Paul D. O. Bergeron     —     Miscellaneous

Here is an assortment of various things that I find enjoyable, useful, and webpage worthy.


You may get the slides from my GRS talk on LaTeX here (downloads).

Here is an analysis (opens new tab) of the proposed 2018 tax plans by House and Senate will affect graduate students at the University of Utah.

Around the Web

For doing phyiscs research, invaluable places are the arXiv for staying up to date on articles in any bit of physics (and some other disciplines too), inSPIRE-HEP if you're doing more of a literature search in the vein of particle physics, and ADS if you're doing more of a literature search in the vein of astronomy and astrophysics (often has plain text of older articles too).

Falstad applets. These are a a collection of java applets written by Paul Falstad that simulate a variety of physics phenomenon. Particularly useful are the electrostatics, analog circuit simulator, and quantum mechanics applets.

Ever wonder what a 450 GeV beam of protons sounds like when it hits a piece of metal? Well the LHC collimation project has a recording that will answer the question!

Did you know that the first webpage is still extant? It still viewable on CERN's servers, which is where the internet (as we think of it today) began as a connection between CERN and Cornell University.

Biases are shortcuts we've internalized from our experiences in the world. We use many everyday in small ways that we typically do not notice but are ultimately hepful. Others, however, are mal-learned shortcuts that can be harmful or blind us to what is actually around us. A class of these that we do not see are called "implicit biases", and are usually due to the culture in which we've been steeped. The first step to addressing them is to identify them, and a great online resource that can help with that is the Implicit Bias Project from Harvard University.

A fun, broadstrokes overview of the history of dark matter is David Weinberg's infamous dark matter rap (warning: you'll most likely either love it or rue ever hearing it).

If you ever wondered what silliness would ensue from a quantum mechanical theory based on Murphy's Law, my colleague Miriam Diamond has you covered with an article on "Quantum Murphy Dynamics" at the Uncyclopedia. Problem for the reader: from such rule breaking inanity, why do physicists scough at mystical/supernatural/magical claims?


Books that I have read that I have found to be excellent food for thought in the vein of physics and math.

An Imaginary Tale, Paul Nahin. Subtitle: The story of  √-1 .
A wonderful introduction to the complex plane from a historical perspective. It's written for anyone who has done introductory calculus (derivatives and integrals) but keeps a good balance between the mathematics and the prose.
QED, Richard Feynman.
Intuitive explanation of Quantum Electrodynamics sans mathematics written for basically any audience.
Deep Down Things, Bruce Schumm. Subtitle: The breathtaking beauty of particle physics.
Schumm doesn't lie, it really is breathtaking. This book will explain the standard model of particle physics all the way through the (then) not discovered Higgs boson. No math experience needed, though this is still not light reading. (It's a tome)
The Infinity Puzzle, Frank Close.
A good warm up to Deep Down Things (it's thick but not a tome). Close explains the standard model from a historical perspective and along the way gives good explanations of the physics involved. Lots of wonderful little physics anecdotes can be found therein, too.