Here are some notes, articles, and resources I've created or linked to to help organize my thoughts and studies, especially those regarding physics and mathematics.
Rational life design and "life hacking" should be part of every rational person's life. Here are some notes that may help in this area.
- Notes and expansions on David Allen's book, Getting Things Done [pdf]
There is great value in writing your own explanations of concepts and in compiling comprehesive, organized notes. Moreover, there is great value in displaying these concepts and notes in beautiful text via LaTeX. I'll have to say more about this later when I have the time, but for now I'll just give these resource to those of you who are already familiar with LaTeX.
This is my "style file" that makes writing math and physics notes much more efficient. Here's the file itself (PhysNote.tex) and a pdf explanation of how to use it and what its features are:
I should note that PhysNote is a work in progress and also that the version I'm posting right now has a lot of features that probably wouldn't be utilized by most users. (That's okay, though, since the extras won't slow down the compilation by any perceivable amount.) Also, there are some stylistic decisions that have been made that one may find satisfying or not - in particular I'm thinking of the usage of upright d's in ordinary derivatives.
This is a script (program) that allows you to compile all latex (.tex) files to pdf files in a particular directory (including all subdirectories) at once. This is very convenient when you want to update a slew of files (and post them online) like I occasionally do.
- pdflatexall [no extension]
If you are only going to use this script in a few directories, you can simply save the script file in those directories and then open a command-line terminal, go to the particular directory you'd like to pdflatex-compile in, and enter "./pdflatexall ./" to execute. To use the script in many different directories, you should save the script file in one location (preferably /home/yourusername/bin) and edit your $PATH variable to include the directory that contains the script. (There are pages online that explain how to add a directory and remove a directory from the $PATH.) Then, while in the appropriate directory, you just enter "pdflatexall ./" to execute.
Here are my more-developed papers and the beginnings of an axiomatic physics derivation database. If you wish, you may also see my less-developed papers and drafts.
- Paper written in collaboration with Chris Clark
Here is our effort to (start to) make sense of quantum field theory (QFT), focusing on Free Quantum Field Theory of Scalar Particles. Our analysis may be incorrect, so view this paper with caution. We're posting it to allow others to see our perspective and potentially help us find errors or further this research. See Chris's intro here. Some of the work leading up to this paper is presented in the lecture notes below.
- WTF is QFT? [pdf]
- Notes on fundamental subjects
- Articles on focussed subtopics
- Physics Questions [pdf]
- Axiomatic Physics Derivation Database
- Winter 08 Lecture Notes
(Some of this may be incorrect; view with caution.)
- Lecture Series Review (or Overview): longer version [pdf]; brief version [pdf]
- Week 1: 2x2 Tensor Rotation and Radiation of Spin 2 [pdf]
- Week 2: 2x2 Tensors and Spin-2 Deformation Modes - Math [pdf]
- Week 3: 2x2 Tensors and Spin-2 Deformation Modes - Physics
- Week 4: QFT States and Wavefunctions [pdf]
- Week 5: QFT Particles and Creation Operators [pdf]
- Week 6: QFT - Progress Report [pdf]
- Week 7: QFT - Deriving the Klein-Gordon Equation with a Physical Model [pdf]
- Week 8: QFT - Klein-Gordon Green's Functions [pdf]
- Week 9: QFT - An Intuitive Picture of the QFT Field [pdf]
- Week 10: QFT - Functional Calculus [pdf]
- Bonus: QFT - Further Investigation of an Intuitive Approach [pdf]
- Spring 08 Lecture Notes
(Some of this may be incorrect; view with caution.)
- Week 1: Relative Wave-Functional Probabilities [pdf]
Outside sources can provide excellent articles that I would rather suggest to you than try to immediately improve.
- Special articles
- My friend Chris's many articles
- What is a Particle? by George E. Hrabovsky
- [pdf] What is Spin? by Hans C. Ohanian
** This is important! Spin may not be so mysterious as people claim; it may just be the circulation of energy (and charge) of quantum fields.
- The Virial Theorem from MathPages
- The Virial Theorem Made Easy from John Baez
- Major papers and articles
Here are a lists of textbooks that I have, a list of some books that I am interested in reading, and some other interesting book lists that I've found online. I'll comment on books that I've read when I can. I realize that a one-sentence comment is not very valuable to anyone who would like to get a sense of a book, so I'll try to say something substantial whenever I do happen to comment on the quality of a book. Also, if you're having a hard time finding a book at the library that I have, perhaps I'll let you borrow it if I'm not reading it at the time.
- Physics books that I own
- Math books that I own
- Other textbooks that I own
- Recommended books (that I don't own)
- Online book lists
Physics PhD Exam:
To get a Ph.D. in physics, one must pass a qualifying exam of some sort, in addition to other requirements. At UCLA, this is a two-day written problem-solving examination that we call the comprehensive exam, or "the comps". Here are some resources to help physics grad students at UCLA and elsewhere in studying for their own exams or understanding.
- My Exam Study Material page
- My friend Chris's resources: First year grad physics, Review lectures, Qualifiers, and check out additional articles on the left under the physics heading.
- Bertrand Biritz's Previous Comprehensives website
- Search for more resources
These are some practical student manuals for operating a scanning probe microscope (including atomic force microscopy, or AFM, in tapping mode, and magnetic force microscopy, MFM) and sample preparation. I wrote them when I worked in Dr. Chuhee Kwon's lab at California State University, Long Beach, and they are written specifically for people in Dr. Kwon's lab, who will have access to the microscope and resources mentioned in the manuals. However, if you are learning how to use a scanning probe microscope for the first time and do not happen to be in Dr. Kwon's lab, these manuals may still be useful to you.
The microscope referred to in the manuals is a "Nanoscope" made by Digital Instruments. More verbosely, it is known as a multi-mode scanning probe microscope (MM SPM).
- SPMmanual [doc]: Describes a typical session of imaging a dry sample in AFM tapping mode. (I say "dry" to distinguish from the possibly wet biological samples.)
- Microchip [doc]: Microchips provide an ideal training ground for learning how to image a dry sample.
- SampleManual [doc]: The microchip has to be clean and dry and fixed in place on a "puck".
- SPMmfm [doc]: Magnetic force microscopy mode.
Unfortunately, I wrote these using Microsoft Word. I did not know back then how to write beautiful LaTeX documents.