the Z boson. It can undergo annihilation with itself. No other particle acts quite like this one. The most likely reason has to do with the substructure.

Dark matter and dark energy is likely tied to higher dimensions. We cannot “see” them, but can feel the evidence of their shadows in our dimension. How they got there is possibly tied to black hole conversions within our dimension.



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25 Mar 2021, 3:08 pm

Higher dimensions...?
Also I started genetics in biology and it is one of my new favourite topics, so fascinating!


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QuantumChemist
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27 Mar 2021, 11:51 am

NaturalEntity wrote:
Higher dimensions...?
Also I started genetics in biology and it is one of my new favourite topics, so fascinating!


We typically think we live in a three dimensional level (3-D), but it really is more than that if you consider space-time. There exists dimensions that are higher than our plane of existence. That is likely where both dark matter and dark energy exist. We cannot directly measure them, only the parts that intersect with our dimension.

To best explain this, think of a flat surface like a sidewalk. If you were an ant walking on the surface, you would likely think everything was two dimensional. But that is not the case. If someone dropped a large soda can or bottle next to you, it would seem strange because it distorted how you see the surface. If you only see the part of the can/bottle that touches the concrete surface, you would see a large ring in your way. That is the intersection points.



funeralxempire
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27 Mar 2021, 12:59 pm



:nerdy:



naturalplastic
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28 Mar 2021, 6:20 am

funeralxempire wrote:


:nerdy:


But, on the other hand...



NaturalEntity
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02 Apr 2021, 2:54 pm

I wonder if we can find out about these other dimensions some day.


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17 Apr 2021, 10:01 am

NaturalEntity wrote:
I wonder if we can find out about these other dimensions some day.


It can be done, but very tricky to do directly. Quantum entanglement of particles is something we can use to probe that realm. During the formation of certain particles, they have a connection formed that we cannot see. As you act on one particle, the other one will react regardless of the special distance in our dimension. It is very likely that they are related via a higher dimensionality.

Think of it like this: Take a piece of paper and fold it in half. Now, using a threaded needle, poke a hole thru both sides of the folded paper and tie knots at the ends of the string a certain distance from the paper piercings. As you unfold the paper, the points will separate in distance as if they were separate particles. Considering the paper as a 2-D surface, the space can be varied depending upon where you pierced the paper. When you pull the string at either point, the other point will also see the effect of the pulled string. That is a representation of what is happening in quantum entanglement within our dimension.



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24 Apr 2021, 3:28 pm

That's kind of hard to understand, but I think I get it?
A little off topic but I know that films love to slap the words quantum and nano onto everything that isn't realistic science-wise. I dislike that a lot.


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25 Apr 2021, 11:01 am

NaturalEntity wrote:
That's kind of hard to understand, but I think I get it?
A little off topic but I know that films love to slap the words quantum and nano onto everything that isn't realistic science-wise. I dislike that a lot.


The funny thing is if you ask them to define quantum, they will almost always get it wrong. To them it is just a cool sounding buzzword. What quantum in chemistry/physics really means is an allowed step in energy absorption/emission. For example, electrons have allowed energy levels that they can be excited to above their ground state. Just like steps in a ladder, the levels must be taken in allowed portions. You cannot jump up a ladder three and a half steps without falling down to the third step in the process (usually while hurting oneself in the process). I think I know exactly why this is the case, as it involves how an electron is made of electromagnetic energy.

Nano is just another word for extremely small size. Again, to non-scientists, it is just another buzzword for them to say. I design molecules at that level, some with very interesting properties that I intend to use for very small devices. In my research, I have developed materials in that range that likely have super paramagnetism properties.



naturalplastic
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25 Apr 2021, 2:09 pm

QuantumChemist wrote:
NaturalEntity wrote:
That's kind of hard to understand, but I think I get it?
A little off topic but I know that films love to slap the words quantum and nano onto everything that isn't realistic science-wise. I dislike that a lot.


The funny thing is if you ask them to define quantum, they will almost always get it wrong. To them it is just a cool sounding buzzword. What quantum in chemistry/physics really means is an allowed step in energy absorption/emission. For example, electrons have allowed energy levels that they can be excited to above their ground state. Just like steps in a ladder, the levels must be taken in allowed portions. You cannot jump up a ladder three and a half steps without falling down to the third step in the process (usually while hurting oneself in the process). I think I know exactly why this is the case, as it involves how an electron is made of electromagnetic energy.

Nano is just another word for extremely small size. Again, to non-scientists, it is just another buzzword for them to say. I design molecules at that level, some with very interesting properties that I intend to use for very small devices. In my research, I have developed materials in that range that likely have super paramagnetism properties.


Ummm...

You dropped the ball.

"Nano" is a little more specific than that.

It means "one billionth".

A "millisecond" is a "thousandth of a second", a "microsecond" a millionth, and "nanosecond" a billionth of a second.

"Nanotechnology" is about building devices out of parts a billionth of meter in size, or a billionth of some kind of linear measurment. So in common parlance (or at least the way I use it) "nano" means "anything a billion times tinier than your common human reference"...unimaginably small. At, or maybe beyond, "microscopic".



Last edited by naturalplastic on 25 Apr 2021, 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.