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Conversion of Natural Gas to Alcohol Analogs as an Alternative Energy Source

April 16, 2021

 


Abstract: The focus of this project is the study of catalysts for the conversion of methane to methanol as a new energy source. The methanol economy may prove to solve the problems that other energy sources create. Transition metals are treasured for their ability to assist with catalyzing reactions, including those which are used in new energy sources such as methanol based. In the past, transition metals have been used for the conversion of methane to methanol. Their catalytic efficiencies of Titanium oxides are modeled and explained based on the compound’s electron structure and how the catalytic efficiency could be improved even more by forcing the catalyst to react with methane in different ways (which are much easier to study computationally than experimentally, due to economic reasons). Catalytic oxidation reactions are crucial for chemical synthesis in pharmaceutical and petrochemicals industries. Prior research results have been controversial regarding the efficiencies of each catalyst. However, the contradictory results are due to inconsistencies of the theoretical and computational models which I reconcile in my model.

References

[1]Wes, Hickman. "Peak Oil and Public Health: Political Common Ground?" ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 08 Aug. 2011. Web. 13 June 2013.

[2] Olah, George A., Alain Goeppert, and G. K. Surya. Prakash.Beyond Oil and Gas: The Methanol Economy. Weinheim [an Der Bergstrasse, Germany: Wiley-VCH, 2006. Print. 

[3] Kulik, Heather J., and Nicola Marzari. "Electronic Structure and Reactivity of Transition Metal Complexes."Standford.edu. Department of Education, 2010. Web. <http://www.stanford.edu/~hkulik/www/Publications_files/05c14.pdf>. 

[4] Božović, Andrea, Stefan Feil, Gregory K. Koyanagi, Albert A. Viggiano, Xinhao Zhang, Maria Schlangen, Helmut Schwarz, and Diethard K. Bohme. "Conversion of Methane to Methanol: Nickel, Palladium, and Platinum (d9) Cations as Catalysts for the Oxidation of Methane by Ozone at Room Temperature."Chemistry - A European Journal16.38 (2010): 11605-1610. Print. 

[5] Periana, R. A., D. J. Taube, S. Gamble, H. Taube, T. Satoh, and H. Fujii. "ChemInform Abstract: Platinum Catalysts for the High-Yield Oxidation of Methane to a Methanol Derivative."ChemInform29.29 (1998): No. Print. 

[6] Zhang, Rui, and Martin Newcomb. "Laser Flash Photolysis Generation of High-Valent Transition Metal−Oxo Species: Insights from Kinetic Studies in Real Time."Accounts of Chemical Research41.3 (2008): 468-77. Print. 

[7] Betley, Theodore A., Qin Wu, Troy Van Voorhis, and Daniel G. Nocera. "Electronic Design Criteria for O−O Bond Formation via Metal−Oxo Complexes."Inorganic Chemistry47.6 (2008): 1849-861. Print. 

[8] Metz, Ricardo B. "Methane-to-Methanol Conversion by Gas-Phase Transition Metal Oxide Cations: Experiment and Theory." (n.d.): n. pag. Print. 

[9] E. R. Davidson, Adv. Quantum Chem. 6, 235 (1972).

[10] Young, David C.  Computational Chemistry: A Practical Guide for Applying Techniques to Real World Problems. New York: Wiley, 2001. Print.

[11] A. D. Becke, Modern Electronic Structure Theory Part 2 D. R. Yarkony, Ed., 1022,

World Scienti®c, Singapore (1995).

[12] "Advances in electronic structure theory: GAMESS a decade later" M.S.Gordon, M.W.Schmidt pp. 1167-1189, in "Theory and Applications of Computational Chemistry: the first forty years" C.E.Dykstra, G.Frenking, K.S.Kim, G.E.Scuseria (editors), Elsevier, Amsterdam, 2005.

 

Can I Get a Higher Truth? The Meaning of Life is Subjective

March 10, 2021

Abstract: This paper attempts to answer the conundrum of whether the meaning of life is subjective by analyzing Søren Kierkegaard’s arguments in his work Stages of Life’s Way, and discusses various interpretations of life’s meaningfulness by analyzing the different viewpoints of philosophers— Daan Evers, Richard Taylor, and Susan Wolf. The first part of the paper analyzes Søren Kierkegaard’s three stages of life: aesthetic, ethical, and religious. The paper then analyzes the notion that the meaning of life is personal and there may be endless subjective ways in which one can live a meaningful life via Richard Taylor’s evaluation of Sisyphus’s life in both standard form analysis and its analysis diagrams and Susan Wolf’s remarks on subjectivity and objectivity. We also explore Daan Evers’s claim that the meaning of life requires the existence of objective values. In addition to the Standard Form Analysis, Diagrams for the Logics are also introduced and shown. When considering that the meaning of life is subjective (that meaningfulness comes from within), one must observe the opposite view: that meaningfulness comes from objective values existing outside of the individual. Therefore, we examine two hypothetical versions of Sisyphus, one where he rolls the stone up a hill and builds a beautiful temple, and the other where he rolls the stone for no apparent reason but enjoys doing it. While some philosophers use the second hypothetical claim to discredit subjectivism, arguing that a positive attitude is not enough to project meaning onto one’s existence, subjectivists perceive life from their own individuality—that each belief is unique. The paper concludes that everyone views life subjectively, even if they hold objective values. 

 

References

  1. Evers, D. 2017. “Meaning in Life and the Metaphysics of Value,” De Ethica. A Journal of Philosophical, Theological and Applied Ethics, Vol. 4:3, 27-44.

  2. Taylor, R. 2000. “The Meaning of Life,” in Ethics: History, Theory, and Contemporary Issues, Cahn, Markie, (Eds.). New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 948-953.

  3. “Chapter 2: An Expression of Gratitude to Lessing.” Kierkegaard&#39;s Concluding Unscientific Postscript, by Søren Kierkegaard et al., Princeton University Press, 1974, pp.63–86.

  4. “Chapter 2: Selections from &#39;Either/Or&#39; and &#39;Fear and Trembling&#39;.” Kierkegaard&#39;s Concluding Unscientific Postscript, by Søren Kierkegaard et al., Princeton University Press, 1974, pp. 30–63.

  5. Hudecki, Dennis. “Kierkegaard&#39;s Concept of Self.” Philosophy 2553F: Forerunners of Existentialism. Hudecki, Dennis. “Kierkegaard&#39;s Concluding Unscientific Postscript.” Philosophy 2553F: Forerunners of Existentialism.

  6. Hudecki, Dennis. “Some Key Concepts in Fear and Trembling.” Philosophy 2553F: Forerunners of Existentialism.

Strategizing for Economics: How Small Business Survive During Current Pandemic

February 08, 2021

 


Abstract: The responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have varied significantly across different political systems. Numerous factors may be attributable to the differing rates of infection rates across various countries such as availability of universal healthcare and reliance on public transportation. In fact, the political system of a particular country may determine how that country has addressed the pandemic and thereby affect that country’s infection rates. This paper will compare the political systems, pandemic responses and infection rates of countries. First, each country’s political systems will be briefly described. Next, the two countries’ respective infection rates and pandemic responses will be compared. 
As part of my analysis, I will examine how the US political system may have resulted in more effective or less effective pandemic strategies. Finally, drawing from the strategies used by other countries, two specific suggestions for improving the U.S.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic will be considered. In a vast country like the US, the best way to mitigate the crisis is to handle it region-by-region due to the vast disparity in economy and population state-by-state rather than governmental intervention. Compared to other countries, the United States is more decentralized and naturally, states have gotten more power regarding laws and quarantines during this crisis (Dziobek, 2010). That being said, although the countries of the world have indeed done much to quarantine the crisis, states must keep control of individual laws (Dziobek, 2010). Specifically, states like California, Florida, Texas, New York and Georgia have the worst second wave of cases in the country. Since the virus is affecting states in different ways than ever imagined, state governments should be moderating the virus based on their situation rather than national lockdowns like in other countries. With five states accounting for more than 40% of all COVID-19 cases, this solution shows much promise for specifically this country.

References

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). Geographic Differences in COVID-19 Cases, Deaths, and Incidence — United States, February 12–April 7, 2020. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6915e4.htm#:~:text=Community%20transmission%20of%20COVID%2D,of%20COVID%2D19.
    Cirillo, P., Taleb, N.N. Tail risk of contagious diseases. Nat. Phys. 16, 606–613 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41567-020-0921-x.

  2. Ding, Lei, and Alvaro Sanchez. “COVID-19 and the Philadelphia Fed.” Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, Apr. 2020, philadelphiafed.org/covid-19/covid-19-equity-in-recovery/what-small-businesses-will-be-impacted. 

  3. Dziobek, Claudia, et al. “Measuring Fiscal Decentralization – Exploring the IMF’s Databases.” International Monetary Fund, International Monetary Fund, www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2011/wp11126.pdf.

  4. Eckfeldt, Bruce. “Key Questions to Guide Your Post-Pandemic Plan.” Inc.com, Mansueto Ventures, 25 Apr. 2020, www.inc.com/bruce-eckfeldt/key-questions-to-guide-your-post-pandemic-plan.html. 

  5. Fox, Michelle. “How These Small Businesses Are Surviving during the Coronavirus Pandemic.” CNBC, CNBC, 9 Aug. 2020, www.cnbc.com/2020/08/08/coronavirus-how-these-small-businesses-are-surviving-the-pandemic.html. 

  6. Jiang, I. (2020). Here's the difference between an 'essential' business and a 'nonessential' business as more than 30 states have imposed restrictions. Business Insider. Retrieved from https://www.businessinsider.com/what-is-a-nonessential-business-essential-business-coronavirus-2020-3

  7. Lexis Nexus. (2020). Economic Risk—What Is It and How to Effectively Manage It. Retrieved from https://www.lexisnexis.com/en-us/products/entity-insight/economic-risk.page#:~:text=%E2%80%B9%20%E2%80%BA,that%20may%20adversely%20affect%20profits.

  8. Maxouris, Christina. “US Tops 5 Million Covid-19 Cases, with Five States Making up More than 40% of Tally.” CNN, Cable News Network, 9 Aug. 2020, www.cnn.com/2020/08/09/health/us-coronavirus-sunday/index.html. 

 

Human Perception and its Manipulative Technology

January 13, 2021

Abstract: The visually manipulative characteristics of VR technology can have many different usages. A prominent one is the usage of VR in the medical field, more specifically, surgery training. Osso VR, a virtual reality surgery training platform, is making its way into residency programs of American medical schools, including the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School. (Fink) The usage of VR is especially effective in surgery training, as an accurate digital simulation of real surgery environments can be created, and surgeons do not have to feel the same pressure and stressful circumstances of a real surgery. 

These technologies all have a commonality: they are manipulating human perception. These technologies all evoke synesthetic experiences across multiple modalities, which means that a visual experience from VR, AR, or 4D cinema can trigger another sensory experience, such as the sense of hearing or touch. These experiences are all possible thanks to the technology that manipulates human perception, and one would not be able to have such experiences in normal daily life.

References

  1. Chislock, M.F.; Doster, E.; Zitomer, R.A.; Wilson, A.E. (2013)."Eutrophication: Causes, Consequences, and Controls in Aquatic Ecosystems". Nature Education Knowledge. 4 (4): 10. Retrieved 10 March 2018.Cycleback, David Rudd. 2003. “Eye/Brain Physiology and Human Perception of External Reality.” A Look at How Humans Think and See.

  2. Danieau, Fabien, et al. 2014. Toward Haptic Cinematography: Enhancing Movie Experience with Haptic E ects based on Cinematographic Camera Motions. IEEE MultiMedia, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers: 1-14. 

  3. Fink, Charlie. 2018. “Osso VR Surgical Training Makes Push Into Med Schools.” Forbes,                     

  4. Hill, Joe. “3D Pavement Art.” Joe Hill Art.

  5. Howard, Ian P., and Brian J. Rogers. 1995. Binocular Vision and Stereopsis. Oxford University Press, Inc.

  6. Krevelen, D.W.F van, and R. Poelman. 2010. A Survey of Augmented Reality Technologies, Applications and Limitations. Delft University of Technology.

  7. Garciá-Valle, Gonzalo, et al. 2017. Evaluation of Presence in Virtual Environments: Haptic Vest and User’s Haptic Skills. Smith, V., Tilman, G., & Nekola, J. (1999). Eutrophication: Impacts of excess nutrient inputs on freshwater, marine, and terrestrial ecosystems. ​Environmental Pollution,100(​ 1-3), 179-196. doi:10.1016/s0269-7491(99)00091-3 12     

  8. Manjoo, Farhad. 2008. “A Look at Disney and Pixar’s 3-D Movie Technology.” Salon.

  9. Summers, Nick. 2016. “Ikea Made a Kitchen Showroom in VR.” Engadget. 

  10. Verrier, Richard. 2009. “3-D Technology Firm RealD Has Starring Role at Movie Theaters.” Los Angeles Times.