Rick's Work in Progress for a Book (maybe, someday)

Theoretical Physics: Some Choice Cuts

Physics books are generally of three kinds: texts for undergraduates, advanced texts for professional researchers, or 'popular science' books with little or no mathematics. This book is none of these. It is not a book for beginners. Nor is it a book addressing any topic at specialist level. It is a book primarily for physicists at post-graduate level, or approaching that level, or for professionals in areas other than their specialism. Above all, it is a book for physics aficionados. This is a term which does not necessarily imply great expertise, but does imply enthusiasm perhaps approaching obsession. Aficionados are people who understand that the serious pursuit of theoretical physics is not something that one chooses to do: it chooses you. This is all very well for those blessed with outstanding brilliance. For the rest of us it can be frustrating to find that desire outstrips ability and that texts at the cutting edge appear accessible only to the blessed few. This is my attempt to redress the balance a little by summarising a few things I think I understand. I hope you may find it useful. Apologies if I have fallen short of my ambition.

What defines the topics addressed? Simply this: I chose those parts of theoretical physics which I consider particularly important or illuminating; the juicy bits, the bits that are cool, the choice cuts. I can guarantee that aficionados will be outraged that I have omitted their favourite bit of theory. I'm sorry, but one must stop somewhere. I hope you enjoy the selection anyway.

Feel free to download the pdf's to the display device of your choice. (Some of the mathematics may be a challenge to read on small hand-held devices).

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