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Jack's Page: Basic Physics and Optics
Author: Jack Ord email: email@example.com
What's It About?
It's all physics - if you have no interest in the waveforms that appear
on the Entry Page, then look no farther (I hope you liked the sailboat
picture). (In case you bypassed it, the Entry Page
has the boat picture, a wave-motion applet, a link to What's
New? and links to this page, the Site Index.)
Basic Physics deals with simple algorithms for numerical solution
of problems in physics. It is aimed at people who want to write their own
programs. Source code is provided in Liberty Basic and Java, and Instructions
are given for downloading compilers and modifying programs.
Optics is divided into Matrix Ray Optics, Matrix Wave Optics,
and Ellipsometry (matrix wave optics applied to the reflection of
polarized light from film-covered surfaces).
There is also a brief section on transients that shows examples of how
a computer can be used acquire and analyze data.
The level of the material and the form in which it is presented are
both rather uneven. The early Basic Physics material was aimed at
students in a freshman course. The more recent material, aimed at surfers
scanning the net for items of interest, is more varied in level and has
less decriptive detail. The level of the Optics material increases
progressively the farther one goes into it.
Index and Program Directory
Basic Physics with Java
Basic Physics with Java introduces algorithms for "back-of-the-envelope"
calculations in physics. It takes its name from the Basic and Java languages,
and originates from Richard Feynman's algorithm for solving F = ma problems
on 1960-vintage calculators. The algorithms are simple, but accurate, and
can be applied to a wide variety of problems in physics. The main languages
used are Liberty Basic (shareware
or inexpensive purchase), and Java
(free development kit). A few programs for HP48 calculators or Postscript
printers are included to show that the algorithms can be implemented on
almost any combination of hardware and software.
Fieldlines and Equipotentials
Newton's Law and the Feynman Algorithm
Energy Conservation and Integration
Coupled Oscillators and Normal Modes
Matrix Ray Optics: Matrix Optics by Ian Dagg, Web
Edition by Don De Smet
Ian was Professor of Physics and Chairman of the Department at the University
of Waterloo at the time of his death in 1993.
Don is Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Alabama,
Matrix Wave Optics
A matrix treatment of wave propagation that continues on from the matrix
treatment of geometrical optics and provides the groundwork for the sections
A brief self-contained introduction to the subject. A more detailed
discussion of the introductory material is given in the Matrix Ray Optics
and Matrix Wave Optics sections. A more general discussion of ellipsometry,
including the Jones Calculus description of polarized light, can be found
Closer Look at Nulling Ellipsometry by Don De Smet. Detail on the operation
of a typical null instrument can be found in Principles
of Operation of the Exacta 2000, also by Don De Smet.
Programs for the analysis of exponential and logarithmic transients.
The 'capacitor tester' program is from an interfacing exercise for graduate
students (or demonstration for freshmen). The logarithmic transient program
is used in research on high-field ionic conduction. Both programs use data
acquired under program control by interface hardware that sets the current
through and reads the potential across an external circuit.