Peeter Joot's (OLD) Blog.

Math, physics, perl, and programming obscurity.

Birthday presents from Krista and Karin!

Posted by peeterjoot on December 11, 2009

I’d given my sisters a link to an amazon wishlist and they went crazy buying most of the stuff on it for me. Here’s a pic:

Birthday books

The books are:

  • Lectures on Quantum Mechanics by P. A. M. Dirac
  • Feynman’s Thesis: A New Approach to Quantum Theory by Richard P. Feynman
  • Tensors, Differential Forms, and Variational Principles by David Lovelock
  • Handbook of Mathematical Functions: with Formulas, Graphs, and Mathematical Tables by Milton Abramowitz (Editor), Irene A. Stegun (Editor)
  • A Treatise On Electricity And Magnetism – Volume Two – Illustrated by James Clerk Maxwell (Author)
  • Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism, Vol. 1 by James Clerk Maxwell, Kathleen Maxwell
  • Electrodynamics​ (Vol. 1 of Pauli Lectures on Physics) (Pauli Lectures on Physics, Volume 1) by Wolfgang Pauli
  • The LaTeX Web Companion: Integrating TeX, HTML, and XML by Michel Goossens

I expected a handful of these, but they bought most of the stuff on the list, and even paid new prices.  I’m a cheap bastard and wouldn’t have paid new-price for that latex book which was going for $2 used.

I’d estimate that this is years of reading, without even taking into account the books I’m working on now.

What should I start with?

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2 Responses to “Birthday presents from Krista and Karin!”

  1. Hasan said

    I have the Maxwell book, it’s heavy with math, but it’ll be interesting…since Maxwell developed electromagnetic theory with quaternions but the only form most of us have ever seen his equations is in the vector form, which was introduced by Heaviside. So it’s a chance to approach a familiar subject with new eyes.

    Plus there’s a subversive angle. Tom Bearden thinks the original forms of the equations offers the possibility of “free energy” from the 4th dimension or something, which was lost in translation to 3-vectors yada yada yada. http://www.cheniere.org/books/aids/ch4.htm So you can have a bit of fun debunking that theory as well.

    • peeterjoot said

      There doesn’t appear to be much in the way of quaternions in the Maxwell books that I see scanning through them.

      These books are old fashioned, but at least some of the translation doesn’t look too hard. Most of the old-style stuff is really just being explicit about things, spelling out all components, and using direction cosines instead of dot products, and so forth. The hardest aspect about study of these books looks like it will be due to sequence … there’s a somewhat random seeming order to what is in the books, as opposed to a logical development from fundamentals.

      I took a peek at that Bearden link. Very little of interest to me there… lots of talk and little math to back it up. It’s all over the place ranging from e&m to GR to AIDS. I wouldn’t rate it as even worth a debunking.

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