Home, My Views

Is Everything a Miracle?

Hi Guys,

Yes, somehow i have managed to find time to blog yet again. This time I’m going to talk (or actually, write) about a quote and some things i have been thinking about lately. This post will probably include some science but it won’t be too content heavy. Rather, this post will be about how those science concepts apply to our life.

Now back to that quote.

The quote i am talking about is one by the famous theoretical physicist (and one of the physicists who i greatly respect), Albert Einstein.

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

-Albert Einstein

Pretty straightforward eh? Essentially, you can either believe that everything is predetermined or everything just happens magically.

The scientific concept that i will be including in this post is the quantum theory. Don’t get me wrong, i am no expert in this field of science and i am open to criticism (if i do write something wrong). And i feel that it’s because of this ‘quantum theory’ that ‘Newtonian Mechanics’ are described as ‘Newtonian Mechanics’. The quantum theory is what caused physics to change so much, to a point where an entirely new field of physics had to be created.

I was introduced to this field of physics in primary school. As you may or may not have read in my previous posts, my science teacher at the time referred me to this field in particular as i asked him quite a lot about how particles worked. This was the thing that i was trying to understand at the time and i failed so terribly to do so. I tried to find some means to figure out what this field of physics was and what it entailed, but every time i tried to poke at the topic, super complicated physics would just pop out and i would be confused about everything i was reading. As i entered secondary school, all of the teachers who mentioned quantum physics in their classes would describe it as a module they had to take up in university where the professor came into the room, wrote a bunch of mathematical equations on the board which they copied as notes, and left without understanding a single thing. When the teachers told me about this, i was extremely intrigued. What was this thing that was so difficult to understand? It was only when i entered CΩergy. I remembered the day of my first CΩergy lesson rather clearly. At the end of the lesson, i asked my CΩergy teacher, Mr Damian Boh, a few questions. If i’m not wrong, i asked him whether light had mass and he told me about quantum physics. He used the example of quantum tunneling (now a favorite joke among us CΩergy boys) where the idea that a particle could overcome an energy barrier just by chance or in some cases ‘teleporting’. From then on, i got really interested in this part of science, discussing it with the rest of the CΩergy group. And i have to say, it was one of the most CRAZY topics that i have ever discussed about with other people. It has led me to so many new discussions and debates due to its innate quirkiness.

And now i shall explain what i know about quantum physics.

Firstly, why is quantum physics called quantum physics? Because part of it describes practically everything to be discrete or in fixed units. An example would be length. Quantum physics says that length is discrete not continuous. In math, i can have as small a unit of length i want. 0.0000000000000000000000000000001 nanometers? In math, that isn’t an issue. Even in Classical mechanics (aka Newtonian mechanics), i can have infinitely small units of length. If i wanted something to be shorter, i could make it smaller. But in quantum physics, no. It’s not just about the fact that the most fundamental particles have some length and no matter could ever have a length smaller than that of those particles, but it’s about the fact that the idea of ‘length’ does not exist after a certain point. And that point is known as the Planck’s length. Nothing can be smaller than Planck’s length. You may thing ‘Well all we have to do is cut Planck’s length into 2 and we will have a smaller unit of length’ but no. In this UNIVERSE there is no such thing as length after the Planck’s length. What is half of Planck’s length? Nothing. Because it;s not called length anymore. Isn’t that crazy?

Another way to explain this is this. Imagine i shrinked you down to the size of a quark and now a quark is the size of a ball. You push the ball. But if you don’t push it with enough force to move at a certain speed, it would not move. It’s either it moves at speed x or it doesn’t move at all.

Secondly, quantum physics is about probability. The position of a particle is not definite. When you see an electron, it may not be there but it’s just a high chance that it’s there. This also applies to things such as electron clouds.

And it is due to the probabilistic nature of quantum physics that links to the above quote.

Since everything is made out of fundamental particles, and the way fundamental particles interact and behave is governed by the quantum theory (at least for now), you could say that everything is governed by the quantum theory. Though this effect is diluted by the fact that we are extremely large creatures (or objects rather) for quantum effects to take place, sometimes extremely small things can affect us in large ways. There is this joke i saw in a video about time travel (which i agree to some extent). It talks about a time traveler who goes back in time and accidentally steps on an ant which ultimately results in large changes in human biology. This could possibly be true. A small event (in this case the death of an ant) could cause something else to happen which causes another thing to happen which may result in large changes in the future (in this case changes in human biology). Therefore, quantum effects that affect the smallest of particles could have an effect on our fate. This separates classical mechanics and quantum mechanics.

In the past, people thought that with sufficient information, we could predict the fate of the entire universe. This was due to the fact that laws that were so well established were present at the time. Though these laws stand true i most cases, especially with large objects (aka things that are made of large numbers of atoms/molecules). However, when we peered into the quantum world, we discovered that sometimes things happen just by chance, in some cases defying the laws of classical physics like random particles appearing and disappearing in short periods of time due to the uncertainty principle for energy and time(which defies the law of conservation of energy). This was when we realised, maybe we aren’t doomed for things to happen exactly as the laws of physics predict, maybe we could break these barriers, maybe everything really and truly is a MIRACLE.

Einstein did not believe in quantum physics. He tried to defeat the theory but eventually failed. If even one of the greatest theoretical physicists failed to defeat this theory, maybe we should really consider it as very highly likely.

Do you believe that everything is a miracle? Well i certainly do. With chance becoming an element in the physical universe, i believe that everything really is a miracle.

Now that really is some food for thought.

 

Thank you for reading!

Clyde Lhui 🙂

P.s: This is only a very small part of quantum physics. It truly is an awesome part of physics, very intriguing, very fascinating. I would highly recommend you to go read up more about it.

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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 🙂

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 🙂

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 😉

 

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 ‘ CΩergy’ 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 🙂

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 😀 . 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 (3×10^8^2). 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