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Feynman's Tips on Physics: A Problem-Solving Supplement to the Feynman Lectures on Physics 1st Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0805390636
ISBN-10: 0805390634
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“Always worthwhile to return to the feet of the master.”
—Bill Gates, Wired
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Richard P. Feynman was a professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology from 1951 to 1988. He shared the 1965 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on quantum electrodynamics. Michael A. Gottlieb is a visitor in physics at the California Institute of Technology, and an editor of The Feynman Lectures on Physics and Exercises for the Feynman Lectures on Physics. He administers the Feynman Lectures website, feynmanlectures.info. Ralph Leighton is an author, lateral thinker, and longtime friend of the late Richard Feynman. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 162 pages
  • Publisher: Addison Wesley; 1 edition (July 31, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805390634
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805390636
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,004,141 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a pleasant, conversational book on solving freshman-level physics problems (albeit interesting ones). The goal, of course, is to pick up physical intuition though Feynman's commentary; and for the most part, it does this well. Feynman's wit and charm come through very well, making this a pleasant read for anyone.

However, for those looking for a timeless classic like The Feynman Lectures on Physics, one might be a little disappointed. Feynman's insights in this book are genuine and instructive, but they lack the depth of his Feynman Lectures. Where the Feynman Lectures are volumes to be kept, cherished, and re-read occasionally (certainly during one's undergradaute career) because of their ability to enlighten even after one has learned the subject from traditional means, Feynman's Tips on Physics offer very little for those who have mastered introductory physics.

This, of course, is not a fault--it is exactly the goal that the book (and Feynman's original recitation sections) set out to fulfill, but Feynman-aficionados might be slightly disappointed all the same.

To its credit, the introduction by Matt Sands and the closing question and answer transcript were a very nice read and earned this book its place among The Feynman Lectures and Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman.
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Format: Hardcover
Feynman is one of my favorite authors, along with scientists like Gould and Dawkins. I own and have read most of his books, including his lectures on physics. I particularly like his way of teaching, and the way he puts explanations at the student's level. I've spent too much time around bellicose instructors who mistook for knowledge a vocabulary full of multi-syllable words and long tortured sentences; Feynman is their antithesis.

Ralph Leighton and Michael A. Gottlieb are co-authors of "Feynman's Tips on Physics." In addition to editorial work associated with assembling Feynman's lectures, Leighton wrote the Forward, and Gottlieb the Introduction. There's also a Memoir by Matthew Sands describing the origins of the Feynman Lectures on Physics. Leighton and Gottlieb hunted for and found the (nearly lost) tapes and photographs and were the ones who negotiated (for about 5 years) with Caltech, the Feynman heirs and Addison-Wesley to arrange the book's execution. They also edited and illustrated the book.

Feynman's lectures in this book had their genesis in his concern, and among scientists and educators at Caltech, regarding the way they were teaching physics. Feynman's lectures in "Tips on Physics" came about as a consequence of Feynman giving additional help to students, particularly those who were having trouble keeping up. There's more to the book than Feynman's lectures, however, including Matt Sands memoir, and exercises in chapter 5.

While Gottlieb and Leighton are co-authors of "Tips," the part I liked best was purely Feynman. My thanks go to them primarily for making Feynman's teachings more accessible through their historical research into archived material. One of the things I like best about Feynman is his sense of humor.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Feynman's fans, and there are so many of us scientists, are grateful to have access to any bit of paper or tape he produced. Why? He was bright and generous and attentive, and he had that little vanity that we cherish because it is human and funny. We love the man the same way that you love the three musketeers when you are young. We love him because he had no respect for authority - in the sense that nobody could intimidate him or tell him what to do - because he always looked for the truth and most of all, because he remained curious all his life. This is the man who was only bored once in his life; he thought that dying was pretty boring.
If you never read any Feynman, do not start here, start with his great (serious stuff)The Feynman Lectures on Physics, boxed set: The New Millennium Edition or the stories he liked to tell (very funny stuff) Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman and What Do You Care What Other People Think?
This little book introduces you to people who really liked him, so it is good. There are interesting comments from Feynman, for instance he addresses the feelings of the students who have always been the brightest in their local high school and find out in college that there are brighter students still. For students: no nonsense tips could save your bacon.
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Format: Hardcover
As a Feynman completist, I felt compelled to pick up this latest addition to the canon of one of science's greatest expositors, which is made up largely of excised review lectures from the course that generated some of the most highly regarded physics books ever printed (The Feynman Lectures on Physics including Feynman's Tips on Physics: The Definitive and Extended Edition).

Whereas those lectures are voyages of discovery that make the reader feel that he is a true participant in the enterprise of science, those contained in this volume are generally more straightforward, and the reader is again but a lowly student ... albeit a student of one of the subject's greatest teachers. But that switch in mood is part of this book's appeal, for even as the reader trades the laboratory for the classroom in some of the more mundane aspects of problem solving, Feynman does so along with him. In fact, Feynman's admissions of the variety of mistakes he made while working out problems (some of which he admits to having to do several times in order to get them right while preparing for the lecture) made for some of the most entertaining and encouraging parts of the book. Feynman, one of the 20th century's greatest physicists, is grinding it out along with us, revealing himself to be vulnerable to the same little pitfalls that can haunt and discourage students in any hard science.

Beyond that, there are some true practical gems in the book, including a wonderfully simple method of differentiation that I had not seen presented Feynman's way until I read this book.
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