Saturday, April 2, 2011

kids these days

I was helping Vivi practice for her science Olympiad with her mousetrap car and overheard some of the junior competitors complaining about the astronomy test. They first complained that the test was essay and not multiple choice; which I wrote off as typical laziness. But then they were complaining about a particular question that they called a "trick question" it appears that the question was along the lines of "if a star appears more blue than it should is it moving towards your or away from you, how do you know, and why is it moving? The one student simply stated that he put down that stars don't move. Well that is just not true, and of course I could not pass up the teaching moment. I turned to them and asked them how fast the earth was moving, of course they didn't know and I explained that it is rotating at roughly 1000 mph (yes I used stupid units to help them) and that is at least 5 times faster than they have ever experienced. A car on the highway moves at most 100 mph, a commercial airliner at 500 mph (yes I am rounding a lot). But that even the rotation of the earth is sadly slow in comparison to the rate that the earth is orbiting the sun at 66,000 mph. Now you might think that is fast, but we do not feel that sense of motion. and it turns out that we are actually moving a lot faster than that. As the sun orbits the milky-way we are moving at the amazing rate of of 486,000 mph. That is just mind boggling! you could travel from Washington DC to Los Angeles in about 20 seconds.
But we're moving even faster than that. The Milky-way is moving away from the center of the universe at a rate of 1,300,000 mph. It would only take 8 seconds to make the cross country trip at that speed.
Anyway their response to my story? "Wow, I wonder if we can go retake the test and take you with us."


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Defect engineering in cubic cerium oxide nanostructures for catalytic oxidation

In this manuscript, we identify a nanosize effect in nanostructured cerium oxides. Through leveraging the smaller oxygen storage capacity in nanostructured cerium oxides and the valence fluctuation character of cerium, we demonstrate a synthetic strategy to modulate the density of oxygen vacancy defects (OVD) in these cerium oxides through a novel low pressure thermal activation process. The presence of these defects in the nanostructured cerium oxides was carefully analyzed using high resolution transmission electron microscopy, extended x-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy and computational modeling. We believe that our findings lead to an improved understanding of the creation of OVDs in cerium oxide at the nanoscale and their significance in increasing the oxidative catalytic activity of cerium oxide.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My official Thesis Synthesis and Catalytic Activity of Nanostructured Cerium Oxide

Cerium oxide is well known to exfoliate from the surface of cerium metal in the same way that rust exfoliates from iron or steel. A two-step process to fabricate nanoporous ceria membranes via anodization and subsequent calcinations is reported. These membranes have the potential to be used in solid oxide fuel cells and solid-state oxygen sensors. Cerium metal foil was first anodized into adherent porous cerium hydroxide film, followed by calcination for conversion into ceria membranes. These membranes are composed of ribbon-like structures that form the backbone of the porous framework. A proposed anodization model for the growth of the nanoribbons is discussed.

Friday, July 2, 2010

My excution has been scheduled

I know I haven't poseted in a while, ok well over a year. I have been so busy working on my experiments that I havne' even had time to think.

I am writing my thesis right now and will be defending it on the 27th of July 2010 at 3:00 pm. Come on out and listen.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


STRESS! My life is full of stress right now. I can't believe how much stress. I never have enough time. I feel guilty even writing this little bit. 

Friday, March 27, 2009

Life in the fast lane.

It was pointed out to me that I am quickly approaching the end of my first year as a graduate student. That to me is a rather scary proposal.