It's that time of the year. Classes are starting up. You're nervous and excited to be taking some of your first "real" math classes called things like "Abstract Algebra" or "Real Anaylsis" or "Topology." It goes well for the first few weeks as the professor reviews some stuff and gets everyone on the same page.… Continue reading Surviving Upper Division Math

# Category: physics

## The Three-Body Problem is Awesome

If you've been around this blog this year, then you know I fell into a bit of a slump. I was reading things, but nothing seemed to connect. In fact, it all seemed derivative, flat, and downright bad. I've gotten out of that somehow, and I seem to have hit a period where most things… Continue reading The Three-Body Problem is Awesome

## Why It Works: Primer

A series in which I oversimplify one concept from a work of literature to make you a better writer. Time travel sucks as a genre. It's a bit of a pet peeve of mine. Yes, the whole genre. Everyone knows about the grandfather paradox: if you travel back in time and kill your grandfather before… Continue reading Why It Works: Primer

## Year of Short Fiction Part 6: Cosmicomics

I've sort of been dreading this one, but it's the only thing remaining on my short fiction list that I own. Three years ago I wrote up my interpretation of Italo Calvino's If on a winter's night a traveler. Calvino can be strange and highly symbolic, but that book's meaning jumped out at me with little… Continue reading Year of Short Fiction Part 6: Cosmicomics

## Mathematical Reason for Uncertainty in Quantum Mechanics

Today I'd like to give a fairly simple account of why Uncertainty Principles exist in quantum mechanics. I thought I already did this post, but I can't find it now. I often see in movies and sci-fi books (not to mention real-life discussions) a misunderstanding about what uncertainty means. Recall the classic form that says… Continue reading Mathematical Reason for Uncertainty in Quantum Mechanics

## Statistical Oddities 5: Sequential Testing

Our next decision theory post is going to be on how to rephrase hypothesis testing in terms of Bayesian decision theory. We already saw in our last statistical oddities post that $latex {p}&fg=000000$-values can cause some problems if you are not careful. This oddity makes the situation even worse. We'll show that if you use… Continue reading Statistical Oddities 5: Sequential Testing

## Gauss’ Law

Since my blog claims to talk about physics sometimes and I just finished teaching multivariable calculus, I thought I'd do a post on one form of Gauss' law. As a teacher of the course, I found this to be an astonishingly beautiful "application" of the divergence theorem. It turned out to be a touch too… Continue reading Gauss’ Law