Tuesday, November 23, 2010

PH253: last lecture

We have two lectures left. One is Nov 30, when we'll finish our discussion of particle statistics and figure out how lasers work. The second is Dec 3, our last class meeting.

I have not decided what I would prefer to do on Dec 3 myself yet, but as promised I'm open to any (reasonable and physics-related) suggestions for topics. Anything at least tangentially-related to the material we've covered I'm willing to give a lecture on. You can email your suggestions, or leave comments here, but just about anything goes. I will indicate if I think the topic you suggest is inappropriate or too detailed to explain clearly in one class.

My own suggestions, in no particular order:
  • more on transistors & semiconductor electronics
  • information storage technologies (hard disks, ram, flash, etc.)
  • two-level systems & resonance
  • applications of particle statistics (chemical kinetics, diffusion, etc)
  • crystals, geometry, & diffraction
  • magnetic materials
Don't feel confined by this list of topics, they are just a few things I would have liked to have covered if there were more time.


  1. I probably don't get a vote this time around, but you do still owe a lecture on biophysics that was scrapped in favor of instructor evaluations.

  2. It might not be "tangentially related" enough, but how about a lecture that relates the possibility of time dilation to time travel (at least into the future.) Once again, I know this is very far-fetched but time travel is something everyone wonders about from time to time..

  3. @Andrew - that might be a good topic, though it would require a decent amount of prep. Fun though. Thanks to online evaluations we won't have the same problem again ...

    @Anonymous - that would be a fair topic and related enough. There are good physical reasons from relativity why time travel should be essentially impossible, at least without postulating never-observed types of space or matter.

    Lets see what other suggestions come in, I will probably have to decide by next Tuesday to make something credible by Thursday ...

  4. Other suggestions via email/direct contact:

    *computer memory (flash, ram)
    *black holes
    *power distribution

  5. spintronics, mram,flash, etc..

  6. It seems flash/ram/etc has won the day.