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The purpose of these notes is to explain what I do. Hopefully it
will be accessible to any reader willing to think a bit and with a
basic mathematics education that includes high school algebra.
Let me know if it does not accomplish this goal.
Before we get started I want to make a note about variables and
symbols. I am not planning on using a lot of equations or even
symbols, but I do not plan to shy away from them either. In
Stephen Hawking's book "A Brief History of Time," which is aimed, I
believe, at a similar class of readers, Hawking says that he will
not use any equations at all because he thinks it will scare
people off. Personally, I think that the whole point of equations
is that they make things easier. That's why mathematicians,
engineers, and scientists use them! Now we often get carried away
because we use them so much and the average person does not use
them so much. But that does not mean that you can't find them
useful too. Mathematical expressions in symbols allow us to be more
precise without having to write volumes. I hope that those of you
not use to using equations will not find this daunting and those
of you who are will be able to understand everything quite
precisely with the aid of some equations.

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David Glickenstein
2003-12-07