Hey, thanks for visiting my site. Iā€™m Jakob Schwichtenberg.

I’m a physics student and I try to write down things during my own learning process. This means I’m by no means an expert in the subjects I’m writing about. My motivation is perfectly sumarized by the following quote by C. S. Lewis

“It often happens that two schoolboys can solve difficulties in their work for one another better than the master can. […] The fellow-pupil can help more than the master because he knows less. The difficulty we want him to explain is one he has recently met. The expert met it so long ago he has forgotten. He sees the whole subject, by now, in a different light that he cannot conceive what is really troubling the pupil; he sees a dozen other difficulties which ought to be troubling him but arenā€™t.”

I authored a textbook called Physics from Symmetry and I’m currently working on my thesis on dark matter in Grand Unified Theories.

If you have any questions or found some error here or in my book please do not hesitate to contact me. My mail adress is mail at jakobschwichtenberg.com or alternatively just leave a comment here.




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  1. A few words to say your book is really well written and clear from a self learner in physics. Good work to explain some advanced concepts without need at the beginning of advanced mathematical topics. Thanks


  2. I thought I had already hit a ‘ceiling’ in learning physics after struggling through my undergrad classes. It partly had to do with an inefficient and ineffective way of learning the subject, resulting in a general anxiety towards approaching more ‘advanced’ topics (i.e. the Intro EM and QM classes were already daunting experiences at that time).

    But after graduation, I decided to give it a second shot. I began by watching youtube physics tutorials and lectures, picked up the standard undergrad textbooks again, and read them carefully. Things became less vague, my knowledge gaps slowly closed, and the pieces of the puzzle started to emerge. I stumbled upon your book on Amazon, got an e-copy (legally) and wow, I am surprised I’ve been following it for more than 130 pages (of course, having checked the errata along the way). Your explanation, derivations and logic helped me fill even more knowledge gaps, link ideas that seemed irrelevant and allowed me to appreciate the beauty of nature even with such limited background knowledge.

    Thank you very much Jakob for the book. I whole-heartedly agree that a lot of experts forget what it’s like to be a beginner. Even for those authors (like Griffiths) who could explain things very well to a beginner, those I’ve encountered so far only cover one topic at a time (EM, QM, Classical Mechanics, etc.) and it is so hard to be ‘revealed’ the ‘higher level’ connections and intuitions from a top-down level. I really appreciate your effort to cater to ambitious beginners / amateurs like me who didn’t go through the grad school journey to discover how things ultimately work. Whether this becomes an undergrad ‘standard’ text or not, I believe you put in all these effort not for the money or fame, but out of a compassionate heart who want to help the strongly curious, but clueless, folks to actually ‘get there’. Thanks again.

  3. I’m a process chemist, so I haven’t looked at general physics in quite a while, and I haven’t finished this book yet, but what I have read is superb. I never like giving students formulas simply to memorize, and as good as some books are, they all seem to invariably partition the subjects that they try to teach, which makes integrating the knowledge into their web of knowledge and internalizing it a much harder task for the students. Einstein may have said that if you can’t explain something simply, then you don’t know it enough, but it would help if textbooks, and not just students and teachers, would strive for that goal. This book does it far better than any book I have read (though again, I haven’t read one recently). Thanks for producing it.

    Have you thought about contacting a company like the Great Courses, and maybe trying to teach a general physics course with this approach? It seems like the style of learning they are interested in, and they don’t shy away from difficult concepts, as seen in the Superstring Theory lecture series. Might be worth a look.

    Thanks again.


  4. Hi Jakob,

    cool that you have already written such a book while still being a student, both thumbs up ;-)!

    I will probably read it in German.

    At what university are you?

    Best wishes


  5. Hi Jacob and thanks for a great book !!

    Could You please explain for me the math. behind Eq. 3.94 and 3.105

    Sinc. Trond Braaten