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The Feynman Lectures on Physics including Feynman's Tips on Physics: The Definitive and Extended Edition

54 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0805390452
ISBN-10: 0805390456
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Due Date: Dec 19, 2015 Rental Details
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About the Author

Richard P. Feynman was born in 1918 in Brooklyn and received his Ph.D. from Princeton in 1942. Despite his youth, he played an important part in the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos during World War II. Subsequently, he taught at Cornell and at the California Institute of Technology. In 1965 he received the Nobel Prize in Physics, along with Sin-Itero Tomanaga and Julian Schwinger, for his work in quantum electrodynamics.

Dr. Feynman won his Nobel Prize for successfully resolving problems with the theory of quantum electrodynamics. He also created a mathematical theory that accounts for the phenomenon of superfluidity in liquid helium. Thereafter, with Murray Gell-Mann, he did fundamental work in the area of weak interactions such as beta decay. In later years Feynman played a key role in the development of quark theory by putting forward his parton model of high energy proton collision processes.

Beyond these achievements, Dr. Feynman introduced basic computational techniques and notations into physics, above all, the ubiquitous Feynman diagrams that, perhaps more than any other formalism in recent scientific history, have changed the way in which basic physical processes are conceptualized and calculated.

Feynman was a remarkable effective educator. Of all his numerous awards, he was especially proud of the Oersted Medal for Teaching which he won in 1972. The Feynman Lectures on Physics, originally published in 1963, were described by a reviewer in Scientific American as "tough, but nourishing and full of flavor. After 25 years it is the guide for teachers and for the best of beginning students." In order to increase the understanding of physics among the lay public, Dr. Feynman wrote The Character of Physical Law and Q.E.D.: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter. He also authored a number of advanced publications that have become classic references and textbooks for researchers and students.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Addison Wesley (2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805390456
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805390452
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 3.7 x 11.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,176,213 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

222 of 231 people found the following review helpful By Ursiform VINE VOICE on October 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
As the proud owner of the original editions of the Lectures, I'm glad to see a new hardcover edition. (My copies still have the original prices--10.95, 10.50, and 11.50--stamped in them. But that was thirty years ago! I even recall Leighton having a shelf in his office with various translations of the Lectures lined up.)

It is sometimes claimed that the original lectures were a failure. In the April 2005 issue of Physics Today, Matthew Sands writes about the project that resulted in the Feynman Lectures. He disputes the claim that the undergraduates drifted away from Feynman's lectures in large numbers, and explains how Feynman's preface came about, and why he (Sands) finds it unduly negative.

It has always been widely agreed that the Lectures are insufficient as a standalone textbook, and best used as supplemental reading. Feynman's approach appeals to many readers, but falls flat with others. This is not surprising, as different people respond to different ways of explaining physics. As an historical aside, Feynman and Schwinger took such different approaches to developing quantum electrodynamics theory that it wasn't immediately clear that their formulations were even equivalent. Most physicists find Feynman's approach easier to learn, but others find it unsatisfying. People are different. Physicists are different. Even physics students are different. There is not, and will never be, one book that is the best for every reader. The Feynman Lectures are great because they have been so enlightening to so many people, not because they meet the impossible standard of being clear to every reader.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Javier Álvarez on January 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Physics lectures performed at Caltech in the 1960s... that wouldn't sound very good weren't Richard Feynman the lecturer! He shows all his insight, delight and knowledge to first and second year students talking about Physics as easy and understandable as almost never before, but by no means less precise, deep or inspiring. This new edition is a masterpiece every Physics student should own, for the binding is awesome, some typos and conceptual mistakes (very very few in 40 years) were corrected and above all the new Tips on Physics supplement is included, a "new" book with some side lectures that were omitted in other editions regarding how to face and solve problems.

Richard Feynman is one of the most, if not the most, beloved physicist of all time for his very honest, unique and curious character. Not only in Physics but reading about his life in his other books one just finds almost an endless source of inspiration and amusement. With his books, lectures or anecdotes, you won't only grasp the concepts of Physics and Science from a very original point of view but you will also laugh!! Well, the quality of the books is supreme and I challenge you to find any other book about serious Physics (and actually taught at a prestigeous University) where you can find yourself smiling and laughing sometimes and enjoying the PLEASURE OF FINDING THINGS OUT...

These books aren't a "course handbook" for they don't follow the classic exposition, examples, exercises, solutions pattern as they are more a set of lectures. Hence they should go with other more standard texts. You will understand the Physics with Feynman, and only then (almost certainly) you will be able to work out all the other texts completly.
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59 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Keith Dow on August 31, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Feynman lectures on physics are among the best physics books published. This edition includes the standard three volumes, with a new introduction and corrections, plus a separate book, Feynman's tips on physics. All four books are well worth reading.

The lectures are excellent because they give new insights, compared to the standard presentation. The faculty at Caltech used to sit on the lectures to learn more about physics. Considering these lectures were for lower division students, that is quite a compliment.

Please read reviews of earlier editions to get more insight into their content.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Eric Belcastro on January 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I feel there are enough reviews of this material that you can decide for yourself on whether to purchase them or not. I am merely writing this review because of the BUY WITH... option that might confuse some buyers into purchasing this AS WELL AS Feynman's Tips on Physics. You should note that the Definitive and Extended Edition already contains this book, and it does not need to be purchased seperately. Most people are aware of this, but I wanted to simply warn those who might not have noticed.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Brendan Sullivan on July 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Physics Majors!, spend the money on these books, but not until you are 1/2 way through a calculus based physics introduction, at least at the level of H R & Walkers's "Fundamentals of Physics." I agree with many other reviewers, these are not the best books from which to initially learn the subject. But I truly wish that I had read these when I was first studying Quantum Mechanics & Electrodynamics from Griffiths' and Mechanics from Marion & Thornton.

Feynman is most helpful by putting things in perspective and speaking to the aspiring physicist in you. By reading Feynman, you can get a better sense of how to ask questions about physics. As a graduate student, I really appreciate *how* Feynman teaches, I believe reading these can make anyone a better physics lecturer. There is a lot of material, don't be afraid to pick and choose. I highly recommend the chapters on optics in Vol 1. Between reading Feynman as an undergrad and Landau as a graduate student, all of the aspiring physicists out there should be set.
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