[See lectures, class web pages, HWs &
solutions, and TB1, Appendixes.]
C0: To Begin With
* A rational conscious mind;
* Laws of the universe can be precisely described
by mathematical equations, and the mind is gifted with the ability to
discover and make use of them.
* Matter: rest mass;
* Light: speed c;
** Value of c = 3.0 x
* Three space dimensions plus one time
** Their precise math
description: 3+1, i.e. 3 space and 1 time;
* Numbers: real (and imaginary, which,
unfortunately, can not used in this course; This is really a great handicap.
Quantum physics since the 1920's has revealed that imaginary number does
have physical reality. High schools need to teach it when sine and cosine
* Symbols: Use symbols or letters to
represent physical quantities.
* Mathematical operations on numbers and
symbols : addition, subtraction, multiplication, & division.
* Simple Euclidean geometry: Pythagoran
thm, 2 pi, etc.;
* Units: SI
** Basic units for length,
mass, and time: MKS and their internationally established definitions.
** Derived units: speed,
area, volume, density in mass, energy, momentum, intensity in energy,
* Two significant figures
* Scientific notation (power of 10
notation) and scientific scale (log _10 scale)
* The observable universe radius = (the
age of the universe) x (speed of light); In other words, it is the
(largest possible) radius of the universe that is in principle observable
through the use of light (the messenger of the universe).
* Four forces in the universe (as established
by experiments & observations): strong, electromagnetism, weak,
and gravity , in decending order of their strength.
* Four laws of thermodynamics:
** 0th law: A universal quantity
called temperature can be defined for all physical systems.
** 1st law: Energy is conserved.
** 2nd law: Entropy (a quantity
that characterizes the usage of degrees of freedom or disorder) does not
** 3rd law: There is a lowest temperature
called the absolute zero, defined as 0 K (Kelvin). 0 C is 273 K.
* Forms of energy:
** Rest-mass and kinetic energy
(the exact form, and the approximate form).
** Radiation (electromagnetic or
** Gravitational potential energy
** Electromagnetic potential energy