Breaking Bad : Season 2 : Episode 8: “Better Call Saul”
Just when Walt and Jesse think it’s safe to buy a money-counting machine, one of their dealers (or are they considered thoroughbreds now?) is nabbed by the cops. Time to call in the next essential component of a smooth-running drug operation, the criminal lawyer. In this post, I’ll be talking about Walt’s exam paper.
The midterm exam
Towards the end of the episode, just before Saul enters the classroom, it’s possible to sneak a look at the exam papers Walt is marking. This term’s topic is apparently physical chemistry (thermodynamics and the properties of gases).
A mass of air occupies a volume of 5.7 l at a pressure of 0.52 atm. What is the pressure if the same mass of air at the same temperature is transferred to a 2.0 l container?
This question is a straightforward application of Boyle’s Law, which states:
The gas inside a piston was heated until the volume of gas had increased from 125 ml to 850 ml. If the temperature inside the piston was originally 15 °C, calculate the new temperature in °C. Pressure remains constant.
This time, we have a straightforward application of Charles’s Law, which states:
The slight twist in this problem is that Charles’s Law, and indeed virtually all relationships in the sciences, require the temperature to be expressed as a thermodynamic temperature. This is an absolute temperature scale, measured in kelvins (K) where 0 K (absolute zero) represents the complete absence of any thermal energy. We can easily convert to the Celsius scale, as the scale divisions are identical and 0 K = -273.15 °C (hence 0 °C = 273.15 K).
Elements in the credits
|Steven MicHael Quezada||Hydrogen|
|Robb Wilson King||Tungsten|
|MiChael Slovis||No such element|
|StewArt A. Lyons||Argon|
I’m not sure why Michael Slovis wasn’t assigned iodine (I), carbon (C), hydrogen (H), sulfur (S), oxygen (O) or vanadium (V).