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.