My notes from the spring 2011 session of Relativistic Electrodynamics (PHY450H1S) are now updated to use a 6×9″ format (387 pages), and are available on paper from amazon. This was the second course I took as a non-degree physics student, and was taught by Prof. Erich Poppitz.
These notes pages, 6×9″) are available in a few formats:
- In paper (black and white) through amazon’s kindle-direct-publishing for $11 USD.
- In color, for free as a PDF.
- from github as latex, scripts, and makefiles.
Links or instructions for the formats above are available here.
- switch to 6×9″ format
- fix a whole bunch of too-wide equations, section-headings, … that kdp finds objectionable.
- suppress page numbers for 1st page of preface, contents, index and bib. This is a hack for my hack of classicthesis, because I don’t have the 6×9 layout right, and the page numbers for that first page end up in an unprintable region that kdp doesn’t allow.
- add periods to chapter, figure, section, problem captions.
- remove lots of blank lines before and after equations (which latex turns into paragraphs). That cuts 10s of pages from the book length!
- move version numbers into separate file (make.revision)
May 18, 2016
ece1229, ece1254, phy1520, phy1610, phy356, phy450, phy452, phy454, phy456, phy485, phy487, University of Toronto
I started my formal re-education program back in 2010 after 20 years out of school. The first few courses were particularly tough after such a long break from school (and exam based courses still are), but I’m getting the hang of playing that game again. Here’s my score so far:
Crs Code Title Wgt Mrk Grd CrsAvg
PHY356H1 Quantum Mechanics I 0.50 78 B+ C+
PHY450H1 Rel Electrodynamics 0.50 78 B+ *
PHY456H1 Quantum Mechanics II 0.50 72 B- C+
PHY454H1 Continuum Mech 0.50 85 A B
PHY485H1 Adv Classical Optics 0.50 85 A *
PHY452H1 Basic Stat Mechanics 0.50 81 A- B-
PHY487H1 Condensed Matter I 0.50 80 A- B+
ECE1254H Modeling of Multiphysics Systems 0.50 A+
ECE1229H Advanced Antenna Theory 0.50 A-
PHY1520H Quantum Mechanics 0.50 A-
PHY1610H Scientific Computing for Physicists 0.50 A+
This last grad course is the only one of which they gave (informally through email) a non-letter grade (97). That one happened to be very well suited to me, and did not have anything based on exams nor on presentations (just assignments). They were demanding assignments (and fun), so I had to work really hard for that 97.
As a returning student I really suck at classes that have marks that are highly biased towards exams. My days of showing up late for class, sleeping through big chunks of the parts that I did get their in time for, and still breezing through the exams are long gone. Somehow in my youth I could do that, and still be able to quickly and easily barf out all the correct exam answers without thinking about it. I got a 99 in first year calculus doing exactly that, although it helped that the Central Technical School’s math department kicked butt, and left Prof Smith with only a review role.
Now I take a lot more time thinking things through, and also take a lot of time writing up my notes (which would sometimes have been spent better doing practise problems). It’s funny thinking back to undergrad where I had such scorn for anybody that took notes. Now I do just that, but in latex. I would be the object of my own scorn X10, if I met my teenage self again!
I’d taken Professor Poppitz’s “Relativistic Electrodynamics” course in 2011, and wrote up my notes and problem set solutions in latex at that point.
That was only the second course that I tried this in, and was much less structured than any of the subsequent class notes collections that I produced later. I now put problems with the chapter material using the latex exercise environment, and have now retrofitted the use of that package into my old phy450 notes.
I’ve also moved some of the tutorial content into the problem sections, and the rest into the appendix. The result is a much more streamlined layout than was the case when I took the course originally. There are still no figures, nor is there any index. Only my later class notes collections have those and it’s a fair amount of work to retrofit that. The whole thing still needs a complete review (and probably a rewrite).