- Paperback: 560 pages
- Publisher: Addison Wesley; 1 edition (February 11, 1977)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0201021161
- ISBN-13: 978-0201021165
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.8 x 10.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 348 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,620 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Feynman Lectures on Physics, Vol. 1: Mainly Mechanics, Radiation, and Heat 1st Edition
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Volume I: the first three chapters ("Atoms in Motion," "Basic Physics," and "The Relation of Physics to Other Sciences") were meant by Feynman to outline the relationship of physics to other sciences, and other sciences to each other, and to discuss the overall meaning of `Science.' Here in the introduction to Volume I, Feynman iterates one of his most-quoted ideas on science: "If, in some cataclysm, all of scientific knowledge were to be destroyed, and only one sentence passed on to the next generation of creatures, what statement would contain the most information in the fewest words? I believe it is the atomic hypothesis...that `all things are made of atoms--little particles that move around in perpetual motion, attracting each other when they are a little distance apart, but repelling upon being squeezed into one another.'"
There are 52 chapters in Volume I, from "Atoms in Motion" to "Symmetry in Physical Laws." It would be well to remember that this book and its fellows are not meant to be read in isolation. Rather the lectures were connected with a series of experiments and demonstrations. As Feynman puts it: "The principle of science, the definition, almost, is the following: `The test of all knowledge is experiment.'"
Volume II: the first two-thirds of this series of lectures is devoted to a reasonably inclusive treatment of the physics of electricity and magnetism. This volume's `Foreward' by Matthew Sands states: "We hoped, first, to give the students a complete view of one of the great chapters of physics--from the early gropings of Franklin, through the great synthesis of Maxwell, on to the Lorentz electron theory of material properties, and ending with the still unsolved dilemmas of the electromagnetic self-energy."
There are 42 chapters in Volume II, with the last four chapters devoted to elasticity and fluid flow.
Volume III: Richard P. Feynman won a Nobel Prize for his contributions to the development of quantum electrodynamics, and this series of lectures was the first real attempt to ground physics students in the theory of quantum mechanics. By its nature, quantum mechanics is a mathematical theory, so these lectures are absolutely chock-full of calculus and physics equations. But, as Feynman himself once said, "Do not take the lecture [on quantum mechanics] too seriously...just relax and enjoy it. I am going to tell you what nature behaves like. If you will simply admit that maybe she does behave like this, you will find her a delightful, entrancing thing. Do not keep saying to yourself `But how can it be like that?' because you will get...into a blind alley from which nobody has yet escaped. Nobody knows how it can be like that."
There are 21 chapters in Volume III, from "Quantum Behavior" to "The Schrödinger Equation in a Classical Context: A Seminar on Superconductivity."
If the math in Volume III really depresses you, there now exist many good popular-science books on quantum mechanics, such as "In Search of Schrödinger's Cat: Quantum Physics and Reality" by John Gribbin, "The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question?" by Leon Lederman, or Bruce Schumm's book on elementary particle physics, "Deep Down Things: The Breathtaking Beauty of Particle Physics."
These lectures by Richard P. Feynman were meant for physics students, as opposed to the general public. Those readers who have no background in physics, calculus, statistics and probability might find these books tough going. However, any of us might struggle through certain sections with no loss of self-worth, if we remember that one of America's most brilliant scientists gave two years of his knowledge and intellectual energy in order to present us with a solid understanding of his physicist's universe. Feynman says in his epilogue to these lectures: "Finally, may I add that the main purpose of my teaching has not been to prepare you for some examination...I wanted most to give you some appreciation of the wonderful world and the physicist's way of looking at it, which, I believe, is a major part of the true culture of modern times."
Here is my assessment of the quality of printing of the new Millennium edition putting is side by side with the 1966 edition.
The binding is quite nice and the books are good looking. The pages are not glossy at all but the quality of paper is not great. The print however is not good at all. The letters are 'thin' and rickety and harder to read compared to the original red edition that has nice thick bold black letters printed. They are readable if direct light is shining on them, however, they do cause eye strain and require effort to read. All FLPs (old and new editions) have a lot of room on the right margin and this is nothing new. However, the left margin for the Millennium edition is too close to the spine making it awkward to read. The pictures are however, nicely done and so are the math, the formulas, and the equations. In short, the printing of the Millennium edition does not do justice to the excellent content. My advice for People who are contemplating purchasing the new millennium edition is to skip it and try to acquire one of the older versions in good condition and deal with the errata online. I have not decided yet whether to keep mine or send it back. I love FLP but the printing quality of the Millennium edition does leave a bad taste in mouth. I wanted to leave less than 3 stars for my review but it would not be fair to do so because of the excellent content.
Below is the set this review is for
The Feynman Lectures on Physics, boxed set: The New Millennium Edition
The new edition can be fully read online legally for free.
www dot feynmanlectures dot info
The errata for all editions can be found in the same website above
Below are the better printed edition (use errata from above)
The Feynman Lectures on Physics: Commemorative Issue, Three Volume Set
The Feynman Lectures on Physics including Feynman's Tips on Physics: The Definitive and Extended Edition
The Feynman Lectures on Physics, Three Volume Set
The Feynman Lectures on Physics (3 Volume Set) (Set v)
The Feynman Lectures on Physics (Three Volume Set)
Basically any edition other than the Millennium hardcover or paperback edition should be good used with the errata posted above.