Tuesday, February 28, 2006

For your consideration...

Philip Seymour Hoffman for Best Actor
It’s quite hard to say anything new about Hoffman’s performance, as I believe that every film review has just about got it all covered. But just to refresh, Hoffman truly does deserve all the plaudits he’s earned. His portrayal of egocentric writer Truman Capote is frighteningly accurate, yet so much more than just a mimicry. True, he gets all Capote’s little affectations and actions perfect, but he also shows the side that was less noticed in Capote’s time – the cold, calculating mind of his writer. However much we loathe Truman Capote and his selfish using of anyone and anything, Hoffman ensures that he’s always watchable, whether camp, inquisitive, or quietly emotional. It wasn’t an easy task at all, but Hoffman has surpassed himself in terms of talent, and given a memorable performance, possibly the best work of the new millennium thus far.


joe g said...

the best work of the noughties? No! what about Bill Murray and scarlet johansson in Lost in Translation?

Anonymous said...

Sum of pieces lol.

Anonymous said...

Investigation of the factors affecting the rate of reaction between magnesium and hydrochloric acid

Background Knowledge
- The balance equation for the reaction between hydrochloric acid and magnesium is:
Magnesium + Hydrochloric acid à Magnesium chloride + Hydrogen
Mg(s) + 2HCl(aq) à MgCl2(aq) + H2(g)

When this reaction takes place, the magnesium begins to give off hydrogen gas as bubbles (effervescence). When the solid magnesium disappears and there is no more effervescence, the reaction is complete.

- The rate of a reaction is the speed of the reaction - how quickly a reaction takes place.
- For a reaction to take place, the particles of the substances that are reacting have to collide. If they collide, with enough energy then they will react. The minimum amount of kinetic (movement) energy that two particles need if they are going to react when they collide is called the activation energy.
- Chemical reactions happen when reacting particles collide with enough energy to break bonds. The rate of reaction is speeded up when there are more reactions, or if the collisions happen with more energy.

Factors that affect the rate of reaction
- Size of reactant particles - if one of the reactants is a solid, the rate of reaction will be faster is the same amount of solids is faster when there is a larger surface area. Reducing the size of particles increases the rate of a reaction because it increases the surface area available for collisions to take place. This increases the number of collisions. It has no effect on the energy of the particles.
- The temperature of reactant - if the temperature is raised, particles have more energy so there will be more successful collisions, and particles will also move faster so there are more collisions.
- Concentration of reactants - the higher the concentration, the more reacting particles in the same volume of concentration there are.
- Pressure of gases - similar theory to concentration of reactants.
- Presence of a catalyst - a catalyst lowers the activation energy so the particles can react with less energy than they needed before the catalyst was added.

I will fill a burette with distilled water and attach it to a clamp and stand. I will fill an old ice cream tub ¾ of the way with water. Using beakers of solutions of chosen concentration of hydrochloric acid, I will attach it to a burette to a conical flask via a delivery tube. Before I add the magnesium strip to the hydrochloric acid solution, I will measure the level of water on the burette. Then I will add the 5 cm magnesium strip, put a bung over the conical flask and start the timer immediately. I will take readings of the level of water at the burette every 10 seconds and stop when the hydrogen has displaced the water completely.

To make different concentrations of hydrochloric acid, I will mix a 2M hydrochloric acid solution with distilled water in these ratios:
Concentration (M) Volume of 2M HCl (cm ) Volume of water (cm )
0.2 5 45
0.4 10 40
0.6 15 35
0.8 20 30
1.0 25 25
1.2 30 20
1.4 35 15
1.6 40 10
1.8 45 5
2.0 50 0

For the actual experiment I will only take 5 or 6 values from these, the concentrations I will select will depend on the results from the preliminary experiment.

I will repeat the experiment with the different concentrations. I will then repeat them for more reliable results.

Apparatus and chemicals used
- Beakers
- 2M Hydrochloric acid
- Distilled water
- Measuring cylinder
- Burette
- Conical flask
- Bung
- Delivery tube
- Ice cream tub
- Ruler
- Magnesium strips
- Scissors

Key Factor that I shall Vary
The concentration of the solution.

Fair Testing

Temperature - Increasing the temperature affects the rate of reaction because particles have more energy so more collisions are successful; particles move faster so there are more collisions. I shall carry out the experiment at room temperature

Magnesium strip - There may be a thin layer of oxygen on the magnesium strip, this could react with the HCl instead of magnesium. Each strip will be wiped before the experiment.

Amount of magnesium - The reaction will take longer if there is a longer strip, as there is more to react. Use 5cm of magnesium strip each time.

Hydrochloric acid is a corrosive and irritant so students should take extra care when carrying out the experiment. When cutting the lengths of magnesium students should be careful with scissors as well as the edges of the magnesium

I will measure the amount of water displaced by the hydrogen, so I will measuring the appearance of a product from the reaction. I will take my results to the nearest 0.1 of a cm.

I predict that the higher the concentration of hydrochloric acid, the faster the reaction. In a 2M HCl solution, I predict that the length of magnesium strip will react completely in a few seconds, and in an 0.2M HCl solution, it will take a very long time to react. This is the trend in the preliminary trial. This will be because in concentrated solution there is a higher chance of particles hitting each other. When the HCl solution is less concentrated, reactions will be slower because there are less reacting particles in the same volume of solution.
I predict that when the concentration is twice as concentrated, the rate of reaction will be twice as fast. This is because there will be twice as many reacting particles in the same volume of solution.

Making sure my evidence is precise and reliable
For precise results I will read the levels on the burette to the nearest 0.1cm³. For reliable results I will repeat the experiment two more times, then take an average of the three readings. If there are any clear anomalies, I may retake the result.

Preliminary Work
A previous experiment had been done before with the same aims.

Concentration (M) Water displaced (cm) Time taken (seconds)
0.6 17 10 20 30 40 51
0.8 28 10 20 39
1.0 28 10 20 32
1.2 30 10 20 21
1.4 35 10 12
1.6 32 5 8
1.8 45 2

This was not a very successful experiment. Although I achieved results, I didn’t carry out enough repeats to be completely sure that the results were reliable.

For the real experiment, I will take repeats. In this experiment I didn’t take any, therefore if there were any anomalous results, I would not be able to tell which one it was. Having more results also makes the experiment more reliable, as different values are involved in calculating average.

It had taken too long for the solutions of 0.2M, 0.4M and 0.6M to turn cloudy. I will definitely not use these values for the real experiment.

The 1.8M and 2.0M solutions were too quick at reacting and it is likely that the time measured was not precise.

For the experiment the range of values I will use will be: 0.8M, 1.0M, 1.2M, 1.4M, 1.6M, and 1.8M.

From my results, I can see a clear correlation


The experiment was successful as I achieved reliable results and no injuries were caused. The results tied in with the ones from the preliminary experiment. I was then able to plot a straight-line graph.

Most of my results were accurate as they followed a pattern. On Graph A – the higher the concentration, the faster the rate of reaction.

OnbMost of the points are on the line of best fit and the others are close to it. This shows that some results were more reliable than others, but overall, any anomalous results were not too inconsistent so I could include their values when calculating the average.

The elastic band worked and that we carried out a fairly reliable experiment.
However, I did get some anomalous results:

Distance travelled (mm) (to nearest mm)
Mass added (g) Try 1 Try 2 Try 3 Average
0 2102 2348 2673 2374
10 1205 1894 1972 1690
20 1332 1612 1579 1508
30 974 1066 1013 1018
40 862 905 989 919
50 801 822 756 793
60 525 479 607 537
70 471 509 409 463
80 425 403 456 428
90 316 302 359 326
100 295 278 321 298

Possible Limitations:

Limitation Why it affects

One of the causes for this may have been error in the pullback – I may have pulled back more or less than I should have. Although the extra pullback may only have been up to a cm more, this still could have affected the results substantially. To prevent this, a hard object such as a brick or a piece of card could be placed 5 cm back, and this would have caused it to stay constant throughout. Another reason could be when the experiment was carried out, the tub may not have been placed in the exact centre of the elastic band. If it went diagonally or sideways, the measured distance would have been different from what it actually was, and this would have affected the results. However, the anomalous results are not too irregular so overall the method was a success.

However, this was not the best way of carrying out the experiment - One limitation with the method was that towards the end, the elastic band might have lost some of its elasticity. Although care was taken to not overstretch the elastic band, it may have inevitably happened, as the distance between the two chair legs were fairly far apart. Although the change may have been small, this could have affected the amount of work that could be done by the elastic band. In the same way, at the start of the experiment, the elastic band may not have been stretchy as it was in the middle, as it had not been stretched for a while and the particles in the band were getting rigid.
Another problem with the method was that although I looked for trends between the mass added to the tub and the distance it travelled, I did not take into consideration the mass of the tub. This may have been a substantial factor that affected the results. For example, if the tub had weighed 50g, and 10g had been added, the total mass would be 60g. An additional 10g would make the total mass 70g. This is not double of 60g, so the change on the graph would not be as much as if it were between 10g and 20g, a true double in mass.
An experiment that could be carried out to extend this could be to mould a plastic tub that weighs exactly 10g, and repeat the experiment on it. Except this time, results will be taken for the tub alone when it travels. When a 10g weight has been added, the distance will be measured as usual, but this time the mass will be recorded as “Total mass 20g,” as this includes the weight of the tub. To be even more precise, the weights could be weighed before the experiment, as damaged disks would weigh less. From this, I will keep my original prediction, and the results should this time prove them to be correct, as the main improvement in the new method will to be to take the mass of the tub into account, then the true work done can be calculated.

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