Mysterious as the Dark Side of the Moon

Good morning and happy Monday! I had another nightmare about grad school last night. That was fun. My brain needs to just get over being anxious! I’m a grown-ass woman, I shouldn’t be this nervous about making a huge, upending life change. Oh wait. That’s totally normal.

Before I dive into my books this sunny Monday, I wanted to finish my Friday/Saturday update so I don’t fall so far behind again. Because I basically forgot to do a section on Thursday, I planned to do three on Friday. That didn’t quite work out, but I only pushed one and I got it done Saturday. So I did meet my goals last week! Just a teeny bit off-schedule.

Friday morning I finished off the chapter on partial differentiation. This got into some pretty interesting stuff, including deriving some of Maxwell’s thermodynamic equations, the Boltzmann distribution, and a series of problems where I got to solve systems of equations with some fun middle school algebra tricks. It took a bit of doing, but I enjoyed the problems.

In the afternoon, I turned back to trusty Tipler and Mosca. I had set a rather lofty 3-chapter goal that included the entire Part V on Light with the chapters Properties of Light, Optical Images, and Interference and Diffraction. This pretty much covered the entire (non-quantum) spectrum from wave-particle duality to color to rainbows to interference rings and ray diagrams. There was even a neat section about a rough physical model of how the eye works. Plus lasers, measuring the speed of light, and more! Light is a pretty cool topic, and one quite relevant for astrophysics, so this was a good refresher. They even included a few examples from astro, which is always nice to see.

After my lengthy physics read, I didn’t get to my Python course, so I tackled that on Saturday, finishing a lesson on classes. I wanted to do two lessons, but I also have a life and a boyfriend so that didn’t happen. Only one lesson to go before the final project! That’s on the schedule for this week, and I’ll do the final when I get back. I’m pleased with what I’ve learned so far and think it will help me out a lot going forward.

Today’s fun “new” fact: Mirages are due to the differing densities, and therefore differing indices of refraction, of air of different temperatures. Hotter air closer to the ground (near asphalt, for example) creates a boundary with the cooler air above. Some of the incoming light is reflected.

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