Category Archives: Software

Video Physics Resources

I’ve mentioned both of these items before, but I figured I should bring them up explicitly. (A nasty stretch of PHP coding lies in my near future, and the need to procrastinate is becoming almost a physical pain.) First is Caltech’s series The Mechanical Universe (1985), which I first saw on PBS many years ago and is now available online for free. If you want a year’s worth of freshman physics, you can now get it in moving-picture form. Early episodes also cover some necessary math: derivatives, integrals and vectors. The videos require a free login before use.

Second in the video department is Barton Zwiebach’s String Theory for Pedestrians (2007). The content should be comprehensible to advanced undergrads. Summary:

In this 3-lecture series I will discuss the basics of string theory, some physical applications, and the outlook for the future. I will begin with the main concepts of the classical theory and the application to the study of cosmic superstrings. Then I will turn to the quantum theory and discuss applications to the investigation of hadronic spectra and the recently discovered quark-gluon plasma. I will conclude with a sketch of string models of particle physics and showing some avenues that may lead to a complete formulation of string theory.

Unfortunately, the CERN people haven’t yet figured out this neat “embedding video” thing. RealMedia is so, like, 2001 (and sucks besides). I was able to use Real Alternative to play the Zwiebach videos on Windows and MPlayer to watch them on Linux.
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