Thursday, March 29, 2012

My Undergraduate Physics

I'm here just to see what I would write, a random post that you mostly will not get too often.

So what's up? Physics has just became an important part of my life. Again. After so long. Haha. Maybe I wasn't too unhappy with the marriage with Physics. It's been 4 years since I started my undergraduate life, and although I learned a lot of Physics, I still find that the things I truly want to work on is still far out of reach.

Those things that you read on a popular science book, like a Brief History of Time, or the Elegant Universe, and most recently, the Fabric of the Cosmos (a documentary being screened in Utown in these weeks), those amazing stuffs, I only got a slight glimpse of the mathematics of it, even after knowing the concepts for so long.

It's just that before knowing the mathematics, I can fool myself into thinking that the concepts are fully explained by those popular science books or documentaries. But I know it is not true. Most of the subtleties are in the mathematics.

Now doing my final year project, I still don't understand most of the theorems that I got from the mathematics. There are just too many abstract proving to do, and that had been done by mathematicians. We physicists just look at the equations, the concepts behind the mathematics, see which part of Physics it can describe, and link them together. Or rather that is the job of a mathematical physicist. I'm kinda looking at that now. Amazing how it is done, amazing how much calculations that mathematicians leaves out after identifying the structures. Even more amazing is that after we described the phenomena using the mathematics developed by mathematicians, the engineers would have to put in the actual numbers and lots of detailed calculations for things to really work.

Well, back to the physics I learned in NUS... I did touch on cool subjects I am interested in early on. Nuclear Astrophysics, Particle Physics by 2nd year, Cosmology by 3rd year, but some of the most interesting stuffs are from the special programmes that I took like time travel in General Relativity by 2nd and 3rd semester, Black Hole information Paradox by 3rd year, and even a bonus quantum information of which I only knew about EPR and Bell's inequality before coming to NUS on my 4th, 5th and 6th semester. I have been doing amazing stuffs all along during my undergraduate years! Partly thanks to SPS and USP, mostly to Physics department of NUS, and some to Mathematics department.

Now, continuing from the studies of my 6th semester on Mathematical Methods 3, I am working on Thomas Precession, a Fibre Bundle Approach. Both terms were foreign to me before this year, and now I am half-expert on them. Half because there is just too many stuffs to read up and study before understanding either of them! It's crazy just how much I wrote for my thesis up to now. I didn't expected it to be that long! 50 pages now, and going strong, I think it might hit 70 pages. With Monday as the deadline, I better work on it now. See ya then. Now the title will be changed to My undergraduate Physics.

So overall, if you want to do Physics in NUS, not only it's not a bad choice, it's an excellent choice! Provided you're in SPS.

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