Physics Links

(elkement. Last changed: 2015-02-14. Created: 2012-03-10. Tags: Physics, Links, Resources)

Here I maintain a list of physics books, documents, blogs, and lectures I read / watch or that I have put on the (virtual) bedside table.

The collection is not some carefully crafted, balanced list - I am not searching for resources to add them here but I add what is interesting to me as a professional or a dilettante science blogger. I apologize for the mixture of German and English resources, and the structure is always work in progress.

This list had been formerly curated on my blog, on a page called Physics Books on the Bedside Table. I decided to migrate these links over here as in 2014 I had started to curate all my tech / science links on radices.net.

Popular Science Books 'enthusiastic'

Popular Science Books 'critical' (Note: This is not 'Alternative science')

History of Science and Biographies of Physicists

Quantum Physics, Quantum (Field) Theory

  • Oersted Medal Lecture 2002: Reforming the Mathematical Language of Physics, as recommended here. Actually, this is about all of physics and how more powerful, concise, and elegant Geometrical Algebra would do away with concepts that just appear tacked on – as there is an underlying hidden structure. It is useful in classical physics but especially to understand the seemingly weird world of the complex wave function.
  • Lectures on Quantum Field Theory by David Tong. Videos of his lectures delivered at Perimeter Institute can be found here (different formats available). These lectures were my starting point for (re-)learning QFT having been exposed to mainly condensed-matter-related and non-relativistic quantum statistics and 'second quantization' 20 years ago.
  • Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell, a concise textbook by Anthony Zee. David Tong highly recommends this book, saying tongue-in-cheek: He lies to you all the time, but in a good way. It is not an easy read because the presentation of the material is quite condensed. You have to fill a lot of intermediate steps in derivations. On the other hand this makes it a great book for serious self-study. It shows that Zee is a gifted writer of popular science books as well as his conceptual overviews are spot-on and very helpful for tackling the hard stuff.
  • I trust Graham Farmelo on this and put Stephen Weinberg's book on my To-read-list.
  • Student Friendly Quantum Fielf Theory by Robert D. Klauber. Klauber describes and writes out details in derivations, avoids all references to so-called trivial, obvious and easy steps, and he refers to his own learning QFT often. The book seems to have been written from the learner's perspective – he often anticipates those typical baffled student's questions and answers them before you dared to ask it. More praise in this post of mine.
  • A lecture on Quantum Field Theory in German, by Gerhard Soff. I like these lecture notes because topics are reviewed from different angles (such as: canonical quantization versus path integrals) and the derivations are done in detail for all the different options.
  • The Fun is Real. Blog author Warren Huelsnitz definitely meets his goal: to sort through the myths and misconceptions, and the excessive and misleading hype, associated with quantum physics.
  • An Island In Theoryspace – an awesome blog by Jaques Pienaar on physics (mainly of the quantum variety) and sometimes also on its interface with philosophy.

Quantum Computing and Quantum Cryptography

The first field that rekindled by excitement for physics in about 2003, having worked in IT already for some years.

  • wavewatching.net. A blog written by a physicist and IT consultant who tries to separate fact  from VC fiction and to predict what impact quantum computing will have on corporate IT.

Relativity

Thermodynamics and statistical mechanics

Fascinating water, water vapor, and ice

Fundamentals

Classics: Basics and fundamentals – books and blogs that cover all of physics

It is very interesting to compare Feynman's and Macke's books – they have been published at about the same time and might serve as good examples for both excellent, but different ways  to describe physics from scratch – 'American' versus 'German'.

  • A very detailed blog – physicspages.com – Physics Tutorials with lots of examples, introductions and the author's solutions to text book problems.
  • Scientific Finger Food: Sebastian Templ achieves his goal – quote from his About page: “I give my best to break it down into simple language. In doing so, I hope that I can serve you some pieces of physics, which I like to think of as being clear to me, in 'delicious and manageable bites' “.
  • motionmountain.net: Six volumes on physics, written by a physicist who works as an innovation manager. Probably the most professional hobby / moonlighting physics project I have come across.

Classical Physics

Classical (point particle) mechanics

Fluid dynamics

Personal website of Elke Stangl, Zagersdorf, Austria, c/o punktwissen.
elkement [at] subversiv [dot] at.