Boltzmann is a theoretical physics discussion group at IIT Madras that meets regularly at the Physics Dept, IITM to discuss Theoretical Physics.
What it's all about
Boltzmann is a group of physics enthusiasts from IIT Madras who discuss theoretical physics on weekends/holidays. The atmosphere is that of an informal discussion rather than that of a classroom. Students enjoy discussing Physics without the pressure of examinations and grades.
Boltzmann meets on most Saturdays during the semester. On every occasion, the discussion is led by a volunteer who does most of the talking. The speaker presents a specific topic pitched at a fairly advanced (for an undergraduate) level. Members of the audience are free to interrupt the speaker to ask questions or even jump up to the board to make a point.
In the past we have discussed the following topics:
- General Relativity
- Photon - Electron gas
- Ising model
- Random Walks
- Classical and Quantum Information theory
Usually, a theme is picked for a semester, and the discussions revolve around that theme, sometimes developing the subject from scratch. However, other self-containable topics are presented on some days.
A basic knowledge of algebra and calculus and an open mind to absorb whatever percentage you understand ;-)
The venue for most of our discussions is HSB 317 in the Humanities and Sciences block. To get there, enter the Physics Department from the main entrance, climb up the stairs to the second floor, take a left, then take the right and walk down to the end. You should find HSB317 on your right, opposite to HSB315A (Prof. Suresh Govindarajan's office).
Alternatively, if you know how to get to the undergraduate physics lab, HSB317 is in the corridor opposite to the entrance of the lab.
Some of the Boltzmann talks have been converted into notes available in PDF format. These notes will be made available through this website.