Academic Exchange: Undergraduates of ZJU Physics Visited Singapore

Editor: Becky     Time: 2018-08-10      Number of visits: 93

23 students of Zhejiang University’s Department of Physics accompanied by Professor Ye-wu Wang, Director of the Department of Physics, and Vice-Directors Professor Daomu Zhao and Ms. Ting Zhou arrived in Singapore to participate in an academic exchange on August 5th, 2018. The group visited both Nanyang Technological University and the National University of Singapore and were moved and motivated by the two universities’ commitment to emphasizing the practical importance of one’s education.

1. Nanyang Technological University’s Emphasis on Putting Education into Practice

On the morning of August 8th, the students and faculty of Zhejiang University’s Department of Physics arrived at the first stop of the educational exchange-Nanyang Technological University. The faculty of Nanyang Technological University’s School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences warmly greeted the group of students and faculty from Zhejiang University. The Director of the Department of Physics at NTU, Professor Rainer, presented an introduction of the School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, introducing its establishment, current and past faculty members, research equipment, areas of research, and research achievements.

Following the introduction, Professor Ho Shen Yong led the students and teachers to the Making and Tinkering Lab. The Making and Tinkering Lab is a laboratory the explores and researches 3D printing technology. On display in the lab is an assortment of items of all shapes and sizes manufactured by a 3D printer, including a violin, telescope, and a miniature replica of Singapore’s Merlion statue. Presently, 3D technology is gradually being applied in the realms of medicine, manufacturing, and scientific research. NTU has initiated a scientific research program aimed at undergraduates to promote students of different academic majors and disciplines to use 3D printing technology as a means of learning and conducting scientific research with cutting-edge equipment and instruments. The program hopes to foster cooperation and an interest in scientific research in its students. The program has already received numerous awards. 

After touring the Making and Tinkering Lab, the laboratory instructor, Mr. Leong Hanyang, gave an introduction to the students on using the fusion360 software to build 3D models. The students then had the opportunity to build creations from their imaginations by exploring the fusion360 3D printing software.

The students had two hours to design, build, and 3D print their creations and were provided guidance by the laboratory instructors. During their time working on individual projects, the students experienced the importance of exploring a problem and discovering its solutions. ZJU students said that the time in the lab was the most rewarding experience during their trip to NTU, providing them with greater knowledge and improving their critical thinking abilities.


After lunch, the ZJU group was led by Dr. Guanghui Yuan to the Center for Disruptive Photonic Technologies (CDPT). The Center is currently known for its international cooperation and international leadership in photonic research. Afterward, Dr. Chang Chi Kwong brought the group to the Center for Quantum Technologies (CQT) and introduced the technology and instruments currently being used by the Center along with current areas of research. The students were very impressed by the Center and engaged in a lively discussion with Dr. Kwong about quantum physics and quantum technologies. After visiting the two centers, the ZJU group also explored the Nanoelectronic and Nanophotonics Lab and the Lab for Nanomaterials and Functional Devices.

2. Touring the National University of Singapore

On the morning of August 7th, the ZJU group arrived at the prestigious National University of Singapore. The Director of the Department of Physics, Professor Chorng Haur Sow introduced the Department’s history, faculty, and current areas of research. The faculty of the Department of Physics comes from all over the globe and Professor Chorng Haur Sow has nicknamed the Department as the “Little United Nations”.

Afterward, Professor Jiangbin Gong introduced to the ZJU group on how he “not very carefully” entered into the topological materials field while researching nonlinear phenomena and quantum chaos, prompting him to wonder at the prospects of research in topology to increase performance in materials. The students were very engaged with Professor Gong’s lecture and at the end asked stimulating questions.

Lastly, Professor Chorng Haur Sow led the group to explore the Center for Advanced 2D Materials, the Science Demonstration Lab (SDL), and an ion accelerator laboratory. In the Science Demostration Lab, Professor Chorng Haur Sow performed many interesting physics demonstrations for the ZJU group, including a superconductor levitation experiment, the Cartesian diver experiment, an experiment utilizing polarized lenses to view the stresses in a plastic, and finally an experiment creating Lissajous images by using a mirror on a membrane and a laser. During the course of the demonstrations, the students could freely engage with the experimental equipment, collect and analyze data, and better understand important physics concepts.

After taking part in the educational exchange, the ZJU group not only had a better understanding of these two renowned Singaporean schools, but also of Singaporean culture and people. The ZJU group of students and faculty all feel that this exchange will provide help and inspiration to their studies and future research.

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