Selected Texts
These texts are archived here as PDF documents. The longer ones are
designed to be color printed double-sided and bound to open flat.
- Introduction to Mechanics,
Including Gravity & Kinetic Theory (2014)
Last updated
2015 January 4
(18.6 MB, 112 pages)
This is a one-semester introduction to mechanics. Galileo's
law of fall and principle of relativity imply energy and
momentum conservation. Wave particle duality and Feynman's
sum-over-paths quantum mechanics imply the principle of
stationary action. Elementary calculus implies the
Euler-Lagrange equations, which are a generalized version of
Newton's second law. Newton's laws imply Kepler's laws of
planetary motion and elucidate the motion of the trillion
trillion particles of kinetic theory, including the ideal gas
law and the speed of sound.
- Electricity & Magnetism with Optics
& Electronics (2011)
Last updated 2011 May 26
(6.2 MB, 169 pages)
This is a one-semester introduction to electromagnetism.
Part one develops Maxwell's equations in the integral form
involving flux and circulation of electric and magnetic fields.
Part two applies Maxwell's equations to optics and electronics,
beginning with light as an electromagnetic wave. Babinet's
principle elucidates diffraction and interference. Electric
potential introduces electronics. Analogy with damped
mechanical oscillators clarifies RCL circuits.
- A Bridge to Modern Physics
(2006)
Last updated 2021 January 9
(5.8 MB, 127
pages)
This is a one semester introduction to relativity and
quantum mechanics, the twin pillars of twentieth century
physics. Loedel spacetime diagrams and 4-vectors introduce
relativity. Single photons in a Mach-Zehnder interferometer
introduce quantum mechanics. Feynman's rotating vector model
and his sum-over-paths formulation imply Schrödinger's
equation, which implies the spectrum of the quantum harmonic
oscillator.
- g = 2: A Gentle
Introduction to Relativistic Quantum Mechanics (2020)
Last updated 2020 August 15
(14 MB, 61 pages)
This introduction to relativistic quantum mechanics
assumes one year of calculus physics. It introduces just
enough electromagnetism, relativity, and quantum mechanics
to formulate the Dirac equation in a magnetic field and
derive the anomalous electron magnetic moment. It ends with
a teaser for quantum electrodynamics.
- Physics Math (2017)
Last updated 2021 May 8
(60.4 MB, 143 pages)
This is a one semester introduction to sophomore-level
mathematical physics covers complex numbers, quaternions,
matrices, normal modes, eigenfunctions, Fourier series and
integrals, the wave equation, state space differential flows.
The text and course extensively use Mathematica.
- Electromagnetism with
Spacetime Algebra (2010)
Last updated 2018 December
13
(4.4 MB, 143 pages)
This is a one-semester overview of electromagnetism for
advanced undergraduates. It begins with a self-contained
introduction to geometric and spacetime algebra. This enables
the introduction of a single Maxwell equation as a postulate,
from which the traditional equations follow. The latter are
then used to investigate electrostatics, magnetostatics,
electrodynamics, and radiation. The text employs units where
both the permittivity and permeablity of free space are unity.
It omits electric and magnetic fields in matter.
- Nonlinear Dynamics (1997)
Last updated 2021 May 8
(46.9 MB, 124 pages)
This is a one-semester introduction to nonlinear dynamics
for undergraduates. Chapters include 1D and 2D maps, 1D, 2D,
and 3D flows, fractals, nonlinear pendulum, N-body problem.
- Introduction to Quantum Mechanics:
From Geometry to Spectra (2014)
Last updated 2015 January
4
(3.9 MB, 118 pages)
This is a one-semester introduction to quantum mechanics
for advanced undergraduates. A chapter on phenomenology,
including single photons in interferometers, motivates the
introduction of a complex Hilbert space to generalize the
three-dimensional Euclidean space of everyday experience. The
(non)commutativity of the Galilei group of spacetime
transformations implies commutation relations for the Hermitian
generators of the corresponding unitary operators in the
Hilbert space. The resulting commutator algebra determines the
energy spectra of the harmonic oscillator and hydrogen atom.
The text is designed to be viewed two pages at a time.
- Belief in
God in an Age of Science (2007)
Last updated 2007 December
18
(536 kB, 39 pages)
This is the static text of the blog for my 2007 First-Year
Seminar on science, religion, and the nature reality. It
includes detailed summaries of all of our discussions. It
explores a relationship between science and religion that goes
beyond conflict to dialogue, interaction, and consonance, in
the work of John Haught, Ian Barbour, John Polkinghorne, Bob
Russell, and others. Ancillary materials, including the
original online blog, are at the seminar's web site.
- To Dream, Eyes
Wide Open (2003)
Last updated 2003 November 4
(43 KB,
2 pages, 608 words)
This essay about the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey
was published in the Wooster Voice in November 2003.
- Earth, Moon, Mars
(2009)
Last updated 2009 July 28
(56 KB, 2 pages, 748
words)
A version of this essay was published by the Orlando
Sentinel on 2009 July 20 for the 40th anniversary of the
first human landing on Moon.