Friday, March 30, 2007

Back from IPhO

Now I am back...... With lots of things to tell but first, we start on Monday. On Monday, I just found out that Adel got selected to go with us too to the International Physics Olympiad training camp.
After school, At about 3-something p.m. we took off in a van. It has 2 seats in the front, 3 rows of 3 seats behind it, and when the bonnet is empty, an extra 4 seats which makes it a 15 seater.
Cool is it not? Well we took the old road to Port Dickson, no breaks ,no tolls. After arriving at there we are introduced to a new friend from Selangor. Then 2 more guys arrived from kedah. So us 8 guys are roommates. The first lecture is by non other than Mr. Wee from our school, he taught us about thermodynamics about engines, the second law entropy and the third law of no way to reach 0 Kelvin.
Next came the quantum mechanics, the lecturer gives us Schrodinger equation and on the third day how to draw graphs. That's the day Yip Feng and Gilbert came. Then came Dr. Sithi who trained us in problem solving in classical mechanics. Amazing that most of engineering is composed of this section. Some question are quite hard but overall it's good. He encouraged me to do my best in the Friday test, saying that I have the potential. Thanks to him my damped spirit is revived to blazing goodness. Wednesday evening we walked on the beach. The next day came Mr.Chin who taught us some simple Tai Chi exercises then another guy who was supposed to teach us modern physics which consist of
* Quantum mechanics
* Theory of relativity
* 20th and 21st century physics, in general including nuclear physics.
but we only managed to cover special relativity and some outline for quantum mechanics and this eats up the 3 hours that Madam Chin was supposed to take, shortening her lecture to 2 hours only. And do she assume that we had finished our syllabus for the form 6. That night I had to study a lot about electromagnetism, the circuits, and optics. So the monopoly I brought wasn't played.
Just Imagine my spirit sinking when I see that I can't solve the second half of the 60 objective paper cause it is in electromagnetism and nuclear physics I tikam about 20 questions all in C. The second paper are practicals where we are expected to draw graphs and do error analysis. I can only draw graphs, not analyse the errors. So goes the 3 hours that we are given to finished it, in misery. I was so convinced that I will not be selected for the top 5 that I didn't really did my best but then toward the end of the test, Mr. Chin told us that they are choosing 20 out of 55 students! Great, even now I am wondering whether I did good enough to get selected for the next camp.
After that we were given some papers and the closing ceremony was held. I took this chance to group together the guys who took Further Maths called networking, nice too the guys there said the camp should go beyond the 5 days, but create networks of physics preferably. Then it's back home as we know it after a lunch. Ok so I got it out now I will be going on with my life. Enjoy the pictures below.

The Eating Place, we had our dinner, lunch and breakfast here.

Me and My Lego haha my roomates were speechless too when I took out the lego.
Mat Gaya wanna pose with my lego creation.

Mr. Chin teaching us Tai Chi I had learned something new too. I guess he didn't noticed I played Tai Chi in the morning too two out of four days.
Roomates at the last day (that's this morning)
a swimming pool at the resort.

Port Dickson's beach notice the line of dirty waters right at the shores, I didn't touch the seawater during the entire stay.

At the beach collecting seashells and sands for our classmates

it's a bit dark since the sun is behind us
Posing by Calvin And Gilbert.

The main building of the small(relative to a University) resort we had spend our days studying physics

This is pretended studying for the camera posing

trying out my camera's timer

Yip Feng and Gilbert came to Port Dickson after schooling on wednesday just to see us. Nice too Yip Feng brought a nail clipper for me.

Warning: this boat is for viewing purposes only don't sit in it.

Lights up in the dark(it's the same ship)
Nice waterfall at the day
Look at it during the night

it's a bit blur but that's Mr. Wee there.

My bed in the masterbedroom

First sunset taken at the apartment.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Tough Physics

Look at the syllabus of the Physics Olympiad.

A. Theoretical Part

The first column contains the main entries while the second column contains comments and remarks if necessary.

1. Mechanics
a) Foundation of kinematics of a point mass Vector description of the position of the point mass, velocity and acceleration as vectors
b) Newton's laws, inertial systems Problems may be set on changing mass
c) Closed and open systems, momentum and energy, work, power
d) Conservation of energy, conservation of linear momentum, impulse
e) Elastic forces, frictional forces, the law of gravitation, potential energy and work in a gravitational field Hooke's law, coefficient of friction (F/R = const), frictional forces, static and kinetic, choice of zero of potential energy
f) Centripetal acceleration, Kepler's laws

2. Mechanics of Rigid Bodies
a) Statics, center of mass, torque Couples, conditions of equilibrium of bodies
b) Motion of rigid bodies, translation, rotation, angular velocity, angular acceleration, conservation of angular momentum Conservation of angular momentum about fixed axis only
c) External and internal forces, equation of motion of a rigid body around the fixed axis, moment of inertia, kinetic energy of a rotating body Parallel axes theorem (Steiner's theorem), additivity of the moment of inertia
d) Accelerated reference systems, inertial forces Knowledge of the Coriolis force formula is not required

3. Hydromechanics

No specific questions will be set on this but students would be expected to know the elementary concepts of pressure, buoyancy and the continuity law.

4. Thermodynamics and Molecular Physics
a) Internal energy, work and heat, first and second laws of thermodynamics Thermal equilibrium, quantities depending on state and quantities depending on process
b) Model of a perfect gas, pressure and molecular kinetic energy, Avogadro's number, equation of state of a perfect gas, absolute temperature Also molecular approach to such simple phenomena in liquids and solids as boiling, melting etc.
c) Work done by an expanding gas limited to isothermal and adiabatic processes Proof of the equation of the adiabatic process is not required
d) The Carnot cycle, thermodynamic efficiency, reversible and irreversible processes, entropy (statistical approach), Boltzmann factor Entropy as a path independent function, entropy changes and reversibility, quasistatic processes

5. Oscillations and waves
a) Harmonic oscillations, equation of harmonic oscillation Solution of the equation for harmonic motion, attenuation and resonance -qualitatively
b) Harmonic waves, propagation of waves, transverse and longitudinal waves, linear polarization, the classical Doppler effect, sound waves Displacement in a progressive wave and understanding of graphical representation of the wave, measurements of velocity of sound and light, Doppler effect in one dimension only, propagation of waves in homogeneous and isotropic media, reflection and refraction, Fermat's principle
c) Superposition of harmonic waves, coherent waves, interference, beats, standing waves Realization that intensity of wave is proportional to the square of its amplitude. Fourier analysis is not required but candidates should have some understanding that complex waves can be made from addition of simple sinusoidal waves of different frequencies. Interference due to thin films and other simple systems (final formulae are not required), superposition of waves from secondary sources (diffraction)

6. Electric Charge and Electric Field
a) Conservation of charge, Coulomb's law
b) Electric field, potential, Gauss' law Gauss' law confined to simple symmetric systems like sphere, cylinder, plate etc., electric dipole moment
c) Capacitors, capacitance, dielectric constant, energy density of electric field

7. Current and Magnetic Field
a) Current, resistance, internal resistance of source, Ohm's law, Kirchhoff's laws, work and power of direct and alternating currents, Joule's law Simple cases of circuits containing non-ohmic devices with known V-I characteristics
b) Magnetic field (B) of a current, current in a magnetic field, Lorentz force Particles in a magnetic field, simple applications like cyclotron, magnetic dipole moment
c) Ampere's law Magnetic field of simple symmetric systems like straight wire, circular loop and long solenoid
d) Law of electromagnetic induction, magnetic flux, Lenz's law, self-induction, inductance, permeability, energy density of magnetic field
e) Alternating current, resistors, inductors and capacitors in AC-circuits, voltage and current (parallel and series) resonances Simple AC-circuits, time constants, final formulae for parameters of concrete resonance circuits are not required

8. Electromagnetic waves
a) Oscillatory circuit, frequency of oscillations, generation by feedback and resonance
b) Wave optics, diffraction from one and two slits, diffraction grating, resolving power of a grating, Bragg reflection,
c) Dispersion and diffraction spectra, line spectra of gases
d) Electromagnetic waves as transverse waves, polarization by reflection, polarizers Superposition of polarized waves
e) Resolving power of imaging systems

f) Black body, Stefan-Boltzmanns law
Planck's formula is not required

9. Quantum Physics
a) Photoelectric effect, energy and impulse of the photon Einstein's formula is required
b) De Broglie wavelength, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle

10. Relativity
a) Principle of relativity, addition of velocities, relativistic Doppler effect
b) Relativistic equation of motion, momentum, energy, relation between energy and mass, conservation of energy and momentum

11. Matter
a) Simple applications of the Bragg equation
b) Energy levels of atoms and molecules (qualitatively), emission, absorption, spectrum of hydrogen like atoms
c) Energy levels of nuclei (qualitatively), alpha-, beta- and gamma-decays, absorption of radiation, halflife and exponential decay, components of nuclei, mass defect, nuclear reactions

You can skip to this part of course.
You see I am in a dilema now great, Now I only have a little time before the olympiad and I am at a disadvantage cause those others had already got the first training camp..... I hope reading books like "the great physicist of the 20th century" will help.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Busy and happy life

For the past few weeks, I had gone to a leadership camp, joined a scrabble competition in KL, when to KL to play monopoly with my cousins....
Well let me make this chronologically correct. After a week of Chinese New Year, I studied for a week finding out that I didn't get the no.1 but fall off at no.6. That weekend I when to the leadership training camp somewhere near Taman Rama-rama. In the camp, I got "humiliated" by one of the trainers but since I didn't felt like humiliated, I didn't mind much. I didn't get much reading done on my complexity through. And in an unrelated case, I betrayed my friend who let me take his place ...... so sorry Alex.
Ok now after another week of schooling, there's the march holidays. I started off with the scrabble competition which brings me to KL and I had an opportunity to play monopoly with my cousins in Puchong.And did we rediscover the joy of it! After that, I wished to play it again so at the next chance (it so happens to be another weekend) I went back and did it.
Now one week after school reopens, I am starting yet another weekend now I'm gonna busy myself for the float for Wesak day. I do think myself as a weekender.
The juice is still here, next week I am going to the Physics Olympiad training as promised(with Calvin, Kevin, Zu Ming, And Ai Yun) hahahahahahahhahahaha. After coming back I am going to enter a Chinese chess competition for the weekends in Multimedia University Melaka. Then comes the next monthly Test. hahahahahahaha looks like I hadn't study for it. Maybe I got some time....
All in all there's a couple more things here, first I got some taste of lego building for the lego competition, and you can bet it's nice to be able to handle sooooo cool things like gears, long sticks..... well you know. Second, to complete the Olympiads, I volunteered for the Maths Olympiad. Nice considering I gonna meet my cousins in University Melaya(again) when we go for the competition. Lucky for me through, I got my team of 4 very soon(all of them are my classmates and males) and 2 of us(including me) got Further Maths to back us up. And you bet I am very happy right now.
Bugs coming out of a orange ring, bites a carrot and says"That all folks!"