This blog will provide tutorial articles on various topics in serious science. Curious but cautious readers may be interested in what to expect, so here are a few guidelines:
- I’m aiming at people who want something a bit more substantial than the popular science market, so, yes, there will be some (in some cases, a lot of) equations;
- An index to the posts is provided – see the ‘Index’ link on the left.
- If you’re looking for my notes on a specific chapter of one of the books that I’m working on, try searching for the author’s name, a keyword from the title and the chapter you’re interested in. For example, you can search for Griffiths Quantum “Chapter 4″ (including the quotes around “Chapter 4″) to get my notes from Griffiths’s Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, Chapter 4.
- The easiest way to keep up to date with new posts and comments is to subscribe to the RSS feeds or for email updates (see links on left).
- Mathematics is written using WordPress’s Latex feature. Latex can also be used in comments. Although Latex can be used to write entire books, it is only the mathematical typesetting features that are used here. For example, the quadratic formula can be written in Latex as . There are many web pages dealing with Latex, but a good introduction is here, where you should look only at the bits on mathematics.
- Pages containing a lot of mathematics were written entirely in Latex and then converted to WordPress format using the Python program Latex2wp. For the most part, Latex2wp “just works”, although to get the background colour of the equations to match the background colour of the pages, a small tweak was needed in the style file.
- These blogs are a result of my working through several textbooks on various aspects of physics and mathematics. The pages are essentially my own notes that I took when reading these books. A list of the books I’ve used is given on the References page (see the link in the Index section on the left), and the specific section of the book used in each post is referenced at the top of the post. Although this blog tries to provide self-contained summaries of topics (with crosslinks to other pages for background where necessary), there is no substitute for a good, coherent coverage of a complex topic so I’d strongly advise getting hold of these books, or ones like them, if you want to study a subject in depth.
- Finally, if you’re looking for solutions to problems, PLEASE PLEASE make a genuine effort at solving the problem yourself before looking up the answer (on any web site). You’ll learn very little by just reading the solution without trying to solve it yourself first, and if you’re taking a course, you will need to understand the material properly to stand a chance of passing the exams. Remember that in most universities, the exam counts for half or more than half of the credit for the course.
If you have any suggestions for topics to include, or any other comments or criticisms, please do leave a comment to this message.
The photo in the header of physicspages.com was taken by me at Glen Doll, Scotland. I was lucky to be there when the cliché rainbow appeared.