Monday, April 12, 2010

Obsessed and Passed it on to my students...

So... I used to be a Chemistry Teaching Assistant. One of the sections that I had to cover was all about electrochemistry. I gave one of my students an assignment which was to do a creative writing mini essay on the topic of electrochemistry and this is what he came up with... Apple doesn't fall too far from the tree...

Upon first glance, electrochemistry and “Top Chef”, a hit television show on Bravo seem to have nothing in common. But when examined closely the two have many more similarities than you think. For instance, the chefs on “Top Chef” compete to create delicious dished under all kinds of circumstance, and as we all know, it is often near impossible to create a delicious dish without one extremely important ingredient- salt. This ingredient that is used to tickle the taste buds of judges, an ingredient that, when used correctly, may decide the champion chef, is also very important in electrochemistry. The salt bridge is an extremely important device when creating a battery. The purpose of the salt bridge is to regulate the flow of ions into the anode and the cathode so the transference of electron will be allowed to continue (and, thus the very transfer of energy that makes a battery power everything around us). So the next time you bite into a delicious steak and you feel the salt tickling your taste buds, take a minute to think about the salt bridge that was used to power your car battery to get the steak from the store, the electronic thermometer that was used to measure its temperature, and the very lights that allowed you to view its scrumptious texture the seconds before it entered your mouth.

Some say that becoming the top chef is all about desire. “Who wants it most” is a phrase thrown around the kitchen constantly- whoever has the most heart will become the premier chef. This is the same idea when talking about electrochemistry, Whichever element wants the electrons the most will become the site of reduction (the cathode) and the other side will become the site of oxidation (the anode)- likewise those who do not want it the most on “Top Chef” must surrender their knives (electrons) and go.

As you can see, there really is a shocking resemblance between “Top Chef” and electrochemistry, two seemingly unrelated subjects converging with several obvious similarities. Some say that the very premise of “Top Chef” was inspired by the subject of electrochemistry. So, nect time you’re tuned in to Bravo watching the new season of “Top Chef”, stop and pay homage to electrochemistry. And the next time, you’re studying electrochemistry, it couldn’t hurt to think a little about “Top Chef” either.

No comments: