Monthly Archives: April 2011

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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Week 9 – E & M

Not nearly enough about E&M, based on Prucell. Electrostatics, relation of E, B and relativity, waves and circuits. Music: “Now’s the Time” by Charlie Parker, “Ashokan Farewell” by Fiddle Fever. E&M

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Week 18 – Scattering

Kinematics, impact parameter, differential and total cross section, scattering of electromagnetic waves, 1 dimensional quantum mechanical scattering, Born approximation and optical theorem. Music: “Alphabet Street” by Prince, “American Pie” by Don McLean. Scattering

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Week 19 – Strategy

Finis! Closing thoughts and some exam strategies from Georg Polya. Music: “Operator” by the Grateful Dead and “Lobachevsky (Plagerize!)” by Tom Lehrer. Strategy

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