Emeritus Professor of Engineering
Oakland University

Last Lecture

I retired from Oakland University in 2012, and on April 2, 2012 gave a Last Lecture at Meadow Brook Theatre. You can view this Last Lecture by clicking on the following figure. It lasts about 55 minutes.

Since retiring, I have written the four book shown below. Peggy's Discovery is a novel based on many of the ideas I discussed in my Last Lecture. In the novel, Peggy discovers a Theory of Everything. The technical details of everything in the novel are spelled out in the second book, Understanding Special Relativity and Maxwell's Equations - With Implications for a Unified Field Theory. I think you will find the Preface to this book interesting. You can read it here. All of the mathematics that you need to understand this second book can be found in the third book, Vectors and Tensors By Example - Including Cartesian Tensors, Quaternions, and Matlab Examples. The forth book, Ideas that made your Smartphone - Why the patent system should be abolished, describes many of the thousands of ideas that went into making your smartphone and makes the case that the patent system should be abolished. Click on any of the book covers to order the book from Amazon.

A book containing a short, simple equation that explains all of physical reality is ignored when published, disappearing from public view for fifty years, until a high-school senior, with the encouragement of her engineering professor uncle, enters college on a quest to understand the nature of physical reality by challenging conventional wisdom. In the process, she starts a company that revolutionizes higher education, leading her to uncover the secret to a theory of everything.

About the author:

Richard E. Haskell grew up in New Hampshire and is Emeritus Professor of Engineering at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, where he taught electrical and computer engineering for 46 years. He is the author of over thirty books ranging from plasma dynamics to digital design. He currently lives in New Hampshire.

Understanding Special Relativity and Maxwell's Equations - With Implications for a Unified Field Theory

Book Highlights:

Graphical approach to special relativity

Quaternion representation of the Lorentz transformation

Relativistic dynamics

Derivation of Maxwell’s equations from Coulomb’s law and special relativity

Vectors and Tensors By Example - Including Cartesian Tensors, Quaternions, and Matlab Examples

If you have been confused by vectors, vector calculus, tensor analysis, or quaternions, this book is for you. Packed with examples, including Matlab examples, this book will show you

How to use Matlab to calculate dot and cross products, and solve linear equations;<

How to prove any vector identity using Cartesian tensors;

How to derive the expressions for gradient, divergence, Laplacian, and curl in any curvilinear coordinate system;

How to understand covariant and contravariant components of a vector;

The meaning of Christoffel symbols in covariant differentiation;

How to derive the curvature tensor;

How quaternions can be used to describe vector rotations in 3-D space.

Ideas
that made your
Smartphone

Thousands of ideas, going back 200 years, went into making your smartphone. What were some of the most important of these ideas, and who came up with them? In this book, you will meet some of these inventors and learn about their interactions with the patent system. You will see that in many cases the patent system fails to live up to its intended purpose, which is “to promote the progress of science and the useful arts.” You will see that by its very nature, it does just the opposite. You will see that countless hours and dollars are wasted in the litigation of patent claims, that patents are not always awarded to the true inventor, that judges and juries are not competent to judge the validity of patents, that inventions are always based on the work of others, and that patents stifle economic growth. You will see that the very idea of regarding intellectual ideas as property is misplaced, leading one to question the very existence of the patent system.