User talk:Quondum

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I noticed on a few occasions you mention your access to references may be limited. In the following I'm probably stating the obvious, and you're more than welcome to delete this thread, but in case it's useful...

Have you access to books on mathematics by Dover Publications? Many (not all) great works are published by them at a very affordable price (approx equivalent of £ 10 = US $ 16.64), about the same as a Schaum's outlines book. Some examples include

(Unfortunately not all the classics seem to be available, e.g. Gibb's vector analysis, Schouten and Courant's treatise on Ricci calculus, Courant's Calculus and analysis, etc. which tend to get published in the high quality and ridiculously expensive Springer and Wiley or so on).

Two often good places to buy books online (at least in my experience) are abebooks or waterstones, rather than amazon, ebay, etc.

Best, M∧Ŝc2ħεИτlk 21:00, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

Thank you – this is very useful. These are prices that I can live with. I should start a list of "intended purchases". So far, I've only looked at the new book market, which is really silly of me. —Quondum 23:50, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
Willard's General Topology - much recommended. YohanN7 (talk) 02:24, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Cool. You may also like:
  • Kreyszig's Differential geometry,
  • Flanders' Differential forms with application to the physical sciences,
  • Rucker's Geometry, relativity, and the fourth dimension, (qualitative review like Penrose rather than a textbook)
  • Pauli's Theory of relativity, (historically a standard reference, today the real drawback is his use of ict..., anyway covers SR and GR, including relativistic EM, some fluid mechanics, and thermodynamics),
  • Tolman's Relativity, thermodynamics, and cosmology (similar to Pauli but more detail and better),
  • March, Young, Sampanthar's The many body problem in quantum mechanics (from the 1960s, but good for historical perspective).
I have the books listed here (plus a few more on waves, fluid mechanics, and thermodynamics), but out of the ones above, only Cartan's theory of spinors. M∧Ŝc2ħεИτlk 12:29, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Others I don't have (and hope to get soon), and which you may be interested in, include:
  • Weyl's Theory of groups and quantum mechanics,
  • Riesz and Nagy's Functional analysis,
  • Knopp's Theory of functions,
  • Silverman's
    • Introductory Complex Analysis,
    • Essential Calculus with Applications,
    • Complex Analysis with Applications,
  • Coxeter's Regular polytopes
I'll stop here. M∧Ŝc2ħεИτlk 12:55, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Okay, I'm compiling a list below. —Quondum 04:56, 4 April 2014 (UTC)


  • Sergei L. Sobolev, Partial Differential Equations of Mathematical Physics: $19.95
  • Tullio Levi-Civita, The Absolute Differential Calculus (Calculus of Tensors): $30.75 (paperback + ebook)
  • Stephen Willard, General Topology: $24.95
  • — other books (I haven't transcribed all those on tensors above yet)


  • — to be compiled

Books status[edit]

  • Lounesto Pertti (2001). Clifford Algebras and Spinors (2nd ed.). 
  • Roger Penrose (2004). The Road to Reality. 
  • Leo Dorst; Daniel Fontijne; Stephen Mann (2007). Geometric Algebra for Computer Science. 
On order
  • James Clark Maxwell. A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism. Vol 1. 
  • James Clark Maxwell. A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism. Vol 2. 
  • Élie Cartan. The Theory of Spinors. 
  • Irving Kaplansky. Linear Algebra and Geometry: A Second Course. 

JSTOR papers[edit]

Plenty of the important papers are only found at JSTOR. There you can read (all of?) them for free, only that you can have only three on your "shelf" at any one time. When you add an item to the shelf, it can be removed after 14 days. If you pay $20 per month, you can read as much as you want (don't know if they exclude much) + download 10 items per month. I think this is decent (provided you select the papers well of course). Think about 10 papers you really want. They'd probably be worth a $20 investment. Compare this to $100+ for a typical Springer GTM, which will refer you to the original papers anyway if you want the details. YohanN7 (talk) 17:52, 27 April 2014 (UTC)

Don't I have to belong to a participating library/institution? —Quondum 18:18, 27 April 2014 (UTC)
Nope. Just get an account, log in and have a look. You can't download or print, only read on the screen what you have on the "shelf", unless you pay the $20 (or you are a hacker). YohanN7 (talk) 19:06, 27 April 2014 (UTC)
A restriction of only being able to look at three papers per two-week period is pretty severe, if you just want to verify a lot of references. JRSpriggs (talk) 23:57, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
Yup, I guess so – but it's a start, and more than I've been doing... —Quondum 05:34, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
That would be the time when you take up your wallet, and cough up $20. Disclaimer: I don't know how much, and what, is excluded from these deals. I'm usually reading somewhat aged classical papers. I'd not be able to understand highly specialized 2014 research papers anyway. YohanN7 (talk) 14:58, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
I've used the "shelf" there before, and I still have access to many through my alma mater. If I can help by digging up a paper or two, just let me know. Rschwieb (talk) 17:27, 29 April 2014 (UTC)


Hi, what do you meant with "..without more context so early in the lead, this could misleadingly imply a more direct connection than is the case: it depends on what else is kept constant" -what context are you missing exactly? Prokaryotes (talk) 17:12, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

The bald statement "The entropy of a system increases or decreases with temperature" is confusing and apparently not generally true. Consider an ideal gas as an adiabatic process: it is an isentropic process, yet its temperature increases and decreases. (I'm no expert, but I cannot see how one could escape this conclusion.) —Quondum 17:28, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
I changed the part to "Systems which are not isolated may decrease in entropy.". Prokaryotes (talk) 18:11, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
Please keep in mind that the lead of an article is for introducing the concept, not for explaining details. —Quondum 19:34, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

Bra-ket notation = square blocks[edit]

Hi Quondom. Haven't looked into this too much so thought you might be able to shine some light on it. After you changed the Bra–ket notation this morning the < and > symbols are showing as white boxes to me and at least a few others. Any idea why that might be? Thanks, Sam Walton (talk) 15:39, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

Old computer with XP like me I suppose? See section 11.1 here: [2] YohanN7 (talk) 00:41, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
(ec) I've used a "standard" template to produce the symbols. It uses mathematical Unicode symbols U+27E8 (MATHEMATICAL LEFT ANGLE BRACKET) and U+27E9 (MATHEMATICAL RIGHT ANGLE BRACKET). Wikipedia uses quite a lot of characters from the Unicode mathematical extension, so their use is pretty much a given. The {{math}} template then changes the font to serif. Browsers sometimes have fonts loaded that do not include all the math characters, and then a white square or similar might be displayed. I'd suggest loading/selecting a font to solve this. If you're missing some of the more recent Unicode characters, you'll probably be missing others. In general, I think the solution is to fix it at the browser rather than trying to use only only Unicode characters dating back to before say 2004. Try selecting Cambria as your browser's serif font. If it is a general pattern with many browsers that the default sans serif font has these characters but the serif font doesn't (though I'd be surprised), we could replace the math template with nowrap throughout – a simple global substitution. Which of the following can you see properly?
  • φ|ψ
  • φ|ψ
Quondum 00:58, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
Unfortunately none of them. I did change to Cambria and refreshed. Think we have done this once before? I'll try to fiddle a bit with the fonts, but they are probably simply too old on my machine. YohanN7 (talk) 01:14, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
Ouch. I wonder how prevalent this problem is? On XP you should be able to download and install updated fonts, but I have little experience with this. For the article concerned, we could switch to <math>, which will solve the problem for most people there at least. What do you think? —Quondum 03:03, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
Hmm, I don't see either of those. And I'm running Windows 7 actually, on Chrome. Just tested Firefox and that seems to work fine. Will investigate further... Sam Walton (talk) 06:03, 3 June 2014 (UTC)



Do you know what M is up to these days?

Hasn't been around for some time... YohanN7 (talk) 01:31, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

Nope, no idea. I've had no communication in the last two months. Perhaps Rschwieb might have an idea? —Quondum 01:44, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
We mean Maschen, right? I don't think I've heard anything from him in months... Rschwieb (talk) 16:44, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

And what about I M (Mr. Sunshine)? YohanN7 (talk) 19:35, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

I have had no interaction that does not appear in his edit history. One would hope that recent political events didn't play a part in his retirement. —Quondum 19:59, 5 July 2014 (UTC)


Hi Q!

I assume you have seen this: Wikipedia:Royal Society journals

I got free access and it's still possible to join the waiting list. Not all places were filled, so there's a fair chance they'll fill up to their original quota right away from the waiting list.

M & I M & R, if you happen to read this, why don't you grab the chance as well? YohanN7 (talk) 08:24, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

I had seen it, but passed because I felt that there were many editors that would use the limited access to references far more intensively and beneficially than I would. I have not yet demonstrated (even to myself) that I source and reference material very effectively, though of course that may change when I actually get more than the very limited access to material that I have. I have applied for JSTOR access. —Quondum 03:55, 9 July 2014 (UTC)