Home, Science, Science Concepts

Superheroes, Crazy Clocks and Selfish Bosses: Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity (Introduction: Part 1)

Hi Guys!

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This post is finally out.

After 12 months since i started this post and more than a year since the idea of this post was conceived, it’s finally out. I’m extremely sorry about the errors and having to repost but i cannot teach the wrong thing.

I strongly believe that it’s better not to know anything than to know the wrong thing for a human can talk, a human can tell other people things which may eventually lead to :

1. Awkward situations when you try to prove your physics teacher wrong but he ends up proving you wrong.

2. Trying to impress girls with physics knowledge but getting destroyed by the nerd sitting next to you

3. Writing the wrong answer in a test resulting in unsightly scores.

All of the above situations should be avoided at all costs. So i have rewritten the post. I have also realised that this topic has much more than i thought it had in terms of content so i have decided to split it into 2 separate posts. (the word count for this post approaching the 3000 word mark steadily) This is to prevent the “Too-Long-Don’t-Read” or TLDR syndrome from arising in some of my readers ūüôā

This post is still pretty long but i hope you will enjoy it. Feel free to post in the comments any doubts you have and i will not hesitate to address them.

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This is the first part of another science concepts series. I will be introducing Special Relativity to you guys. This post is just to introduce you guys to the topic so don’t panic yet. Contrary to popular belief Special Relativity is actually very easy to learn.

Well here are some prerequisites if you are still feeling uncertain (like Heisenberg always was):

  1. Basic Arithmetic
  2. Basic Algebra Knowledge
  3. The ability to picture scenes in your mind
  4. An open mind to accept extremely counter-intuitive concepts
  5. A calculator, paper and pen/pencil
  6. A spaceship that can travel at speeds close to that of light (optional)

Yep that’s it! You can pick up the basics in a couple of minutes but i will going in some detail in this series.

I picked up this knowledge from my physics teachers so before I even begin my post, i would like to thank Mr Damian Boh for his support in my pursuit for scientific knowledge and as a friend. I would also like to thank Mr Jeffrey Goh and Ms Sonia How for giving me the opportunity to pursue further knowledge in the field of science and for being very supportive throughout this journey.

Okay so on to the the introduction.

In a previous post, I explained a little on reference frames.

If you haven’t read that post, go ahead and click the link to read it. Its pretty important in the understanding of this topic and i highly recommend that you read that post first (It takes only a couple of minutes).

So how are reference frames important in this topic?

As the name implies, Special Relativity relies on ‘Relativity’. An object’s relative velocity to another object. How does this all work? I shall explain the mechanics in a later post. As mentioned earlier, this post is just to give you a rough idea of how Special Relativity works.

Special Relativity works on the idea that time and space are variables and they alter themselves to keep 1 thing constant. The first letter of my name: c. The speed of light (in a vacuum of course but to keep this post nice and short I’m omitting all the ‘in a vacuum’s so yes). It relies on the fact that the speed of light is a universal constant and is constant to any observer regardless of his/her/it/whatever ‘s velocity and whatnot.

The idea can be represented by using a light-clock experiment but I’m going to use parabolic motion as an analogy first.

When you throw a ball upwards in a van, the ball, to you, goes up and then down, just as it would while you were standing on solid ground. However, to some guy who just happened to see you throwing the ball, he would observe that the ball was travelling in a parabola, aka a curvy symmetric shape. To picture this, you can type the function: y=-x^2 into your handy search engine, Google. The curve that results is a parabola.

The Parabola of the function y=-x^2
The Parabola of the function y=-x^2

Now from this example you can thus see that the same event can be viewed in different ways. All you have to do is replace the ball with a photon (particle of light) and you will roughly get the idea of what happens.

I know what all of you are saying, “But Clyde, light can’t go in a parabola like a ball!”

Well you’re right, it can’t so its time to end this post and forget about everything.

NOT!

We can explain this using an imaginary device. We’ll call it a “super-awesome-cool-type-thing-that-measures-accurate-time-and-is-generally-awesome-light-bouncing-time-changing-clock”

Alright. So this¬†“super-awesome-cool-type-thing-that-measures-accurate-time-and-is-generally-awesome-light-bouncing-time-changing-clock”, (We can shorten it to SACTTTMATAIGALBTCC but let’s just refer to it as a light clock for now) what does it do? Let me draw this awesome device.

The Light Clock

There. Pretty neat eh.

The way this light clock works is by bouncing a photon (our light particle) up and down the box. Every time the photon hits the ceiling of the box, the clock ticks once. Every time the photon hits the bottom of the box, the clock ticks against. This happens several million times in a second and by the frequency of ticks, we are able to determine the amount of time that has passed.

However, the above is how the light clock looks like when it is stationary. When it moves, something crazy happens.

The Light Clock when its moving

The light now moves DIAGONALLY!

And if you still haven’t realized, the light has to travel a longer distance due to it moving at an angle.

Alright. Now take that in for a second.

So what happens?

The interval between the ticks get longer. And now the clock is reading time wrongly.

Or is it?

Remember the thing about the speed of light being constant? Regardless of what velocity the observer is travelling at?

Now its time to refer back to my post on reference frames

If you read my post, you would understand that the conflict between Galilean Relativity and Maxwell’s equations on electrodynamics has been resolved with Maxwell’s equations coming out ‘triumphant’ in some sense. So light does move at a constant velocity regardless of the velocity of the observer. Meaning if I were travelling at the speed of light (which is impossible and I will explain why in a later post) light would still move at the same speed as it would to someone standing completely still.

Perhaps I need to introduce some concrete numbers to make this clearer.

Say Flash (from DC) decided to challenge Nick Fury (from Marvel) to a race.nick flash 1

But of course Nick Fury has other stuff to do than to challenge some crazy dude in some race. So he decides to take a seat and chill.¬†(If anyone gets the 21 reference then here’s a fistbump)

nick flash 2

But Flash is still in this and starts running. Like real quick. Like 250,000,000 ms^-1 quick. (Nick is busy with his Avenger stuff)

nick flash 3f

5 Seconds later, Superman (from DC) flies in and decides he’s had enough of this Flash¬†guy. He stands beside Fury and starts firing his laser towards Flash.

nick flash 4

But Flash¬†thinks that he won’t get killed because he’s running so flippin’ fast.

But poor Flash¬†didn’t read my blog.

Flash thought that since he was travelling at 250,000,000 ms^-1m, the light would slowly approach him at 50,000,000 ms^-1. And with his 5 second headstart (which made him 1,250,000,000 m away from Nick Fury and Superman) the light would only reach him after 25 seconds, giving him some time to run away.

nick flash 5

But that obviously did not happen

4.2 seconds later, Flash gets fried. Although he was travelling at 250,000,000 ms^-1, the light was travelling at 300,000,000 ms^-1 to him, clearing the 1250,000,000 m distance in that short span of 4.2 seconds. Though Nick Fury was sitting down, he watched the light travel towards Flash at 300,000,000 ms^-1.

nick flash 6

This is probably very puzzling to you.

You might be thinking that the light got faster, since Flash saw the light moving at 300,000,000 ms^-1, the light should have been travelling at 250,000,000+300,000,000 ms^-1= 550,000,000 ms^-1

But Fury saw the light moving at 300,000,000 ms^-1.

“Where did all that extra speed go to?” You are probably asking yourself now

Let’s go back to that clock.

Since Maxwell was right, the above should happen. (If all those super heroes did exist and decided to do all that weird stuff.)

Let’s say Flash and Nick Fury¬†were each carrying one of our light clocks.

nick flash 7

Since light travels at the same speed to Flash as to everyone else, his clock ticks along just fine.

nick flash 8

But if Nick Fury were to listen to Flash’s clock ticking and compare it to his own clock, since light travels at the same speed to Nick Fury as to Flash, Nick would hear Flash’s clock ticking much slower as compared to his own.

nick flash 9

Why? Because the light travels diagonally to Nick and travels a longer distance. Nick would see the light travel a much longer distance, thus making the clock tick slower, but to Flash the light still bounces up and down, ticking at the same rate as if it were stationary.

Do you see what just happened?

TIME SLOWED DOWN.

But wait.

Let’s take a step back from here. Let’s go back to reference frames. After all, relativity is all about reference frames.

The above is only portrayed in Nick’s perspective. What about in Flash’s perspective?

flash nick 11

Flash would see Nick’s time slow down too. Why?

In Flash’s reference frame, he can take himself to be stationary and Nick Fury to be moving backwards at 250,000,000 ms^-1

This is due to the fact that there is no absolute reference frame. Be it Nick running or Flash running, there is no difference.

To explain this, let’s go back to Nick Fury.

Now say Nick takes one of his S.H.E.I.L.D Helicarriers out for a spin.

So while Nick is having fun flying his huge flying craft across the globe, he gets tired and takes a nap.

nick-tony-2
Nick Fury sleeps with his eyes open. At least I think so…

Tony Stark decides to play a little joke on Nick by shutting all the windows. Perhaps he spent a little more time studying physics and knows how to confuse other people.

Ncik Tony 1

Nick then wakes up, realising that he can’t see what’s happening outside.

Ncik Tony 1

Now here’s the big question: Did the Helicarrier land or is it still in mid air?

And here’s the big answer: You can’t know.

The problem with this problem is that in Einstein’s theory of special relativity, it is impossible to tell if you are travelling at constant speed or if you are stationary for any experiment conducted in 2 different inertial reference frames will yield the same result.

This means that every reference frame is equally valid and equally correct regardless of the observation it makes.

So the question of who is right ultimately shouldn’t be a question, because both are equally right!

Whose time slowed down? That ain’t even a proper question mate!

If you really want to know what the clocks would say, the clock Flash is carrying would say 5 seconds and Nick’s clock would have said 9 instead. (These values are rounded down. I will discuss the mathematics at a later date.)

Flash’s time is passing by slower than Nick’s.

But that’s only half the story.

Say Flash ran next to Nick Fury. Nick would see an ultra thin Flash, almost like a Flash that had been squashed flat like a paper.

nick flash 10

Why? Because time slowing down isn’t good enough to account for light moving at the same speed.

I can hear all of you going “Huh?” right now.

Why does time slow down when you move faster?

It changes to allow light to move at the same speed to you as to some other guy sitting on the ground.

Let’s go back to the super heroes.

Earlier we mentioned that Light should in fact have been moving at 550,000,000 ms^-1 when it in fact was only moving at 300,000,000 ms^-1. Now i shall tell you where all that extra speed went to.

Since time slowed down, Light has more time to catch up to Flash.

That makes sense doesn’t it? Though we cannot imagine the perspective of light (due to the math which I will eventually get around to explaining)

So actually light moves at the same speed but time slows down to accommodate for people who decide to move.

But time slowing down isn’t enough. If you calculate the time change using the light clock experiment, it isn’t enough to account for the moving observer, so space also has to change, length has to shorten for light to move at the same speed.

Essentially light is like a super unreasonable boss. You have to conform to him, even if it means that you have to bend and change.

This is only half (actually 1/3) of the story. So far we have gone through Relativity of Space. There are two more parts of relativity which are sure to melt your mind (like it did to my mind when i tried to comprehend it). These are known as the Relativity of Time and the Relativity of Simulteinity. Look out for that in later posts.

And that is Special Relativity, a story about an unreasonable and selfish boss changing the fabric of our universe to make him the fastest thing in the universe.

I will be going through the calculations at a later date after i have completed the posts on the Relativity of Time and the Relativity of Simulteinity. In the meantime, if you have any other questions, go ahead and post them in the comments or send me a message via the contact page. If you find any part of this page to contain faulty logic/ wrong info, please post a comment or send me a message, you would be doing a service to everyone who reads this post after you.

Thank you for reading this and have fun changing space and time!

Clyde Lhui ūüôā

P.s: My favourite Superhero is Spiderman. LOL

P.s: Tell me if you’d like to see more illustrations in the future.

P.s: Watched and loved Age of Ultron

Photo References:

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Home, Science, Science Concepts

Nuclear Fusion- Does Our Future Depend On It?

Hi Guys,

I’m sorry for the long pauses in between posts, I’m busy with my third year in secondary school and I simply do not have as much time to write these posts anymore. This year i will be participating in a lot more activities (Science Mentorship Programme, completing my novel etc.). Blogging has been really fun and i really wish that i can make time to do more of these blogs. However, it’s really tough to pull myself to blog after a long day at school. Furthermore i try to make my posts as good as possible and this makes blogging take even more time. In fact i have been working on this very post since mid-December. I will definitely continue to post more, but the frequency of posts will have to be reduced. I simply can’t bring myself to post something that I myself feel is of low quality.

Okay, enough talk, lets get back to the main topic of this post.

I have been thinking about fusion lately after watching a TED video regarding the issue. Fusion has always been something extremely fascinating to me ever since I learnt about it. (and yes, I am going to keep referring to nuclear fusion as fusion.)

When we, as a human race, try to solve engineering problems, we usually turn to nature to give us inspiration. From the minesweeper inspiring tumbleweed to lotus leaves that have inspired us to create hydrophobic surfaces, nature has helped us solve our issues again and again. Fusion is one of those instances where we have taken inspiration from nature, but this time instead of seeking that inspiration from living beings on earth, we have taken that inspiration from the skies.

When we gaze into the sky at night we see stars, hundreds, thousands, even millions of them. When we look into the sky in the day, we see the sun. All these majestic things that fill the sky are all powered by nuclear fusion, the very thing we seek to be able to utilise some day. The intense light and heat coming from the sun and the stars are all produced by tiny nuclei colliding into each other; resulting in part of their mass being converted into energy.

The amount of energy produced is insanely huge. How huge? To answer this question we must look at one of the most famous equations in human history. E=mc^2. E equals m c squared. The energy-mass equivalence formula. Whatever you call it. Developed by the famous Albert Einstein, this short equation reveals the power of nuclear power. Here are the definitions of the terms in the formula:

E- Energy

m- Mass

c- the speed of light

Well if you consider the fact that the speed of light is 300,000,000 m/s (or 300 million m/s) )and after squaring¬†the value¬†you get 90,000,000,000,000,000 (or 90 trillion), you can¬†convert 1 kilogram of mass into enough energy to keep the entire world¬†running for 6 seconds. Well, that ain’t bad considering¬†we burn 9,825,414,830 liters of oil in a day. That’s over 9 billion liters of oil and oil only.

So yes, fusion is powerful. Very powerful. So how does it work? In the stars, intense heat and pressure (and sometimes with a bit of luck), fusion occurs. The heat causes the atoms in the stars to move extremely quickly, this causes the atoms to collide into each other very frequently and with extreme speed and force. The pressure forces them closer to each other, further increasing the frequency of the collisions. With these ingredients, together with some nuclear fuel, the beautiful process occurs, generating large amounts of heat (the energy that is released from the process). PhdComics has made a video explaining the process of fusion.

Fusion makes use of nuclear fuel with small nuclei such as hydrogen and helium. The process can only fuse atoms up to iron. Atoms larger than iron are too heavy to be fused any further. This is opposite of nuclear fission where nuclear fuel with large nuclei are used. After iron, to produce larger nuclei, a supernova has to occur for heavier elements to form.

I recently found this joke on the website SGAG. To those Singaporeans out there, you should probably understand this joke:

fusion joke

 

The above is in fact true! The reason why supernovas are able to allow larger atoms to form is due to the fact that the force of the explosion generated by the supernova is so great that the iron actually manages to fuse into larger nuclei. Through the explosions of millions or even billions of supernovas, the atoms essential for life were formed.

You could say that you were born from a dying star ūüôā

“The most astounding fact is the knowledge that the atoms that comprise life on Earth, the atoms that make up the human body, are traceable to the crucibles that cooked light elements into heavy elements in their core under extreme temperatures and pressures.

These stars, the high mass ones among them went unstable in their later years. They collapsed and then exploded, scattering their enriched guts across the galaxy. Guts made of Carbon, Nitrogen, Oxygen and all the fundamental ingredients of life itself. These ingredients become part of gas clouds that condense, collapse, form the next generation of solar systems, stars with orbiting planets, and those planets now have the ingredients for life itself.

So when I look up at the night sky and I know that yes we are a part of this universe, we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts is that the universe is in us, when I reflect on that fact, I look up, many people feel small cause they‚Äôre small and the universe is big, but I feel big because my atoms came from those stars. There‚Äôs a level of connectivity.”

Neil deGrasse Tyson (in a TIME magazine interview)

Essentially, why I study physics.

 

Our current nuclear power plants utilise nuclear fission. The reason for this is due to the fact that fusion is extremely difficult to produce in comparison to fission. Nuclear fission occurs naturally. If you left a block of uranium somewhere, it would literally begin to decay and release energy as heat. However if you leave hydrogen gas alone, it would most definitely not fuse to produce helium.

Stars can make fusion happen relatively easily; they can use their gravitational force to create the high pressures and their already present heat as heat to sustain the fusion. However, the Earth is nowhere near as large or as heavy as a star. To make fusion happen, we utilize multiple methods.

I shall discuss these methods in a future post. I’m sorry i have to cut the post here but i have been delaying this post by a very long time. I hope to release part 2 soon XD.

Regards,

Clyde Lhui ūüôā

 

P.s I’m still working on a lot of other posts at the same time, these posts will probably take quite a while to complete. Do tell me if you have any suggestions for new blog posts.

Home, My Views, Science

My View- What is Physics? (or Science rather)

Hi guys,

I’m doing another ‘My View’ post. Sorry for not posting any science concepts for so long. I’m working on it.

Why did i choose to write about this? I have been asked this question many many times. Please do note that this definition of physics that i speak of is my own personal opinion and it’s not a universal fact so feel free to comment and voice your opinions!

But just for those who wanted a standard definition:

noun, (used with a singular verb)
1. the science that deals with matter, energy, motion, and force.
Physics is the study of the fundamental ‘things’ that make up and influence everything in the universe and their interactions with each other.

Physics aims to unify everything to get the most fundamental ‘things’ that govern our universe. When I use ‘things’ I mean practically everything. From forces to energy, from matter to antimatter.

And precisely because of the fact that physics is so fundamental that i love it so much.

Allow me to use an analogy, the engineer who knows how every single part of a car is able to understand how to drive the car, but the driver who drives the car does not know how all the different parts of the car work. And this is why physics is so powerful.

It is able to explain the other 2 sciences, chemistry and biology. It can explain how particles interact at the subatomic level, therefore being able to explain things at the atomic level, therefore being able to explain things at the molecular level, therefore being able to explain things at the biological level.

Then aren’t the other 2 sciences useless? NO! Biology and Chemistry are very very important. Despite physics being the most fundamental, biology and chemistry allow us to be much more efficient and be more accurate at the macro level.

Let’s go back to the analogy, if the engineer who knows how the car works but doesn’t know how to drive wants to drive the car. Theoretically he can slowly learn how to control the car by analyzing its most fundamental components. However this would be very impractical as he would have to waste a lot of time to do so.

Biology and chemistry allow us to focus on broader issues while sacrificing breadth for depth. They allow us to be efficient and in the modern society is very very important.

So does that mean that Physics again is useless? Obviously not. Physics is still able to describe other phenomena that occur at the macro scale. Thing such as forces and velocity are still important.

So what is Physics to me?

(After all this is a ‘My View’ post)

Physics is the subject that I love so deeply. The subject that keeps me coming back for more. The subject that never fails to intrigue me. The subject which relieves my stress yet at the same time stresses it out. I hate it yet i love it.

When i first became interested in science, i loved chemistry. I thought that chemistry could solve all my problems. I thought it was the science that made the most sense, until i met physics. In the beginning i found it interesting and i wanted to learn more. However i couldn’t find anyone to teach me the basics. My only source of valuable physics knowledge were my weekly physics classes. I asked questions, many many questions. I asked questions like “Does light have mass?” “What is antimatter” and even engaged in debates with my father and my friends about these concepts.

By this point i was learning something new every week. The pace of which i was absorbing knowledge was increasing steadily too. Then i hit a wall. The questions were getting more and more difficult. I realized that although i was absorbing a lot of information, it wasn’t all useful and it was fragmented. The link between each topic was very vague.

At the end of the year, i received something, something i am thankful for to this day. In the beginning i underestimated its power, until i experienced it for myself. At Cnergy i was learning more than i had ever imagined. It has become the thing i look forward to every Monday. The knowledge i had access to was unbelievable. I was progressing so fast that i found myself being extremely stupid just a few months ago. The friendships i have forged in the Cnergy programme are the most valuable thing i have gained from this programme. Our Cnergy group is extremely tightly bonded.

Cnergy has also given me the opportunity to participate in many various courses and competitions. It has truly enriched my life.

Last but not least, SJPO. The Singapore Junior Physics Olympiad. I have learned so much that its literally indescribable. I am also very thankful for the chance to participate in the trainings.

So back to the question, what is Physics to me?

Other than all the things i have mentioned above, Physics is a path, a journey, a path that i am still walking on.

And I’m never getting off this path.

 

Regards,

Clyde Lhui ūüôā

Home, Science, Science investigations

Unfictioning fiction- Harry Potter Explained?

Hi guys,

Recently I have been participating in quite a few competitions. One of these competitions is the National Junior Solar Sprint Competition (NJSSC). In this competition, groups of 3 students have to build a model car which is entirely powered using solar power. My co-writer, Jackson, participated in this competition with me and we joined as a group of 2. On the night before the actual competition, we were busy fine tuning the car and we were talking about physics at the same time. More specifically, we were talking about higher dimensions and the multiverse theory. At one point in our discussion, I suggested that the magical world of Harry potter could exist should higher dimensions and multiple universes exist. After some discussion we came up with our very own theory/hypothesis and I shall try to explain our hypothesis in this blog post. Before I explain our hypothesis, I will have to explain a few things. Firstly, what is the fourth dimension. Jackson has referred to me a series of videos which explain each dimension from 0 dimensions up to 10 dimensions. The videos can be found at the following channel on YouTube: 10thdim This video is explaining the fourth dimension:

Essentially the fourth dimension is time (or duration rather). We experience it. In the Lorentz transformations (which I will explain in a later blog post) time is the fourth dimension and is represented simply as the character t. Beings in the fourth dimension are able to experience every instant at once. From the start of the universe, to its destruction, all at once.

Secondly, what is the fifth dimension.

The fifth dimension is essentially the many worlds interpretation of the multiverse theory. It is all the possibilities of the universe. All the timelines (4-D timelines) together.

Thirdly, what is the sixth dimension.

As mentioned earlier, the fifth dimension is all the lines together, forming a plane of all the infinite possibilities of the universe. The sixth dimension is the dimension which allows you to jump from timeline to timeline. Similarly, the third dimension allows you to jump from 1 point in a 2-D plane to another point in that same 2-D plane. In this case, the sixth dimension allows you to jump from 1 point in a 5-D plane to another point in that same 5-D plane.

Fourthly, what is the seventh dimension.

This is where it starts to get difficult. The video shows various models of the seventh dimension and how our universe could exist amongst the other versions/individual universes. This part is also key in my hypothesis as it allows us access to a completely different universe as you will read in the final section of the explanation.

Next, what is the multiverse theory. This video is from minute physics. Try to see the link between the many worlds interpretation of the multiverse theory and the fifth dimension.

Essentially, the multiverse theory proposes that there is more than 1 universe. And the many worlds interpretation states that all the possible outcomes actually occur. This is similar to our fifth dimension as all the infinite possibilities occur. As you can see the link between all the dimensions and the multiverse theory. Each 4-D line is 1 separate version of the universe.

Lastly, I have to explain my hypothesis about these universes in the seventh dimension. During the actual NJSSC, I discussed this with my physics teacher who was in charge of me and Jackson during the competition, Mr Tan Teck Nam. I was asking him if the universe is entirely based upon chance due to the fact that quantum physics, which is the most fundamental form of physics, is based upon chance. After the discussion on quantum physics, I questioned classical physics. I asked why does the universe seem to be based on math. Many laws and theories in classical physics are heavily based on math. Such an example would be Newton’s Second Law of Motion, F=ma. Why does force always equal to the product of mass and acceleration and not something else? Why is the value of force predictable? Why does the universe act in such a predictable manner? The answer Mr Tan gave me was that when the universe was created, all the laws and theories and constants were already set. And this also happens in other universes, just that it happens with a different set of laws and constants.¬†Similarly, my hypothesis is that other universes also act in a similar manner, producing different laws and constants.

Now on to the actual theory or more scientifically accurate, the hypothesis.

In our hypothesis, there are humans from the future who develop technologies to enter the seventh dimension thus allowing them to enter different universes and the different 5-D planes within them thus allowing access to all 4-D possibilities of the universe. As they are able to enter the seventh dimension, they can choose which universe to enter. They will choose the appropriate universe¬†and enter it. They also have access to virtually¬†unlimited energy as they can sap energy from the almost unlimited number of universes. So when these people went into other versions of the universe, they captured animals and plants from those universes to our universe (explaining the magical creatures) ¬†Back in our version of the universe, they travel back in time to the modern era rather than their own time (this explains the setting of modern London etc. ). The wand as seen in the books and movies is a device which enables cross dimensional interaction. These humans then left all these wands and stuff in the human world for unknown reasons. Then a few people came along and learnt how to use these magical items and creatures to their advantage. However in our theory there was an accident which resulted in the wiping of memory of these first few ‘wizards’ and ‘witches’. After the memory wipe, they forgot all about regular human stuff (explaining the idea of ‘muggles’) and they believed they were wizards. That is what we believe to have happened that resulted in these wizards and witches in the world of Harry Potter. Now I shall explain some other things which may not seem so apparent.

 

Patronuses and dementors- they are essentially the matter (patronus) and anti-matter (dementors) of another universe. It just so happens that they are animals made up of those two materials and when they come into contact, they will ‘react’ or scientifically speaking annihilate each other releasing energy. Then why does the patronus always win? The wizard that summoned it can keep the portal to its universe/ another universe therefore continuously supplying it with energy and matter. The effect of “dementing” someone is probably due to reactions between the anti-matter and the electrical signals within the brain. The stopping of these signals results in the loss of memories, a common symptom among victims of dementors. Due to the fact that dementors “feed off happiness” it’s also possible that they draw energy from the electrical signals.

 

Horcruxes- each horcrux contains a portal to the owner’s heart/body part therefore whenever it is destroyed, the owner feels pain. The reason why it can only be destroyed by certain items is that only those items are strong enough to destroy the horcruxes (goblin metal is virtually indestructible, fiend fyre is hot enough to melt the horcrux, mbasilisk fangs contain the venom which possibly contains properties that we do not know of). Why does the horcrux seem to contain the owner’s soul? To create a portal to the owner’s heart, a portal to the sixth or fifth dimension is required. It is possible that within these universes, sentient beings are present thus the “soul” is actually the beings within the alternate universe.

 

The Deathly Hallows:

The Elder Wand- I believe that the Elder Wand is a wand crafted by another sentient being within a higher dimension (ie. 5-D, 6-D etc. ). This ¬†is due to the fact that in higher dimensions, more space becomes available. How is this so? Well here’s an example. When we print chips (computer chips of course. Not the crispy snack) we print them on 2-D surfaces. But recently 3-D chips have been invented and these chips are much much much more powerful. Similarly, a 5-D brain would be more powerful than a 3-D one. This explains why the Elder Wand is much more powerful than regular wands.

 

The Resurrection Stone- The stone is much like a horcrux. It contains a portal to a period in the past. This allows the dead to be seen. This portal only allows light and sound to pass therefore the dead can only be seen and heard but not touched.

 

The Invisibility Cloak- It is¬†a sheet which allows¬†light to ‘flow’ around it (or rather bend). Such technologies have been developed and are in the process of further development.¬†This article¬†talks about its recent development and shows how it could possibly be used in the future.

 

Spells:

I’ll explain a couple of spells (definitely not all. I’d be dead).

Protego- Hands down, one of my favourite spells of all time. My theory is it creates a portal to another universe and allows particles from that universe to flow in. Due to the different constants and laws, the particles are extremely strong, dense etc. therefore creating an extremely strong shield.

Avadakedavra- It has the same principle as Protego, however this occurs within the body, causing disruptions in chemical reactions within the body, causing death. As the particles are from another universe, they are unstable and soon decay, causing the cause of death to always be unknown.

 

And with that I have come to the end of this blog post. I hope that you have enjoyed reading it and that you would give me your questions or comments. Do note that the above is a hypothesis and is not a confirmed fact whatsoever.

To end it off with a bang, “Bombarda maxima.”

Regards to all those Harry Potter fans out there,

Clyde Lhui ūüôā

P.s: Jackson is currently working on a post on Blackbody radiation i.e Quantum physics. Do look forward to that!

P.p.s: We have a surprise for you coming up in a couple of months ūüėČ

 

Special thanks to:

Mr Tan Teck Nam, my co-form teacher, physics teacher and mentor

Jackson, my co-writer

Home, My Views, Science

My View- Science Education

Hey guys,

Today, I had my Physics paper (or at least when i started to type this post) and as you guys probably know, Physics is my favorite subject. And today i would like to voice out my opinion on science education as a secondary 2 student.

I have been studying science for the past 6 years of my life and it has been a pretty awesome experience. When i first started to learn science, i was really really interested in the subject already. I even began learning beyond my syllabus. By Primary 5, i could already balance equations. This year i have already learned Special Relativity. However, despite the amount of science knowledge i have accumulated, i still feel as though there are some HUGE flaws in my knowledge.

Before i go on to explaining why, let me talk about the 2 periods which i learned the most so far.

The first time i started learning that there was knowledge which was way awesome than i thought possible was in my late Primary school years. I learned about chemistry, physics, biology and such, mostly chemistry though. I learned this mostly through my dad and some from my primary school teachers. I would stay back in school until late in the afternoon, around 4-5pm, asking my science teachers various questions until i decided it was too late to stay any longer and just went home. However during that period, my learning pace was extremely slow, i took around 3 hours to just learn what was a hypothesis. Back then, i questioned things at the subatomic level and many of the teachers who had taught me said ” What you’re asking is quantum physics, you might want to read up on that.” However i did not get the chance to understand what quantum physics was as Wikipedia and books were way beyond my field of understanding. I literally flipped 2 pages of the books and gave up. As for the wiki page.. Go wiki “Quantum Physics” and ask a Primary 5 student (11 year old) about his opinion on the wiki page.

I only got to learn about the idea of quantum physics only this year. Which is the second point in my life where i had a jump in knowledge. I was selected for a science talent programme called ‘ Cő©ergy’ and i met a teacher called Mr Damian Boh. He has taught me and is still teaching me a lot in the realm of science. I can safely say that this second leap was a tiring yet rewarding experience. As¬† compared to my first leap in knowledge, this one was to me a lot more efficient and had a higher quality in general.

Now back to the HUGE flaws in my knowledge. Though i do know a lot, its bits and pieces of knowledge here and there about very specific things. I do not have the full knowledge of everything from the base up and it irritates¬† me a lot. It forces me to think about the loopholes more than i think about progressing further in my knowledge itself. In my opinion, this huge ‘knowledge abyss’ which i’m in right now is the result of my first leap in knowledge being incomplete and inefficient in nature. Why do i say it was inefficient? I was learning at a much much much slower pace as compared to that of which i am currently on. To be honest i can’t blame it on my Primary school teachers, i feel that they have done their best in educating me and i thank them a lot for that. It’s just the fact that in the past, i asked questions which did not really link, causing the HUGE gaps in my knowledge. If i had asked the right questions, my knowledge would, although might not be so advanced but would be more complete.

I feel that students, when they show interest in a particular area, should be guided and helped to develop a more complete knowledge. Rather than building a really long and tall stone rod, why not build a more stable, more solid stone block? Also students should be empowered, in the sense that they get to choose to go further in what they like rather than in what they don’t. Lastly, i feel that a student with the interest in something is like a machine, without being supplied the resources and energy required to run it, it would not work and its potential to accomplish something is just wasted.

To end off, I would like to thank all my friends who have helped me in this journey in my quest for scientific knowledge and all my teachers including Mr Tan Kian Tee, Ms Lee Limin, Mr Tan Teck Nam, Mr Tan Ping Hock, Mr Adrian Yao, Mr Edmund Yong and many others! And last but not least, You, the reader. By reading my blog, you may help me further understand science by pointing out mistakes in my explanations and allow me and the rest of the readers to further understand science!

To the edge of humanity’s knowledge of science we go!

Clyde Lhui ūüôā

P.s: I’m starting a YouTube Channel soon and so is my co-writer, Jackson! Stay tuned for more updates.

P.p.s: I’ll be doing a post/video on electricity so0n!

Home, Science, Science Concepts

Black Holes- Part 1

Hi guys,

New guy here ūüėÄ . I’m Jackson and you would have known me by now after being mentioned in some of the previous posts. However, if you are new to this blog, I am Clyde’s classmate and often discusses Science topics with Clyde. And yes, I am also the new admin here. As I am new here, I will start with an easy topic that requires not much concept ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†— just fun facts and no Math at all– unlike the mind-boggling Special Relativity that Clyde is doing. Without further ado, let’s jump into one of the most interesting topic, ‘Black Holes’.

Okay, so What is a Black Hole? 

Just from the name itself, most of you would have guessed a hole, a tear in a paper, a pit in the ground. In fact, it is a hole in space time itself, a hole where time slows down so much that you will eventually reach a point where it stops, a hole with an attraction so great that not even light, the fastest thing in the universe can escape. It is an area in the universe where if you drop into…… whoosh, you will disappear, cease to exist, voided from the rest of the world. Sounds dreadful eh? The idea of Black Holes started of as just an abstract concept that was not supported by any evidence and not many scientist believed it exist. Only in 1931, when an astronomer by the name of Chandrasekhar calculated and gave mathematical evidence of potential high mass stars that could form Black Holes, did scientist started paying attention to it.

Even until this day, no scientist has truely understood this mysterious entity, all the laws of physics break down at the singularity of a Black Hole and since no information can escape, there is no way to observe the events at the singularity.

Let’s look at the science of a Black Hole.

Formation of a Black Hole

Imagine an object that is constantly being compressed, its volume will decrease while its mass remains the same, this causes the object’s density to increase as, desity = mass/volume, the mass is a constant hence, a lower volume divided would cause a higher density. An increase in density would also cause the object’s surface gravity increase. As the object is compressed, the object will eventually reach a size where it would have a surface gravity so great that not even light can escape, this is known as the ¬†Schwarzschild Radius. At this point, the object would no longer be able to hold against its own gravity and would collapse infinitely into a point in spacetime known as the singularity, forming a black hole.

However, compressing an object into its Schwarzchild Radius and making a self sustaining Black Hole with brute force is unrealistic and is immensely difficult (so don’t even think about squeezing your golfball into a star hungry galatic black hole of mass destruction to take over the human race). In fact, you will need the power of the stars.

Stars are fueled by nuclear fusion. The proccess of nuclear fusion is basically the combination of two atomic nuclei, releasing the binding energy within the atom. In this proccess, the total mass of the two nucleus decrases, as they are being converted into energy, hence proving the mass energy equivalence. You can find out how much energy is released by finding the change in mass of the atoms and multiplying it with the speed of light squared (3√ó10^8^2). As the speed of light is HUGE, the energy released, which uses the square of the speed of light, would be unimaginable.
Let’s get back to point, the stars in the universe all start out with one element, Hydrogen. These Hydrogen atoms undergo nuclear fusion and fuses together to form Helium. Helium would then continue fusing to form Carbon, Oxygen and so on. As fusion occurs in a star, energy would be given out as radiation. The radiation would be causing the outward force that prevents the star from collapsing into itself. Usually, an averaged sized star would not have enough energy to continue nuclear fusion after all the carbon has fused to form oxygen, they would cool down into a white dwarf. However, a star that is much more massive would continue the fusion proccess all the way until iron atoms are formed. As iron atoms can no longer fuse, the proccess stops. By then, so much pressure would have built up from the outward force the star is exerting against its own gravity to balance out. Once the fusion proccess stops and the star no longer emits radiation, the gravitational force would suddenly overwhelm the star’s outward force, and in a short period of time, all the matter rushes inwards to the center of the star.

This would be followed by an explosion known as supernova or sometimes even more powerful explosions known as hypernova. After that, the collapse would either stop, forming a neutron star (the densest and smallest stars known to exist in the universe, it is so compressed that all the electron have the energy state to combine with protons to form neutrons, in a proccess known as inverse Beta Decay) or have high enough mass to continue collapsing into a singularity, creating a black hole.

There is another way in which Black Holes can form from the collision of two neutron stars but I will not go into detail on that.

Thanks,
Tiong Jackson :p

Home, Science, Science Concepts

Newton’s Three Laws of Motion (Part 2)

Hi guys,

This is the second part of my ‘Newton’s Three Laws of Motion’ Series. I will be writing about Newton’s Second Law of Motion. This post will be rather short due to the simplicity of Newton’s Second Law of Motion.

The acceleration of a body is directly proportional to, and in the same direction as, the net force acting on the body, and inversely proportional to its mass. Thus, F = ma, where F is the net force acting on the object, m is the mass of the object and a is the acceleration of the object.

Its pretty self-explanatory, the net/resultant force applied to an object is the product of its mass and its acceleration. This formula is the cornerstone to Classical Physics as it can be differentiated or integrated into many of the other formulas in Classical Physics.

What is ‘net force’? Net force is the force that is applied to an object after all other forces have been taken into consideration. Do remember that the SI Units for Force, Mass and Acceleration are the Newton, N, the Kilogram, kg and Metres per second per second or metres per second squared , m/s^2.

So how do you use this formula?

Lets imagine that a 5kg metal cube is being pushed with 10N of net force. What is the acceleration of the object?

F=ma

10N=5kg(a)

a=10N/5kg

a=2m/s^2

Therefore we can deduce that the object is accelerating at 2m/s^2.

 

And that’s the end of Part 2 of Newton’s Three Laws of Motion.

It was pretty short but it shows us how simple yet powerful Newton’s Second Law is. It supports the whole of Classical Physics yet it can be simplified to just 4 characters: F=ma.

 

Thank you for reading this post. Once again, please post any errors or additional points in the comments to benefit the other readers and feel free to comment or send me a message via the contact form page.

See you soon!

Clyde Lhui ūüôā

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton%27s_laws_of_motion