Better Grad Students, Please

| Thu Feb. 16, 2012 9:17 PM EST

Thoreau complains about a grad student in his upper division biophysics class:

One of the problems involves the entropy change from evaporating a cubic centimeter of water. She asked me how she’s supposed to know the number of atoms in a cubic centimeter of water. Um, this is basic freshman chem stuff.

No, that's not right. It's junior chem stuff. High school junior, that is. At least, that's where I learned it.

The same student apparently also had a problem converting joules to electron volts. Well, I don't know the conversion myself. But I typed "joules electron volts" into Google and got the answer in .33 seconds. So I guess at least some grad students don't know how to use Google either. This does not bode well for our coming economic war with China, does it?