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 🙂

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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!