December 21st, 2015
Take Home Final: Problems with the Color Line
Even now in 2015, the most modernist era, racism should be non-existent because of the
abolishment of slavery and the equal rights movement, it still is happenin
October 22, 2015
The Gridded City: A Review of 2 Books
New York City is a complicated city. With the five boroughs, each has their
own way of organizing their streets for people to get around. As for Manhattan, it is
15. Information and Maxwell's Demon.
I. Dilemma for Information-Theoretic Exorcisms.
(S) (Sound). The combination of object system and demon forms a canonical
(P) (Profound). The combination of object system and demon does no
14. Fluctuation Phenomena and Maxwell's Demon
Early 20th century thermal fluctuation phenomena:
Density fluctuations in fluids near critical states.
Completely random processes!
Idea: Exploit such phenomena to cons
13. The Kinetic Theory, Part 2: Objections.
1. Loschmidt's Umkehreinwand (Reversibility Objection) (1876).
"ber die Zustand des Wrmegleichgewichtes eines Systems von Krpern mit Rucksicht auf die Schwerkraft."
H-Theorem implies that a gas
12. The Kinetic Theory, Part 1.
1. Early Kinetic Theory
18th-19th Century Caloric theories of heat:
Pressure of a gas due to repulsive force of caloric particles.
Temperature is a measure of amount of caloric present.
1830s-50s. Wave theory of heat:
15. The Science of Energy - Chaps 12-14.
1. Maxwell's Demon
Maxwell's critique of scientific materialism: It entails dynamical
reversibility which is not observed in nature.
"Everything in the physical world is progres
14. The Science of Energy: Chaps 8-11
Macquorn Rankine: 1855 appointed Glasgow chair of Civil
Engineering and Mechanics.
Practical applications of new theory of thermodynamics:
air-engines: larger "fall" of heat and no exploding steam
13. The Science of Energy: Chaps 5-7
1. William Thomson's Dilemma
How to reconcile Joule with Carnot.
Carnot: Work produced by heat engines requires the fall of
heat from hot place to cold place.
Joule: Heat can be converted i
12. The Science of Energy: Chaps 1-4
Cultural history of thermodynamics ("science of energy"): 1840's-1880's.
Main characters: North British (Scottish) natural philosophers:
William Thomson (Lord Kelvin)
James Prescott Joule
07. The Wave Theory of Heat
Wave Theory: Heat is the vibrations of an ethereal fluid that fills all space
and which transmits vibrational motion from one atom to another.
Two differences from post-1850 conceptions (kinetic theory):
06. Lavoisier and the Caloric Theory of Heat
1. Air as a vapor.
Recall: 4 elements: earth, air, fire, water.
Air, fire, water can exist in free or fixed forms. What is the nature of air?
Lavoisier's manuscripts of 1766, 1772, 1773
05. Inventing Temperature: Chaps 5, 6.
1. Foundationalism vs. Coherentism.
Basic Problem: "Empirical science requires observations based on theories,
but empiricist philosophy demands that those theories should be justified by
observations. And it is in
04. Inventing Temperature: Chap 4.
1. Theories of Heat Prior to Thermodynamics.
Cold and Hot as contrary qualities (forms).
Contrary forms = forms that cannot both be present in the same thing.
Forms change via transitions between contraries.
03. Inventing Temperature: Chap 3.
1. Extending the Temperature Scale Beyond the Freezing Point of Mercury.
1733-43. Johann Gmelin in Siberia.
"The air seemed as if it were frozen, with the appearance of a fog, which did
not suffer the smoke to ascend as
02. Inventing Temperature: Chap 2.
1. The Problem of Nomic Measurement.
Thermometers filled with different
liquids did not agree.
(a) Each type of thermometer defines a
separate standard of temperature
01. Inventing Temperature: Chap 1.
1. Fixed Points.
1693. State of the art in thermometers:
"I cannot learn that any of them.were ever made
or adjusted, so as it might be concluded, what
the Degrees or Divisions.did mean; neither were
15. The Advent of the Electron.
Hunt (1991), Chap 9
1889. Lodge assesses Maxwell's theory.
An excellent account of purely field phenomena, but says little about the
interaction between fields and matter.
A theory of one medium:
".it drew no real distin
Hunt (1991), Chaps 7 & 8
14. The Maxwellian Heyday.
A. Hertz's Waves.
1887. Hertz generates and detects EM waves.
EM waves produced
by spark here.
. and spark
in gap here.
. cause current
in loop there.
13. Maxwell's Equations and EM Waves.
Hunt (1991), Chaps 5 & 6
A. The Energy of an Electromagnetic Field.
1880s revision of Maxwell: Guiding principle = concept of energy flow.
Evidence for energy flow through seemingly empty space:
12. Telegraphy and Ether Models.
Hunt (1991), Chaps 3 & 4.
A. Growth and Development of Telegraphy
1851. First submarine cable under English Channel
from Dover to Calais.
1858. First attempt to lay Atlantic cable fails after
just a month of service.
11. The Maxwellians: Fitzgerald and Lodge.
Hunt (1991), Chaps 1 & 2.
George Francis FitzGerald
1879-1894: ". transformed the rich but confusing raw material of the
Darrigol (2000), Chap 4.
1856. "On Faraday's Lines of Force".
Intended to obtain mathematical expression of Faraday's field concept.
Distinction between "intensity" (force) and "quantity" (flux).
Two circuit laws: H = j and E = -A/t.
09. Fields and Lines of Force.
Darrigol (2000), Chap 3.
A. Faraday and Dielectrics
1835. Insulator in presence of electric source is in a 'state of tension' (essence
In presence of electric source, an insulator becomes polarized: positi
08. Ampre and Faraday
Darrigol (2000), Chap 1.
(1) Electrostatics (frictional electricity)
1780s. Coulomb's description:
Two electric fluids: positive and negative.
Inverse square law:
It follows the
07. Fresnel's Unification.
Buchwald (1989), Chaps 10-12.
A. The Link between Polarization and Double Refraction
Optic axis = direction in a crystal in which a ray does not doubly refract.
Uniaxial crystal = crystal that contains one optic axis.
06. The Wave Theory: Further Developments.
Buchwald (1989), Chaps 7-9.
A. Transverse and Longitudinal Waves (Contemporary View)
Transverse wave: displacements of medium are perpendicular to direction of travel.
Longitudinal wave: displacements of medium
05. Huygens's Principle and the Wave Theory.
Buchwald (1989), Chap 6.
A. Fresnel Diffraction: Contemporary View
r' = distance from source S to point O on
wavefront at aperture.
r = distance from O to P.
Direction from points O to points P is not
04. Fresnel's Ray Theory of Diffraction.
Buchwald (1989), Chap 5.
A. Interference: Contemporary View
Coherant sources = Sources that produce waves with same amplitude and
wavelength, and that have a constant phase relation.
(a) Two coherant sources S1, S
03. Arago and Biot.
Buchwald (1989), Chaps 3, 4.
1. Arago and Ring Polarization.
Air film between a convex
lens and a plane surface.
The thickness of the film t
increases as we move out
from the center, giving a
series of alternating dark