This page is respectfully dedicated to the best teachers I have ever known: Eugene Wigner, Charles Kittel, Roy Glauber and Hermann von Helmholtz
This area is arranged according to the headings in the list below. Please select the link to your area of interest to see the articles under that heading. Physics is also found in the Optics and Mathematical Physics areas.
- Electricity and Magnetism, including charged particles, discharges, plasmas, and electrochemistry.
- Mechanics and Thermodynamics
- Quantum Physics, including group theory.
- Chemistry and Materials, including pyrotechnics and war gases
- Miscellaneous, biology and websites for example.
Electricity and Magnetism
Mechanics and Thermodynamics
There is a wealth of periodic tables on the internet, all with pretty much the same information, but with little interpretation. Three examples are given below.
Webelements is a good site, but the spelling is sometimes bad. The lanthanides are shown beginning with La and ending with Yb, which is confusing. There are pictures of the elements. A good periodic table that you can print out (.pdf file) is included.
Tabla Periódica, is excellent, even though it does use a textured background. It is also in Spanish.
The articles in this section contain a good deal of physics, by the way!
- Crystals and Lattices: an introduction to the reciprocal lattice, a very useful concept.
- Why Is Milk White?: an incorrect answer in my dairy newsletter.
- Organic Chemistry: an introduction to organic compounds and reactions.
- Ice: explaining its structure and properties.
- Salt: a chemical of historic importance.
- Hydrogen: the most common element in the universe.
- Helium: and the other inert gases.
- Uranium: with radioactivity and nuclear power.
- Carbon: The Element of Life; also fuels and buckyballs.
- Silicon: The Element of the Earth. From semiconductors to glass, from diatoms to cement.
- Boron: an idiosyncratic element that likes the icosahedron.
- Iron: magnetism and red blood are two things it gives us.
- Chromium and Manganese: transition metals, ligand fields, and strategic materials.
- The Rare Earths: including scandium and thorium.
- Mercury: lore of the only elemental liquid metal.
- Lead: a metal of many uses.
- Tin: a metal full of history, maker of bronze.
- Zinc and Cadmium: a metal used before it was discovered; brass and alloys.
- Aluminium: the metal that electricity brings.
- Beryllium: a strange light metal found in beryllium copper and in gemstones.
- Copper, Silver and Gold: the royal family of metals.
- Platinum and its family.
- Phosphorus: the element that glows in the dark, and carries the energy of life.
- Arsenic: an element on the boundary of metal and nonmetal, with a curious history.
- Sulphur: the element that likes to form chains.
- Peroxide: hydrogen peroxide and related compounds.
- Soap and Bubbles: bubbles are not as simple as they appear.
- Ammonia: ammonia lore and the application of group theory to its infrared spectrum.
- Flash! Bang! Whiz!: propellants, explosives, pyrotechnics and fireworks.
- Chemical Warfare: poison gases.
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The rainbow from I-76 in Northeastern Colorado. Note supernumerary bows, dark space, and just-perceptible secondary bow.