Student Resources

Miscellaneous Links

Links Notes
2012 Academic Calendar Why this is so hard to find, I don't know...but here it is.
Letter of Recommendation Request Fill this out when you want me to write you a letter of recommendation.  It will help you give me all the information I need and will help me complete the letter in a timely manner.
Graph Paper Many of our physics labs require graph paper.  Here's a good palce to get it for free.
"So, you  want to go into industry ?" A talk given by AMG to a recent physics student colloquium here, largely based on data from the American Institute of Physics.
GRE Preparation Materials This .zip file contains a number of GRE-related materials. Mainly physics practice problems and several sample physics tests. It also contains some material for the general GRE.

Physics Demo's and Interactive Applets

Topic Links Notes
MIT Physics Demo's Youtube Playlist for MIT's Demo's This is a collection of videos of in-class demo's carried out by MIT's physics department
Interactive computer models UC Boulder's Interactive Simulations A collection of computer simluations based on standard physics (classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, etc.) that are made "interactive" and show "cartoons" of the system behavior. Requires Java.
Many more computer sim's with links http://www.falstad.com/mathphysics.html A private party has made these simulations available to everyone and the page has a whole lot of links to other physics simulations and related material.

Free Online Lectures

Topic  Links Notes
The Learning Portal learningportal.com
A site with links to all the best free online courseware.
Lectures at MIT MIT Open Courseware
(Direct to physics courses)
A large number of MIT courses are available online for free. If you want extra material, want to go beyond the current class material, or just want a different point of view, here's your answer. 
Kip Thorne Lectures at Caltech Caltech's Physics 237 Graduate-level course on gravitational wave detection.  Difficult for an undergraduate, but very worthwhile.

OF Interest to Physicists
Topic  Links Notes
Meet the boss Meet the Boss TV Videos of interviews with high-level managers in many fields. The videos are organized by discipline and include a "Technology" section. If you want to know how current executives see their field and/or would like to work in any of these fields, this site is worth looking at.
Periodic  Table Element Collection, Wikipedia's version, Another clickable version. Some interesting periodic tables.  The element collection is particularly nice.
Atomic Spectra Visual, Simple Tabular, Complete.
Discharge tube spectra measured here.
The first link is a simple program that you can download.  It makes images of the spectra you can expect to see from the elements in the periodic table.  It also has a list of the strongest  line frequencies.  The second is a tabular list of the strongest lines of  the elements including  intensities.  The third is NIST's site.  The fourth link is a set of sample spectra that I took of some comon gases in discharge tubes (the vertical grey lines show the expected positions of lines).
Circuits All About Circuits (pdf)
This is a web-based textbook on electronic circuits.  It's  more than 2000 pages long, so don't try to print it all out! It's updated periodically, and can be found at: www.allaboutcircuits.com/

Circuit Symbols (docx)
Circuit Symbols (pdf)
List of the set of symbols used to inidcate components in a typical electronic circuit diagram.  Reproduced from thinkquest.org.
Scientific Instruments Online Museum (local copy - faster) A huge collection of pictures and descriptions of early scientific apparatus. Modern apparatus is based on these and in many cases is not much changed.  It's very educational to look at these early instruments, as they show their function so clearly.
Old Books Laboratory Arts, Experimental Physics
Build your own scientific laboratory...

Useful Free Software for Physicists
Category  Links Notes
PDF & Postscript Adobe Reader
The standard PDF viewer.

CutePDF Writer
Write PDF ’s without buying Adobe Acrobat.  The quality of CutePDF Writer documents is is very good, about the same as Adobe Acrobat generated documents.  Other free writers don’t seem to do as good a job.  You will also need Ghostscript (see next item below).
  Ghostscript and GSView
Postscript and pdf file compiler.  Needed for CutePDF and for GSView.   GSView is a postscript file viewer and also works as a Postscript to PDF distiller (or vice versa).

See the  links on the  Physics Labs pages.
Webpages that help you get started installing and using a TeX/ LaTeX distribution. 
 Bibliography Software JabRef
Windows, Linux, OSX
A bibliography manager.  EndNote is the commercial windows equivalent.  This bibliography manager's native tongue is BibTeX which makes it particularly appropriate for LaTeX users.  I like it very much.
Octave Octave.org
Source code only: For binary downloads see Octave-forge below.
Octave is a free, syntax-compatible clone of Matlab.  In other words, most programs that you write in Octave should also run in Matlab. The link here is to the Octave core language development site. It has a lot of information. If you want to download the binaries (and automatic installers) click on the Octave-forge link below.  There are some small syntactical differences which can require you to modify Matlab code to run on Octave and vice versa, but for most uses, they are fully compatible. Exceptions: Simulink is not available in Octave, GUI's are implemented differently in the two languages, Octave toolkits are not the same as Matlabs although there is much overlap.
This is the download page of the user contributions to Octave and to the Windows & Mac builds of Octave.   If you are running Linxu, you will want to download Octave/Octave-forge through your package manager.  Here’s a useful link to a professor at Carlton University who uses Octave.
Linux, Mac & Windows in harmony Unison
Unison is the only cross-platform, free file-system synchronizer that I know of and it is awesome.  I couldn’t live without it.  For use with windows I have both Putty and Cygwin installed.  Unison will install directly under Cygwin and this may be the easiest way to set it up under Windows. Personally, I use the straight Windows port which is not at all easy to set up.  See here and here for some help on that approach.
Cygwin allows you to run many popular Linux/Unix applications directly within Windows.  Therefore, this is much faster than a Virtal Machine (see below).   For example, it allows you to run an XWindows server so that you can ship the graphical output of remote Linux/Unix programs directly to your desktop.  The Cygwin “setup.exe” is very nice.  You can run the setup.exe  repeatedly, each time choosing wich Linux/Unix programs to add or remove from your system from a large array of choices.
  ext2fs, ext2ifs, explore2fs
All of these will allow windows to mount the Linux partitions as separate drive letters.  Only ext2fsd  (download from the ext2fs homepage) has write support.  Explore2fs is easiest to use and install. Most Linux distributions now allow you to read and write to Windows FAT32 and NTFS file systems.