Class: Why not use Feynman’s lecture notes?
Gell-Mann: Because Feynman uses a different method than we do.
Class: What is Feynman’s method?
Gell-Mann: You write down the problem. Then you look at it and you think.
Then you write down the answer
...‎"Penny, I'm a physicist. I have a working knowledge of the universe and everything it contains."
"Who's Radiohead?"

(long, evil pause) “Penny, I have a working knowledge of the IMPORTANT things in the universe. Good luck.”

The decay [n→p+(e-)+ν] may be compared with parking a car in a crowded town on the Saturday afternoon before Christmas; it is possible in principle, but there is hardly any space available, so it takes a long time.

“The mathematician does not study pure mathematics because it is useful; he studies it because he delights in it and he delights in it because it is beautiful.” Poincare!

Last time, I asked: “What does mathematics mean to you?” And some people answered: “The manipulation of numbers, the manipulation of structures.” And if I had asked what music means to you, would you have answered: “The manipulation of notes?” -S. Lang

Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty — a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture, without appeal to any part of our weaker nature, without the gorgeous trappings of painting or music, yet sublimely pure, and capable of a stern perfection such as only the greatest art can show. Bertrand Russsel

Geometry is one and eternal shining in the mind of God. ~Kepler (translation)
  • I cannot think of a single one, not even intelligence.
    • When asked what characteristics Nobel prize winning physicists had in common. As quoted in Physics Today (October 1994), p. 70. -Fermi
  • One day sir, you may tax it.
    • Faraday’s reply to William Gladstone, then British Chancellor of the Exchequer (minister of finance), when asked of the practical value of electricity (1850), as quoted in The Harvest of a Quiet Eye : A Selection of Scientific Quotations (1977), p. 56 -Faraday lolol
The secret is comprised in three words — Work, finish, publish. -Faraday
God used beautiful mathematics in creating the world. -Dirac
Es gibt keinen Gott und Dirac ist sein Prophet. -Pauli on Dirac
  • Maxwell’s equations have had a greater impact on human history than any ten presidents.
  • Maxwell’s importance in the history of scientific thought is comparable to Einstein’s (whom he inspired) and to Newton‘s (whose influence he curtailed)

I can run faster than you, just drop the laptop [!].

There was no way in hell I was going to let him get away with all my research.

-A. Maloney

Courses for Fall 2011

Courses for this Fall include:

Chinese I (Trying to fulfill humanities and because I have some background in Chinese)

Programming Principles I (Matlab then Java…leads to Programming Principles II which has a nice transfer cred)

Modern Algebra I (Aka Abstract Algebra with a focus on Groups and an Intro to Rings, should be great for Physics)

Physics of the Micro-world and Cosmos (Aka Modern Physics for nubs)

Discrete Modeling I (leads to Discrete Modeling II…which has a nice transfer cred)

Composition II (Necessary to transfer, not something I am going to enjoy)

Quantum Field Theory (Directed Study, probably won’t be the big deal I want it to be)


Let’s see how the semester turns out…while I’m here talking about schedules I’ll post my predicted Spring Schedule…let’s see if it changes by then?

Courses for the Spring (may) include:

Chinese II (Needed for humanities, see above)

Programming Principles II (Nice transfer credit and a decent Java based course)

Real Analysis I (Preparation for difficult Math later, kind of like the QFT and the Abstract Algebra)

Discrete Modeling II (Nice transfer credit!)

Numerical Methods II (Nice transfer credit as well)

Quantum Field Theory II? (We’ll see how this semester goes…)


Physics Books I have access to (to be updated as time passes)


Resnick’s Fundamental Physics

Feynman’s QED, The Strange Theory of Light and Matter

Fermi’s Thermodynamics

Griffith’s Quantum Mechanics

REA’s Physics Problem Solver


Irodov’s Problems in General Physics

Feynman’s QED, The Strange Theory of Light and Matter

Penrose’s Road to Reality

Young’s University Physics

Resnick’s Fundamental Physics

French’s Vibrations and Waves

Feynman’s Lectures on Physics (Vol I-III)

Beiser’s Concepts of Modern Physics

Hewitt’s Conceptual Physics

Fermi’s Thermodynamics

Misner, Thorne, Wheeler’s Gravitation

T ‘Hooft’s  Introduction to General Relativity

Dirac’s General Relativity

Griffith’s Quantum Mechanics

Griffith’s Intro to Particles

Griffith’s Electrodynamics

Jackson’s Electrodynamics

Shankar’s Quantum Mechanics

Sakurai’s Quantum Mechanics

Crowell’s…everything haha

Kimball’s A College Text-Book of Physics

S. Cahn’s A Guide to Physics Problems Part 1 & Part 2

Blandford’s Applications of Classical Physics

Basu’s Dictionary of Pure and Applied Physics

Firk’s Essential Physics 1

Oman’s How To Solve Physics Problems

Schiller’s Motion Mountain

Serway’s Physics for Scientists and Engineers

Ashby’s Principles of Modern Physics

Bueche & Hecht’s (Schaum’s) Easy Outlines – College Physics Crash Course

Beiser’s (Schaum’s) Outline of Applied Physics

Philip’s Atlas of the Universe

Philip’s Astronomy Encyclopedia

W. Smart’s TextBook on Spherical Astronomy

Belkora’s Minding the Heavens

C. dePree’s Idiots Guide to Astronomy

Halzen’s High-Energy Neutrino Astronomy

A. Roy’s Astronomy – Principles and Practices

Susskind’s Introduction to Black Holes Information and The String Theory

Nardo’s Black Holes

Falcke’s Galactic Black Hole Lectures on General Relativity and Astrophysics

Collins’s Foundation of Celestial Mechanics

Roos’s Introduction to Cosmology

J. Islam’s Introduction to Mathematical Cosmology

Liddle’s Introduction to Modern Cosmology

Raine’s Introduction to the Science of Cosmology

Bellido’s Astrophysics & Cosmology

Liddle’s Cosmological Inflation and Large-Scale Structure

Cole’s Cosmology. The origin and evolution of cosmic structure

Norbury’s General Relativity and Cosmology for Undersgraduates

Bonometto’s Modern Cosmology

Dolgov’s Neutrinos in Cosmology

Yulsman’s Origins – The Quest for our Cosmic Roots

Perkins’s Particle Astrophysics

Linde’s Particle Physics and Inflationary Cosmology

M. Berry’s Principles of cosmology and gravitation

Weinberg’s Quantum Cosmology and Baby Universes

Wudka’s Relativity, Space-Time and Cosmology

Tolman’s Relativity, thermodynamics, and cosmology

Weinberg’s The First Three Minutes – a modern view of the origins of the universe

Woolfson’s The Origin and Evolution of the Solar System

Papantonopoulos’s The Physics of the Early Universe

M. Bartelmann’s Weak Gravitational Lensing

Landau series….

+ Others to be added

Progress in Videos

Video Lecture Series I’ve begun and my progress:

IIT’s Quantum Theory-Lecture 4 of 31 (20/8/2011)

Stanford’s Modern Physics: The Theoretical Minimum-Classical Mechanics- Lecture 1 of 9 (20/8/2011)

Stanford’s Modern Physics: The Theoretical Minimum-Quantum Mechanics- Lecture 1 of 10 (20/8/2011)

Stanford’s Modern Physics: The Theoretical Minimum-Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity- Lecture 0 of 12 (20/8/2011)

Stanford’s Modern Physics: The Theoretical Minimum-Special Relativity- Lecture 0 of 8 (20/8/2011)

Stanford’s Modern Physics: The Theoretical Minimum-Cosmology- Lecture 0 of 9 (20/8/2011)

Stanford’s Modern Physics: The Theoretical Minimum-Statistical Mechanics- Lecture 0 of 9 (20/8/2011)

Stanford’s Modern Physics: “Standard Model” Lectures?- Lecture 0 of 9? (20/8/2011)

Stanford’s Modern Physics: “Basic Concept” Lectures?- Lecture 0 of 9? (20/8/2011)

PSI’s Quantum Field Theory (2010)-Lecture 0 of 15 (20/8/2011)-Lecture 1 of 15(28/8/2011)

PSI’s Special Relativity-Lecture 0 of 15 (20/8/2011)

Feynman Lectures on QED-Lecture 1 of 4(26/8/2011)-Lecture 2 or 4(28/8/2011)

Progress in Physics Books

Books and my progress, pages numbers for the moment:

Shankar’s Quantum Theory-page 12 (20/8/2011)-page 22(28/8/2011)

Hewitt’s Conceptual Physics-page 136  (20/8/2011)

Goldstein’s Classical Mechanics-page 16 ( 20/8/2011)

Wheeler’s Spacetime Physics-page 26(20/8/2011)-page 43 (26/8/2011)-page 61(27/8/2011)

Griffith’s Quantum Mechanics-page 64 (20/8/2011)

Ryder’s Quantum Field Theory-page 8 (20/8/2011)

Ryder’s Elementary Particles and Symmetries-page 26 (23/8/2011)

Griffith’s Introduction to Elementary Particles-page 22 (22/8/2011)-page 39 (25/8/2011)-page 66 (29/8/2011)

Taylor’s Spacetime Physics -COMPLETE (sort of cheated the end, but I’m reading more texts so I’ll give it to myself) (18/9/2011)

Resnick’s Introduction to Special Relativity-page 8 (10/9/2011)

French’s Special Relativity-page 4 (10/9/2011)-page 17(19/8/2011)-page 37 (20/9/2011)

Einstein’s Relativity, the Special and General Theory-Page 12(19/9/2011)-page 17(20/9/2011)

Problem Progression:

? I’ll update this later…for now, I’ll just post what I have.