Rev Dr Giles Fraser, St Mary’s Newington

Order and chaos, a three minute essay by G. Fraser with illustrations from the Big Book of Magic Stuff, Thomas Hobbes, Marxism, the Book of Common Prayer and Venezuela, covering such issues as authoritarianism, monarchy and the social contract between the governed and those who govern.

Listen/Read

Geometric Algebra

I spent all of last year getting half way through one of the standard texts on Geometric Algebra (more often called Clifford Algebra).

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Geometric-Algebra-Physicists-Chris-Doran/dp/0521715954

I’ve finally written a web page on the subject.

http://www.platitudes.org.uk/relativity/geometricalgebra.html

I haven’t had time to do many pretty pictures or animations, so it’s fairly basic text with a bit of maths thrown in.

The reason I wanted to put it up now is that I’ve just got to the bit where they address quantum mechanics. This is the bit I’ve been waiting for and is really why the mathematician David Hestenes revived the subject in the 1960s.

Quantum mechanics includes a description of electron spin. Spin is important because it defines the statistical properties of particles, affects atomic energy levels and is one of the principle mechanisms responsible for chemical bonds. However, the mathematical description of electron spin is deeply mysterious. It involves mathematical objects that are quite unlike anything else in maths or physics and that I always had great difficulty understanding. That is, until I got to their description in Geometric Algebra.

There’s a lot more detail on my web page (probably more than most people would like). All I can say is, the last year’s work has been worth it.

I’m hoping to add a further page on geometric calculus and Maxwell’s equations, but that’s for a later date.