Harris, Randy – Modern Physics (2E) [pdf].pdf 1
my approach to teaching physics is “from the bottom up” rather than “from the top down.” students work at their own pace in small groups, and i provide advice and guidance to individual students, but i never force them to work too hard. i don’t give quizzes or tests, though i occasionally do give practice problems. i don’t force in any other sense: students are not graded for their efforts, and i do not have a grade point average for the course. i believe that learning should be both fun and challenging, so i will not allow students to coast through the course. i believe that the mastery of physics cannot be achieved solely through memorization or rote learning, but must involve a synthesis of theory and experiment. i also believe that learning about quantum physics will be especially important in the future, so i will emphasize quantum physics in the course and make many reference to the principles of quantum mechanics and quantum information.
the course is divided into six parts. each part is worth 10 points. part 1 is an introduction to the ideas of modern physics. students will learn the basic ideas of classical physics: the theory of newton and leibniz, and of the basic concepts of classical mechanics, such as forces and torques, velocities and accelerations, displacements and momenta. the course will also introduce students to the two most important theories of classical physics: electromagnetism and thermodynamics. students will learn the basic ideas of quantum physics, including the concept of wave-particle duality, the uncertainty principle, the hilbert space formalism, and the process of measurement. students will also learn the basic idea of quantum information, including the heisenberg uncertainty principle, the principle of superposition, and the principle of entanglement. students will learn the basic ideas of general relativity, including the concepts of space, time, gravity, masses, and energy, and the basic ideas of cosmology, including the big bang theory and the hubble law. students will also learn the basic ideas of quantum information, including the concept of qubits, the quantum computation principle, and the principles of quantum cryptography. part 2 is an introduction to the basic ideas of quantum mechanics. in this part, students will learn the basic ideas of quantum mechanics, including the concept of wave-particle duality, the uncertainty principle, the hilbert space formalism, and the process of measurement. students will also learn the basic idea of quantum information, including the concept of qubits, the principle of superposition, and the principle of entanglement. students will learn the basic ideas of quantum field theory, including the basic ideas of special relativity, including the concepts of space and time, and the basic ideas of general relativity, including the concepts of gravity, masses, and energy. students will also learn the basic idea of the structure of the universe. part 3 is an introduction to the basic ideas of quantum information. in this part, students will learn the basic idea of quantum information, including the concept of qubits, the principle of superposition, and the principle of entanglement. students will learn the basic ideas of quantum computation, including the concept of quantum logic gates, the qft gate, and the principle of superposition. students will learn the basic ideas of quantum cryptography, including the concept of quantum key distribution, the principle of quantum cryptography, and the principles of quantum cryptography. part 4 is an introduction to the basic ideas of quantum field theory. in this part, students will learn the basic ideas of quantum field theory, including the basic ideas of quantum field theory, including the concepts of particles, fields, and quantum fluctuations.
after using this textbook for several classes, i have come to appreciate it’s brevity, clarity, and approachability. it has been a great textbook for introducing the material in a gentle, coherent, and concrete fashion. it’s approachability and concision make it a great textbook for students who are approaching physics for the first time, or for students who are very new to mathematical physics. it is a gentle introduction to the material. it’s more mathematical than some of the other textbooks i’ve used, but it is not so mathematical that it cannot be understood by someone with a basic pre-calculus math background. i would recommend this textbook to any student who needs a gentle introduction to modern physics, but it is perhaps not the textbook to use if you are looking for a rigorous mathematical treatment of the physics.
i first received this textbook for a sophomore-level class in electrodynamics. it was reused for a few more classes. i admit that i don’t have much to compare it with, though i have looked at feynman’s lectures, a couple giant silly freshman physics tomes, and j. d. jackson’s electrodynamics, and i know what textbooks are like in general.
good bayesian basis, clear exposition (though sometimes quite terse), very good coverage of the most modern techniques. also thorough and precise, while covering a huge amount of material. compared to ai: a modern approach it is much more clearly based in bayesian statistics, and compared to probabilistic robotics it’s much more modern.