MODERN PHYSICS FOR MATHEMATICIANS
In the spring semester of 2000 I taught a course on modern physics
to graduate / advanced undergraduate students at the Mathematical Institute
of Leiden University. My aim was to give an introduction
to the highlights of 20th century physics, quantum mechanics
and the theory of relativity, in a language that is suitable
for a mathematically trained audience.
The course was in Dutch; the lecture notes that I made available
and that could and can be downloaded from this web page
are in English. My original plan for the course
was to give a general introduction and then spend equal time
on quantum theory and on relativity.
Lack of time forced me however to restrict myself
to a fairly broad discussion of quantum theory
followed by a very short and general review
of special and general relativity.
This is reflected in the lectures notes:
the introduction and the quantum theory part is in a reasonable
but by no means complete state
while the relativity part is still missing.
I am now working on completing these notes,
which means filling in the gaps in the quantum theory part
and -- the main job -- write chapters on special and general relativity.
I expect the complete set to have about 350 pages.
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"TOPICS FROM 20TH CENTURY PHYSICS"
An introductory course for students in mathematics
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Contents:
Title page, Preface, Table ofContents,
I. Introduction
II. Classical Mechanics
III. Quantum Theory: Chapters 1 - 6. General principles
III. Quantum Theory: Chapters 7 - 9. Quantum mechanics of a single particle
III. Quantum Theory: Chapters 10 - 13. Applying symmetry principles (incomplete)
III. Quantum Theory: Chapters 14 - ... . Miscellaneous topics (in preparation)
IV. The Special Theory of Relativity (in preparation)
IV. The General Theory of Relativity (in preparation)
Appendix A: Manifolds (incomplete)
Appendix B: Hilbert Space
Appendix C: Probability Theory
Appendix D: Lie Groups and Lie Algebras
Appendix E: Biographical Notes (incomplete)
Selected References (in preparation)
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Remarks, critical or otherwise, will be appreciated.
Peter Bongaarts
Instituut Lorentz Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of Leiden
e-mail: bongaart@lorentz.leidenuniv.nl