Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Quick update to my last post, 5 minutes later

I already got 2 responses to my Chem/Math equation proposal (mentioned in my last post)!!! One from my professor and one from a fellow student...... I did it right!!! Or at least, my theory was correct and I set up the problem correctly!! I am VERY excited..

I'm going to show off now.. my mad equationalizing-by-memory skills

Here's my initial post:
Here's what I'd like to know.

I have to admit I was just about completely lost when we had to do those conversion practice problems. (totally not focused on in the Comm Major)
However, I looked at them again today and THINK that I may understand them now (as much as I can, without a calculator, thus far.)
I feel like there are 'molds,' sort of, to fit the numbers into, depending on what you're doing..
Can someone confirm if this is correct?

*Base to prefix.. UNITS of measurement (such as kg, Mg, mm, etc) are on top of the parenthetical equation.. (VALUES on bottom)
ie: Converting 345g to kg
345g/1 x (kg/10^3g)
(So both g are diagonal to each other and can cancel each other out)

*Prefix to Base.. UNITS on bottom, VALUES on top
ie: Converting 345kg to g
345kg/1 x (10^3g/kg)
(So both kg are diagonal, and can cancel each other out)

*Prefix to Prefix.. Both must be done
ie: Converting 345kg to Mg
345kg/1 x (10^3g/kg) x (Mg/10^6g)

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I had this in hand writing today and don't have the note in front of me.. so I recreated this from memory. In addition, it's difficult to express these equations in this message board format. However, I am confident it is what I'm trying to get across..
If it's completely wrong or confusing, just let me know and I'll bring it to Dr. Lewis in class..

Either way, thanks for reading =D I need all the help/support I can get.

Heidi
AKA - Really NOT a math/chem student..

Professor's response:
Everything looks good to me! If anyone has any questions or thinks there may be a mistake please write in - sometimes I miss things.
By the way, creating general statements is a great way to learn, because that's what you'll apply to new problems (i.e. questions on the test). The conclusion that the units are "diagonal to each other and cancel out" is the most important, and that'll be showing up again and again.

Fellow Student's response:
This looks correct to me. I think you just have one more step on the bottom though: Converting 345kg to Mg
345kg/1 x (10^3g/kg) x (Mg/10^6g)
the last step would be giving your answer in Mg.

(345)*(10^3Mg/10^6)
.345 Mg

I feel great!!
Maybe this is the start of the NEW ME!

Heidi, the CHEMISTRY MAJOR!

haha yea right.

Til next time... You know.. <3

1 comment:

Terri said...

Awesome blog! I love it! You have a new reader! :-)