David Tong: Concepts in Theoretical Physics
These lectures provide bite sized introductions to a handful of topics in theoretical physics, aimed at first year undergraduates. Presentations can be downloaded below.
- Principle of Least Action:
Principle of least action, Unification of physics, Feynman's path integral formulation of quantum mechanics.
- Quantum Mechanics
Applications of Quantum Mechanics, The Principle of Superposition, Eigenvalue Equations and Probability, Entanglement.
- Particle Physics
Fundamental Particles, Antiparticles, Fundamental Forces, QCD and Confinement of Quarks, Higgs Boson, LHC.
- General Relativity
Equivalence Principle, Light Bending, Gravitational Redshift and Time Dilation, Gravity as Geometry, Schwarzschild solution, Geodesic motion as orbits.
Composition of the Universe. History of the universe, Friedmann equations. Cosmic Microwave Background and density perturbations. Singularity problem, Quantum gravity.
Each of the topics described above will be covered in great detail in subsequent courses at Cambridge. You already have enough background to start reading up on some of these, including Classical dynamics, Fluid Mechanics, Electromagnetism and a first course on Quantum Mechanics. For others you will have to be patient! Links to some online courses are provided below.
- Classical Dynamics by David Tong
- Fluid Mechanics by Natalia Berloff
- Quantum Mechanics (Pdf file) by Paul Townsend
- General Relativity by Gary Gibbons