Newsletter No. 467

10 467 • 19.11.2015 ’ 口谈实录 Viva Voce 本刊由香港中文大学资讯处出版,每月出版两期。截稿日期及稿例载于 www.iso.cuhk.edu.hk/chinese/newsletter/ 。 The CUHK Newsletter is published by the Information Services Office, CUHK, on a fortnightly basis. Submission guidelines and deadlines can be found at www.iso.cuhk.edu.hk/english/newsletter/ . 吴恒亮教授 Prof. Dickon Ng 物理系系主任 Chairman, Department of Physics 两年前物理系庆祝金禧,你今年出任系主任,有何发展 计划? 为配合国际最新的科研趋势,物理系正积极发展崭新课程与 研究计划,范围涵括中微子物理、量子电脑与信息、湍流物理、 纳米材料、太阳能发电、凝聚体物理,以及新星体形成的研究 等。今年开办的新本科生课程「理论物理精研」已成功录取二 十三位成绩优异的同学。同时,我系正广征世界各地的科研人 才,希望藉此继续提升系内师生的国际视野。 中大物理系哪三项最强? 出色的教科研团队、优良的教学质素与文化,以及和谐的工作 环境。人在愉快的环境里工作,同事上下一心,做起事来定能 事半功倍。我们对教职员、学生和研究员的要求严谨,不少刚 入学的同学会认为课程有些难度,但又享受这种挑战。我们亦 很重视师生的关系与沟通。为此我经常鼓励同事多与学生聚 会,自己则喜欢相约同学吃早餐,边聊天边了解他们的学习需 要和兴趣,以及生活点滴。 1991年开始任教中大,见到学生有何改变? 我认为学生的求学态度在这些年间并无太大改变,毕竟每个 年代都总有一批热爱科学与物理的年轻人,反而学习模式的 改变就很大。以往学生必须从老师处取得学习与研究资料,现 在他们可随时浏览图书馆的网上资源,也可以各自在互联网 上找资料,比以前方便很多。 物理系毕业生的出路是? 大约三成的学生毕业后选择继续进修,攻读研究院课程。其 中一些同学在取得博士学位后,从事博士后研究。亦有不少物 理系的毕业生于政府部门如天文台、科学馆、太空馆等机构工 作;亦有投身工程、电脑程式设计、科研、顾问及检测、医疗, 以及金融等行业。 可否分享你在媒体推广物理知识的经验? 我认为透过电视节目推广物理知识,一方面能有效宣传 中文大学与物理系,让大众了解物理学者在实验室里的工作, 同时又可以运用生动的手法讲解物理现象,提升观众对科学 的认识与兴趣。美中不足的是由于制作上的限制,我很多时都 未能详细解释。 书院的工作如何为你带来满足感? 我在联合书院做了十五年舍监(1994 – 2009),其后又在 和声书院担任辅导长(2010 – 12)。一直以来书院的同事给我 很大的信任、支持和鼓励,彼此在生活上有许多交流。书院就 像我的后花园,我可以完全放松和休息,和一班志同道合的同 事一起工作以及享受闲暇时光。 身为物理学者,你是否相信「上帝不掷骰子」? 我认为自然界自有其规律和秩序。身为物理学者,我的职责是 尝试用逻辑去形容和解释这些自然定律,相信这些定律决定 了很多事情的结果。但我也有找不到满意答案的时候,故此我 相信宇宙里有一位造物主,而我们只是受造物。我是基督徒, 又是物理学者,两者并无冲突,信仰令我找到更多真理智识。 对你来说,什么是人生中最美好的事? 忠于自己,知道自己做着正确的事;既能享自由,又智珠在握, 就是人生最美好的事。我是个乐于尝试的人,在加拿大读书 时,曾在牧场工作和骑铁马上学,因为喜欢参与不同活动,后 来连船长牌及潜水证书也考了。虽然现在系务较为忙碌,但我 仍享受旅游和运动,晚上尽量和家人一起带狗外出散步,在舒 展身心的同时也享受天伦之乐。 After the Department of Physics had celebrated its golden jubilee two years ago, how will you steer the department? In order to keep up with the latest trend in scientific research, we are developing related academic programmes and research projects ranging from neutrino physics, quantum computer and information, turbulence, nano- materials, solar cells, condensed matter physics, to the formation of new celestial objects. This year, we have introduced a new undergraduate programme called ‘Enrichment Stream in Theoretical Physics’ and admitted 23 very outstanding students. We also wish to further enhance the level of internationalization by recruiting students and staff from all over the world. Can you name three strengths of Physics at CUHK? Outstanding staff, excellent teaching quality, as well as a harmonious working atmosphere. It’s only when people are happy and willing to cooperate can they reach higher goals. We have very high standards for teachers, students and researchers. Students may find it difficult at times but almost all of them enjoy the challenge. In order to facilitate communication among teachers and students, we encourage teachers to spend more time socializing and chatting with their students and to understand the latter’s needs and interests. Personally, I enjoy having conversations and even breakfast with my students. You have been teaching at CUHK since 1991. What changes have you seen in the students? I think there is always a group of young people who are passionate about science and physics in any era, so I do not see major changes in terms of their learning attitude over the years. However, the ways of learning have changed enormously. In the past, students had to rely on their teachers for most of the information they needed. Nowadays, they have access to a variety of online resources and they can always obtain information from the Internet. What do physics graduates usually do? After receiving their Bachelor’s degrees, about 30 per cent of our physics students go on to pursue postgraduate studies. Thereafter, some of them become postdoctoral fellows and teaching staff in local and overseas universities. You can also find our graduates taking up scientific portfolios at government offices such as the Hong Kong Observatory, Science Museum and Space Museum. Some of them find opportunities in engineering firms, research centres, consultant and testing agencies, or in hospitals and in the financial sectors. What’s your experience of promoting physics understanding in the media? I think it is an interesting and effective way to promote CUHK and the Department of Physics, as well as to share some basic knowledge in physics to a mass audience through TV. It also allows the public to understand what physicists do behind the closed laboratory doors. It is only that I could not fully explain every point as I had wished due to various constraints in production. In what ways is your College work rewarding? I had been warden at United College for 15 years (1994– 2009) and dean of students at Lee Woo Sing College for two years (2010–12). I have been receiving a lot of trust, support and encouragement from my working partners. The College is like my ‘backyard’, it is a place where I can relax and spend leisure time with those who share similar interests and values. As a physicist, do you believe that God plays dice? I believe that the universe has its laws and order. As a physicist, my duty is to describe the laws of nature, which I think determine almost all natural outcomes. But somehow I can’t even find a way to explain certain natural phenomenon. That is why I believe there is a Creator and we are merely creatures. I am a Christian physicist and see no contradiction in being one. My belief offers me an effective way to reach the truth and scientific knowledge. What do you think the best thing in life is? To be yourself and know that you’re on the right track. You will enjoy the freedom and still know that things are not out of control. I like to stay curious and always want to engage in new activities. When I was young, I used to work in a dairy farm in Canada and ride a motorcycle to the university. Later, I even obtained a pleasure vessel master license and a scuba diving certificate. Even though I am getting busier nowadays, I still enjoy travelling, doing exercise and walking my dog with my family every evening. Photo by ISO staff

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