# Fundamental Universe

I contributed two one-evening talks to a one-semester COS course on
‘The Fundamental Universe’, which was intended to be a series of talks
on the fundamental ideas of physics, concentrating on the core ideas
rather than any of the details, practical or not.

The slides below are by no means standalone, and so are here
almost for decoration. The extra notes, as well, are intended as a
supplement – extended footnotes – for those who were at the class.

## Classical mechanics from the mountaintop

Slightly quixotically, this was an attempt to
provide an overview of classical mechanics, from the variational point
of view (in contrast to the more readily intelligible
Newtonian/Cartesian point of view of forces acting on objects). This
point of view is typically mathematically very sophisticated, and
therefore impenetrable, and I'm not sure how well this presentation
succeeded, but as a flavour of a different way of thinking about these
things, and as a pointer to the advatages of that, I hope it achieved
at least some of its goals.

## A scamper through quantum mechanics

This talk covered the ‘why’ of Quantum Mechanics, and some of the
core ideas and paradoxes (so EPR, Bell’s theorem, and the Aspect
experiments).