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

My Views- Why you shouldn’t hate science

Hi guys,

I decided to type this post because I’ve been thinking about this topic more frequently lately.

This year, i have had the chance to participate as a facilitator in an event organized by Singapore Chinese Girls’ School (SCGS) called Open Little Eyes (OLE). I participated in this event together with a few friends from my school. Through the event, i have made several new friends, who are either the same age as me (Sec 2) or one year younger than me (Sec 1). I have been talking to them quite a bit even though the event has long ended. When we talk, we usually talk about school and other stuff. However, whenever i bring up the topic about physics or science in general, they would all start freaking out. They have told me multiple times that they do not like science (or physics to me more specific). That made me think more why didn’t so many people like physics or science? Its not just my OLE friends, its practically everyone who I’ve met (excluding some people).

Let’s begin from the start. When Singapore was a very young nation, the government decided to implement mathematics and science into the education system so as to increase the rate of growth of our nation by rapid industrialization which required skills such as proficiency in mathematics and a basic knowledge of scientific concepts. This has to this date remained an integral part of our education system, training critical thinking and the ability of students to solve problems. However, this has caused some students to start feeling doubtful of the subject, some of them even strongly dislike these subjects. I myself have questioned the reason for us to study math and even engaged in a debate with my dad, finally conceding to the fact that mathematics is useful to me.

For a start, lets talk about mathematics. Math used to my second most hated subject in the 4 core subjects (Math, Mother tongue, English and Science). The reason for this hatred? The very nature of mathematics. Math is very repetitive in nature and requires a lot of practice. Without sufficient practice, one may find the subject extremely difficult. In fact, practice is the only way one can master mathematics. Sometimes math may seem useless. Algebra for instance seemed useless to me at the start of last year. I always wondered “Why would i ever need to factorize anything in real life?”. Over time i realized that math was actually very important in real life. Physics requires the use of a lot of math. I also found the fun in math. However it still ranks third in my 4 core subjects. (I still love my English and of course my science).

Now on to the core of this post, why do people dislike science? I found out that the reason lies in others’ perception of the subject. People perceive science as an extremely difficult subject and they stay away from it. In some cases, this fear of the difficulty of science causes their standard of the subject to drop. They get intimidated and they stop trying. I have to admit, i was daunted by secondary school mathematics at first. However after analyzing the subject at a deeper level, i see its beauty and its importance. This then motivated me to try to understand the key concepts rather than just learning how to do the questions. This is also another problem: the fact that students learn only what is required and not trying to progress further. Science is a very broad subject and there are may areas in which people might be interested in. I actually do not like parts of physics. Although its my favorite subject, i still hate certain topics (especially optics). If you stop at what is required of you, you might just miss the interesting parts. The only other reason why people might not like the subject is because of the way that it is being taught. As for this, you might want to consider approaching your friends or your teacher to further inquire. I used to ask many questions and that is what caused me to like science so much. To this day, i’m still asking plenty of questions and it certainly helps in my learning process.

To end off, I wish you all the best in your journey of scientific inquiry and i hope that you have an awesome times studying science. Whatever you do, don’t give up on science and it won’t give up on you.

Regards,

Clyde Lhui 🙂

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

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 🙂

References:

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

 

Home, Science, Science Concepts

Reference Frames

Hi guys,

In my previous post about Newton’s First Law of motion:

When viewed in an inertial reference frame, an object either is at rest or moves at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by an external force.

I did not explain reference frames which may have confused some of you. So i shall be explaining reference frames in this post.

Essentially, reference frames are frames which can be used to describe a location of an event(something that occurs at a very specific point and does not include things that occurs in an area).

To further explain what is an event, imagine you are in a science fair (preferably one with lots of amazing science experiments being carried out (but it doesn’t really matter)) to you the science fair may seem like an event, however in terms of reference frames, the science fair is not  an event (because it occurs over an area).

So you may be thinking right now: What in the world is an event since practically everything has a volume and takes up space? Well classically nothing can physically be an event, reference frames are just used to describe things based upon (non-existent) events or “events” (objects which still take up space) in classical physics.

However in quantum physics, events do physically exist in the form of elementary particles in the standard model of particle physics. Examples of such particles include: Electrons, quarks, muons and all three types of neutrinos (electron neutrino, muon neutrino and tau neutrino). These particles supposedly do not take up any space/volume however they do have mass. (This is where classical physics and quantum physics clashes. Since these particles posses a certain amount of mass but no volume, they posses an infinite density and in classical physics they would be black holes/singularities) i may do an in depth post about the standard model of particle physics in the future.

So how do these reference frames look like? They have a x, y and z axis which each represent a dimensions in our 3 dimensional world. However in the context of physics, there is a fourth dimension of time which is represented as t not within the reference frame.

Reference frames

Fig 1.1: two reference frames with the origins being O and O’

Notice that any point in space can be described using coordinates taken with reference to the origin of the reference frames hence the name “Reference frames”

NOTE: Coordinates can also hold a negative value so events behind the origin can still be described by using a reference frame.

In the above example, observer O is ‘stationary’ and observer O’ is ‘moving’. You may wonder why i use inverted commas to describe their motion. That is due to the fact that there is no such thing as an object that is absolutely moving or absolutely stationary (although there was once an ‘ether’ which was an absolute reference frame, however it was later dismissed through a ‘ether wind’ experiment)

Now I shall move on to Galilean and Lorentz Transformations.

So what are these? Galilean and Lorentz transformations are a set of formulas which can be used to calculate the velocity, location and time that is relative to one observer by using values obtained from the other observer and the first observer him/herself.

What is the difference between Galilean and Lorentz Transformations? Galilean Transformations reflect Galilean Relativity which is based upon common sense. While Lorentz Transformations reflect Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity which is based upon the idea that the speed of light is constant in any reference frame.

Do remember the following points:

  1. x=Length
  2. y=Height
  3. z=Breadth
  4. t=Time
  5. c=Speed of Light (3.0 x 10^8)

Points 1-4 are the four dimensions of reference frames that you should take note of. Do note that there is also a velocity transformation which has the values u and v which are the velocities of the two observers.

Allow me to reuse Figure 1.1 as an example to describe the Galilean Transformations.

Reference frames

In Figure 1.1, there are 2 observers: Observer O and Observer O’

Observer O’ is moving forward at a velocity of v relative to Observer O who is moving at a velocity of u.

Galilean Transformations are as follows:

x’=x-vt

y’=y

z’=z

t’=t

u’=u-v

After transforming the values, you will get a different value, which is what observer O observes. An example will be if observer O was moving at a speed of 3m/s and observer O’ was moving at 5m/s, observer O will see observer O’ moving forward at a velocity of 2m/s relative to him. In this case what is the true velocity of observer O’? It is both 5m/s and 2m/s, this is due to the fact that these 2 velocities are observed in different reference frames, and are thus both correct.

Lorentz transformations are different from Galilean transformations as they take into account the change in time and space due to the velocity of the observers (aka Special Relativity). I/Jackson will explain this phenomenon in a later post.

The Lorentz Transformations are as follow:

x’=((x-vt))/√(1-v^2/c^2 )

y’=y

z’=z

t’=(t-(vx/c^2))/√(1-v^2/c^2)

The Lorentz Velocity Transformations are a little difficult to understand due to the definitions of u, v and u’ and will be explained in the Special relativity post.

As previously mentioned in the post, an ‘Ether’ Reference Frame was proposed.

This was to resolve the conflict between the Galilean Relativity and Maxwell’s Theory. Maxwell’s Theory is essentially the idea of which Special Relativity was based upon. They are based on 4 equations (The 4 Maxwell’s Equations) which are named after James Clerk Maxwell, the publisher of the early form of the equations which are the foundation of classical electrodynamics. Maxwell’s equations prove that the Speed of Light-c is a constant. and this is in direct conflict of Galilean Relativity which show that if you move a t a sufficiently high velocity, you will be able to see light moving.

Therefore to solve this conflict, the ‘Ether’ Reference Frame was proposed. This reference frame is an absolute reference frame, meaning objects which are stationary relative to this reference frame are truly at rest and objects which are in motion relative to this reference frame are truly in motion.

However this was dismissed due to the Michelson-Morley Experiment which tested for ‘Ether Wind’.

Capture

Fig 1.2: The Michelson-Morley experiment. On the left is a directed light source. The beam of light is directed at a beam splitter which splits the beam of light and directs them in 2 directions toward 2 mirrors of equal distance. The mirrors bounce the light back which then is sent to a light detector.

How does this experiment prove the ‘Ether’ Reference Frame wrong? This experiment was conducted on Planet Earth of course. During that period, it was already known that Earth rotates around an axis. thus the setup of the experiment would be rotating together with the Earth. This would mean that should the ‘Ether’ Reference Frame be present and correct, the light going toward the mirror on the right would take shorter/longer (depending on whether the experiment was set-up facing the east or the west) as compared to the light hitting the top mirror. However the detector detected that the light was hitting together at the same time, thus dismissing the idea of the ‘Ether’ Reference Frame. This also prompted the development of Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity.

Reference Frames are key in the understanding of both Classical and Quantum Physics as they are useful in the understanding of many experiments and theories.

And with that i end this post on Reference Frames.

Should you spot any mistakes or have any questions, please leave a comment to benefit the other readers and of course myself! We will be posting the second part to Newton’s Laws of Motion and another post on Black Holes by my new co-writer Jackson! Lastly, we will be blogging about new upcoming projects in the series ‘The Power Surge’ (For reals this time). If you have any ideas for more projects, please feel free to comment/contact me in the contact form.

Thank you For Reading and I hope to see you soon!

Clyde Lhui 🙂

 

P.s: An Inertial Reference Frame is a reference frame that either is stationary or moving at a constant speed.

References:

Special Thanks to Mr Damian Boh for his explanation of the topic to me which greatly aided me in the writing of the content of this blog post.