Tuesday, 12 August 2008

S205: Starting - Oh no!!

So with the end in sight for my current courses, and the exams to prepare for, thoughts turn to next years study. For the first time, the S205 chemistry starts in September and runs to June, rather than the more normal Jan to Sept. So I've been thinking about this for a while, my chemistry is weak, and it would be nice to get more familiar with this stuff so I can understand molecular biology better, so after some vacillation, I decide to sign up. I expect the books will arrive some time in Sept, and hopefully the first TMA will be after my exams.

So I sign up on a Thursday, and come the following Monday morning there is a large box on my front door step! Already? - You haven't given me time to hide!!

Unpacking the box is a mixture of excitement and fear. There seems an awful lot in this first package, have I really done the right thing? Lets see - what do you get?

  • A DVD called Molecular Science - Physical Methods
  • A DVD called Molecular Science - Periodic Table
  • A DVD called The molecular World - Pack 1
  • A set of bookmarks for the first 3 books
  • Book 1-2 (both in the same volume), A prologue to the course, and Introducing the Molecular World
  • Book 3 - The Molecular World - The Third Dimension
  • Book 4 - Metals and Chemical Groups
  • A calendar for the course
  • A course guide
  • A course index
  • A course glossary
  • A data book full of weights, measures and so on
  • A leaflet about transferable skills
  • A molecular model kit (looks like fun!)
  • A document describing how to make molecular models
  • A document describing how organic chemicals are named
  • A royal society of chemistry guide to Getting the message across
  • A ring binder (with no pocket for insert!)
  • A ring binder insert?
  • A set of 4 TMA submission forms
  • A guide to the videos
  • An online applications CD-ROM
Wow! That does look a little on the scary side! The good news is the first TMA is in November, so I will have time to do my exams first before tackling that, so that's good. Well it will have to stay mostly on ice for now, as I have to finish these current courses (well OK I might have a little peek and really scare myself).

Monday, 4 August 2008

S282: Book 2, Chapter 5, 6 and 7

In these chapters we get deep into cosmology, and I find it quite heavy going at times. There are the various models of the universe, based on FRW parameters. From these and some other stuff various things are calculated theoretically. This includes the echoes of the big bang, whether space is curved, how fast the universe is expanding and if it is decelerating or not.

Some of this stuff is ok, some is a bit mind blowing. Lots of calculations that you are lead through to predict things like the proportion of hydrogen to helium predicted by the big bang theories.

Then in chapter 7 it considers attempts to measure the Hubble constant, the Hubble Time, the deceleration parameter, the cosmological constant, and the various density parameters.

My head hurts!