Back of the envelope calculations, 2013

Bay watch
Course number
Lecture days
5:30 PM on Feb 4, 2013 and then every Tuesday and Thursday at 5:30 PM
Class interaction and a project

Back of the envelope calculations, 2013

Lectures: Back of the envelope calculations, 2013

Dimensional Analysis

L1: Introducing dimensional analysis
Dimensional analysis, similarity, scaling, Pythagoras' theorem, radius of curvature, choice of units, dimensional analysis, vector spaces, homogeneous functions, slenderness ratio, fracture, buckling, elasticity, diastolic pressure, cardiac output, giraffe, Brachiosaurus.
[pdf, Mathematica notebook]
L2: Measurements and fundamental constants
Principle of equivalence, Coulomb's law, Gaussian units, SI units, Lorentz force, electric field, magnetic field, Biot-Savart law, Maxwell's equations, speed of light, Joule's constant, Boltzmann's constant, Planck's constant, black body, Planck spectrum, Stefan-Boltzmann constant, ultraviolet catastrophe, Compton wavelength, Bohr radius, Rydberg's constant, Thompson scattering, protein folding, vacuum decay, Planck mass.
[pdf, Mathematica notebook]
L3: The physics of plasmas
Plasma, electrical resistance, Ohm's law, resistivity, conductivity, ballistic transport, collisions, Rutherford scattering, plasma parameter, space charge, screening, Debye screening length, plasma oscillations, Langmuir waves, plasmon, Landau damping, quantum plasmas, diffractive scattering, relativistic plasmas, plasmas in quantum field theory.
L4: Similarity and incomplete similarity
Convection, Fourier's law, Boussinesq's approximation, shear viscosity, Joule's constant, Boltzmann's constant, Prandtl number, Rayleigh number, Rayleigh-Benard convection, scaling, incomplete scaling, anomalous dimension, fractal, fractal dimension, broken scale invariance, scaling and the renormalization group, quantum field theory, ultraviolet divergence, broken scale invariance, renormalized coupling, renormalized mass, renomalization group equations.

Statistical inference

L5: Informal problems of inference
Cards, cheating, prior knowledge, probability, inference, Monty Hall, Rolls Royce, Martin Gardner, AIDS testing, search engine terms, tossing a coin, angular momentum, phase space, symmetry.
L6: Inference and probability
Logic, syllogism, Boolean algebra, uncertain propositions, plausibility, information and implication, common sense, consistency, fairness, equivalence, probability, Bayesian reasoning, jumping to conclusions, Bernoulli's urn, randomness.
L7: Testing hypotheses
Sampling distribution, prior probability, posterior probability, odds, evidence, sampling without replacement, sampling with replacement, level of significance, zombie hypotheses.
L7: Estimation of parameters
Bernoulli urn, sampling theory, hidden symmetry, hypergeometric distribution, fitting, frequentist result, prior dependence.

Approximation methods

Copyright: Sourendu Gupta; Last modified on 24 Mar, 2019.