Chapter 1 - Atomic Structure and Lifetimes
Philosophy of the Course
"Why I teach my
students things that are incorrect" S. Haan
How important are problems assignments?
Do the problems we assign describe the real world?
Why is the earth still flat in elementary physics?
Einstein - pedagogical impedence mismatch
Essays on alternative pedagogic approaches
Physics as a "voyage of discovery"
Where to begin
The "discovery" of Italy
The nature of discovery
"Hot Hands" - Stephen Jay Gould
Thinking outside the box
The first three minute quiz
The force culture
Wilczek on forces
Is physics a body of knowledge?
A scientific education in symbolic form
Nature is symmetric in space and time
What is time?
Time exposure: A landscape-timescape
The Lumiere brothers
The atomic fact (Section 1.1)
Attraction and repulsion of neutral atoms
Atoms observable to all
Birth, life, and death of ions
Splashdown of a photon
Einstein & Brownian motion
Einstein, Ann. Phys. Chim. 17, 549-60 (1905): Brownian motion
Einstein, Ann. Phys. 19, 289-306 (1906): Thesis
Exchanged quantum model for forces
It takes a whole universe
Mach's Principle: every interaction
involves the entire universe
Bubble chamber tracks
e-p pair creation & annihilation
One universal electron travelling reversibly in time
Feynman's Nobel recollections
Interview with Sam Ting
Positrons and the PET scan
The statistics of photons
The photon re-invents itself
like SpongeBob clones himself
Bosons and ants
Einstein, Ann. Phys. Chim. 17, 891-921 (1905).
Let there be light: take the rest of the week
Laplacian determinism vs probabilities (Section 1.2)
The fallacy of Laplacian Determinism
Precise measurement of time?
John Michell's prediction of the black hole
Laplace's prediction of the black hole
When was the Big Bang?
Ultimate limits: the Planck Length
Joint uncertainty in canonical quantities
Theory of Rational Expectations
Changing the legal landscape
Laplace: A life in exact science
Trajectories vs probabilities
Kepler's 2nd law
Circumference of an ellipse
Least action alternative to Newton's laws
Fermat's principle applet
Explore all paths until measurement
Interactive Java applets
A call to action, Am.J.Phys.
71, 423 (2003)
Feynman and least action
Least action and EBK quantization