So today in physics we were talking about the bastard children of cosine or sine waves and decaying exponentials.

Anyway, as in my notes:

The second bound state has a sine function. Its E is bigger than the cosine, so the wave penetrates deeper into the forbidden region.*

It didn't help that for the rest of the class, the Prof kept using the phrase "penetrates the forbidden region" to describe the little tail pieces of the graphs. I am too immature for this stuff.

And then, in chem, I read slash undertones into orbital theory. Sigh. Electrons with the same spin state can't go in the same orbital. It's Forbidden. (Except when it isn't.)

Forget "Empirical evidence" in Harry Potter - you know you're corrupted when...

Right now, I should be studying this fun stuff, instead of playing with LJ and listening to random songs and trying to make music vids in my head. Endless entertainment. (Even if it doesn't work well with comics.)

But, okay, has anyone ever heard "On the way up" (Peter Mulvey)? So Crowley & Aziraphale's theme song.**

On the way up - I felt clean
Driving along in a waking dream
The rollingest hills I'd ever seen
Felt like the best me I'd ever be
On the way up I just knew
The night before, I'd been good and true
And honest and brave and over you
It was the easiest thing to do

But I'm going down
I'm going down to where my demons are
I'm going down
I'm going down
Wave if you see me from afar I'm going down
On your way up

On your way up, understand I'm going down
I wish I'd put so much more in your hand
The better pat of this heart's bitter land
I swear there is more here than sand

On your way up, think of me
I'll think of you I guess that we'll think of we
And you will always mean what you mean to me
I hope one day we'll look back and see

but I'm going down
I'm going down to where my angels live
I'm going down
Please, remember; please, forgive

Can't you just see how the vid would go? Crowley in the Bentley, the sun glinting off his glasses as he drives by, and the camera pulling away like a car commercial, leaving us with a painfully bright view of the English countryside and a lone black car vanishing in the distance. Aziraphale in the dusty store, carefully shelving books, looking thoughtful and not quite content. And scenes from the Last Days, ducks and wine, and facing the apocalypse with a flaming sword and tire iron, and a Young boy smiling in a way that wouldn't be disturbing on anyone else.

*Not an exact quote, but I figured no one but me would see hilarity in the math part.

**If, you know, they needed one. Which they don't.

From: [identity profile]

Ah, Peter Mulvey. I love that song, and you're right--it definitely works for those two.

Oh, and I'm very entertained by your discovery of math subtext. *g*

From: [identity profile]

It also works for Clark/Lex, strangely, whereas Kryptonite really doesn't.

*Resolutely does not write songfic.*

And, yes. They said that on the small scales, electrons have a varied and incomprehensible lives of their own, and it turns out they're right. (Although the new generation of physicists is rather more open about that sort of thing.)
ext_901: (Default)

From: [identity profile]

Maths porn - the brighter way to start your day at 2pm. Thank you for sharing the joy.

From: [identity profile]

Well, mathematical representation of electron porn, anyway.

There's even movies (

From: [identity profile]

I am too immature for this stuff.

*gasp* You did NOT just say that, no.. no you did not! You can never be too immature! Didn't elementary school teach you anything? Stuff like that is always funny!

Seems like I'm the one telling you everything now :)

From: [identity profile]

Well, to be fair, this is a new level of immaturity. I don't think my ten year old self would have got it.

Undergrads: Bringing immaturity to new heights?

From: [identity profile]

I think you'd be surprised at what your 10 year old self would have gotten :).

And I like that slogan, I'm going to use that if I ever go back to school, and it fits the occasion.

From: [identity profile]

I do the same thing, finding subtext where there really shouldn't be any. I think the tamest example (and the only one that comes to mind at the moment, for some reason) is that any time I walk past the "New Paperback" table at work and see Margaret Drabble's book I start thinking "oooh! fic!"

And orbital theory--one of the only parts of chemistry that I loved, instead of tolerating or hating with a particularly strong passion:
Electrons with the same spin state can't go in the same orbital. It's Forbidden. (Except when it isn't.)
That is too cool! When is it not? Because, I love this stuff, I think it's fascinating, but I never got deep enough into it to find out all the exceptions--my high school teachers didn't know, themselves, and my TAs in college chem didn't exactly speak english, so just figuring out what the homework was was enough of a task.

From: [identity profile]

When is it not?

Okay, hopefully I've got this sorted in my head properly.
We're looking at the d-block transition elements in particular, which have five outer (d) orbitals, with a total of 10 possible electrons. And there is a long explanation about the relative orientation of different orbitals and how they therefore interact in complexes, but basically there's two different energy levels among the d orbitals, like so: Image

So, say you have 1 d electron. It would probably go in the lower energy orbital:Image but it you were to increase its energy, via a light wave or something, it would go into the higher energy state: Image. But it's the same electron, with the same spin. Thus, this is a "Spin-Allowed Transition." (Wheras if I were designing chemistry, I would give such things much more, er, imaginative names, and all chem students would hate me...)

Okay, but say you have five d electrons (and the complex would rather fill the higher energy orbitals than deal with the energies between paired electrons):Image

If you were to fire some photons at this one, increasing the energy, you would expect one of the electrons in the lower orbitals to move into the higher orbitals, right? But, all the electrons have the same spin state (as per some orbital filling rule we covered last year that I can't remember right now) and we know there can't be two electrons with the same spin state in the same orbital, so this is a "Spin-Forbidden Transition."

At this point my prof got a strange smile, and explained that just because something is forbidden doesn't mean its not going to happen. It just isn't going to happen very often (and only, you see, when the electrons think they can get away with it). It doesn't happen all that often, but given how many electrons and molecules are in stuff, it happens often enough.

Now, I might have mislead you a little, because I didn't think everybody would have appreciated this whole explanation when I might have simplified into a sentence. There can't be two electrons in a given orbital, for reasons we're going to (I hope) gloss over in quantum mechanics, so what really happens is one of them flips spin: Image. (And there are other particular parallels that can be that, non? )

Now, see, I was sitting through this in lecture form, and somehow saw the dirty bits. I'm not sure that's right. (And will not subject the world to doomed-romance-between-electrons-until-one-of-them-undergoes-a-spin-change-operation-so-that-the-world-will-let-them-be-together fic things. Be glad.)

From: [identity profile]

That's really cool. It makes much more sense that it would have to change spin, and it's a bit disappointing that two same-spin electrons can't exist in the same orbital (well, so far as we know...), but it's still really cool. This is the kind of thing we never got taught in high school chem, and also the area that interested me the most. (And, helpfully, made more sense than, say, thermochem. Studying thermo extensively makes about as much sense to me as licking a glacier, or sticking your head in a lit oven. [With my luck, you're probably studying thermo, right? Or totally in love with it?])

I would totally read an electron-doomed-love fic.

From: [identity profile]

There can't be two electrons in a given orbital,

Er, that should be "...two electrons with the same spin..." Sorry.


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