Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Holidays, Over! Student Leaders Induction Camp Mid-term Exam Now!

The Recess week passes by faster than usual weeks, as anticipated. After the 2 days MC retreat, I played for one day, and then comes my parents on Monday! I had to do homework then, but I still managed to meet them in uncle's home.

The next day we went to my room and then they went back to Malaysia. My homework sadly, didn't finish that day too. So Come Wednesday and I had signed up for a camp called Student Leaders Induction Camp, the first of its kind, bring together the student leaders of many different societies, clubs and interest groups together to learn about leadership, network with each other and have fun!

In the 2 days 1 night camp, I had lots of fun, most notable is that I get to climb up a small hill on Pulau Ubin and see a beautiful sight of Malaysia and Singapore. There also the president of the Varsity Christian Fellowship who said hi to NUSBS in the camp too.

After Thursday coming back, it's mugging time. From then to Sunday I've been doing homework, studying, and watching Wizards of Waverly Place. Monday morning comes again and EM test was bad, I didn't managed to do 2 out of 5 questions. Coming up are 3 more exams, from Thursday to Saturday! So I've got to study now!

Monday, September 21, 2009

MC retreat

MC retreat is more fun than I thought, I really like the atmosphere where 15 people care for each other, do their job in harmony, peace, and loving-kindness. Through not all are present at all times, we support each other and gradually, the seed of friendship and bonding are sowed and nurtured. It's the relaxing camp.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A levels Student to get to represent Malaysia

Darren

hi!

22:05Ng

i

hi

22:05Darren

chat here la

erm

i not sure whther to do engineering or physics

take form six or go private college

22:06Ng

you going to take SPM?

22:06Darren

yes

http://pkukmweb.ukm.my/~ipho/SecondaryIndividual2009.htm

i wonder how only can represent malaysia

need take form 6 a?

private college can?

22:10Ng

I don't think they will source for private ones, btw, one of the conditions to join International Olympiad is that you're not a college student

22:12Darren

what?

means let say workshop for physics is on april

jan i start college

then cannot represent malaysia?

22:13Ng

ya

I think they mean college in the sense of University

but it's safer to go to form 6

If you want to represent Malaysia

22:16Ng

and you'll have to bug your physics teacher/ principle/ state ministry of education officer to see if the "Malaysian Physics Society?" will want to source for any outstanding physics student to select for training

in short, it's hard to get in there.

lol

but have no fear, I believe you've read my blog, just try out some form 6 physics now and test yourself, see if you will like it

22:17Darren

izit?

i not even finish spm

22:17Ng

or are you interested in bio olympiad, or math, or chem

22:17Darren

no

only physics

22:17Ng

if you want to be regarded as extraordinary, be extraordinart

22:20Darren

meaning?

no la, if have to do form 6 to represent malaysia then i may give up on it

to me get into a good university in US more important

22:21Ng

Ok

if you're extraordinary it doesn't matter where you go

22:22Darren

lol

i like us system

22:22Ng

if you want to be good, you'll have to take extra initiative

I'm not saying that A levels student can't represent Malaysia

take initiative to ask the people who are responsible to sent the teams

and argue with them etc....

I mean reason with them

Anyway you'll only have to take the National Physics competition to know your standard

if you're the first in the nation, then you're qualified enough to go to an Ivy League Uni, but it is not a sufficient condition.

Hey do you mind if I put this in my blog? I never talked about a levels student getting to IPhO before.

22:27Darren

i sure wont mind

22:27Ng

Thanks

Darren

then how only sufficient to get into ivy league

phya

i may need some funds

jpa got for cornell harvard and princeton

those tghat aregood for engineering la

but mitt is best

so i dunno which to go

22:29Ng

CCA good, good english, and good essay

22:29Darren

all i average lor, depends on how they look at it

22:30Ng

optional but good are job experiences, research, inventing, etc...

be a president for one club is better than a member for 10

22:30Darren

i got vice president only

22:31Ng

you don't pretend to be humble with me lah

lol

you must show all your stuffs in the applications

well, good luck in applying to US anyway, it's the toughest application ever!

22:37Darren

haha

i got one fren in cornell

do physics

he got gold medal two years ago

ok thank you

22:38Ng

ok welceome

22:38Darren

can i ask you bout physics question lol

22:38Ng

don't expect a good answer

but ok

22:39Darren

1st is why use plastic container then the food keep warm longer than metal

how has this got to do with specific heat capacity

22:39Ng

Plastic compared with?

22:40Darren

metal

22:40Ng

it's conductivity

metal conducts heat faster than plastic, so food get cooler faster

for equations you better add me in msn

22:46Darren

added u d

has conductivity have antything to do with specific heat capacity

22:49Ng

You cqan find in thermodynamics in gooodle

google

it's all in the structure of the material

what type is it?

etc

a lot of solid state physics, thermodynamics, and material science

22:59Darren

so nth to do with specific heat capacity

?

that's one of my exam questions

ask us explain why curry in clay pot better than metal

supose to talk bout keep warm longer lol

23:02Ng

cause metal conducts heat faster than clay pots.

23:04Ng

and clay pots have high heat capacity, meaning that if the temperature outside is very cold, it takes a longer time for the average temperature of the clay to drop since the amount of heat required to dissipitate for temperature drop is very high

big

23:06Darren

nono

23:06Ng

you should just ask the question straight, so that I know what the situation is all about. Instead of turning one full round

23:06Darren

that wan maybe the question

23:06Ng

no what?

23:07Darren

but i wan compare if both the clay pot and metal pot at room temprature

if u cook with it then ok i accept clay pot keep warm longer

but if u put it in clay pot after u cook it

will it still longer?

23:08Ng

it takes lots of heat to heat up the clay and a longer time. But I'm not sure about the heat capacity of the metal

the immediate effect i think is more on the conductivity rather than heat capacity

23:15Darren

oo

Thursday, September 17, 2009

1 Mahakappa

I just went to the Mangala Vihara temple in Singapore and got a poster of the 31 planes of existance, and I'm quite statisfied with the explainations of the Deva realms and their lifespans, the highest being about 9 billion years, just below the age of the Universe.

Then came Mahakappas, the unit of time to measure the lifespan of Bharma realms. The estimate of the Length of a Mahakappa is not given. As a physicist, it is natural to want to at least get a back letter estimation of anything, so I google it and found this website.



Accordingly there are 3 ways of setting a lower boundary to the lenght of a Mahakappa(Ya, I know them already a few years ago, just didn't bothered to estimate it with the help of the internet, until now), so let's go one by one.

1.
"Suppose there was a solid mass, of rock or hill, one yojana (eight miles) wide, one yojana across and one yojana high and every hundred years, a man was to stroke it once with a piece of silk. That mass of rock would be worn away and ended sooner than would an aeon."


"Here, I take 1 yojana,
y=15 km(the largest estimate),
then the density of solid rock,
d=3203.7kg/m^3,
and the rocks are made of Silicates,
s around 100g/mol.
Therefore, before combining them together,
I need only to estimate the number of molecules carried away by a stroke of silk, taking that to be 1,
then

1Mahakappa=100*(y^3)*d/(0.001s*N_A)= 6.5*10^42 years.
Where N_A= avogrado's number.

It seems an overly high estimate, so I reduce the magnitude by 10^17, so I assume that around 10^17 molecules of silicates are brushed off by the silk, only 1.66*10^-8kg, and it seems reasonable.

2.

"Suppose there was a city of iron walls, one yojana in length, one yojana in width, one yojana high and filled with mustard-seeds to the brim. There-from a man was to take out every hundred years a mustard-seed. That great pile of mustard-seed would be emptied and ended sooner than would an aeon."




Now this is easier, I take
1 yojana, y=15 km(the largest estimate),
the size of a mustard-seed,
m=0.15875cm in diameter,
then
1Mahakappa=100*(y^3)/(4*pi*(0.01m/2)^3)=5.37*10^22 years.

Assuming that the seed is spherical and fills the whole city without air. So the lower boundary statisfy and agree with the previous one, at least within 5 orders of magnitude.



3.

In the Manual of Cosmic Order, the Venerable Ledi Sayadaw used the sands of the Ganges for comparison: “If a man were to count the number of years by the grains of sand, picked up one by one from one league of the Ganges, the sands would be exhausted sooner than the years of one included era were all counted.”


From wiki,the area of Ganges is,

A 105000km^2,

I estimate the average depth,

d of the sand is 1 m,

and the volume of the sand is around,

s= 116 mm in diameter.

Then,

1 included era,ie=(1000)^2*A*d/(4*pi*(0.001s/2)^3)=2.7*10^23 years.


1 Mahakappa=4*64*1 ie=7*10^25years.


Looking at the almost agreement of those numbers, I tend to estimate 1 Mahakappa is around 10^26 years.



However there are some doubts about this estimates too, like


According to Anguttara ii, 142, there are four periods called incalculable epochs (asankheyya-kappa) within a great aeon or world cycle (maha-kappa). The duration of each of these epochs cannot be enumerated even by taking hundreds of thousands (lakhs) of years as a unit, hence the name “incalculable aeon”. These four incalculable epochs are:

So if I take enumerated to mean to be jolted down by an existing name created to support the number. Like billion=10^9, trillion=10^12, but 10^39 for example has no name, so it can be considered cannot be enumerated. But the ancient India system includes terms for 10^53!

The Yajur Veda Samhitaa, one of the Vedic texts written at least 1,000 years before Euclid lists names for each of the units of ten upto the twelfth power [See 1]. Later other Indian texts (from Buddhist and Jaina authors) extended this list as high as the 53rd power, far exceeding their Greek contmporaries, mainly because of the latter's handicap of not being able to accept the fundamental Mathematical notion of abstract numerals. The place value system is built into the Sanskrit language and so whereas in English we only use thousand, million, billion etc, in Sanskrit there are specific nomenclature for the powers of 10, most used in modern times are dasa (10), sata (100), sahasra (1,000=1K), ayuta (10K), laksha (100K), niyuta (106=1M), koti (10M), vyarbuda (100M), paraardha (1012) etc. Results of such a practice were two-folds. Firstly, the removal of special imporatance of numbers. Instead of naming numbers in grops of three, four or eight orders of units one could use the necessary name for the power of 10. Secondly, the notion of the term "of the order of". To express the order of a particular number, one simply needs to use the nearest two powers of 10 to express its enormity.

and also the saying that every 100 years the lifespan of humans decrease by 1, so according to

During the developed epoch, human lifespan can increase or decrease depending on their morality. When morality is on the rise, human lifespan increases till it reaches an exceedingly great age of 80,000 years at the peak of human morality. When immorality prevails, human lifespan decreases till it reaches a minimum of 10 years at the base of human bestiality. Details of these two periods of increase and decrease in the human lifespan are found in the Cakkavati-Sihananda Sutta of the Digha Nikaya.

So it would means 1 ie= (80000-10)*100*2=around 16 million years. and 1 Mahakappa= 4 billion years. It seems too small by comparison with the age of the Universe, although it is just 1 order of magnitude lesser than the age of the Universe. It doesn't make sense to say that the

12. The realm of Brahma’s retinue (Brahmaparisajja) 0.3AK
(around 1 billion years)
is less than
11. The realm of the gods who lord over the creation of others (Paranimmaitavasavatti) 16,000CY
(as mentioned 9 billion years)

So that's all I have to say now. Please correct me if there is any mistake. And if 1 mahakappa is that long, 10^26, I can really understand why the Buddha doesn't say it out by the number itself. Cause it's almost meaningless. Even by the big rip theory, there's only 20 billion years left, but heat death is a nicer view, being 10^100 years or more......


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Future_of_an_expanding_universe
Well, perhaps I am underestimating the scales, lol, Physics goes bigger!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Wonderful sand painting/movie

You just got to see this!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Deputy Dharma Director

I'm the 31st Management Committee Deputy Dharma Director. For starters, this is one of the Busiest post in the NUS Buddhist Society. I'm to organise the Meditation Course on Wednesdays. I've joined the commitee mainly to spend more time in the society other than the 4 weekly activities.

Talking about weekly actitvities, the Medical Dharma Circle is a Very nice activity to hang out in. After 1 hour of lecture/ Q and A about Buddhism, the seniors of the MDC will fetch the juniors to a restorant to have dinner! And it's on them! And after that they will fetch us back to our home! How kind and good are they? Of course, we can't practically do this for our Friday Dharma Circle, too many juniors, and too little seniors.

Well anyway, I just realised that being a Committee in Physoc and a Committee in BS is a lot of difference! For example, I've a email of my own that I've got to handle and then comes in the Deputy Dharma Director email and Meditation email too. It was not easy handling the Meditation Course, maybe it's because it's my first time, but it is really cool that we get such good training in NUSBS, to organise an weekly activity.

Well, being an MC member also takes up a lot of time, like I would've missed 2 Saturdays of Nam Wah Pai training for the MC meetings, one coming up next week. And Nam Wah Pai is getting more and more fun as I'm getting used to the conditioning and training.

Ok, as a side matter, I'm enjoying my research project in SP2172. A lot!