Physics 400 002

Physical English


Some notes on giving talks and writing physics papers.

A link to John Eastwood's Oxford Guide to English Grammar.

A retired Australian teacher of English appears at about 2:30 in episode 2 of series 2 of Rake on Netflix.

Ivey Davis sent us this Powerpoint presentation about grammar.
It refers to this article mentioned in the slides.

A pdf of Compton's 1923 article on the scattering of photons by electrons.

Pages one and two of Edward Purcell's proposal to observe the 21 cm. line of atomic hydrogen in the Milky Way.

Video of last half of lecture of 29 January.
Review of Orwell's rules and some examples of mediocre writing.
Video of lecture of 5 February.
Examples of mediocre writing and my attempts to improve on them.
Video of lecture of 12 February.
Examples of good writing.
Video of lecture of 19 February.
Examples of good writing, irregular English verbs, demonstration of equivalence principle.
Video of lecture of 26 February.
Odds and ends: hopefully, there, who and whom. Examples of medicore writing and attemps to improve them.
Video of lecture of 5 March.
Parts of speech, that and which, and more examples of medicore writing and attemps to improve them.
Video of lecture of 19 March.
That and which, restrictive and non-restrictive clauses, it's okay to split infinitives, it's okay to end a sentence with a preposition, fixing some sentences.
Video of lecture of 26 March.
Some advice from the book The Reader Over Your Shoulder by Robert Graves (author of I, Claudius) and Alan Hodge.
Video of lecture of 2 April.
An example of good science writing: Arthur Compton's 1923 article on the scattering of photons by electrons. Edward Purcell's 1950 proposal to measure the 21 cm. line of intersteller atomic hydrogen. Some of the relevant physics.
Video of lecture of 9 April.
Gerunds. Examples of good science writing: Lise Meitner's 1950 Nature article "Fission and [the] Nuclear Shell Model," the 1927 article by Davisson and Germer on the scattering of electrons by nickel crystals, a 2006 article on supermassive binary black holes by Taylor and others.

Steven Pinker's lecture Linguistics as a Window to Understanding the Brain.

Noam Chomsky's lecture Language, Creativity, and the Limits of Understanding. You should skip the introductions which last seven and a half minutes.
His lecture The Concept of Language.
Audio of some of Churchill's speeches.

Undergraduates may want to apply for McNair summer research scholarships; direct your questions here.