Emily Ruff '09 Video: Thermodynamics and Magic

December 19, 2008

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About the video

This video is the third in a three-part series showing the many facets of Emily Ruff's life at Carleton. Watch Part I and Part II.


CAPTION: Emily Ruff 09, Chemistry Major

I’m Emily Ruff, class of ‘09, and this is my Carleton.

The Chemistry major is one of the more involved majors on campus. There's a lot that's required of you, so it can be tough. Lauren Jarocha--she was my lab partner for the summer, we did our research together--we had this compound called dimanganese decacarbonyl, and we put it in the gas phase and shot it with a laser and made it fall apart, basically. We'd pick up the pieces and from that we'd learn what the energy levels in the compound were. It's deep stuff, and it was really cool to be able to do it. There's not a whole lot of information out there about excited levels in manganese, so we were finding out things about this molecule that hadn't been seen before. It's like magic--I've told a couple of people that I'm just doing my comps on magic, basically.

I have to dress up for my thermodynamics class--I don't have to, but you get extra credit if you go as something related to thermodynamics. So I'm going to put a name tag on that says "Crystal," and I'm going to carry around a very organized binder, so I'm, you know, a very organized crystal with very little disorder. It's a very nerdy idea; I hope that someone laughs.

It's hard to describe the changes; you just kind of know they've happened because every once in a while you'll think, "Wow, that is not something that I would have done in high school," or even, "Wow, that is not something that I would have done two years ago."

I am asking you to give to Carleton because it allows for other people to have the kind of amazing experience at Carleton that I've had. My mom says that Carleton seems like such a good fit for me and that me at Carleton seems like the happiest that she's ever seen me. It's something that I hope everybody can have, and that I hope people in the future can have.

CAPTION: Give to help everyone have their Carleton.

CAPTION: go.carleton.edu/chemvideo