What I would like to learn

I have a background in space engineering (especially propulsion systems) and plasma physics (with an emphasis on high frequency plasma waves and instabilities). I switched from one area to the other because I was curious to know new approaches. The difference between two fields of research consists not only of the required knowledge but also of the culture. It is like learning a new language: vocabulary is important, but understanding the culture cannot be neglected. I mean by culture, in science and in engineering, not only the methods but also the way to use the approximations, the mental representation of the physical processes, the way to differentiate a particular equation, the set of tools which is privileged. That’s why I am very curious to discover new fields. I present here some topics I would like to address in more details:

  • Artificial intelligence: neural network
  • Electronics: memristors
  • Control and Guidance
  • Signal Processing: wavelet, Hilbert transform
  • Quantum computing:
  • Photonic computing
  • Chaos, fractals
  • Swarm robotics
  • nanomaterials, self-healing materials, programmable matter, claytronics
  • machine vision
  • Renormalization

These are only some examples and I immediately realize how ambitious the task is. One searcher’s life is not enough to cover one single topic. But this is not my purpose. I just want to feel the “culture” behind these subjects, to get inspiration, to check if some methods developed for a given area can be used somewhere else.  What I need is not only an introductory text but also something that gives the essence of the subject, what makes it interesting, what the tricks used are. To find the right book is a very difficult task when starting dealing with a new continent of the physics world, the one which gives the spirit.

And this is only for science. I also have some interest in biology, philosophy, history, arts. Internet enables an easy access to this knowledge, provided that we carefully select the sources and the way to learn it. However, the time available is not compatible with these objectives. Please help me to find a solution!!


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