classical mechanics

New version of classical mechanics notes

January 1, 2021 Uncategorized , , , , , , , , ,

I’ve posted a new version of my classical mechanics notes compilation.  This version is not yet live on amazon, but you shouldn’t buy a copy of this “book” anyways, as it is horribly rough (if you want a copy, grab the free PDF instead.)  [I am going to buy a copy so that I can continue to edit a paper copy of it, but nobody else should.]

This version includes additional background material on Space Time Algebra (STA), i.e. the geometric algebra name for the Dirac/Clifford-algebra in 3+1 dimensions.  In particular, I’ve added material on reciprocal frames, the gradient and vector derivatives, line and surface integrals and the fundamental theorem for both.  Some of the integration theory content might make sense to move to a different book, but I’ll keep it with the rest of these STA notes for now.

More satisfying editing of classical mechanics notes.

November 3, 2020 math and physics play , , , , ,

I’ve purged about 30 pages of material related to field Lagrangian densities and Maxwell’s equation, replacing it with about 8 pages of new less incoherent material.

As before, I’ve physically ripped out all the pages that have been replaced, which is satisfying, and makes it easier to see what is left to review.

The new version is now reduced to 333 pages, close to a 100 page reduction from the original mess.  I may print myself a new physical copy, as I’ve moved things around so much that I have to search the latex to figure out where to make changes.

Editing a book by tearing out pages!

October 25, 2020 Uncategorized ,

I’ve been editing my classical mechanics notes compilation, which doesn’t yet justify being called a book.  Here’s the editing process in action:

I’ve purged about 120 pages, and wrote 16 new pages (covariant Lagrangian and Lorentz force material) to replace portions of some of the gutted material.  The stack beside the book is about 3/8″ thick of ripped out pages.  I ripped them out so that I could see the remainder more easily.

There’s still a lot to purge and rewrite, but I’m now down to a more manageable 347 pages, which is a good start.  Next up will be the material related to Lagrangian densities for field equations (wave equations, Maxwell’s equation, …)

Classical mechanics notes on Amazon in paperback (but don’t buy a copy!)

October 13, 2020 math and physics play ,

I have a fairly monstrous set of classical mechanics notes that I accumulated when I was learning all about the theory of Lagrangians, Hamiltonians, and Noether’s theorem.

I also audited a few of the classes from the 2012 session of PHY354H1S, Advanced Classical Mechanics, taught by Prof. Erich Poppitz, at the University of Toronto, and have some notes and problems from those classes in this set of notes.

These notes are not self contained.  In particular, there is fairly heavy use of geometric algebra in many of the problems, with assumptions that the reader is proficient with that algebra.

These notes (436 pages, 6″x9″) are available in the following formats:

  • for free in PDF format (colour),
  • on Amazon in paperback (black and white),
  • as latex sources.

I’ve pressed the publish button on kindle-direct-publishing so that I could get a paper copy of these notes for myself.  An extremely vicious edit is required.  Until I do that editing (assuming I do), the price is set to the absolute minimum no commission price that Amazon let’s me offer (i.e. printing cost plus profit for Amazon.)  I wouldn’t actually recommend that anybody buy this in it’s current form — download the pdf if you are interested.

I’m actually toying with the idea of rewriting these notes from scratch, creating an “Advanced Classical Mechanics, with Geometric Algebra” book out of some of the ideas.  I could flush out many of the details that I explored originally, but add some actual structure and coherence to this mess of write-once-read-none junk.  Tying things to a geometric algebra theme would be the value add proposition that could distinguish things from all the other classical mechanics books in the universe.

That said, this idea would be a very tough book project (for me), as I’d have to understand all the material enough to present it in a coherent fashion.  I’d want to include and explore both Euclidean and relativistic Lagrangians, which would make the material tougher, but comprehensive.  I don’t like the idea of assuming the reader is familiar with special relativity, but the thought of me having to include a self contained introduction to that topic that isn’t complete garbage is pretty intimidating.  Especially if you consider that I’d also want to introduce STA, and help the reader understand the connections between all that material.  There’s a lot of ideas that would all have to come together!

4800 pages of basic physics notes for $88 USD

September 29, 2019 math and physics play , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Over the last 8 years I took most of the interesting 4th year undergraduate physics courses, and some graduate physics and engineering courses.

Well, my notes for much of that work are now available on (or .ca), or for free as PDF.  For the bargain price of $88, leveraging the time and money that I spent, you can get very comprehensive paperback notes for these subjects.  These notes aren’t textbook quality, but generally contain detailed expositions of the subjects and many worked problems.

Here’s what’s available:

Title Professor Year of study Format Price (USD) Pages
Quantum Mechanics I: Notes and problems for UofT PHY356 2010 Prof. Vatche Deyirmenjian Fall 2010 PDF $0.00 263
Quantum Mechanics II: Notes and problems for UofT PHY456 2011 Prof. John E. Sipe Fall 2011 PDF $0.00 320
Relativistic Electrodynamics: Notes and problems from 2011 PHY450H1S Prof. Erich Poppitz Winter  2011 Black and white $11.00 387
Classical Mechanics Prof. Erich Poppitz, + self-study Winter 2012 PDF $0.00 475
Advanced Classical Optics: Notes and problems from UofT PHY485H1F 2012 Prof. Joseph H. Thywissen Fall 2012 Black and white $11.00 382
Continuum Mechanics: Notes and problems from UofT PHY454H1S 2012 Prof. Kausik S. Das Winter 2012 Black and white $10.00 358
Basic Statistical Mechanics: Notes and problems from 2013 UofT PHY452H1S Prof. Arun Paramekanti Winter 2013 Black and white $11.00 399
Condensed Matter Physics: Notes and problems from UofT PHY487H1F 2013 Prof. Stephen Julian Fall 2013 Black and white $10.00 329
Modelling of Multiphysics Systems.  Notes and problems for UofT ECE1254 Prof. Piero Triverio Fall 2014 PDF $0.00 300
Graduate Quantum Mechanics: Notes and problems from 2015 UofT PHY1520H Prof. Arun Paramekanti Winter 2015 Black and white $12.00 435
Antenna Theory: Notes and problems for UofT ECE1229 Prof G. V. Eleftheriades Winter 2015 PDF $0.00 207
Electromagnetic Theory: Notes and problems for UofT ECE1228 Prof. M. Mojahedi Fall 2016 PDF $0.00 256
Geometric Algebra for Electrical Engineers: Multivector electromagnetism self-study 2016,2017 Colour $40.00 280
Geometric Algebra for Electrical Engineers: Multivector electromagnetism self-study 2016,2017 Black and white $12.00 280
Quantum Field Theory I: Notes and problems from UofT PHY2403 2018 Prof. Erich Poppitz Fall 2018 Black and white $11.00 423


That’s 4814 pages of notes for 0-$USD 88, depending on whether you want a PDF or paper copy (if available).  My cost per page is about $4.7 CAD, factoring in total tuition costs of ~$23000 CAD (most of which was for my M.Eng), but does not factor in the opportunity cost associated with the 20% paycut (w/ a switch to 80% hours) that I also took to find the time to fit in the study.

If you compare my cost of $4.7/page for these notes to FREE – $0.024/page, then I think you would agree that my offering is a pretty good deal!  While I have built in a $1 (+/- $0.50) royalty for the book formats, the chances of me recovering my costs are infinitesimal.

A few of the courses and/or collections of notes are not worth the effort of making print ready copies, and those notes are available only in PDF form.  An exception are my notes for Multiphyiscs Modelling, which was an excellent course, and I have excellent notes for, but I’ve been asked not to make those notes available for purchase in any form (even w/ $0 royalty.)