Friday, September 7, 2007

School Daze

Now that I've gone to all three of my classes, I can say with some confidence that I think this sememster's classes are going to be awesome! Firstly, none of the three have prereqs that I have not taken. Now the specifics:

1) Plasma. I have never learned anything like this before. That automatically ups the cool quotient. Then also, the prof that is teaching is very nice and patient and notarrogant. But the best thing about him is that he's evidently been just itching to teach plasma, but had to wait his turn since evidently most profs in the physics department here can and want to teach plasma. How could his enthusiasm not spill into us?

2) Classical mechanics. Newtonian mechanics? What's not to like? And today in lecture, I remembered what a gluon is. How could I not remember a gluon? Gluon was one of my sweetest rats! I look at his photo on my desktop every day!

And here he is napping on some of my pop physics books, which drew me into this field to begin with:

That's Brian Greene's The Elegant Universe and Timothy Ferris' Coming of Age in the Milky Way there. Plus a neat little number called The Ideas of Particle Physics, by Coughlin and Dodd. Yeah, I'ma nerd. Wanna make something of it?

3) Mathematical Methods in Physics. The most painful but also most necessary. As I've said, I have a lot of catching up to do with their nomenclature and their way of doing things, and all. Fortunately, I'm pretty good at abstract math. Surprisingly, it's sometimes caused me harm, because I often get what I want out of equations without understanding what the hell just happened. For example, I aced our notoriously difficult fluid mechanics class at Berkeley, just by manipulating equations. And I didn't learn a damned thing about fluid mechanics. Scary, huh?

Oh by the way, gluons don't have much to do with classical mechanics, for those of you who were wondering... we were just chatting.

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