I was told on friday that Sidney Coleman’s famous Quantum Field Theory course was actually videotaped in the 70’s and now exists online, and it’s true ! It’s kind of awesome, but also a little bit depressing, like when someone gives you the most recent season of the Wire on DVD–you know you have to now devote a huge amount of time to it (75 hours of QFT!). I just watched the first lecture, and the man is compelling, even when talking about sign conventions! The video doesn’t pick up the board real well (I remember a while back, there were some written circulating notes from this course, does anybody know where I can get them?). I haven’t felt so learned in black in white since that one summer when I stumbled upon the oddly magnetic Bishop Fulton J. Sheen on public television (for the good bishop on the subject of temptation, see here . I love his blackboard work!). A few comments about the Coleman videos:
1. Man, the 70’s looked like they sucked. Glad I didn’t live through them.
2. Sidney Coleman is a nerd’s nerd right from his Wallace Shawn voice to Urkel-esque laugh.
3. He’s also kind of a badass. Throughout this first class, I think he must smoke about twenty cigarettes. He also gets obvious glee from twisting his moustache at several points. And there’s nothing not awesome about that.
From the way the tips of those cigarettes glow, I’d say the camera had a pretty strong pickup in the IR spectrum.
Google for the notes, there are two versions notes (handwritten and latexed), but they do not belong to the same season you’re watching on videos. Lectures have changed abit!