ESP Biography

AVERAGE PHAN, MIT student studying AeroAstro Engineering

Major: Physics

College/Employer: MIT

Year of Graduation: 2015

Picture of Average Phan

Brief Biographical Sketch:

I like learning and teaching

Past Classes

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

X7374: Twists in SciFi in Splash! 2013 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2013)
This class will be about some interesting twists in SciFi and how one can make them better. We'll use twists from some famous Visual Novels as examples, such as Never7, Ever17, Remember11, 999 and Virtual Last Reward. No prior knowledge about these Visual Novels is needed - this class will be self-contained. * If you're interested in "real" SciFi, which is Theoretical Physics, you should try Trung's other class 7369: The Story of Theoretical Physics

S6845: Advanced Mechanics in HSSP Spring 2013 (Mar. 02, 2013)
This course will quickly explore the topics most commonly found in first year classical mechanics. It will implement advanced mathematical techniques freely, and formulate classical dynamics using more mathematical maturity than seen in typical classical mechanics courses. When formulating dynamics, both linear and rotational systems will be explored, and will result in an investigation of symmetries in space and time, and how these symmetries lead to conserved quantities such as linear momentum, angular momentum, and energy. The final part of the course will explore effective potential diagrams (an important topic often overlooked in introductory courses such as MIT’s 8.01), and their use in classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, general relativity, etc.

S6886: Interactions in Theoretical Physics in Spark! 2013 (Mar. 16, 2013)
This class will give the definition of Interaction in Classical Physics and Modern Physics (Quantum Mechanics, Quantum Field Theory and String Theory), and show how mass, charge, other properties of a particle and even the particle itself are just illusions. This class is a brief and fast-pace version of "S6621: Illusion of Space, Time and Particle" and "S6646: A quick guide for Theoretical Physics ", which were taught in Splash2012.

S6887: Effective Potential in Spark! 2013 (Mar. 16, 2013)
A large part of this class will discuss about the definition of effective potential in Classical Mechanics and its applications. In the end, we will show how Physicists generalize this simple concept to solve complex problems in General Relativity and to find what kind of particles one can expect in a given theory in Quantum Field Theory.

S6621: Illusion of Space, Time and Particle in Splash! 2012 (Nov. 17 - 18, 2012)
Do you really understand what Space, Time and Particles actually are? Welcome to Theoretical Physics, you’ll see how your common sense means nothing – you don’t even actually know how to count! In the first half of the class, we will teach you about special relativity and general relativity, then show you how complicated Space and Time really are – everything you see is just an illusion. In the second part of the class, we will teach you quantum mechanics and relativistic quantum field theory with a curved spacetime background, and tell you how a Particle can pop out of nowhere, and then disappear without trace and do some other interesting things. And as common sense is meaningless, we will show you how even every particle is just an illusion. We promise that we will teach you how to count again – very carefully, and then show you that it’s totally meaningless. Finally, in the end of the class (this is an optional part, since it will depend on how much time we have left), we will tell you about how Theoretical Physicists think about Particles – the building blocks of everything – from Classical Mechanics to Supersymmetric String Theory and maybe Non-pertubative String Theory. We hope that after being a student in our class, you will feel that everything around you is meaningless and nothing that you have learnt until now makes sense, and that Physics is just a big troll.

S6637: Vector Dynamics in Splash! 2012 (Nov. 17 - 18, 2012)
We will show you how to use basic vector calculus to solve some dynamics problems. We will do some point-particle dynamics problems in the first part of the class (for example, the Kepler problem, which is simple) and then rigid body dynamics problems in the second part of the class (for example, a problem about a sphere on a rotating plane, which is complicated). A list of possible problems will be uploaded.

S6640: Pursuit Problem in Splash! 2012 (Nov. 17 - 18, 2012)
The pursuit problem is a very famous type of Physics problem in high school level. The statement of the problem is simple: object A is chasing object B, find the final distance between them, the total time they need to reach each other and the place they meet, or the trajectory of each object. We will go through some problems, from very simple to extremely complicate. We will show you some helpful trick to play with these problems. A list of possible problems will be uploaded.

S6643: Buoyant force in Splash! 2012 (Nov. 17 - 18, 2012)
Buoyant force is a very fundamental force in the nature, however, what creates that force? In this class, we will derive the equation for buoyant force and do some challenging problem related to the buoyant force.

S6646: A quick guide for Theoretical Physics in Splash! 2012 (Nov. 17 - 18, 2012)
(2nd of a 3 classes series). This class continues what we teach in “Illusion of Space, Time and Particle”. Consider that we finished with Special Relativity, General Relativity and basic Quantum Mechanics in “Illusion of Space, Time and Particle”; we will go through the mathematical ideas (and introduce some background) in Quantum Theory, Relativistic Quantum Field Theory, Grand Unified Theory, Standard Model, String Theory and beyond (depend on how much time we have left, we will go through M-theory, F-theory and Non-pertubative theory). We will proceed very rapidly, and we don’t expect you to understand all the mathematics, but we really hope you can understand the basic ideas underlying in each theory.

S6651: Example of Theoretical Physics problem: Illusion of mass in Splash! 2012 (Nov. 17 - 18, 2012)
(3rd of a 3 classes series) This class is the last in our series of 3 classes in Theoretical Physics; the 2 previous classes are “Illusion of Space, Time and Particle” and “A quick guide for Theoretical Physics”. In this class, we will do a real problem (the self energy and decay rate of scalar particles) in Theoretical Physics together, and we will show you how mass is also just an illusion. And indeed from this problem we will show you that even Math itself is just an illusion in some senses!!! Since we will do the calculation in detail, it will be extremely hard to follow, so one of the teachers will give the ideas underlying all the mathematics, and the other will just write down the math. We will show you how hard it is to become a Theoretical Physicist (although the problem we are going to do is so easy for a real Physicist – nowhere near what they have to solve), and also see how cool being a Theoretical Physicist is.

E6725: Tsiolkovsky rocket equation in Splash! 2012 (Nov. 17 - 18, 2012)
In this class, we will show you how to calculate the speed of the rocket by introduce the Tsiolkovsky equation, and then we will generalize it. Later, we will do some related problems in non-relativistic frame and relativistic frame, if we have enough time. A list of possible problems will be uploaded.