Feynman Lectures Are Online!

January 7, 2014

Well, looks like they put all three volumes of Feynman’s Lecture on Physics online! Well, volume 1 and 3 have been around for a while, but volume 2 has finally been posted.

What are they about? You might ask if you don’t know about this. Well, they are transcribed version of Feynman’s Caltech undergraduate physics lectures decades ago. Volume one is mechanics and thermodynamics, volume two is electricity/magnetism and matter, and volume three is quantum mechanics. If you want to read them, I suggest a background in algebra, calculus, vectors, differential equations, and linear algebra. You don’t need to know all of those at the same time, it depends on the area of physics you are covering, but at the very least if you don’t have algebra, you are dead if you read these books.

Overall, it covers a large portion of what physics is about nicely. Just remember that just because you read this book doesn’t mean you mastered the material. It takes doing actual problem sets in order to know how to apply these stuff.

I Get Book…

November 30, 2009

…from the snail mail. The title is Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America’s Energy Future. According to the cover, it is supposed to:

_debunk the faulty assumptions underlying coal’s revival and shatter the myth of cheap coal energy.

There is more to it, but frankly, I don’t feel like typing the whole summary. ^_^ I look forward to reading it. Thanks, Grrlscientist!

Triple Review Fest

August 11, 2009

I thought I would give out my thought on the book “Death from the Skies,” the movie “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince,” and the first season of “Full Metal Alchemist, series 2.”

Firstly, Death from the Skies:


(oops, should have focused more on the right, oh well)

Death from the Skies, I can say, is one of the really good science popularizing book out there. It is written by an author you may already know, a really popular blogger Phil Plait. The book is basically about a variety of phenomena in nature that could end life as we know it. But in my mind, that is only a trampolin to jump from towards broader topics of astronomy. Yeah, he talks about all the way to die (black hole is not a nice way to die), and in the end, we are all doomed (end of universe, proton decay), but he also talks about the processes that drive those phenomena, what makes them tick. In the end, you get to understand that those processes explain so much of what goes on in the universe. Read the rest of this entry »

Reading List

July 10, 2009

It is summer and so far, I am reading two books.

Firstly, I am reading Broca’s Brain, by Carl Sagan. The book is basically about his reflection on science, knowledge, bamboozlers, religion, etc. Even though each chapter is separate, each one tells fascinating stories of science, pseudoscience, and the people involved in it. I really love the way he conveys ideas in a wonderful and clear manner. It really makes you see the beauty in science, and you can tell he himself loves science. So far, the reading is on hold because I am reading…

Death from the Skies by Phill Plait, AKA the Badastronomer. The basic premise of the book is that the universe is filled with dangers, and they could bring about the end of civilization as we know it. So far, I have only read a few chapters, and even with my large amount of basic astronomical knowledge (which means I don’t know much, really), I learned a lot. So far, I read the asteroid, sun bursts, supernova, gamma ray bursts, and death of the sun chapters, and there are plenty of horrors in each chapter to make you wonder at the humongous forces at play. My favorite chapter so far is the death of the sun. I knew pretty much the basics of it, like the running out of hydrogen fuel, the growth into red giant, the helium fusion, and the eventual demise into a white dwarf. But there was so much more to it than I ever imagined! The first thing I wondered after reading that was: “how the heck did they figure all of that out?!” Because the death of the sun is complex, and epic. It feels like reading a narrative of an epic story that went wrong for the travelers somewhere in the middle, and then the main character suffered a convulsion and blew up. ^_^ Indeed, the death of the sun in the book is as detailed as it can get, and yet, I promise you, this book is understandable to everyone. Basically, it is chock full of science, but it does not compromise the narrative nor its clarity. 

Oh, and a few more things. I like the puns of the book. Someday, I wish to live in a world where people don’t have to apologize for making lame sounding puns. People should appreciate them more. After all, puns are the basis of all humor, right? ^_^

Secondly, this book has a choke full of ideas for disaster novels and fiction. Plus, I feel sorry for the occasional people in the book, since Phil Plait subjects them to the occasional disasters each chapter. Like that poor astronaut who had his consciousness expanded in his last second for the black hole just so that the astronaut and readers could know what would happen.

And lastly, there is a note at the bottom of a certain page that says that the best way to tick off an astronomer is to call them an astrologer. I can relate to that. I was at an FFA end of year dinner, and in a page of one of the leaflets describing the event, it listed all members, the college they were going to, and the major. I want to major in astronomy. And guess what they put right besides my major? If you thought astrology, you got that right. Let’s just say I got really ticked off.

Physics to Dog Toys

August 5, 2008

In this blog post, dog toys are compared to physics in a person to dog dialogue, and I think it is very funny. You should check out his other dog dialogues too, they are entertaining. Oh, and he links to pages comparing physics to: Harry Potter wizards, women, and men. Oh, and one more thing, (am I saying Oh too much?) I can’t wait for his book on quantum mechanics, “Bunnies Made Out of Cheese,” to come out. ^_^ I hope it is not a kid’s book, though, but I doubt it.