How to use this book
The pdf version of the book may be printed. If you really want a print version, write to us and we will order one for you.
The e-pub version contains MathML. Most e-readers, such as the Nook and Kindle, do not handle this format yet. We plan to offer Nook and Kindle editions through Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Amazon, but please note that in these files, the math will not be interactive; it will be svg or png images.
There are several e-reader programs that do handle MathML: these are Calibre (http://calibre-ebook.com/), Readium (http://readium.org/) and Azardi (http://azardi.infogridpacific.com/). You may read this epub file directly on those readers. We have tested it on all of these and it appears to work well. Note that rendering may vary.
These e-readers incorporate MathJax (http://www.mathjax.org/). Browsers/readers that incorporate MathJax or MathML are listed here: http://www.mathjax.org/resources/epub-readers/. It is also possible to add MathJax to the epub file in order to read it on readers that allow Java. Instructions for doing that are found here:
http://boolesrings.org/krautzberger/2013/01/13/how-to-include-mathjax-in-an-epub3-file-to-work-with-ibooks-and-possibly-others/
Many browsers, such as Firefox, also can use MathML. In order to open the files on a browser, simply unzip the epub by naming the ".epub" file to ".zip" and then unzipping it. The individual .xhtml files for each chapter, and the associated figures, will all be in the archive. You can then read each file individually on a browser.
Preface
This book is a labor of love. We wrote it because we loved solving physics problems as grad students, but sometimes got frustrated when it was hard to obtain detailed solutions to find out if we were on the right track. Here we’ve tried to collect the most representative problems from the 5 major branches of physics–classical mechanics, special relativity, quantum mechanics, statistical/thermal physics, and electricity and magnetism–and present the solutions in great detail, pointing out when there are special tricks or leaps of logic.
Many of the “classic” problems may be found in the literature, where they were new and original when they were solved for the first time. In these cases, we provide references to these original papers, and encourage you to read them. Sometimes a problem can be solved in more than one way, and the original solutions can be surprisingly elegant or complicated, as the case may be.
The majority of these problems can be solved quickly once the tricks are seen. They are the type of problem that is likely to be found on a midterm or qualifying exam. A few are longer (e.g. Aharonov-Bohm effect) and are of the type seen in take-home exams or homeworks. Our primary audience is graduate students studying for qualifying exams, although junior/senior undergraduates will also find useful problems here.
We have made every effort to eliminate typos and other errors, but no doubt some remain. We encourage you to contact us with errata. Please note that if this book’s other formats (such as e-pub) are used, browsers may render differently. One known problem is that in the conversion from epub to pdf using Calibre, some of the square brackets [] get lost. Some browsers cannot render certain characters, or may show them differently. If something seems wrong in these versions, we encourage you to consult the html or use another reader or browser to check the equation.
Happy solving!
Jay Nadeau (jay@bitingduckpress.com)
Leila Cohen
Ben Sauerwine
November 2013