The Internet is Smarter Than Me

I had one of those moments where something went through my head from a long time ago and suddenly I had to look it up.  Usually it’s “that guy who played that role on that TV show with the one lady” and I’m off to IMDB.  But today it was “Faraday constant”.  

That’s right, Faraday constant was in my head. For the life of me I don’t know why but I just had to look it up. 

And in looking it up I had another moment. One of those moments where I realize how little I know relative to what there is to know.  I figure these moments happen more since the advent of the internet.

In looking up Faraday constant on wikipedia I came across this:

Related to Faraday’s constant is the “faraday”, a unit of electrical charge. It is much less common than the coulomb, but sometimes used in electrochemistry.[5] One faraday of charge is the magnitude of the charge of one mole of electrons, i.e. 96485.3365(21)C.[6]

Expressed in faradays, the Faraday constant F equals “1 faraday of charge per mole”.

This faraday unit is not to be confused with the farad, an unrelated unit of capacitance (1 farad= 1 coulomb/1 volt).

I’ve read that passage 5 times and still have no idea what the hell it is talking about.

Luckily the next paragraph was:

The Simpsons episode “Dark Knight Court” (RABF10) has Mr. Burns asking Comic Book Guy how much he wants for his entire comic book inventory. He says “the speed of light expressed as dollars” and Mr. Burns says to Smithers, “give him Faraday’s Constant.” The check is written for $96,485.34.

I read that paragraph once and I laughed, remembering the episode.  And then I understood a bit more about the Faraday constant than I had a moment before.

So that’s three of “those moments” I had in one day:

  1. the moment where the random thought I had to look up went through my head
  2. the moment where I realized how little I actually know
  3. the moment where I learned something from the Simpsons.

That third moment is something pretty much all of us have on a weekly basis.