Lecture Notes

When teaching a course I usually write up lecture notes to cover the material as I do in class. These are meant as compliments to the class texts.

The most polished of these are listed below, and several others (on various aspects of Quantum Field Theory) are 90% done and will appear as they become presentable.

Tools of Mathematical Physics:

PDEs, ODEs, Analytic Continuation, Special Functions, Sturm-Liouville Problems and All That

These notes use boundary value problems for linear partial differential equations as a vehicle for describing the properties of ordinary differential equations; series solutions; special functions; some complex variable techniques; and Sturm-Liouville problems. Perhaps the main novelty of the presentation is to treat special functions as special cases of the Hypergeometric functions, rather than as a series of special cases for each problem as it arises (as is often the traditional approach in undergraduate courses). This allows a unified treatment since these are the most general solutions to a class of problems that frequently arise in theoretical physics.

Undergraduate level (written for Physics 355A offered at McGill in Fall 1990)

General Relativity: the Notes

These notes are meant as an introductory course on General Relativity, starting with the evidence for the proposal that gravitational phenomena in the solar system can be captured by the physics of curved spacetime and continuing to the discussion of Einstein’s field equations and their applications to more extreme environments. Among the topics covered are black holes, gravitational waves, relativistic stars, gravitational lensing and cosmology.

Undergraduate level (written for Physics 3A03 offered at McMaster in winter 2009)

Cosmology: the Notes

These notes are meant as an introductory course on Cosmology, starting with the the kinematics and dynamics of an expanding universe and continuing to the discussion of the thermodynamics and statistical mechanics of Big Bang cosmology. This includes a discussion of primordial relics and the merits of an early period of accelerated expansion. The final sections describe simple fluctuations about the cosmological background and provide a cartoon of the formation of large-scale structure.

Undergraduate and introductory graduate level (written for Physics 789 offered at McMaster in winter 2005)

Nuclear & Particle Physics: the Notes

These notes are meant as an introductory course on Nuclear and Particle Physics, starting with the discovery of the electron and proton and continuing through to the structure of nuclei, the discovery of the particle zoo and the advent of the Standard Model of Particle Physics. The course focuses on observational evidence and calculational tools, with the most important of the latter being classical and quantum scattering calculations. The notes close with a very brief introduction to the ideas of quantum field theory.

Undergraduate level (written for Physics 4A03 offered at McMaster in winter 2016)