[Assam] Chemistry Test: Ice dries clothes; IIT is not enough?

umesh sharma jaipurschool at yahoo.com
Thu May 10 20:52:45 PDT 2007

You may find it hard to believe, but you can line dry                clothes up North in the dead of winter, too. Your wet clothes will                freeze when you hang them out at temperatures below freezing. But                in dry northern weather, that ice will turn into vapor and the clothes                will dry almost as quickly as in summer. This ice-to-vapor process                is called sublimation, and it works just as well as the more familiar                water-to-vapor process called evaporation.


I asked this question to an engineering student doing masters but  he got it wrong since in India we do not experience or study this phenomenon. Here in US they study in High School chemistry. 

I am so glad that I worked at www.potomactutors.com where I could explore nearly entire US High School currilcum of math and science - fully paid - for free. I did get over 90% in the math and chemistry tests I took thru CLEP conducted by College Board for college credit -equal to 15 college credits (which is about one year college level fulltime coursework in many Univs).

I am reviewing that stuff again and I realize it is easier to get a high score yourself  -sometimes thru intuitive reasoning - but more holistic approach is needed (and indepth) when you have to teach a student. One of my students is taking AP Chemistry (college credit while studying at High School).

Ofcourse, most US based Indian master's students agree that though IIT might be good for undergraduate level (Bachelor's) studies in science and engineering but not upto mark for doing Phd /Research or masters. also that IITs offer a limited range of engineering program of worldclass level. 

Any comments by our IIT alums?


PS: Having accepted the challenge of learning Physical chemistry indepth -enough to teach all topics of  it - I was studying till 4am  last night and went to work  wearing the same shirt  I was wearing the other  day  - talk about focus. Ofcourse I was still wearing the tie and coat and had good perfume for such occasions. 

QUes: In  water based solutions (aqueous) of  Barium Nitrate and  Pottasium Chloride  - will  any reaction take place?
Additional info which may or maynot be useful: aqueous solution of Potassium Chloide and Silver Nitrate do have a reaction. 

I bet 99% of Indian  High School  graduates (incl those  who get to IITs) will get it wrong  -- we do not study physical chemistry indepth - just rote/cram learning of reactions. Incidently doing such a question is considered one of the hardest things a high school chemitry student / or even expert is asked to do (in US - in India we do not care at all anyway) -as per Zumdahl and Zumdahl http://www.amazon.com/Chemistry-Hm-College-Titles/dp/0618035915


Umesh Sharma

Washington D.C. 

1-202-215-4328 [Cell]

Ed.M. - International Education Policy
Harvard Graduate School of Education,
Harvard University,
Class of 2005



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