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Fields of Color: The theory that escaped Einstein
Fields of Color: The theory that escaped Einstein
by Rodney A. Brooks
Edition: Paperback
Price: $16.17
26 used & new from $8.88

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not what i expected, May 24, 2015
I picked up a kindle copy just to hype myself before (hopefully) taking a course on it. As I read through it I realized that this book isn't really what I expected it to be.

Chapter 1 (Introduction) really pumps you up for QFT and then you don't learn much of QFT till the last chapter (chapter 7 - The Triumph of QFT)!

Chapter 2,3,4,5 are very historical. They go through the development of gravity, electromagnetic forces, strong force, and weak force field respectively. Along the way the author introduces several definitions/topics and attempts to make them as understandable as possible. Chapter 2 (gravity) is very easy to follow and anyone should get through it. A laymen may need to read some sections of chapter 3 (electromagnetic forces) couple of times to grasp it but it should be doable. Chapter 4 (or maybe it was 5) is a little bit heavy and author asks you to skip it unless you've enough patience. The other chapter is fair to grasp.

There is a summary for each chapter so should you need to skip 2,3,4, or 5 then you can get the idea of it just by reading summary. I liked the quotations used in the book. There is literally a quotation every other page. I think it helps establish the point author is trying to make. It also at times makes the historical development fun to read. In other news, all quotations are sited and he provides the list of books he used at the end. Several of these books are meant for casual readers so check some of them out if you want to.

That said, for me the best part of the book was 7...probably because I was dying to read about QFT by then. I also fairly enjoyed Appendices ( Special Relativity, General Relativity, and Quantum Mechanics). I wished the author expanded onto these topics more. As i said before, vast majority of the book was spend on historical development of various fields and was setting up for the final chapter on QFT.

edit: I also did not see fuss behind coloring the field. As the author points out it isn't a convention and he's simply doing it for convenience...but for the amount of pages that was spend on explaining and reiterating the idea, it simply was not worth it. When it came to showing multiple fields in a single picture, he could have simply made one lighter and another a little darker...or dotted one or whatever. There was no need for using colors when black & white could do the same job. But I suppose I shouldn't be complaining since the book itself is fairly priced, particularly for kindle.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 17, 2016 7:15 PM PDT


Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum
Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum
by Leonard Susskind
Edition: Hardcover
39 used & new from $8.02

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good but not great, May 18, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I would rate this 3.5 or maybe even 4 on a good day. I knocked off couple of starts for these pressing issues:

1) The book has no end of chapter problems. Problems are scattered all over the chapter which has several issues. Right away you know what section/topic the problem relates to and that doesn't make the problem as challenging or thought provoking. You also don't have quick access to all the problems at once.

2) Now the problems in itself are REALLY EASY. A lot of the problems are flat out plug and chuck and there is nothing more to it. Sometimes Susskind will tell you what exactly you need to solve the problem. Other times he'll skip a minor step during calculation and as a problem he will ask you to fill in the minor step that he had skipped over. Occasionally, he'll give the solution as a follow up to the problem.

3) The book doesn't pick up pace until further later. For example, commutator algebra of [x, p] comes in later half of the book. Same goes for the whole concept of going from sum to integrals and classical variables to quantum operators. Path Integral is poorly introduced in chapter 9 (on his defense he was only attempting to do a rough sketch of path integrals). Harmonic Oscillator (HO) is actually the last chapter in the book.

-------------------------------------
Who is this intended for?
-------------------------------------
I feel this isn't necessarily for absolute newbies. I would recommend this to someone who has been out of field for several years and is giving it a second go again. I personally have been exposed to QM before. I found the topics that I already knew to be rather fun and sometimes even thoughtful. However, topics that I wasn't as familiar with were fairly mediocre to read. In these new topics, I sometimes didn't grasp what the author was trying to tell.

----------------------------------
What is the prerequisites?
----------------------------------
Math: one course in ODE and Linear Algebra will be more than enough
Physics: exposure to his previous title might help but isn't needed imo. You can look things up as you need.

----------------------------
The Positives
-----------------------------
1) The book is really cheap
2) Online lectures exist. They have often been described to be better than the book
3) This is part of a series the author is creating. He expects you to know some of the content of "The Theoretical Minimum" which isn't really much.
4) If you have some familiarity with the ideas, you'll have a breeze. I would have pen and paper with me but often I ended my study session without making much use of it. The steps are easy to follow and well explained.

---------------------------
Alternatives
---------------------------
It is really difficult to recommend books at this level so I will go a little bit above it.

I am an absolute fan of "Quantum Mechanics: Concepts and Applications" by Zettili. It is one of the best undergraduate book for Physics students and it prepares you for graduate school better than Griffiths. It is also really really good for self study. Again, I emphasize that this book is at higher level than Susskind's QM Minimum.

If you want to go further above then look at "Principles of Quantum Mechanics" by Shankar. It is a graduate textbook so this is at much much higher level however if you are serious about QM then this is what you should be aiming for.

"Quantum Theory" by David Bohm is another excellent book. It is intended to be self-studied by undergraduates and takes a different approach than modern books.


A Pedestrian Approach to Quantum Field Theory (Dover Books on Physics)
A Pedestrian Approach to Quantum Field Theory (Dover Books on Physics)
by Edward G. Harris
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.15
49 used & new from $6.44

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a graduate textbook that assumes knowledge of graduate quantum mechanics!, May 1, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
----------------------
Other Reviews
----------------------
I bought the book after reading various reviews here. One reviewer called it a "Great undergraduate level text" and more or less claimed that undergrad QM is enough prerequisites for this book. Another reviewer called it a "A very good and clear introduction to QFT" that technically does not assume QM background as it goes over it.

Well I'm here to tell you those reviews are not even remotely accurate. The author himself (see preface) used this to teach field theory to graduate students. To be more precise, in University of Tennessee, the third quarter of year long QM course focused on relativistic QM and field theory and this book was developed from his notes to teach field theory.

So no, this is NOT a undergraduate textbook as it assumes you have QM understanding at graduate level. Chapter 1 of the book reviews "formalism of QM" in first 25 pages. However, by authors own admission, chapter 1 is "not intended to be an adequate introduction to QM for the student with no previous acquaintance with the subject". In fact, chapter 1 contains material that he teaches on first quarter of graduate quantum mechanics.

----------------
The Good
---------------
- The book is cheap and is published by Dover
- Worked out solutions exist on the back
- Near the end of the book, the author lists notes and references for individual chapters
-------------
The Bad
------------
- I don't think this is ideal for self study
- The book is too small. The book has total of 167 pages. First 25 pages are spend on reviewing QM. Chapter 2-10 is covered in 96 pages. The remaining are solutions, appendix, index etc.
- Needless to say the book skips steps
- This book also assumes knowledge of Electrodynamics from the start.

------------------
Alternatives
------------------
Although more expensive, I highly suggest these three books for beginners on QFT. They're all very well written.

Quantum Field Theory for the Gifted Amateur by Tom lancaster (suitable for advanced undergrads)
Student Friendly Quantum Field Theory by Robert D. Klauber (solution manual is sold by the author)
Quantum Field Theory and the Standard Model by Matthew D. Schwartz

look into reviews of those three books. They are easily the best books for self-study, supplement book, textbook, etc.


Elements of the Theory of Functions and Functional Analysis [Two Volumes in One]
Elements of the Theory of Functions and Functional Analysis [Two Volumes in One]
by A. N. Kolmogorov
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.50
39 used & new from $8.00

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CHEAPER AND BETTER THAN DOVER? WHAT WORLD IS THIS? *not* an actual review, April 9, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This book costs less than dover edition of this exact book (same title). You will probably find the price difference to be around 1-2 bucks on amazon but I think the retail price for this book is actually cheaper. The best part is - it is actually better reprint than dover, as in better pages than your typical dover books.

since a preview of the full table of content of the book is not available here, I will put them in this "review":

PART I: 128 pages
1- Fundamental of Set Theory
2- Metric Spaces
3- Normed Linear Spaces
4- Linear Operator Equations

PART II: 128 pages (page # resets on part II)
5- Measure Theory
6- Measure Functions
7- The Lebesgue Integral
8- Square Integrable Functions
9- Abstract Hilbert Space. Integral Equations with Symmetric Kernel

You can read reviews on the book for the dover edition since they are exactly the same.
http://www.amazon.com/Elements-Functions-Functional-Analysis-Mathematics/dp/0486406830/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1428622523&sr=1-1&keywords=Elements+of+the+Theory+of+Functions+and+Functional+Analysis

Another functional analysis book that i like is written by kreyszig
http://www.amazon.com/Introductory-Functional-Analysis-Applications-Kreyszig/dp/0471504599/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1428623503&sr=1-1&keywords=functional+analysis
this book is expensive however, you can get a hold of much cheaper international edition.


Principles of Quantum Mechanics, 2nd Edition
Principles of Quantum Mechanics, 2nd Edition
by Ramamurti Shankar
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $90.80
99 used & new from $47.00

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars quite possibly the best graduate level QM textbook, February 22, 2015
This is quite possibly the best graduate level text book on Quantum Mechanics but that imo isn't really saying much. That said, here is why I'm not giving it a 5 star:

- the binding itself is terrible
- it really needs to be formatted better. The author hesitates to box in equations, change text size & fonts more often.
- the book provides exercises in between chapters. I personally find it tedious to look them up. It also makes them easier to solve since they obviously relate to whatever the book covered a page or two before. Also, the amount of problems he provides is really low.
- there are no bloody end of chapter problems. How on earth is this acceptable? It is lot more fun to tackle a problem when the problem could practically be about anything covered in a chapter (as opposed to few pages within a chapter).
- there are practically no examples in this book.

I, alike almost everyone, used Griffith for undergraduate. My issue with Griffith it that it never introduces postulates and covers some key topics (like ladder operator) before even introducing bra-ket notations. I much prefer what Shankar does here.

Shankar introduces Mathematics needed for Quantum Mechanics in Chapter 1. His chapter 2 and 3 are "review of classical mechanics" and "all is not well with classical mechanics" respectively. Both 2 and 3 are skippable if you've had even mediocre grasp of physics from upper undergrad level. Next, in chapter 4 he jumps right into "postulates of quantum mechanics". Only after spending a chapter on postulates he proceeds with typical topics like 1D problems, HO, Path Integrals, Uncertinity, Spin, WKB, etc. I love this approach.

Another book that follows this approach is is "Quantum Mechanics: Concepts and Application" by Zettili. Additionally, Zettili actually splits out sections, equations, etc really nicely in every chapter. He also provides worked out examples, fully solved end of chapter problems, and unsolved end of chapter problems. However, I think Zettili is too soft for graduate level QM course. Zettili's QM is right in between Griffith and Shankar so check that book if you need something to reference with, something easier to read, or just some problems to play around with.


Aloe Vella - Wrinkless Cream - All-Natural Anti-Aging
Aloe Vella - Wrinkless Cream - All-Natural Anti-Aging

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do NOT buy it from their website., February 19, 2015
I would strongly recommend you NOT to buy this product from their website. Hell if you can help it, do NOT buy this product at all.

My dad got two from them and they initially charged him $5 for shipping and handling. I got a little suspicious, read the actual letter and turns out they just had him subscribed to the product. They wanted to charge him full value at the end of the month. They also had him setup to receive two boxes every two month. Obviously, you can't get good cream for $5 but I'm sure everyone can agree this is extremely unethical marketing.

My parents were still willing to pay until my mom opened one of the bottle and....it smelled awful. Dad called up and asked for return/refund and they wanted him to pay for return shipping (okay) AND they wanted to charge him $20 for god knows what reason.

So I ended up calling them in my pissed off voice and the dude on the other end was still trying to make a bargain. I eventually threaten to call my CC at which point they agreed they would not charge us any money. Basically, I've to ship the item back to them within 10 days and everything would be fine if I included both items among which one should be completely sealed/unused. I'm gonna have to pay for shipping but I'll be glad to get rid of this item.

I still got a feeling that they will end up charging some money at which point we'll be calling the credit card.


Quantum Mechanics: Concepts and Applications
Quantum Mechanics: Concepts and Applications
by Nouredine Zettili
Edition: Paperback
Price: $67.53
77 used & new from $39.86

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars supplement book rather than a textbook to be used on class, December 26, 2014
A little bit of background here. I used Griffiths for two semester worth of undergraduate physics quantum course. I bought this book during my first semester as a supplement. I used Shankar for first semester of graduate physics quantum course.

When I was undergrad, this book, for most part felt too advanced. I doubted a junior/senior student can get much out of this book. More importantly, it conflicts with the outline of Griffiths. Griffiths never introduces postulates of quantum mechanics. Griffiths is in a way very informal. You see ladder operators before you are even aware of braket notation. Point i'm trying to make is, this book doesn't complement Griffiths well. Now it is worth mentioning that every QM book covers the same topics so needless to say you'll see the same HO, potential well, etc problems in both books and it'll be most helpful to have an extra source of reference.

So what does this book complement well? Shankar. The topics covered in these two books are very similar. The way authors introduce QM (history - math - postulates - 1D problems - 3D problems, etc) is very similar. However, in comparison to Shankar this Zettili's QM isn't difficult at all. I would even go as far to say that Zettili's QM is too easy for graduate level.

What am i saying? I'm telling you that this book is little bit too advanced for undergraduates and little too weak for graduates. It lies right in between. However, if by some miracle, instructor/students were able to make it work at undergraduate level then they're guaranteed to have a breeze at graduate level QM (Shankar is typically used at graduate level).

The strength of this book lies in it's clear cut presentation. Griffiths as I mentioned before is sometimes too informal. He attempts to teach QM without postulates and holds onto Mathematics needed for QM for too long. Shanker reads like a textbook but flatout lacks the fancy nature of Zettili who highlights, brackets, boxes, bolds, increases font sizes, etc to organize things better. Furthermore, finding a problem in Shanker is pain in the butt - they are just thrown inside a chapter as in there are no end of chapter problems. Zettili, not only gives you SOLVED examples (don't get spoiled by this as no book does this at graduate level), but he also gives you SOLVED end of chapter problems AND unsolved end of chapter practice problem. This is amazing. I found myself making reference to this book quite often to solve some problems in Shanker. Now, I'll also mention that Griffith has solution manual and it is rather easy to find so you're never really in lack of solved problems if you need them for practice.


Linear Algebra (Undergraduate Texts in Mathematics)
Linear Algebra (Undergraduate Texts in Mathematics)
by Peter Petersen
Edition: Paperback
Price: $59.95
28 used & new from $33.99

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars pass on it if you can, December 26, 2014
I used this textbook in second semester of linear algebra. This is NOT a book for first timers! You need to know concepts such as basis, vector space, span, dimensions, etc before hand....all these concepts are typically taught in first course of linear algebra. Now that said here are the issues i've had with this Linear Algebra book.

This book is ~400 page long and spends a little over 100 pages reviewing stuff that you should already know. 1/4 of the book contains stuff you already know.

The author attempts to teach LA without formally introducing the concept of determinants until the final chapter. This idea has been done before in a book called "Linear Algebra Done Right" by Sheldon Axler. The said book was published almost a decade prior, can be used for second course in LA, and does far better job than Petersen's book.

While this book may cover more advanced topics than Axler's, I call tell you that you don't really need them in graduate school and if you were to need it, you can easily learn it on your own.

also, pretty much nobody in my class liked the book, surprisingly that included the instructor who choose the book. so yeah pass on this book if you can.


Homefront - PC
Homefront - PC
Offered by deals2thedoor
Price: $10.92
35 used & new from $3.95

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Multiplayer is where the fun is, March 15, 2011
This review is from: Homefront - PC (Video Game)
{{Note: This review might not follow smoothly in terms of paragraph, world choice or language in general. I plan to make it up by including some facts that hopefully will help you.}}

The developer of this game Kaos Studios was formed in 2006 by THQ for sole purpose of creating FPS games. Kaos launched it's first game Frontlines: Fuel of War in 2008. It was an average game. Now 3 years later Kaos has released Homefront, which is in some sense similar to Frontlines...drones, emps, global crisis etc. If you liked Frontlines, you most likely won't be disappointed by Homefront. The only downside over Frontlines is possibly the fact that they lowered maximum pc player number from 64 to 32. Anyway getting to Homefront now...

SINGLEPLAYER:
There's been a lot of hype about the single player campaign. It is written by John Milius, co-writer of Apocalypse Now (Three-Disc Full Disclosure Edition) (Apocalypse Now / Apocalypse Now Redux / Hearts of Darkness) [Blu-ray] (1979). If you're into storylines, then you'll most likely love it. There's enough dialogs in the game, the characters are uniquely build. If you're into shooting, then there's some good shooting for you.

The downside is --
(1) A typical gamer would be done with the missions in ~4 hours. If you're planning on buying Homefront ONLY for singleplayer mission, then it's not worth $50.
(2) You're continuously being told what to do which includes following your teammates till the end. I personally don't mind that but I figure there are people who prefer to do things there own way. Meanwhile, the upside is your teammates let you use the toys. You get to use Goliath from time to time... and Chopper too...both are loads of fun!

MULTIPLAYER --
Multiplayer is what everything this game is about.
I really like two unique features of this game:
(1) Battle Commander game mode: Each team has a AI commander. They assign "priority threat" to enemies who go on killstreak.
(2) Points System: this allows you to "buy" weapons on the go. I can buy RPG (given I have enough points) to take out a tank that's pissing me off. Nomore hiding from the tank b/c I don't have the correct loadout. I hope other games think of features that allows me to get weapons on the go.

The bad--
(1) The graphics aren't amazing. For me it has more than my computer can handle. But I've heard some people say it's going backward in terms of graphics. Just thought I should throw it out there.
(2) Animation for grenade throw is awful. Hopefully they'll patch it up.
(3) There aren't that many types of gameplay. COOP is not there. I personally am a sucker for COOP gameplay. There's no attack and defend type of game mode either??
(4) Not completely destructible environment.
(5) You need steam. This will annoy those who don't like steam.
(6) Installation procedure is awful. I downloaded ~7.5 GB from the site I bought Homefront. When I tried installing it started steam for me. The game got added to stream BUT...wait for it...I still had another 50% (or maybe 30% i can't remember exactly) to download off stream. That had to be one of the worse installation procedure for a game.

Other random thoughts...
(1) You can prone in this game.
(2) I've heard talks about sinper being overpowered. I didn't notice much of this on my first day of gameplay.
(3) The "enemy spotted", "need a ride" radio feature seems something like that of Battlefield 2 (?) / Play4Free.

Lastly I realize that lots of you still aren't sure if you want to buy this game or not. This is possibly why you're reading these reviews to being with. I don't blame ya, they gave no demo or beta for us to test. I would suggest you to watch videos over youtube (there are plenty there already...and many more to come). And if you've got questions, feel free to drop comments. I'll keep an eye on it for next few days/weeks.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 20, 2011 5:47 AM PDT


A Short Course in Mathematical Methods With Maple
A Short Course in Mathematical Methods With Maple
by Henrik Aratyn
Edition: Paperback
Price: $99.00
28 used & new from $12.80

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars better alternatives out there..., August 25, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
{before you read this review, please keep in mind that constructing smooth paragraph isn't my thing. I hope to make that up with a detailed review}

I took this course with Professor Aratyn at UIC. Unlike bunch out there (look him up in professor rating sites and you'll see loads of student bashing him), I do not dislike him. I actually think he's a fair guy. He gave us extra an hour in exams, brought donuts in exams, and seemed nice overall. But despite me liking the author, I can't help but dislike the book.

Examples are a bit rare in the book. They are there but not as much as a typical student would like to. There are problems at the end of the chapter. There's no answer key at the end.

The maple section is a fair idea, but overtime it possibly has gotten outdated and can only get more outdated as time progresses. The section is written in Maple 8 i think...and at the time of writing this review Maple 13 is the latest deal.

In our course we went over first 4 chapters. First chapter "Vectors and Vector Calculus" is a fair game. If you've done basic ODE course then chapter 3 "Differential Equations" is fairly straight forward. Chapter 2 "Matrices and Rotations" could have been better. But if you've done a Linear Algebra course, it shouldn't be that bad. Lastly, chapter 4 "Series Solutions of Differential Equations" is a mess. It's hard to understand what is going on and lack of example only makes things worse. I had to look at some other books and use couple of online resources to get a fair grip of it.

If you're a UIC student, which most likely is the case...i dunno which other univ. would use this book (no pun intended), then take Ordinary Differential Equations (Math 220) and Applied Linear Algebra (Math 310) or Linear Algebra (Math 330). Then it should be a fair game for chapter 1, 2, and 3. As per chapter 4, from what I've gathered Applied Differential Equations (Math 480) goes over those stuff.

If you're just looking for a "Mathematical Method" book that uses Maple then look somewhere else. There's Physics with MAPLE: The Computer Algebra Resource for Mathematical Methods in Physics (Physics Textbook) written in 2006...by now it's probably a bit outdated too though.

If you're looking for alternative (or additional) "Mathematical Methods" books, then here are a few -

Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences is great. everyone loves it.

Mathematical Methods for Physics and Engineering: A Comprehensive Guide is good too, especially if you accompany it with solution manualStudent Solution Manual for Mathematical Methods for Physics and Engineering Third Edition

Hassani's books Mathematical Physics and Mathematical Methods: For Students of Physics and Related Fields (Lecture Notes in Physics) are worth mentioning too

Lastly, worldscibooks (publisher of the book) website provides a free preview of the book. You can download table of content, preface, and Chapter 1 for free. Have a look and decide for yourself.


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