Category Archives: Gen 1

Week 13 1/2 – Statistical Mechanics

Statisitcal mechanics: closed system, counting states, definition of entropy, Boltzman factor, free energy, Giibs factor. Example systems: zipper, ideal gas, black body raditiation, spin system. Music: “Queen Bitch” by David Bowie, “Bomb the Twist” and “Woo Hoo” by the 5, … Continue reading

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Week 8 – Orbits

Galileo made a telescope and saw the moons orbiting Jupiter and physics started. Then came Huygens and Kepler, Newton and Leibniz tried to cheat each other, Newton shafted Halley and mechanics was born. Music:  Franz Schubert, “The Trout, Death and … Continue reading

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Week 7 – Relativity

The basic ideas of the Special Theory of Relativity: Einstein’s two big ideas, the Lorentz Transformations, relativistic kinematics and how to remember the signs. Relativity

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Week 17 – Two State Systems

This week: two state qunatum mechanical systems. Spin 1/2 and rotations, time independent perturbations, time dependent perturbations leading to emission and absorption, NMR and MASERS. Music: “Summer Wind” by Lyle Lovett, “Frank’s Wild Years” by Tom Waits and “Sweet Home … Continue reading

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Week 10 – Time Scales

This week, we think about different time scales: atomic, cosmological, sub-atomic, geological and human. We also think about how to make your computer go faster. Music: Theme from James Bond, “Only You” and “Kawika” from The Sunday Manoa. Time Scales

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Week Six – Simple Harmonics Oscillator

The first of a mini series which focuses on specific topics in physics. This week, the Simple Harmonic Oscillator, classical and quantum mechanical. SHO

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Week 2 – Outlines

Making outlines, useful textbooks and more. To start: sit down with your notes or the text from your undergraduate class and make an outline. Outlines

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Week 1- Religiously

Things you may not know about the exam and how to overcome the most common pitfall in approaching it. THE KEY: start now, eighteen weeks before the exam and study 1/2 hour each day until further notice. Religiously

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Week 5 – Mechanics

Classical mechanics: Lagrangians (with and without constraints), Hamiltonians, generalized coordinates, Newton’s laws, momentum and energy conservation. Mechanics

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Week 16 – Hydrogen atom

Quantum mehanical hydorgen atom: Bohr model, unperturbed Schrodinger model, Stark, relativistic, fine and Zeeman perturbations, interaction with radiation field and hyperfine transitions. Music: “Sister Christian” by Night Ranger and “Everybody Knows” by Leonard Cohen. Hydrogen

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