Today, Knowledge Management today are not limited merely to : (A) 'knowing' or 'reading lots of books/scholarly articles' or (B) data mining, analysis, decision making, preventive actions, or (C) some Human Resources Management issue or (D) some ICT issue. Knowledge Management is about putting your knowledge, skills and competency into practice and most important IT WORKS! For you and your company or your business (Nik Zafri)

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Email: nikzafri@yahoo.com, nikzafri@gmail.com

Kelantanese, Alumni of Sultan Ismail College Kelantan (SICA), Diploma (Management), IT Competency Cert, Certified Written English Professional US. Has participated in many seminars/conferences (local/ international) in the capacity of trainer/lecturer and participant.

Affiliations :- Council Member of Gerson Lehrman Group NY, Institute of Quality Malaysia, Malaysian Institute of Management, Malaysian Occupational Safety and Health Professionals Association, Auditor ISO 9000 IRCAUK, Auditor OHSAS 18000 (SIRIM and STS) /EMS ISO 14000:2004 and Construction Quality Assessment System (CONQUAS, CIDB (Now BCA) Singapore),

* Possesses 26 years of experience/hands-on in the multi-modern management & technical disciplines (systems & methodologies) such as Knowledge Management (Hi-Impact Management/ICT Solutions), Quality (TQM/ISO), Safety Health Environment, Civil & Building (Construction), Manufacturing, Motivation & Team Building, HR, Marketing/Branding, Business Process Reengineering, Economy/Stock Market, Contracts/Project Management, Finance & Banking, etc. He was employed to international bluechips involving in national/international megaprojects such as Balfour Beatty Construction/Knight Piesold & Partners UK, MMI Insurance Group Australia, Hazama Corporation (Hazamagumi) Japan (with Mitsubishi Corporation, JA Jones US, MMCE and Ho-Hup) and Sunway Construction Berhad (The Sunway Group of Companies). Among major projects undertaken : Pergau Hydro Electric Project, KLCC Petronas Twin Towers, LRT Tunnelling, KLIA, Petronas Refineries Melaka, Putrajaya Government Complex, Sistem Lingkaran Lebuhraya Kajang (SILK), Mex Highway, KLIA1, KLIA2 etc. Once serviced SMPD Management Consultants as Associate Consultant cum Lecturer for Diploma in Management, Institute of Supervisory Management UK/SMPD JV. Currently – Associate/Visiting Consultants/Facilitators, Advisors for leading consulting firms (local and international) including project management. To name a few – Noma SWO Consult, Amiosh Resources, Timur West Consultant Sdn. Bhd., TIJ Consultants Group (Malaysia and Singapore) and many others.

* Ex-Resident Weekly Columnist of Utusan Malaysia (1995-1998) and have produced more than 100 articles related to ISO-9000– Management System and Documentation Models, TQM Strategic Management, Occupational Safety and Health (now OHSAS 18000) and Environmental Management Systems ISO 14000. His write-ups/experience has assisted many students/researchers alike in module developments based on competency or academics and completion of many theses. Once commended by the then Chief Secretary to the Government of Malaysia for his diligence in promoting and training the civil services (government sector) based on “Total Quality Management and Quality Management System ISO-9000 in Malaysian Civil Service – Paradigm Shift Scalar for Assessment System”

Among Nik Zafri’s clients : Adabi Consumer Industries Sdn. Bhd, (MRP II, Accounts/Credit Control) The HQ of Royal Customs and Excise Malaysia (ISO 9000), Veterinary Services Dept. Negeri Sembilan (ISO 9000), The Institution of Engineers Malaysia (Aspects of Project Management – KLCC construction), Corporate HQ of RHB (Peter Drucker's MBO/KRA), NEC Semiconductor - Klang Selangor (Productivity Management), Prime Minister’s Department Malaysia (ISO 9000), State Secretarial Office Negeri Sembilan (ISO 9000), Hidrological Department KL (ISO 9000), Asahi Kluang Johor(System Audit, Management/Supervisory Development), Tunku Mahmood (2) Primary School Kluang Johor (ISO 9000), Consortium PANZANA (HSSE 3rd Party Audit), Lecturer for Information Technology Training Centre (ITTC) – Authorised Training Center (ATC) – University of Technology Malaysia (UTM) Kluang Branch Johor, Kluang General Hospital Johor (Management/Supervision Development, Office Technology/Administration, ISO 9000 & Construction Management), Kahang Timur Secondary School Johor (ISO 9000), Sultan Abdul Jalil Secondary School Kluang Johor (Islamic Motivation and Team Building), Guocera Tiles Industries Kluang Johor (EMS ISO 14000), MNE Construction (M) Sdn. Bhd. Kota Tinggi Johor (ISO 9000 – Construction), UITM Shah Alam Selangor (Knowledge Management/Knowledge Based Economy /TQM), Telesystem Electronics/Digico Cable(ODM/OEM for Astro – ISO 9000), Sungai Long Industries Sdn. Bhd. (Bina Puri Group) - ISO 9000 Construction), Secura Security Printing Sdn. Bhd,(ISO 9000 – Security Printing) ROTOL AMS Bumi Sdn. Bhd & ROTOL Architectural Services Sdn. Bhd. (ROTOL Group) – ISO 9000 –Architecture, Bond M & E (KL) Sdn. Bhd. (ISO 9000 – Construction/M & E), Skyline Telco (M) Sdn. Bhd. (Knowledge Management),Technochase Sdn. Bhd JB (ISO 9000 – Construction), Institut Kefahaman Islam Malaysia (IKIM – ISO 9000 & Internal Audit Refresher), Shinryo/Steamline Consortium (Petronas/OGP Power Co-Generation Plant Melaka – Construction Management and Safety, Health, Environment), Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (Negotiation Skills), Association for Retired Intelligence Operatives of Malaysia (Cyber Security – Arpa/NSFUsenet, Cobit, Till, ISO/IEC ISMS 27000 for Law/Enforcement/Military), T.Yamaichi Corp. (M) Sdn. Bhd. (EMS ISO 14000) LSB Manufacturing Solutions Sdn. Bhd., (Lean Scoreboard (including a full development of System-Software-Application - MSC Malaysia & Six Sigma) PJZ Marine Services Sdn. Bhd., (Safety Management Systems and Internal Audit based on International Marine Organization Standards) UNITAR/UNTEC (Degree in Accountacy – Career Path/Roadmap) Cobrain Holdings Sdn. Bhd.(Managing Construction Safety & Health), Speaker for International Finance & Management Strategy (Closed Conference), Pembinaan Jaya Zira Sdn. Bhd. (ISO 9001:2008-Internal Audit for Construction Industry & Overview of version 2015), Straits Consulting Engineers Sdn. Bhd. (Full Integrated Management System – ISO 9000, OHSAS 1800 and EMS ISO 14000 for Civl/Structural/Geotechnical Consulting), Malaysia Management & Science University (MSU – (Managing Business in an Organization), Innoseven Sdn. Bhd. (KVMRT Line 1 MSPR8 – Awareness and Internal Audit (Construction), ISO 9001:2008 and 2015 overview for the Construction Industry), Kemakmuran Sdn. Bhd. (KVMRT Line 1 - Signages/Wayfinding - Project Quality Plan and Construction Method Statement ), Amiosh Resources - (1) Lembaga Tabung Haji - Flood ERP (2) WNA Consultants - DID/JPS -Flood Risk Assessment and Management Plan - Prelim, Conceptual Design, Interim and Final Report etc. (3) Tunnel Fire Safety - Fire Risk Assessment Report - Design Fire Scenario), Safety, Health and Environmental Management Plans leading construction/property companies/corporations in Malaysia. Timur West Consulting (1) Business Methodology and System (2) Information Security Management Systems (ISMS) ISO/IEC 27001:2013 for Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya ISMS/Audit/Risk/ITP Technical Team

* Has appeared for 10 consecutive series in “Good Morning Malaysia RTM TV1’ Corporate Talk Segment discussing on ISO 9000/14000 in various industries. For ICT, his inputs garnered from his expertise have successfully led to development of work-process e-enabling systems in the environments of intranet, portal and interactive web design especially for the construction and manufacturing. Some of the end products have won various competitions of innovativeness, quality, continual-improvements and construction industry award at national level. He has also in advisory capacity – involved in development and moderation of websites, portals and e-profiles for mainly corporate and private sectors, public figures etc. He is also one of the recipients for MOSTE Innovation for RFID use in Electronic Toll Collection in Malaysia.

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Saturday, November 09, 2013

Some Basic Ideas about Quantum Mechanics

Stephen Jenkins

Modern physics is dominated by the concepts of Quantum Mechanics. This page aims to give a brief introduction to some of these ideas.

Until the closing decades of the last century the physical world, as studied by experiment, could be explained according to the principles of classical (or Newtonian) mechanics: the physics of everyday life. By the turn of the century, however, the cracks were beginning to show and the disciplines of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics were developed to account for them. Relativity came first, and described the physics of very massive and very fast objects, then came Quantum Mechanics in the 1920's to describe the physics of very small objects.

Neither of these theories provide an easy intuitive picture of the world, since they contradict the predictions of familiar Newtonian Mechanics in the regimes for which they were developed. Nevertheless, both schemes reproduce the Newtonian results when applied to the everyday world. In seeking to understand the physics of semiconductors at an atomic level we must start from a Quantum Mechanical viewpoint, since the entities with which we will be dealing (electrons, atoms, etc) are so very small....

Waves and Particles

At the macroscopic scale we are used to two broad types of phenomena: waves and particles. Briefly, particles are localised phenomena which transport both mass and energy as they move, while waves are de-localised phenomena (that is they are spread-out in space) which carry energy but no mass as they move. Physical objects that one can touch are particle-like phenomena (e.g. cricket balls), while ripples on a lake (for example) are waves (note that there is no net transport of water: hence no net transport of mass)

              (photo from i.livescience)

In Quantum Mechanics this neat distinction is blurred. Entities which we would normally think of as particles (e.g. electrons) can behave like waves in certain situations, while entities which we would normally think of as waves (e.g. electromagnetic radiation: light) can behave like particles. Thus electrons can create wave-like diffraction patterns upon passing through narrow slits, just like water waves do as they pass through the entrance to a harbour. Conversely, the photoelectric effect (i.e. the absorption of light by electrons in solids) can only be explained if the light has a particulate nature (leading to the concept of photons).

Such ideas led DeBroglie to the conclusion that all entities had both wave and particle aspects, and that different aspects were manifested by the entity according to what type of process it was undergoing. This became known as the Principle of Wave-Particle Duality. Furthermore, DeBroglie was able to relate the momentum of a "particle" to the wavelength (i.e. the peak-to-peak distance) of the corresponding "wave". The DeBroglie relation tells us that p=h/lambda, where p is the particle's momentum, lambda is its wavelength and h is Planck's constant. Thus it is possible to calculate the quantum wavelength of a particle through knowledge of its momentum.

This was important because wave phenomena, such as diffraction, are generally only important when waves interact with objects of a size comparable to their wavelength. Fortunately for the theory, the wavelength of everyday objects moving at everyday speeds turns out to be incredibly small. So small in fact that no Quantum Mechanical effects should be noticeable at the macroscopic level, confirming that Newtonian Mechanics is perfectly acceptable for everyday applications (as required by the Correspondence Principle). Conversely, small objects like electrons have wavelengths comparable to the microscopic atomic structures they encounter in solids. Thus a Quantum Mechanical description, which includes their wave-like aspects, is essential to their understanding.

Hopefully the foregoing discussion provides a convincing enough argument to use Quantum Mechanical ideas when dealing with electrons in solids. Next we must address the question of how exactly one describes electrons in a wave-like manner....

The Schrodinger Equation

OK, OK, I know I said I would avoid equations, but I can't write about Quantum Mechanics and not mention the biggie now can I ? What I will do is try to talk about the ideas behind the equation, and its consequences, rather than dwell on the form of the equation itself. Given the current limitations of html I'm not even going to try and write it out for you, its easy enough to find in any QM textbook. There are actually two Schrodinger equations: time-dependent and time-independent. We'll start with the time-dependent version and see what all the fuss is about....

The approach suggested by Schrodinger was to postulate a function which would vary in both time and space in a wave-like manner (the so-called wavefunction) and which would carry within it information about a particle or system. The time-dependent Schrodinger equation allows us to deterministically predict the behaviour of the wavefunction over time, once we know its environment. The information concerning environment is in the form of the potential which would be experienced by the particle according to classical mechanics (if you are unfamiliar with the classical concept of potential an explanation is available).

                                      (photo from cdn.physorg)

Whenever we make a measurement on a Quantum system, the results are dictated by the wavefunction at the time at which the measurement is made. It turns out that for each possible quantity we might want to measure (an observable) there is a set of special wavefunctions (known as eigenfunctions) which will always return the same value (an eigenvalue) for the observable. e.g.....

EIGENFUNCTION       always returns      EIGENVALUE
  psi_1(x,t)                               a_1
  psi_2(x,t)                               a_2
  psi_3(x,t)                               a_3
  psi_4(x,t)                               a_4
  etc....                                  etc....
where (x,t) is standard notation to remind us that the eigenfunctions psi_n(x,t)
are dependent upon position (x) and time (t).

Even if the wavefunction happens not to be one of these eigenfunctions, it is always possible to think of it as a unique superposition of two or more of the eigenfunctions, e.g....
psi(x,t) = c_1*psi_1(x,t) + c_2*psi_2(x,t) + c_3*psi_3(x,t) + ....

where c_1, c_2,.... are coefficients which define the composition of the state.

If a measurement is made on such a state, then the following two things will happen:
  1. The wavefunction will suddenly change into one or other of the eigenfunctions making it up. This is known as the collapse of the wavefunction and the probability of the wavefunction collapsing into a particular eigenfunction depends on how much that eigenfunction contributed to the original superposition. More precisely, the probability that a given eigenfunction will be chosen is proportional to the square of the coefficient of that eigenfunction in the superposition, normalised so that the overall probability of collapse is unity (i.e. the sum of the squares of all the coefficients is 1).
  2. The measurement will return the eigenvalue associated with the eigenfunction into which the wavefunction has collapsed. Clearly therefore the measurement can only ever yield an eigenvalue (even though the original state was not an eigenfunction), and it will do so with a probability determined by the composition of the original superposition. There are clearly only a limited number of discrete values which the observable can take. We say that the system is quantised (which means essentially the same as discretised).
Once the wavefunction has collapsed into one particular eigenfunction it will stay in that state until it is perturbed by the outside world. The fundamental limitation of Quantum Mechanics lies in the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle which tells us that certain quantum measurements disturb the system and push the wavefunction back into a superposed state once again.
For example, consider a measurement of the position of a particle. Before the measurement is made the particle wavefunction is a superposition of several position eigenfunctions, each corresponding to a different possible position for the particle. When the measurement is made the wavefunction collapses into one of these eigenfunctions, with a probability determined by the composition of the original superposition. One particular position will be recorded by the measurement: the one corresponding to the eigenfunction chosen by the particle.
If a further position measurement is made shortly afterwards the wavefunction will still be the same as when the first measurement was made (because nothing has happened to change it), and so the same position will be recorded. However, if a measurement of the momentum of the particle is now made, the particle wavefunction will change to one of the momentum eigenfunctions (which are not the same as the position eigenfunctions). Thus, if a still later measurement of the position is made, the particle will once again be in a superposition of possible position eigenfunctions, so the position recorded by the measurement will once again come down to probability. What all this means is that one cannot know both the position and the momentum of a particle at the same time because when you measure one quantity you randomise the value of the other. See below....
notation: x=position, p=momentum

action         |           wavefunction after action
start          |  superposition of x and/or p eigenfunctions
measure x      |  x eigenfunction = superposition of p eigenfunctions
measure x again|  same x eigenfunction
measure p      |  p eigenfunction = superposition of x eigenfunctions
measure x again|  x eigenfunction (not necessarily same one as before)

Precisely what constitutes a measurement and the process by which the wavefunction collapses are two issues I am not even going to touch on. Suffice to say they are still matters for vigorous debate !
At any rate, in a macroscopic system the wavefunctions of the many component particles are constantly being disturbed by measurement-like processes, so a macroscopic measurement on the system only ever yields a time- and particle- averaged value for an observable. This averaged value need not, of course, be an eigenvalue, so we do not generally observe quantisation at the macroscopic level (the correspondence principle again). If we are to investigate the microscopic behaviour of particles we would (in an ideal world) like to know the wavefunctions of any individual particles at any given instant in time....
The time-dependent Schrodinger equation allows us to calculate the wavefunctions of particles, given the potential in which they move. Importantly, all the solutions of this equation will vary over time in some kind of wave-like manner, but only certain solutions will vary in a predictable pure sinusoidal manner. These special solutions of the time-dependent Schrodinger equation turn out to be the energy eigenfunctions, and can be written as a time-independent factor multiplied by a sinusoidal time-dependent factor related to the energy (in fact the frequency of the sine wave is given by the relation E=h*frequency). Because of the simple time-dependence of these functions the time-dependent Schrodinger equation reduces to the time-independent 
Schrodinger equation for the time-independent part of the energy eigenfunctions. That is to say that we can find the energy eigenfunctions simply by solving the time-independent Schrodinger equation and multiplying the solutions by a simple sinusoidal factor related to the energy. It should therefore always be remembered that the solutions to the time-independent Schrodinger equation are simply the amplitudes of the solutions to the full time-dependent equation.
The bottom line is that we can use the time-dependent Schrodinger equation (or often the simpler time-independent version) to tell us what the wavefunctions of a quantum system are, entirely deterministically. That is, we do not have to resort to the language of probability. Once we try to apply this knowledge to the real world (i.e. to predict the outcome of measurements, etc) then we have to speak in terms of probabilities.
As a last point, it is important to realise that there is no real physical interpretation for the wavefunction. It simply contains information regarding the system to which it refers. However, one of the most important characteristics of a wavefunction is that the square of its magnitude is a measure of the probability of finding a particle described by the wavefunction at a given point in space. That is, in regions where the square of the magnitude of the wavefunction is large, the probability of finding the particle in that region is also large, and vice versa.
This is not intended to be an exhaustive description of what is a very subtle and complex subject, indeed it cannot be so, given my intention to avoid equations wherever possible. The interested reader is urged to consult one of the large number of textbooks on the subject, some of which are listed in the reading list on the contents page. We shall, however, expand greatly upon the basic framework of Quantum Mechanics in later chapters....