Contents under vapor pressure


I am so busy. I think the last time I was this busy was the week before I moved from Massachusetts to California (4.5 yrs ago), when I was correcting my thesis, submitting a manuscript, making an inventory of my lab stuff, getting rid of my furniture, writing a postdoc fellowship proposal, and saying goodbye to some very good friends. Except, now instead of a week it's a semester. Things will really lighten up in a few weeks actually, but for right now I am (happily I should say) swamped with delightfully challenging illustration projects and teaching responsibilities. Luckily, in the past few days, one of my art projects overlapped with the experiment planned for one of my undergrad labs. For at least these two tasks, I only had to think about one thing - states of matter. Even better, I could leave out solids! The illustration above is for my chemistry poetry book illustration project (described in many previous posts). It depicts a water molecule explaining to a lonely molecule of nitrogen what it would take to be able to be close with his other like-minded N2 buddies. Basically, he'd better bundle up. And down below, I had to explain to my students why I was making them turn a liquid into a gas and then back into a liquid, only to turn it into a gas again. My whole world changed today when I finally tracked down a stepstool, enabling me to access the top third of the dry erase board.