We had the real privilege today of visiting the National University of Singapore, the biggest University in Singapore. I must say I was truly impressed, it is such a large University with so many buildings, and such a larger portion of the university is dedicated to the study of science than at my own uni at La Trobe, or any other university I have visited in Australia. The first thing we did was meet up with a few of the local science students of the university who are in the special program for science and had a chance to get to know them and have a good chat about their studies and experience at NUS and an engaging conversation about some of the interesting ideas and concepts in the fields of science that we are studying. Together we got to tour through NUS’s Centre for Ion Beam Applications which was really cool, I was in awe looking at their very own particle accelerator.
After a few other stops looking at pieces of lab equipment, primarily electron microscopes, plasma chambers and other awesome things we went to the Graphene lab which is part of the university’s own cleanroom, something I was very looking forward to as my career aspirations are to one day be working in a research lab involving work with either carbon nanotubes or graphene.
The next lab area we visited was the Centre for Quantum Technologies, which I was also very interested in, although I wish to work in nanotechnology I find quantum mechanics to be very fascinating, and enjoy learning about it particularly because of that mind-blowing feeling I get every time I learn something new and amazing is something I experience more often when learning about it. the research and experiments they do at CQT is amazing, such as their work on suspending supercooled atoms within magnetic fields while they are in bose-einstein condensate/superfluidic conditions, I even got to hold one of the chips which they actually use to hold those atoms in.
After a cheap yet delicious lunch with the NUS students we were treated to a presentation about NUS given by the dean of the faculty of science, after which we concluded our day with a session in the physics demo lab, being shown awesome demonstrations of principles of physics, the type that elicit great feelings of wonder, curiosity and excitement in me, and that I think should be shown to more school children, more often and at younger ages in Australia, which I think would really capture their minds, encouraging more kids to enjoy and want to study science in the future.