Best. Class. Ever.

Credit: me. A simple 1-d simulation of a complex scalar field in an electric field. You’ll find this more instructive after you’ve read the lecture notes. Click on the link if it doesn’t auto play in your browser.

This term, I’m teaching a new class on The Standard Model. It is, bar none, the most fun I’ve had with a course in just about forever. What’s especially novel about it is that we’re tackling just about everything classically, with only occasional recourse to quantum fields.

We’re doing everything from elementary group theory to GUTs, from the Higgs mechanism to neutrino oscillation, with just about everything in between.

Why am I telling you this (besides the fact that I can’t contain my excitement)? Because in designing this class, I couldn’t find exactly the right text, so I’m thinking of transforming my lecture notes into a book. As a first stab, here are:
The First 4 weeks of lectures!
Please excuse any typos, and the verbiage wasn’t originally meant for human consumption. This is in the same spirit as my previous lecture notes on probability. Like my previous notes, these are extremely technical, and the course itself is designed for an advanced undergraduate/grad audience.

The notes themselves are a work in progress, but if you think any big topics are missing, please let me know.

BTW, part 4 of the notes is on scalar fields and inflation, and I am especially indebted to this excellent post by John Preskill for providing such a nice demonstration of dimensional analysis.

I welcome all constructive comments, but please, keep it classy.


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2 Responses to Best. Class. Ever.

  1. Lana says:

    The simulation doesn’t run in my browser (even with the link – I use chrome.) :S

    I can’t comment on the notes, but I loved the only book of yours that I read (the universe in the rearview mirror)

    • dave says:

      Ah, well I’ll post the source code at some point, and then you can run with whatever parameters you like. In the meanwhile, I’m so glad you loved the book!

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