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.

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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.

Green chemistry seminar videos

Join the Portland, Oregon section of the American Chemical Society for a couple of wonderful talks on Green Chemistry.

First, Dr. David Stuart, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Portland State University, offers a brief introduction to Green Chemistry and an example from his lab.

Next, Dr. Tom Wilson, retired Director of Materials Technology at Nike, offers an interesting look at the Green Chemistry of rubber in a story about zinc oxide in Nike’s Environmentally Preferred Rubber.

Take a look at the two videos below!

This activity was supported by an ACS Sustainability Grant awarded to the Portland Section of the American Chemical Society. Videos recorded by Joseph Thiebes.

Diamond lattice structure pendant by Joseph Thiebes, 2015

Diamond lattice structure pendant

Diamonds are a scam! They are common and worthless. One company has cornered the market, controlling how many diamonds are mined and how they reach the consumer. Mining for diamonds is back-breaking work, and the wages are ridiculously low.

It is for this reason I have created the diamond lattice structure pendant. This pendant features the structure of diamonds, formed by carbon atoms in a specific arrangement.

Pick from a variety of materials, including everything from solid gold to white plastic. Shown here is the default material, blackened steel, giving the traditional appearance of carbon atom models.
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Nobel Prize Laureate Eric Betzig

“I would never call myself a chemist,” said Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2014 recipient Eric Betzig.

Betzig was the 2015 speaker at the annual Mark Gurevitch Memorial Lecture Series, hosted by the Physics Department at Portland State University. During his lecture at Hoffman Hall on May 14, Betzig spoke about his career and his prize-winning work. Read more about Betzig’s talk in this article by Joseph Thiebes, and in the video below.