Rick's General Physics Menu Page
The random collection of topics below share only the common feature that I find them intriguing. Much of the material is "well known", or at least in the literature somewhere. But bits are original (most probably the bits that are wrong).
As of 21/4/2012 the first item in the list below is my 'work in progress' under the working title "Theoretical Physics: Some Choice Cuts". This link takes you to a page where you can read or download various draft essays in theoretical physics (48 available at present, with a total of 58 planned).
The second item in the list below, the 'Introduction to Quantum Mechanics', is a separate tutorial in its own right, and the link starts with an introductory page.
If you spot any errors, or have any related questions or clarifications, please do let me know.
To contact me go
Work in progress: Theoretical Physics: Some Choice Cuts
Introduction to Quantum Mechanics : Formulation and Key Theorems
Does Quantum Measurement Violate the Conservation of Angular Momentum? No, but here's a challenging paradox and my attempt at its resolution (New at December 2016)
Schrodinger's Cat Released At Last. When I hear of Schrodinger's cat, I reach for my gun.
Why is it that "Which Path" Information destroys interference effects - and what do partial measurements do?
Interference, Entanglement and Quantum Erasure: The observability of counterfactuals, Wheeler's delayed choice experiment, delayed quantum erasure - it's weird, all right, but not as weird as popular accounts make out
The Feynman Path Integral: The closer you look, the crazier it gets
How Long Can A Quantum Mechanical Pencil Remain Balanced On Its Tip? (5 seconds)
Why Are Big Things Classical? The decoherence view of the classical limit of quantum mechanics
The Algebraic Hydrogen Atom: Pauli's purely algebraic derivation of the non-relativistic H-spectrum without the Schrodinger equation
The Computational Intractability of Quantum Mechanics (or, the universe is a quantum computer)
Free Will Implies Quantum Indeterminacy: The Theorem of Conway and Kochen (2006)
Exactly what is the origin of the Divergences in Quantum Field Theory? It is argued that the blame lies with the cannonical commutation relations plus Lorentz covariance
Classical Physics Needs Renormalisation Too
Physical Limits to Information and Computation (and does this explain the baryon fraction?)
Some original papers on Spatial Entanglement in Free Boson Systems and links to what is meant by quantum entanglement
Introduction to the basics of the Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein Distributions: Including Bose-Einstein Condensates and Degenerate Fermi Gases
Can two covalently bonded molecules quantum tunnel through each other? - No, but it is not as obvious as you might have thought
The Optical Theorem in the context of particle scattering, and why it's not mysterious after all.
The coloured fringes seen when a birefringent material is viewed between crossed polars are systematised by the Michel-Levy Colour Chart. The theory behind this chart is explained here.
Unruh and Hawking Radiation: How non-inertial motion or spacetime curvature can create particles
What is the Total Mass-Energy of the Universe? Probably zero, but this question leads to the deepest of deep waters
The origin of the Lorentz Transformation in the equivalence of inertial observers
How Far Can You Go? How far is it possible for a single human, limited by a human lifespan (say, 70 years), to travel in the universe? No, it's not 70 light-years. It's far, far further.
The most famous equation of all time E = Mc^2 did not appear in Einstein's original 1905 paper
The meaning of Spin, Noether's Theorem and the Derivation of the Conservation Laws: What quantity is conserved due to invariance under Lorentz boosts?
So you think that Magnetic Monopoles do not exist? Actually, whether or not there are monopoles is just a convention.
The Gold Standard of Unification: Maxwell's discovery of the electromagnetic nature of light, and the prelude to relativity
The Laws of Reflection and Refraction derived from wave solutions of Maxwell's equations with the appropriate boundary conditions
Radiation due to a Uniformly Accelerating Charge? Does it radiate or not? This fundamental question is a quagmire.
Where is the Charge in the Kerr-Neumann Solution? Not where you think it is - and perhaps not there at all.
Are we living in The Matrix? Response to Nick Bostrom's argument and musings on the Mind-Body Problem
Kepler's Laws derived without solving the equation of motion, and clarification of their physical meaning. If the solutions are conic sections, what is the cone?
Why is the Length of the Average Day greater than 12 hours?
Tidal Energy: there isn't as much as you'd think (and how can the moon be getting further away?)
Ground Source Heat Pumps: where do they get their energy from - is it solar or geothermal?
Everyone else has a Climate Change Model so why shouldn't I? A simple climate change model and the resolution of a fallacy often deployed by climate change deniers
What are the Facts About Climate Change? This is my attempt to present what appears to be the consensus, level headed, scientific position.
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New comprehensive maps of Greenland and Antarctica show extent of glacier thinning [Credit: ICESat,NASA].
Reporting in September 2009 in Nature, researchers from British Antarctic Survey and the University of Bristol describe how analysis of millions of NASA satellite measurements from both of these vast ice sheets shows that the most profound ice loss is a result of glaciers speeding up where they flow into the sea. The authors conclude that this 'dynamic thinning' of glaciers now reaches all latitudes in Greenland, has intensified on key Antarctic coastlines, is penetrating far into the ice sheets' interior and is spreading as ice shelves thin by ocean-driven melt. Ice shelf collapse has triggered particularly strong thinning that has endured for decades.
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