• Solo • Phase Transition

Study Thread for Doran's Charter in Chemistry.

Stronghold of education and learning, this fortress is in one of the coldest areas of Idalos and home to many knowledge seekers in a variety of disciplines. However, unknown to most, below the city are those who suffer for the sake of science. While all are welcome, not everyone will be treated as they expect.

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Phase Transition

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Cylus 2, Arc 721

The Mortalborn could hear it while he was still lying in his bed, under the covers, in the relative twilight of his bedroom, a howling sound, coming right from outside the windows, and he could see it, a hint of bright whiteness where he had failed to close the curtains completely. The snowstorm that had started the trial before was still as strong as ever which meant that more classes would likely be cancelled and that a number of students would stay at home again rather than trying to make their way to the Academy.

That was something that he found understandable. If he did not have the morning off anyway, he might have done the same. Sometimes, he had the feeling that a part of him needed to be surrounded by ice and snow in order to truly thrive, but his love of winter did not extend to snowstorms, blizzards and other, at least slightly hazardous phenomena. He very much preferred the calm and the peacefulness of a clear Zi’da trial, when the sky was an endless, intense blue and the entire world seemed to shimmer in the sunlight, although the sunlight in question failed to warm it up sufficiently.

He had never been someone who lay in bed for more than a few bits after waking up though, at least not usually (there were, as always, a few rare exceptions). He preferred to make use of his time, as much as possible. For that reason, he rose to his feet before too long, but on a pair of dark pants and a matching shirt – he dressed more casually at home – and finally a dressing gown, black with a hint of gold. His servants had likely already lit the fireplaces, but it would still be slightly chilly in the apartment for another break or two.

With that thought in mind, he made his way into the kitchen where Elias, his Etzori cook that had been given a small room in his home, just like his maid, was already making breakfast. “Your coffee is already ready, sir”, the mortal informed him. “I added a hint of powdered chocolate and vanilla to it this time. I’ll be done with the rest in a bit”, he added while he poured a cup and sat it down in front of the Mortalborn who inclined his head in a sign of gratitude. “As for lunch, I planned on going to the market later this morning, but …” he continued and cast a meaningful glance towards the window.

“I’ll be fine with whatever you make for me, Elias”, the Mortalborn assured him before he took a few slow sips from his coffee. Since he had become a mage, a little more than an arc prior, he enjoyed different flavor combinations, and the drink that the mortal had made for him, he observed, delighted his spark. He was aware of the fact that it constituted a noticeable change – food and drink had not mattered to him as much before – but he didn’t mind. On the contrary, he enjoyed the ways in which the spark had changed him, so far, although he would never progress further or get initiated into another domain.

The changes that he had undergone so far had been beneficial, but he was too aware of the dark sides of magic to risk anything. He had no interest in losing his sanity due to too much magic and too many sparks, and neither did he want to turn into a power-hungry fool, or a monster that was corrupted beyond recognition. His interest in the arcane had always been of a more scientific nature anyway – he rarely used his magic outside of such a context, but approached it the same way that he approached science.

“I’ll be staying at home myself, at least for the time being and write that essay for my Charter in Chemistry, among other things”, he admitted just as Elias set a soft-boiled egg, a basket with a few slices of bread, butter and an assortment of different jams down in front of him. “Why don’t you sit and eat with me, by the way?” he asked. He was aware of the fact that some of his aristocratic neighbours would likely consider eating breakfast with a servant to be at least a small breach of etiquette, but he found eating breakfast while Elias, who had been with him for approximately four arcs now, was just watching a bit strange.

“Thank you, sir”, Elias said and smiled before he poured himself a cup as well and sat down opposite of him. In the beginning, the mortal had been reluctant to engage in such behaviour, but he had come to appreciate the fact that Doran was more relaxed than some other employers, at least in private, although he would never tolerate negligence or disloyalty and was quite strict when it came to what he called recklessness.
word count: 834

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Doran
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Re: Phase Transition

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The son of Ziell was aware of the fact that there were some people that did without a doubt wonder why he who was among the greatest chemists in this part of the world, had decided to go back to university and play the part of a student once more. To him, that decision made perfect sense though. Science was never stagnant. It was constantly changing. People constantly made new discoveries and came up with new and, potentially, better research methods; and besides, he enjoyed the scientific discourse, greatly.

(Being a student once more also helped him recall certain facts that he had forgotten over the course of the decades and centuries.)

The subject that they were currently covering were phase transitions which was something that was of some interest to him. He had always been fascinated by the concept of change, and transformation. The essay that his colleagues and he had been asked to prepare and the questions that they had been asked to answer were more than some sort of work for that reason, but then again, there were few aspects of chemistry that he found boring, or unpleasant. Chemistry provided an insight in the way the world worked.

How could such a thing ever be boring?

There was, he realized, not really a point in opening the curtains in his study where he had gone after breakfast when it was dark outside, but he did so anyway, because doing so made the morning feel more like a real morning, and besides, he wanted to see how the snowstorm progressed. Once he had lit a lamp, he retrieved the books that he would need from the bookshelf and sat down at his desk, an ornate desk made of dark wood.

A few moments later, he finally opened the first book, found the table of contents, moved on to the appropriate chapter and started to read, to learn and ultimately to write. He tended to read a couple of paragraphs in one go and check the passages that were unclear again before he summarized what he had read so far, and in some cases, paraphrased it. He never just copied what the book said. Instead, he preferred to use his own words. He had come to the realization that doing such made it easier for him to memorize the information.

"Phase transitions or phase changes", he wrote – he had decided to take care of the essay first and answer the questions that he needed to answer until the next lecture later, and he had decided to start with an overview, an introduction of sorts to the topic, before he wrote about certain aspects of phases as well as phase transitions in more detail, as that made things clearer and easier to understand. “Are the processes of transition between the three phases, the solid, the liquid and the gaseous phase. During a phase transition, certain properties of a substance change due to external conditions, such as temperature, pressure or chemical composition. A liquid will become gaseous if it reaches the boiling point which furthermore leads to a change in volume, and it will turn to ice if it reaches the freezing point.”

“Transitions from the solid to the liquid or the liquid to the gaseous state – or vice versa – are most common. A substance can transition directly from the solid to the gaseous state though – which is a process that is called sublimation. The reverse process is called deposition or desublimation and happens when a substance directly transitions from the gaseous to the solid state. Furthermore, the transition from liquid to the gaseous state and from the gaseous state to the liquid state are defined as vaporization and condensation respectively.”

“At low temperatures”,
he continued and glanced at a table that listed a few common substances as well as their freezing and boiling points. “Most substances are solid, and they become liquid as the temperature increases. Should the temperature increase even further, they will turn to gas”, he wrote before he finally turned to explain the different types of phase transitions in more detail as well as listed examples of when a couple of different substances became liquid or solid. He found that not just explaining what phase transitions were, but actually giving examples, made the subject a bit easier to understand.

(Which was something that also applied to other scientific concepts, of course.)
word count: 734

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Re: Phase Transition

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Once he had finished his essay, after approximately a break and a half, the son of Ziell decided to take a brief break, walk around his study for a little bit and drink something before he moved on to the second part of his homework, the questions. The professor had given a list of five questions that needed to be answered, pertaining to certain details about phases and phase transitions (which was a teaching method that he found quite useful; he handled the homework that he assigned to his alchemy students similarly every now and then).

The first thing that he was supposed to find out was how exactly one defined the critical point. He opened the second one of the books that he had retrieved for his homework, found the index at the back of the book, read the page in question, furrowed his brow fractionally and finally started to write once more, ”The critical point is defined as the set of conditions that is comprised of the critical temperature, the critical pressure and the critical density, under which a liquid and its vapor become identical and can subsequently co-exist.”

Satisfied with what he had written, he moved on the next question, and finally, when he was done, he set his pen down once more as something occurred to him. He had made tentative plans to not stop at the Charter level, but acquire a second Licentiate, in Chemistry this time, and devise a categorization system for chemical substances for his thesis. He had already come to the decision that a minimum of five categories would likely be necessary: salt-forming substances, base-forming substances, acid-forming substances, metallic substances and a fifth category that was comprised of substances that had been magically created or altered.

Up until that point, he had not been sure how he was supposed to organize the substances within each category though, if he should categorize them by their density, or perhaps by their boiling point, or something else. There were certain advantages and disadvantages to both approaches – and it might likewise make sense to create three different versions of his categorization system, to suit the needs of the scientists that used them.

That, he decided, was something that he would think about in more detail another trial though. For the time being, he considered it to be a better idea to read over his homework once more and make certain small edits as he was not entirely content with the wording in some cases yet while the snowstorm outside continued, as strong as it had been.
word count: 434

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Re: Phase Transition

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Review Rewards

Name: Doran

Points awarded: 10xp

Knowledge:
Chemistry: Definition of phase transition
Chemistry: The three phases: solid, liquid and gaseous
Chemistry: Definition of sublimation and desublimation
Chemistry: Definition of vaporization and condensation
Chemistry: Definition of the critical point
Writing: When writing an essay, start with an overview and go into detail later on

Skill Review: All Skills used appropriate to level

Notes:
Doran research threads are always fun for me to review because I appreciate the seriousness with which he undertakes such things. You mentioned it might be dull, but I found it to be anything but!

As always, you write your npcs with life and not as simple background characters. I really enjoy that! You write some wonderful npcs!

I know you were worried about the chemistry knowledge but you did great! In my opinion, it doesn't have to be perfect and you did a wonderful job of explaining what you were writing. It was clear and concise.

I enjoy how you write Doran's lack of understanding about how other people could find chemistry boring. It's very true though! When we are passionate about something, it's sometimes really hard to imagine others not being as interested...so I liked that bit of truth.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding this review, feel free to PM. Enjoy your rewards!

Avalon

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