Senin, 18 Juli 2011

Fisika dan Kepemimpinan

Seri Kuliah Fisika dan Teknologi untuk Presiden-Presiden di Masa Depan

Kepemimpinan dalam Fisika

(Prof. Yohanes Surya, Ph.D./Rektor Universitas Multimedia Nusantara)

Fisika adalah ilmu tentang alam. Dalam fisika kita belajar bagaimana cara alam bekerja. Dalam Fisika kita juga belajar apa yang menyebabkan segala sesuatu di alam itu terlihat sangat teratur.
Misalnya kita belajar apa yang menyebabkan planet-planet dapat mengorbit matahari secara teratur. Atau apa yang membuat elektron-elektron mengorbit inti atom.

Para fisikawan selama beberapa ratus tahun terakhir ini telah berhasil mengetahui banyak aturan-aturan yang menakjubkan dalam alam semesta ini. Aturan-aturan ini sekarang dinyatakan dalam bentuk hukum-hukum Fisika.

Pada waktu saya mempelajari hukum-hukum Fisika, saya berpikir, jika hukum-hukum ini dapat mengatur gerak alam semesta, apakah mungkin hukum-hukum ini juga dapat digunakan untuk mengatur orang, organisasi, perusahaan, daerah ataupun negara? Apa yang kita dapat manfaatkan hukum Fisika ini dalam kepemimpinan?

Dalam Fisika ada empat fenomena yang menarik perhatian saya yaitu fenomena gerak benda dan penyebabnya (saya namakan ini fenomena Newton), fenomena relativistik (saya namakan ini fenomena Einstein), fenomena kuantum dan fenomena pengaturan diri ketika suatu sistem berada pada kondisi kritis yang saya namakan fenomena mestakung.

Tiap-tiap fenomena ini terjadi pada situasi dan kondisi tertentu yang unik. Sangat menarik untuk mempelajari tiap fenomena ini dan melihat bagaimana hukum-hukum fisika bekerja pada tiap-tiap fenomena.

Fenomena Newton

Pada abad ke 17-18 Newton memperkenalkan tiga hukum yang sangat terkenal tentang gerak benda dan penyebabnya. Hukum pertamamengatakan bahwa suatu benda yang sedang diam akan cenderung untuk tetap diam jika tidak ada yang mengganggunya. Atau suatu benda yang sedang bergerak lurus teratur akan terus bergerak lurus teratur.

Sedangkan hukum kedua mengatakan bahwa benda yang mendapat gaya akan bergerak dipercepat. Makin besar gayanya makin besar pula percepatannya. Dan yang terakhir adalah bahwa ketika benda mendapat gaya (aksi) benda akan memberikan gaya reaksi yang besarnya sama dengan gaya aksi tersebut.

Ketiga hukum Newton ini bekerja dengan baik pada suatu sistem inersial (suatu sistem yang tenang, sistem yang tidak dipercepat, tidak dalam keadaan chaos).

Dalam kepemimpinan, hukum Newton ini dapat diterapkan pada kondisi organisasi (perusahaan, daerah, negara) yang tenang atau dibuat tenang. Dalam kondisi tenang ini, orang cenderung malas.

Mereka malas bergerak, mereka maunya diam saja (hukum I Newton). Pemimpin yang dibutuhkan disini adalah pemimpin yang mempunyai visi yang jelas dan terukur serta mempunyai daya dobrak. Visi dapat menjadi suatu faktor pendorong untuk mempercepat kemajuan organisasi ini. Dengan daya dobrak yang dimiliki, pemimpin ini akan mampu menghadapi kelembaman (kemalasan) dari orang-orang yang dipimpinnya dan mampu memberikan stimulir-stimulir untuk orang- orang di organisasi tersebut terus bergerak.

Pemimpin jenis ini membutuhkan sumber daya (resources) baik berupa SDM (sumber daya manusia) ataupun SDA (sumber daya alam) yang kuat agar ia mempunyai energi yang cukup untuk terus memberikan gaya penggerak.

Contoh kepemimpinan model ini adalah Indonesia dalam masa orde baru. Awalnya Suharto berusaha membuat negara tenang secara militer. Kemudian ia memperkenalkan visi yang terukur dalam bentuk repelita (rencana pembangunan lima tahun). Ia terus memberikan stimulir-stimulir hingga roda perekonomian terus bergerak dan makin lama makin cepat. Keberhasilan Suharto karena ia juga ditopang oleh SDA Indonesia yang luar biasa.

China juga melakukan hal yang serupa, saat ini dalam situasi yang tenang, China mempercepat pembangunan dengan memberikan stimulir-stimulir bagi para investor. Ia juga memanggil para ilmuwan yang berada di luar negeri untuk pulang kampung menjadi gaya-gaya penggerak perekonomian. Keberhasilan China ini karena mereka mempunyai SDM yang sangat bagus.

Hal esensial lain dalam kepemimpinan model Newton ini adalah diperlukannya sifat otoriter dan tegas dari sang pemimpin. Pemimpin harus tegas untuk menjamin organisasi yang dipimpinnya tetap tenang dan aman. Tidak boleh ada oposisi. Mereka yang berusaha menimbulkan goncangan harus segera diredam.

Lecture by:

Richard A. Muller (born January 6, 1944 in New York, New York, USA) is a physicist who works at the University of California, Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.


Muller obtained a A.B. degree at Columbia University (New York) and a Ph.D. degree in physics from University of California, Berkeley. Muller began his career as a graduate student under Nobel laureate Luis Alvarez doing particle physics experiments and working with bubble chambers. During his early years he also helped to cocreate accelerator mass spectroscopy and made some of the first measurements of anisotropy in the cosmic microwave background.

Subsequently, Muller branched out into other areas of science, and in particular the Earth sciences. His work has included attempting to understand the ice ages, dynamics at the core-mantle boundary, patterns of extinction and biodiversity through time, and the processes associated with impact cratering. One of his most well known proposals is the Nemesis hypothesis suggesting that the sun could have an as yet undetected companion dwarf star, whose perturbations of the Oort cloud and subsequent effects on the flux of comets entering the inner solar system could explain an apparent 26 million year periodicity in extinction events.

I am a Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of California at Berkeley, and Faculty Senior Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, where I am also associated with the Institute for Nuclear and Particle Astrophysics. Don't confuse me with Richard S. Muller.
This is me.
For a more interesting photo, click on the image. For a high-res jpeg of the photo on the left, click here.

Muller's vita is available in html or pdf
You can also jump to current research.

My new book, The Instant Physicist, is now available for $11 to $13 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Powell's, and Indiebound. Amazon and B&N show sample pages including the great art of Joey Manfre. Listen to my interviews about the book on KQED FM: Forum and on CBS radio. Humor and Physics do mix!

Global Warming. We have begun a new major research project to make an independent evalution of global warming through a careful analysis of the most complete set ever used of land surface temperature measurements. For details, see

See Physics for Future Presidents web page about the course I teach. Princeton University Press has now published the full color, glossy, yet cheap ($44.35 on Amazon) textbook Physics and Technology for Future Presidents.

Interested in 3D TV without glasses? See the link to my new company,

See my movie of the Finale of the Paul McCartney Concert (10 July 2010).

See Rich on the Glen Beck show, discussing the Iranian nuclear threat. The discussion took place Friday 5 Feb 2010. Beck says: "I have read your book. It is fantastic. Everybody should read this book if you are interested in science at all and you're interested in the future." But he doesn't like the part on Global Warming.

Naked Copenhagen my Op-Ed piece has now appeared in the Wall St. Journal. For details of the calculations, go to

See my presentation at the WNET Celebration of Teaching and Learning

See a photo of Barack Obama reading my popular book! -- while in bed -- and being so distracted that he ignores the ringing red phone -- while Michelle looks on with concern. Well, OK, maybe it isn't a photo. It was done by Victor Juhasz. See the image here.

Cycles in Fossil Diversity. Our discovery of the 62 Myr cycle was published in 2005, but now we present the data parsed in 171 different ways! See below.

My course, Physics for future Presidents, has just been given the highest award it could possibly earn: in a poll taken by the student newspaper, The Daily Californian, it was named Best Class at Berkeley! (It has won this honor for the last two years in a row.)

Popular Version

There are two books I have written with similar titles. Physics for Future Presidents is written for popular readers -- meant to be read rather than studied, is shown on the left. I've been on NPR twice answering call-ins: listen to Michael Krasny on Forum or Tom Ashbrook's "On Point". It is now available in paperback (cheap).

The more detailed book, a textbook for my course, is on the right side. The popular version has five sections: terrorism, energy, nukes, space, and global warming. The new Princeton University Press text has 13 chapters including a new one on climate change, multiple choice and essay questions, and is suitable for a course, Interested in teaching from it? Here is a link: Physics and Technology for Future Presidents. We've kept the price under $50.

Class Textbook

Muller teaches physics to Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John McCain, and other candidates (photo taken by Joey Manfre).

Science Magazine piece about UC Berkeley's success in broadcasting my lectures on YouTube.

A soldier in Iraq listened to my physics lectures while manning a .50-caliber machine-gun and watching over a goat herder's field where insurgents were suspected of passing through a week earlier. Read the whole story.

Burning Man 2007. See my movies and photos. Most impressive is the Movie of the Burning Man. taken September 2, 2007. My favorite art was the Big Round Cubatron. See my movie of it, and also artist Mark Lottor's website. Night Panorama of Black Rock City gives a sense of the place. Also the Fire Wheel Movie. Burning Man Photos give the overall picture, including a photo of me in full Tuareg dress, standing by the Temple. (The Tuareg figured out years ago how to protect themselves from sandstorms, and the protection really does work. I added the face mask.)

Watch the TV clip about my class Physics for future Presidents that was on ABC7 News on May 21, 2007. Go to: Top Universities Offer Free Lectures Online.

Muller's Theorems. The complete list is now posted.

Photos from our August 2007 backpack trip to Hoover Wilderness and the Virginia Canyon in Yosemite.

Historic FSM photos inside Sproul Hall, Dec 3-4, 1964. For the first time, I have posted the photographs I took during the Free Speech Movement Sproul Hall sit in. These include images of Mario Savio, Jack Weinberg, and Joan Baez in the corridors of Sproul. They also show the police charging up the stairs to take control of the window on the second floor, a window that was being used to take food and information in from outside sympathizers. I was arrested, and spent the next night in the Oakland jail. When I was released, to my amazement, the police returned the film to me. I was the only student arrested who later became a professor at Cal.

Nobel Prize. Congratulations to John Mather and George Smoot for the Nobel Prize in Physics, awarded for their work on COBE. I've posted a new pre-COBE history page that includes historically interesting documents that are relevant to the genesis of COBE. These date from the days when I was the Principal Investigator on the U-2 project that discovered the cosine anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation.

Physics for future Presidents, my course (see below) has a textbook, available from Thomson Publishing. It is also available on Amazon, for a higher price, but you might need to make sure you get the right edition. The newer version says "Spring 2008 edition" on the cover.

Wildlife photos from our recent trip to Kenya and Rwanda.
And photos from Carlsbad Caverns, Cuba, Iguacu, the Sierra Nevada, Morocco, Paraguay, Peru, more....

See my little silly essay Dumbledore isn't gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that....

Current Research

Cycles in Fossil Diversity (paper from Nature). See also diversity data parsed in 171 different ways (pdf file). In the 10 March 2005 issue of Nature, graduate student Robert Rohde and I report the discovery of a strong 62 Myr cycle in fossil diversity. (Click for pdf copy.) The cycle is huge, and it does not have a ready explanation. I show below a plot from our paper that shows the number of shorter-duration genera back to 545 Million years ago. (Incidentally, I was misquoted in a newspaper account. No, I have not abandoned the Nemesis idea.) PBS broadcast an interview with me on the subject, but the link is broken; if anybody finds it, please let me know and I'll post the link here. The old (now dead) link was

Click the following link to download a pdf file that shows the diversity data parsed in 171 different ways. If you are familiar with paleontology, then these data may give you the clue that you need to figure out what is causing the cycle.

Avalanches at the Core-Mantle Boundary, has been published in Geophysical Research Letters, vol.29, pg 41-1 to 41-4 (12 Oct 2002). Such avalanches may affect geomagnetic reversals and flood basalts. They can be spontaneous, or triggered by oblique impacts of comets and asteroids.

Impacts on the moon (and the earth) increased about 400 Myr ago, a result that we published in SCIENCE in May, 2000. A follow-up investigation on impacts at the Apollo 12 site published in the Journal of Geophysical Research showed a weaker effect than we first reported. This increase, if real, may have implications both for evolution and our model of the solar system. There is an interesting interpretation of these data in terms of the Nemesis idea: see my paper "Measurements of lunar impacts ... and implications for the Nemesis theory." For more on the Nemesis idea, see the next entry:

Nemesis. This is a theory worked out with Marc Davis and Piet Hut. It predicts the future discovery of a small (probably red dwarf) star orbiting the Sun at a distance of a few light years. The theory has been considered controversial and speculative, but it has not yet been ruled out. We should know for sure in the next few years. I wrote an article about our work for the New York Times Magazine in 1985; here is a transcript: NYTimes Article. See the Nemesis web page. See also "Measurements of lunar impacts ... and implications for the Nemesis theory."

We have measured the accretion of extraterrestrial dust by using iridium measurements on Greenland ice. The results are controversial: we found a lower level of accretion than had generally been believed. Read our article.pdf published in Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta.

A New Theory of Glacial cycles. Also see the article Glacial Cycles and Astronomical Forcing, published in Science vol 277, pp 215-218 (11 July 1997). Also look at our book:

Ice Ages and Astronomical Causes (with coauthor Gordon MacDonald) published by Springer-Praxis in 2000. Click to read the Table of Contents, the Preface or Chapter 1, which contains brief introductions to the History of Climate, Ice Age Theories, and Spectra. It is meant for students or researchers who want to learn how to do spectral analysis of paleoclimate data.It can be ordered from, from Springer New York, Springer Germany, and from Amazon in the UK. . For see the wonderful movie illustrating the changing orbits. I've posted a table of the Earth's orbital inclination for the last 3 Myr.

See the new compilation of ice age data we call the Benthic Stack, published in Paleoceanography (vol 17, 2002). It was tuned to obliquity alone, and represents a new view of climate for the last 860 kyr.

Teaching: Physics for future Presidents

Physics for future Presidents is my name for Physics 10, cross listed as L&S C70V, is the course I currently teach. In one semester, my goal is to cover the physics that future world leaders need to know (and maybe present world leaders too). Go to the PffP home page to read selections from my textbook. It can be purchased at a discount. from Thomson Publishing. And read the article in the San Francisco Chronicle.

(photo by Peg Skorpinski)

My MIT Technology Review Essays

For three years I wrote a monthly column in MIT's Technology Review online. It is based on my class, see above. The essays, in reverse chronological order, are:

The Physics of Gluttony (Nov '04). You lose weight (carbon) only by breathing.
Global Warming Bombshell (Oct '04). Global warming poster child discredited.
Death of the Dinosaurs (Aug '04). There's a lot more we don't know now.
Military Lessons from Iraq War II (July '04). Some may surprise you.
Dirty Bombs (June '04). My greatest fear is fear itself.
Less Lethal Weapons (May '04). Are they good or bad?
Alaska is melting. Can Kyoto save it? (April '04). Climate is local too.
The Witch of Yucca Mountain (March '04). Research won't reassure.
Our Non-expedition to Mars (Feb '04). Mars in 26 years? Only after robots.
The Voice of Osama (Jan '04). Why I think it isn't his.
Medieval Global Warming (Dec '03). Medieval climate becomes politicized.
The Physics Diet (Nov '03). Exercise doesn't work. Eating less does.
Bizarre Math of Elections (Oct '03). Low voter turnout may be a healthy sign.
Cuba Low-Tech (Sept '03). Observations from my visit to Cuba.
When Lie Detectors Lie - or Don't (August '03) They do have valid uses.
Hydrogen Economy Pollution (July '03) Not as clean as you might think.
Deceiving Saddam (June '03) To fool someone, you may have to fool all.
The Weapons Paradox (May '03). Are kinder, gentler weapons, always evil?
Shock and Awe in Babylon (April '03) Early surprises in Gulf War II.
Baghdad Express (March '03) A weapon of mass transport?
Space Shuttle Science (Feb '03) Is it safe? Is it science?
Iraq inspections -- just as expected. (Jan '03) They won't find WMD
North Korea -- the next Iraq? (Dec '02) Yes and no
War with Iraq -- As Predictable as Chess (Nov '02) You'll be surprised
The Lowest-Tech Atom Bomb (Oct '02) Saddam's easiest approach
Did Everything Change? (Sept '02) Why Al Qaeda failed

Airport Insecurity. (Aug '02) The real threat is checked luggage
Who's afraid of 1984? (July '02) Orwell got it backwards
The Conservation Bomb. (June '02) Can counter the population bomb
Weapons of Precise Destruction. (May '02) Predator assassination
Al Qaeda's Anthrax (April '02) See agreement from David Tell
Crop duster terrorism (March '02) Weapons from the corner station

Springtime, Taxes, and the Attack on Iraq (Feb '02) War is inevitable
I've been analyzing the terrorist threat ever since 9-11-01. Read my early articles and judge for yourself how accurate I was (or wasn't):
Analysis of the Terrorist Attack, posted Sept 16 2001, 5 days after 9-11.
The War on Terrorism posted Sept 21, 2001, with my predictions.
The terrorist threat is over, for now posted Oct 26, 2001.
I have put online my viewgraphs for my talk,
Physics of Terrorism, Counterterrorism, and the Conflict with Iraq.

Publications and books

A somewhat out of date list of my publications is available. My vita is available in html or pdf. In addition, I have written five books:

  • Nemesis (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1988). Read Chapter 1: Cosmic Terrorist. Copies of the book are available used on Amazon.
  • The Sins of Jesus, a historical novel. You may download selected chapters from this novel for free. Click here for more information.
  • The Three Big Bangs (with coauthor Phil Dauber, Addison/Wesley 1996). Read Chapter 1.
  • Ice Ages and Astronomical Causes: data, spectral analysis, and mechanisms (with coauthor Gordon MacDonald). For sample chapters, see the note posted above.
  • Physics for future Presidents, is now available from Thomson Publishing. You can purchase it at the discount price of $48.87 including shipping (instead of the list price of $57.29) if you enter the promo code ICHP0614 at the site checkout. It is also available on Amazon, for a higher price.


Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. (That's special; there are only 218 other physicists.) Teaching awards include the 1999 Distinguished Teaching Award of the University of California (for teaching physics majors), the 2009 Noyce Prize, and the 2010 Phi Beta Kappa Excellence in Teaching Award for Northern California. My other awards include the Mac Arthur Prize (1982), the NSF Alan T. Waterman Award, and the Texas Instruments Foundation Founders Prize. A complete list is here. My class Physics for Future Presidents was voted "Best Class on Campus" in 2008 and 2009. My feeling about the MacArthur Award is best expressed by a cartoon from the New Yorker.

Semoga Bermanfaat dan Terima Kasih

Tidak ada komentar: