Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Am I Yee Wei, who woke up from a dream in which I ate a goat, or am I a python dreaming I am surfing the web?
Which is real- the words, or the author?




I fly home on Saturday afternoon, and nothing has been packed.

The wedding is going to be interesting. The cousins have agreed to coordinate the colour of the clothes, hence expect a table full of pink and beige. Wickedness…

And my brother has secured the use of a huge Nikon SB-800 flashgun and a Canon EOS 650 camera body. Supplementing that to our existing collection of lenses, 3 camera bodies, a flashgun and suitable lens mount adapters, the extra body would help reduce time consuming lens changes.




On the basis of recommendations by 小李飞刀, I have laid my hands on a book by Lev Landau. It looks quite fantastic; the way in which he introduces special relativity is quite different from the typical SR text books.

The typical manner in which SR is introduced usually involves an experiment involving light bouncing around in a moving train. This tends to make (the speed of) light look like some kind of God-phenomenon that controlled the universe.

Landau did it the other way around, by introducing special relativity using an upper-limit on signal propagation velocities. And it turns out that electromagnetic radiation happens to ride on this very limit. The c that appears in the Lorentz-contraction is not explicitly the speed of light; it is the speed limit of signal propagation velocity.

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5 Comments:

Blogger 小李飞刀 said...

Yup, Landau has a way of striking things at its core.

The experiments in trains etc are very cumbersome and lack generality.

Instead examine the proposition that there cannot be action at a distance and equivalence of inertia frames.

There are some golden nuggets to when he derives the EM laws later on.

3:35 pm, April 25, 2007  
Blogger Lao Chen said...

And a good thing is that Landau introduces tensors in his book, so it's not completely 'wtf?'

9:54 pm, April 26, 2007  
Blogger sabrina said...

Have a good trip back. And remember to post pictures of you in your pink/beige get-up :p

12:09 am, April 27, 2007  
Blogger the scribbler said...

see u when u return laa

8:21 pm, April 27, 2007  
Blogger Lao Chen said...

Sabrina:
Thank you. I definitely will. Pink is wicked :)

Jean:
Lets go for dim sum then. Some ham sui kok, perhaps?

12:13 am, April 28, 2007  

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