battery anode oxidation cathode reduction

The Etymology and Meaning of Anode and Cathode

The terms “anode” and “cathode” were first published by Michael Faraday, F.R.S. in 1834. A delightful (and highly recommended) historical account of how these words were conceived by Faraday and his associates can be found in Faraday Consults the Scholars: The Origins of the Terms of Electrochemistry by Sydney Ross [1]. As scientists have learned about how electrochemistry works, the definitions have evolved somewhat. The following is a brief summary of their etymology and their meaning as it stands today in electrochemical circuits. In the course of my own study of electrochemistry, I thought other students may find this information helpful in keeping everything straight.

Continue reading

Schrödinger’s Cat, a sonnet

Should quantum physics e’er be standardized,
when taken in a thought experiment,
its terms of meaning judged and analyzed,
absurdity prevails, not merriment.

A cat both dead and living cannot be.
That was the point old Erwin tried to make.
To measure is to interfere, you see,
some photon must be thrown to cause a quake.

Awareness cannot of itself crash waves;
By heat and light, the box became a grave.

The bridge connecting the two pinnacles of Externsteine

Externsteine: a reflection

It is midsummer, and dozens of people have come to this place, known as Externsteine, to celebrate the longest day of the year. Situated in the northern forests of Germany, Externsteine is a remarkable landmark which draws many visitors year-round. It is a unique location with unusual features—qualities which make Externsteine a beautiful and spiritual place to visit any time of year. Traveling to Externsteine can be a renewing, relaxing, and empowering experience, especially for busy urbanites that might need to get away.

Continue reading