Physics Diary

First entry: The aims and title of this blog, plus a bit about me

This is my first entry – the inaugural post to fill the first page of this diary. I prefer the more quaint description, as opposed to simply calling this entry and the diary within which it sits a “blog”. It is the same as when I write an informal article, I approach them more traditionally as essays.

Unbeknownst to me, the future of this journal or diary or blog may take several directions. It will intersect at times with my studies as a theoretical particle physics student, as I work toward my Masters degree and then finally also a PhD. But if you would like to follow specifically my work and studies in theoretical particle physics, I have set-up a separate blog titled Scattering Amplitudes. There you will find a mixture of formal and informal articles and posts on a range of topics within the area of particle physics.

I have also set-up a general mathematics blog, where you will find lots of interesting posts on different derivations and proofs as well as discussion on cool methods and techniques. Occasionally, I may also diverge and talk about thing like computer science or the philosophy or history of mathematics. I very much enjoy studying maths from first principles, with my post-graduate degree technically in mathematical physics! So this blog is my space to simply talk pure maths.

As for my physics diary, of which this entry is meant to be the first, the purpose is more general interest. You will find a range of discussions in relation to all areas of physics, including discussion on recent books I’ve read or cool new theories. Sometimes you will also find posts about life as a physics student, or about others science topics.

Moreover, I have a longstanding interest in theoretical astrophysics. But I have studied intensely many areas of physics out of general interest, even though my specialism or primary field is theoretical particle physics. I am (and have been for some time) moving more and more toward theoretical particle physics.

With that said, I’ve titled this blog ‘Quantum Procedures’ for a number of reasons. It is, for one, a reference to uncertainty beyond a point, symbolized in a time where physics is captured by wave-particle duality and the quantum measurement problem – i.e., the collapse of the wave function. It is in this sense also a vague reference to indeterminacy and uncertainty fundamental to quantum theory, and the procedures we currently utilised to work through quantum physics. At the same time, I think the title is a reference to the idea of a certain historical procedure, as we search for a theory that might extend beyond quantum mechanics.  And so, in these words, the title expresses a time inasmuch as a state in relation to contemporary physics. But it is also a direct reference to the current cosmological model and to the theory of the big bang.

In terms of what to expect early on, as I alluded earlier this blog will mostly be a place to share my thoughts on whatever issue or subject that might strike me in the world of physics that I feel compelled enough to write about.

This could comprise of personal (rough) study notes, short essays or entries extracted from a personal journal that I keep to document my ideas in physics. There may be more formal writings and research papers and presentations based on my schoolwork and research at university, which reside outside particle physics. There may also be informal discussions and commentary.

In the short term, I envision a mixture of past school work and notes mixed with the odd short essay (I have written piles and piles of essays). I may entertain questions like, ‘where does the Planck constant come from?’, ‘what is it like to enter a black hole?’ or ‘would an apple orbit my person, were I to freely float through space far enough from any massive bodies?’ Questions like these used to occupy much of my early science days, and I feel compelled to post some of my school book workings and notes. I think the general reader might find such questions and curiousities intriguing.

I may also post short pieces about the physics of chemistry and the study of chemical and biological physics, something I was fascinated with for some years before entering university.

In addition to the above, as part of my earliest studies in physics, I often kept notes on some of my personal idols and their work, as well as the history of their ideas and key experiments or theories – be that Newton or Feynman or Einstein or Faraday or Maxwell and others. I envision reproducing some of these in the early development of this blog, including some of my earliest working through Newtonian mechanics and things like that.

As an aside, I spent the later part of my summer (2017) beginning to work through Newton’s Principia. A series of notes on my working through this tremendous historical publication is likely forthcoming. Likewise, Einstein’s General and Special Relativity (some of this is also related to my university studies).

For fun, I may also write about some of my favourite derivations.