Category Archives: Physics

Animated Kronig-Penney band structure

In our recent paper, my supervisor and I developed a method for generating the electronic band structure of one-dimensional periodic potentials using matrix mechanics. We used the Kronig-Penney model, which has known analytical solutions, as our benchmark and then extended the … Continue reading

Posted in Physics

“The Kronig-Penney model extended to arbitrary potentials via numerical matrix mechanics”

The American Journal of Physics just published a paper I wrote with my supervisor, Frank Marsiglio. The link to the gated paper is here, and an older version is available on the ArXiv. The Kronig-Penney model is a first attempt … Continue reading

Posted in Physics

The Legendre transformation in physics

In both classical mechanics and in statistical mechanics, at some point while you’re following the derivations, suddenly an expression like “and this is the Legendre transformation” will pop up. Now, in my experience that was it. I was so confused: … Continue reading

Posted in Mathematics, Physics

Book Review: What If?

What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe For a taste of what’s in What If?, check out Muroe’s TED Talk on the topic: or check out the actual What If? website. I’ll still be here when … Continue reading

Posted in Physics, Reviews, Science (general) | 1 Comment

Why the Lagrangian is kinetic minus potential energy (at least for gravity)

Warning: This is a higher level post, assuming some familiarity with Lagrangian mechanics and general relativity. When the aspiring physics student is first exposed to Lagrangian mechanics, which differs from Newtonian mechanics in that it focuses on scalars and energies … Continue reading

Posted in Physics

Book Review: The Knowledge

The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World from Scratch by Lewis Dartnell Imagine there was a mass die-off of human beings, perhaps from some pestilence or a Game of Thrones season premiere party that got way out of hand, but … Continue reading

Posted in Chemistry, Electronics, Energy, Physics, Reviews, Science (general), Technology

Could we teach general relativity like we teach reading?

A while ago I got into an argument with a friend when I made the assertion “If you can learn how to read, you can learn general relativity.” My point was is that I frankly thought that mastering the intricacies … Continue reading

Posted in General, Mathematics, Physics, Science (general)