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The slides for Lecture 1 and 2 November 28, 2007

Posted by dorigo in internet, italian blogs, mathematics, personal, physics, science.

After overwhelming requests, I hereby make available the slides of yesterday’s lecture on the web. Beware: they are in italian, they are probably inaccurate here and there, they have not been proofread, and finally, they are nothing special… But here you go: they are viewable online here.

Actually, since it is a single file, you also get to see -in world premiere- the slides of the second lecture, which I will give tomorrow. In case you should find some blatant mistake or nagging inaccuracy, please let me know today before 10PM UT. Thank you.

UPDATE: I was asked to provide a file readily downloadable. Get it here.


1. jeff - November 28, 2007

Ciao Tommaso
a little “dry” and “heavy”, but there is little you can do about the formal aspects. It is dry and heavy. It gets exciting if you could tell the experimental side of the story too. But time is limited so how about inserting a few photos of protagonists and listing key experiments and their photos from mid sixties to now, i.e. since formulation of standard model. I imagine the students know this but to hear a familiar story and see familiar faces is always comforting.


p.s. In my opinion if a student cann’t recognize at least some of the faces of heroes and names and places of historic battle fields of modern physics then maybe they shouldn’t be doing physics.

p.p.s. a nice book that ALL youngsters studying physics should read and THINK and ARGUE about is “How experiments end” by Peter Galison (Chicago University Press, 1987). Someone stole my copy else I would lend it to you. The third part concerns weak neutral currents hence standard model. The second part concerns muons, while first part concerns gyromagnetic ratio of electron including little known experiments of Einstein. I think the book should be mandatory especially for those students that wish to become theorists!! Those that will do experimental physics will learn their own way what experiments are all about. But the theorists just don’t have a clue and giving them just math and the formal stuff is really doing them a disservice. They will never know unless they are told or are forced to read about history. The right moment to do that is while they are students as once they stop being students old age and mental rigidity sets in.

2. dorigo - November 28, 2007

CIao Jeff,

thank you for your thoughts. I agree, I should have put some pictures in. I was very worried of giving the necessary details, because when you explain something you do not really totally master you have to focus on the details and so diverting attentions (theirs and yours) on trivialities is a tougher thing to do.

And I agree, theorists are the ones that need more perspective on the experimental details during lectures which are by force theory-oriented. I indeed try to do that, although of course in the SM lagrangian there is little to mention apart from neutral currents, vector boson discoveries, and maybe a few more things about couplings and asymmetries.

Thanks for looking at the slides!

3. Tony Smith - November 29, 2007

Tommaso, thanks very much for the slides.

Also, Jeff is absolutely correct about Peter Galison’s book “How Experiments End” (Chicago Press 1987).

Ten years later, he also wrote another book “Image and Logic” (Chicago Press 1997), His preface said “… This is a book about the machines of physics. Out of the experimental apparatus come the delicate track images that have launched, backed, and challenged the abstractions of unified field theories … I want to expose the practices presupposed by these images, to peer into all that grubby, unplatonic equipment that equipment that lies such a long way from Lie algebras and state vectors. …”.
His Chapter 8 is a fascinating account of Monte Carlo Simulations:
“… To the platonist, the stochasticist [Monte Carlo practitioner] has merely developed another approximative method … To the stochasticist, the platonist has interposed an unnecessary conceptual entity (the analytic continuum equation) between our understanding of nature – the Monte Carlo … offers a direct gaze into the face of nature …”
in Chapter 9 he discusses how Schwinger ‘s QED renormalization ideas came from his engineering experience with waveguides:
“… In the microwave case, it was impossible to calculate fully the field and currents in the region of discontinuity; in the quantum electrodynamics case, it was hopeless to try to pursue the details of arbitrarily high energy processes. … Schwinger concluded in 1947 that he should proceed by analogy …”.

Tony Smith

4. jeff - November 29, 2007

Thanks Tony.
Galison’s books are food for very deep thought!
Poor pure theory students. They don’t know what they are missing!


5. Slides for lectures 3 and 4 « A Quantum Diaries Survivor - December 5, 2007

[…] Model in my lectures of last Monday and Tuesday (the slides for the previous two lectures are https://dorigo.wordpress.com/2007/11/28/the-slides-for-lecture-1-and-2/here – and to know what I am talking about see […]

6. Marco - December 9, 2007

Hi Tommaso… no PPT (or PDF) for these, like for Part 2 (e.g. nothing I could easily grab/recycle 🙂 ) ? Ciao, M.

7. dorigo - December 9, 2007

Ok you’re right, I will put the direct file here, give me a moment…

8. Marco - December 9, 2007

Thanks Tommaso! M.

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