I have been blogging 'seriously' about physics since 2012. My motivation has been a blend of jotting down notes on interesting things I've just found, conveying my decades-old fascination with some phenomena, trying my hands at popular science writing, and reporting on my own research.

Today I am asking myself - did I learn anything from that on a meta level? To read myself, I am re-arranging the list of my physics posts and sort them by topic and sub-topic. The list says it all, I think.

I wanted to write about quantum mechanics, but it seems I was always most intrigued by classical mechanics, statistical mechanics, and thermodynamics. The latter has become my true home in physics - which has come as a surprise to myself. Yes, thermodynamics is my specialization, but years ago I rather figured that this is my job, and I rather want to follow the latest news on quantum information and particle theory in my spare time. It turned out that I am more interested in history of physics and in the evolution of concepts that are now 'well known'.

My recurring meta-topic is that classical mechanics / thermo can be as interesting, 'geeky' if you wish, mathematically 'weird', and surprising as fields that seem to be more popular.

This list may remain a static snapshot. I am editing the chronological list of my physics posts here on the blog. This list might lseem to lack some of my more applied / engineering postings, re our heat pump system and data. These are here.

## Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics

*Concepts and foundations*

Temperature:
Random Thoughts on Temperature and Intuition in Thermodynamics

Time evolution of systems in phase space:
On the Relation of Jurassic Park and Alien Jelly Flowing through Hyperspace.

Phase-space in depth:
Hyper-Jelly – Again. Why We Need Hyperspace – Even in Politics.

Carnot’s
efficiency, irreversibility, proof by contradiction, paradoxes:
Re-Visiting Carnot’s Theorem.

Mathematics used in statistical
mechanics:
Spheres in a Space with Trillions of Dimensions.

*Heat pump basics*

Brief explanation, absolute temperature:
Why Do Heat Pumps Pump Energy so Easily?

Coefficient of Performance of
a heat pump:
An Efficiency Greater Than 1?

Cross-check of numbers for a large
heat pump system:
Pumped Heat from the Tunnel

COP versus Performance Factor:
How to Evaluate a Heat Pump’s Performance?

Energy accounting,
economics:
Heat Pump System Data: Three Seasons 2012 – 2015.

*Heat transport*

Heat conduction, diffusivity, latent heat:
Ice
Storage Challenge: High Score!

Heat conduction, heat equation:
Temperature Waves and Geothermal Energy.

Heat diffusion length:
Rowboats, Laser Pulses, and Heat Energy (Boring Title: Dimensional Analysis).

*Simulations*

Simple version, daily energy balances:
More Ice? Exploring Spacetime of Climate and Weather.

Heat transport, energy balances. Simulations versus simple energy accounting:
Ice Storage Hierarchy of Needs.

Detailed version: Heat
exchangers, heat equation, 1-minute time slots:
Simulating Peak Ice.

*Thermodynamics and energy basics,* *dimensional analysis*

kW and kWh.
No, You Cannot ‘Power Your Home’ by One Hour of Cycling Daily.

Phase transitions, ideal gas law (pressure sensor)
Mr. Bubble Was Confused. A Cliffhanger.

kWp, power, energy, energy flow:
On Photovoltaic Generators and Scattering Cross Sections.

*History and inventions*

Einstein’s Refrigerator and other inventions:
Einstein and His Patents

Centennial light bulb,
sustainability:
111 Years: A Shining Example of Sustainable Product Development?

Checking 19th century papers:
Peter von Rittinger’s Steam Pump (AKA: The First Heat Pump).

Phase transitions of water, Mpemba effect:
A Sublime Transition.

By an Austrian start-up – pressure gradient created
by centrifugal forces:
And Now for Something Completely Different: Rotation Heat Pump!

(I realize that some of my articles in the 'engineering' category would also qualify for this sub-category History. For example: I wrote a - less detailed - post on Rittinger's steam pump before. But part of the fun with these list is that you have to take those hard decisions of tagging ...)

## Classical Mechanics and Fluid Dynamics

*Equations of motion and Lagrangian formalism*

Principle of Least Action.
Sniffing the Path (On the Fascination of Classical Mechanics)

Equation of motion, intuition in physics:
Are We All Newtonians?

Motion of a falling slinky spring:
The Falling Slinky and Einstein’s Elevator.

Principle of
Least Action, again – extended version:
Space Balls, Baywatch and the Geekiness of Classical Mechanics.

From Newton’s Law to Navier-Stokes Equations:
Non-Linear Art. (Should Actually Be: Random Thoughts on Fluid Dynamics).

*Energy basics*

Estimates related to the physics of scything:
Grim Reaper Does a Back-of-the-Envelope Calculation.

Back-of-the-envelope cross-checks, hydro power:
All Kinds of Turbines.

*Rotations*

Torque, forces, precession, nutation.
The Spinning Gyroscope and Intuition in Physics.

Another
way to explain how the gyroscope works:
Intuition and the Magic of the Gyroscope

Coriolis force
(1):
The Twisted Garden Hose and the Myth of the Toilet Flush:

Coriolis force (2).
Lest We Forget the Pioneer: Ottokar Tumlirz and His Early Demo of the
Coriolis Effect.

*Physics and geometry*

My first (later corrected) proposal of a solution:
Physics / Math Puzzle: Where Is the Center of Mass?

Correcting my earlier proposal:
Revisiting the Enigma of the Intersecting Lines and That Pesky Triangle.

Newton’s geometrical proof of Kepler’s laws:
Mastering Geometry is a Lost Art.

## Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Field Theory

Interpretations of quantum mechanics:
Is It Determinism if We Can Calculate Probabilities Exactly?

Quantum Mechanics versus QFT:
Quantum Field Theory or: It’s More Than a Marble Turned into a Wiggly Line.

Started a
series:
And Now for Something Completely Different: Quantum Fields!

Summary on QM:
May the Force Field Be with You: Primer on Quantum Mechanics and Why We
Need Quantum Field Theory

Quantization – starting from statistical
mechanics:
On the Relation of Jurassic Park and Alien Jelly Flowing through Hyperspace.

Path integrals and symmetries:
Learning Physics, Metaphors, and Quantum Fields.

Book
review:
Student Friendly Quantum Field Theory.

## Relativity

Electromagnetism and special relativity
Unification of Two Phenomena Well Known.

Charged particles
lose energy when accelerating:
Why Fat Particles Radiate Less.

An alternative way of
understanding SR:
How to Introduce Special Relativity (Historical Detour).

List of
resources:
Learning General Relativity.

## Using physics-like methods in economics and sociology

Networking theory, instabilities:
Theory and Practice of Trying to Combine Physics with Anything

E-Mails and communications:
Using Social Media in Bursts. Is. Just. Normal.

## ‘Philosophical’: Learning physics, culture

On trying to explain physics without math:
Real Physicists Do Not Read Popular Science Books

Re The
Trouble with Physics by Lee Smoli:.
I neither Met Newton nor Einstein

On learning physics.
Stupid Questions and So-Called Intuition.

Re Margaret
Wertheim’s Physics on the Fringe
Physics Paradoxers and Outsiders.

Physics as Therapy (1)
In Praise of Textbooks with Tons of Formulas (or: The Joy of
Firefighting).

Physics as Therapy (2)
Ploughing Through Theoretical Physics Textbooks Is Therapeutic.

Personal website of Elke Stangl, Zagersdorf, Austria, c/o punktwissen.

elkement [at] subversiv [dot] at. Contact