Reflections: Shawn Liew Hong Wei

Pre-camp reflections    

What interests you about this project?
The project seems to be exciting and fun. This project will give me an opportunity to learn more about physics too. 

What do you want to learn by doing this project?
I would like to learn about the physics that is involved during experimentation. 

What questions do you have about this project?
How the angle of the ball, that it was rolled down from, affects the distance and speed it travels at. 
Will the acceleration and deceleration of the ball be uniform?

What do you personally want to have achieved by the end of this project?
To be able to work with different people better and understand the physics behind a moving object. I would also like to learn about the mathematics that is involved during the calculation of the physics that is acting on the ball. 

Day 1
Reflections on Plenary Sessions

What are your key learning points?
In the first lecture, the lecturer gave an accurate insight which lowed me to be able to understand that there is geological evidence prior to an earthquake. Some of the evidences would be the sinking of the islands due to the subduction of the plates. The subduction causes volcanoes to form. A certain part of the less dense plate (continental plate) will "lock" the denser plate (being subducted) - causing tension to build up. 

There were other evidences such as the height of the coral and the layers underground. As corals cannot grow above the water surface,  the height of the coral can determine the sea level of the water decades or centuries before and determine when an earthquake happened. The decay of the corals could also been used to estimate when the coral died which can be used to measure when the earthquake occurred. 

During a tsunami, organisms and sediments from the sea will be brought ashore and be left there. These evidences soon get covered up and the sediments are buried underground. This cycle is repeated and the time the year that the tsunami happened could be estimated. A bat cave was used to be able to measure an earthquake which happened about 10'000 years ago. 


The second lecture was about animation. Animation is defined as the continuous sequence of consecutive frames to create an animating object. There are 2 different types of animation: 2D animation and 3D animation. 2D object is expensive and is labour-intensive as it requires artists to manually draw, color and film each frame. With computers, the labour of coloring can be reduced and this could in turn reduce the cost of the production of a 2D film.

3D animation takes place in a 3-dimensional space. All objects are first drawn and left uncolored. The animation is created with the aid of robotics and computers. Advancements in technology allows film makers to produce more realistic and higher quality films. 

The programming involved behind a 3D animation is a highly complicated one and there are many complex vectors and formulas to compute. 


In the third lecture, the potential of nanotechnology was introduced. Nanotechnology is the usage of technology at a scale at micro level. There are many applications for nanotechnology: defense, medical and many others.

As due to and predicted by the Moore's law, the transistors in chips double as technology advances. This is able to pack more computing power into a smaller physical size. This can be taken in other field such as medical; where nanobots can be used to destroy tumors in targeted areas. It was also mentioned that pills are an inefficient form of treatment. 

In defense, nanotechnology have created materials that are stronger and lighter than steel. Materials are also used to reflect radar away from the vehicle, ensuring that it remains as stealth. 

What new questions do you have about the topic?
- How would nanotechnology this remains affordable to an average civilian? 
- What methods are being done to ensure that people living on the west coast of Sumatra can evacuate safely in an event of a tsunami?
- How would you be able to appeal to the animation industry that your software is more effective than the  softwares in the market?

Day 2
  • Discuss how the project has deepened your understanding and broadened your awareness of the selected discipline.
  • What do you now understand about this discipline that you were unaware of at the beginning?
  • Describe how what you have learned from doing this project can be connected to what you are learning at school.
  • Describe how you can apply what you have learned from doing this project.
  •  At the end of the project, what new questions do you now have?

Firstly, the extraction of caffeine has allowed me to understand the usage of the different equipments in the laboratory. I also have understood the importance of safety in the laboratory. It was essential that gloves, lab coats and safety goggles be wore at all time to ensure that accidental spillage will not enter our eyes or/and burn our skin. The extraction of caffeine was interesting and have made me learn many new things. One will be the usage of vacuums - which was to quicken up the speed that the solution passes through the filter paper at. The rotary evaporator was also a new equipment to me; it quickened up the rate of evaporation and the temperature and speed can be controlled. 

The process of the extraction of caffeine was more complicated than I thought it would be. It involved the mixing and extraction of many chemicals and solutes. Infrared could also be used to determine whether the final product, caffeine, have impurities such as water, etc.  

Secondly, the fastest ball challenge allowed me to understand the different formulas involved to calculate the angle precisely. The formula was - Length (L) x sin x angle to get the vertical height. In order to get the angle, the formula would have to be changed to - Vertical Length / sin * Length. This allowed me to be able to get the angle precisely and quicken up the process of getting the optimal degree to roll down the ball at. 

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