# ESP Biography

## LAWRENCE CHIOU, Harvard senior studying physics

Major: Physics

College/Employer: Harvard

## Brief Biographical Sketch:

Born and raised in central Iowa, Lawrence Chiou is in his fourth year at Harvard College. When not writing physics course notes for ESP, Lawrence enjoys playing piano and violin, listening to Ravel or Bach, reading chamber music, doing recreational mathematics, and playing Settlers of Catan.

## Past Classes

(Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

X9065: Mightier than the Sword: The Greatest Pens (and Pencils) Ever Made in Splash 2014 (Nov. 22 - 23, 2014)
A couple years ago, I began my search for the greatest writing tools ever made. Although the quest for a definitive answer continues, I have identified some of the smoothest and most elegant (and at times most expensive) pens and pencils ever crafted by humankind. We'll examine the world of the mighty pen (with a focus on the elegant fountain pen) and trusty pencil (both mechanical and conventional). There will be live demos and samples on display.

S9066: Exploring Einstein's Special Relativity in Splash 2014 (Nov. 22 - 23, 2014)
As Einstein posited at the turn of the last century, if we accept that the speed of light is the universal “speed limit” and that the laws of physics are the same to all inertial observers, then a simple thought experiment reveals stunning inconsistencies in the foundations of Newtonian physics. The theory of special relativity is elegant enough that starting with nothing but two simple postulates and a little algebra, we can derive and explain all of the fundamental results of special relativity. We will also discuss some rudimentary aspects of relativistic dynamics (which requires a third assumption).

M9067: Math by Storytelling in Splash 2014 (Nov. 22 - 23, 2014)
Sometimes, if you're doing it the hard way, you're doing it wrong. In math, oftentimes we can get away with very few equations and calculations, if any at all. Instead, we can rely on another powerful tool at our disposal: storytelling. We will examine how we can do some difficult combinatorics problems simply by interpreting what the math means.

S9068: Advanced Classical Mechanics in Splash 2014 (Nov. 22 - 23, 2014)
Given two points in the plane, what is the path connecting them that will carry a point traveling between the two points in the least amount of time? In general, what are the conditions under which there exists a conserved quantity (such as linear or angular momentum)? To answer these questions, it will help considerably to recast Newton’s laws in an equivalent but much more powerful form instead of working with Newton’s laws directly. A more advanced grounding of mechanics, the so-called Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formalisms, provides the theoretical underpinnings for much of physics as we know it today. We will derive the so-called Lagrange and Hamilton equations and explain some of their implications on thermodynamics and quantum mechanics.

X8073: Mightier than the Sword: The Greatest Pens and Pencils Ever Made in Splash! 2013 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2013)
A couple years ago, I began my search for the greatest pens, pencils, and inks ever made. Although the quest for a definitive answer continues, I have identified some of the smoothest and most elegant (and at times most expensive) writing tools ever crafted by humankind. We'll examine the world of the mighty pen (with a focus on the elegant fountain pen) and trusty pencil (both mechanical and conventional). There will be live demos, samples on display, and possibly the chance to play with some pens worth more than \$200.

S8074: All of Physics* in Two Hours in Splash! 2013 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2013)
If you're not sure what physics course to choose, you might as well take all of them at the same time. (This year there are five classes on special relativity and six on quantum mechanics, which is actually far from a record.) Starting with Newton's laws, we will proceed to explain all of classical mechanics and electromagnetism (including analytical mechanics and special relativity), then go on to wave mechanics, statistical mechanics, and quantum mechanics. *[Admittedly, this is a far stretch from "ALL of physics," but it does include the fundamentals of what was known from the 1680s to the 1930s. In any case, if you're ready to see quantum field theory (or have a very good idea of what that is), then this class is probably too easy for you, anyway.]

S8075: Exploring Einstein's Special Relativity in Splash! 2013 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2013)
As Einstein posited at the turn of the last century, if we accept that the speed of light is the universal “speed limit” and that the laws of physics are the same to all inertial observers, then a simple thought experiment reveals stunning inconsistencies in the foundations of Newtonian physics. The theory of special relativity is elegant enough that starting with nothing but two simple postulates and a little algebra, we can derive and explain all of the fundamental results of special relativity. We will also discuss some rudimentary aspects of relativistic dynamics (which requires a third assumption).

S8076: Advanced Mechanics in Splash! 2013 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2013)
Given two points in the plane, what is the path connecting them that will carry a point traveling between the two points in the least amount of time? In general, what are the conditions under which there exists a conserved quantity (such as linear or angular momentum)? To answer these questions, it will help considerably to recast Newton’s laws in an equivalent but much more powerful form instead of working with Newton’s laws directly. A more advanced grounding of mechanics, the so-called Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formalisms, provides the theoretical underpinnings for much of physics as we know it today. We will derive the so-called Lagrange and Hamilton equations and explain some of their implications on thermodynamics and quantum mechanics.

S6573: Selected Topics in Modern Physics in Splash! 2012 (Nov. 17 - 18, 2012)
You've used F = ma before but felt like all you did were some cut-and-dried problems. In this course, we will go beyond plugging and chugging by examining some interesting and challenging examples in modern physics and by exploring some topics not frequently seen in high school physics courses. Topics include quantum mechanics, special relativity, atomic theory, and electromagnetism.

N5963: AP Physics C in Delve 2012-2013 (Sep. 16, 2012)
AP Physics C is a year-long class preparing for both Physics C exams. See collegeboard.com for more details on the content in AP Physics C.

S6038: Selected Topics in Introductory Physics in HSSP Summer 2012 (Jul. 08, 2012)
You've used F = ma before but felt like all you did were some cut-and-dried problems, mostly on mechanics. In this course, we will go beyond plugging and chugging by examining some interesting and challenging examples in introductory physics and by exploring some topics not frequently seen in high school physics courses. Topics include the history of the atom, electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, special relativity, and thermodynamics.

S5668: Classical Mechanics and Special Relativity in HSSP Spring 2012 (Feb. 18, 2012)
An accelerated introduction to classical mechanics, the study of how objects move under Newton’s laws of motion (with some special relativity). There will be a strong focus on developing problem solving skills, as opposed to simply learning facts and formulas. Even those who have previously taken an AP Physics course will likely find many challenging problems and additional depth not covered in their high school course. That said, previous physics knowledge, though strongly recommended, is not required. Topics include kinematics, Newton's laws, special relativity, conservation of momentum and energy, rotational motion, and simple harmonic motion.

S5562: Selected Topics in Introductory Physics in Splash! 2011 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2011)
You've used F = ma before but felt like all you did were some cut-and-dried problems. In this intensive course, we will go beyond plugging and chugging and spamming equations by examining some interesting and challenging examples in introductory physics, as well as by exploring some topics not frequently seen in high school physics courses. Topics include non-uniform circular motion; rotational motion; special relativity; the relationship between the magnetic and electric field; and systems with variable mass or acceleration.

M5563: Introduction to Probability in Splash! 2011 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2011)
Uncertainty exists everywhere---in science, in the weather, in politics, and of course in Las Vegas---but we certainly don't have to be uncertain about it! In this course, we present a basic framework for exploring the world of probability. Topics include basic combinatorial techniques, independence, and conditional probability.

Selected Topics in Modern Physics in DELVE (Spic)
You've used F = ma before but felt like all you did were some cut-and-dried problems. In this course, we ...