Invitation to a talk: Jochen Rau, Thursday April 5th 2018, 12:00 noon at the IQOQI Seminar Room

The beauty of the basics – what I learnt in 5 years of teaching theoretical physics

`Docendo discimus – by teaching, we learn’, the ancient Romans used to say. After close to 5 years of teaching theoretical physics to undergraduates, I wholeheartedly agree. Even the basic subjects may still surprise both the student and the teacher. I will share three little gems, one from each course I taught in recent years at Ulm University , which I found particularly enlightening and which, in my view, deserve a more prominent place in the theory curriculum: in classical mechanics, the Poincaré-Cartan invariant; in electrodynamics, the parallels between Maxwell’s equations and the Schrödinger equation; and in statistical mechanics, the information-theoretic underpinning of entropy, ensembles, and the second law.

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