The (Not So) Free Electron


In the aftermath of my Electromagnetics resit last week, my mind began to agitate in anticipation into what would hopefully be the last semester of my bachelor, and of course what came out of it was a metaphor well suited to the electrical engineers amongst us.

A free electron is a particle that is located far enough from the nuclei of an atom that it possesses the ability to jump from one atom to another. The simultaneous and organized jumping of electrons is what is called current and demonstrates that I have learned something from my specialization in Electrical Engineering (though I dare not say more for fear of reprisals from the population of Flux).

What is remarkable about this, is that these electrons have the ability to latch on to move from atom to atom but not to leave the medium to which they are attached.

As I begin to wrap up my bachelor and have finished all my major’s courses, the familiar faces are further and fewer in between. The amount of lectures has been reduced to one on Monday morning and the self-study moments have become prevalent.

In a way, it feels like burying the last remnants of classroom mentality which has been the guiding current since I was 3 years old: being constantly surrounded by the same reassuring heard of people. Unlike so many students at this university, the small intake of my bachelor program (Sustainable Innovation) has allowed me to continue having and living in this electron cloud for much longer than the average student.

Yet here I am, a not yet free electron, sitting on the 8th floor of Atlas, energized by coffee and powered by research papers working on my BEP, slowly transitioning into higher energy levels in anticipation of my move beyond my bachelor.

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