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Six Not-So-Easy Pieces (Helix Books) by…
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Six Not-So-Easy Pieces (Helix Books) (original 1963; edition 1998)

by Richard P. Feynman (Author)

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1,245710,978 (4.12)13
No twentieth-century American scientist is better known to a wider spectrum of people than Richard P. Feynman (1918-1988)--physicist, teacher, author, and cultural icon. His autobiographies and biographies have been read and enjoyed by millions of readers around the world, while his wit and eccentricities have made him the subject of TV specials and even a theatrical film.The spectacular reception of the book and audio versions of Feynman’s Six Easy Pieces (published in 1995) resulted in a worldwide clamor for "More Feynman! More Feynman!” The outcome is these six additional lectures, drawn from the celebrated three-volume Lectures on Physics. Though slightly more challenging than the first six, these lectures are more focused, delving into the most revolutionary discovery in twentieth-century physics: Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.No single breakthrough in twentieth-century physics (with the possible exception of quantum mechanics) changed our view of the world more than that of Einstein’s discovery of relativity. The notions that the flow of time is not a constant, that the mass of an object depends on its velocity, and that the speed of light is a constant no matter what the motion of the observer, at first seemed shocking to scientists and laymen alike. But, as Feynman shows so clearly and so entertainingly in the lectures chosen for this volume, these crazy notions are no mere dry principles of physics, but are things of beauty and elegance. No one--not even Einstein himself--explained these difficult, anti-intuitive concepts more clearly, or with more verve and gusto, than Richard Feynman.… (more)
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Title:Six Not-So-Easy Pieces (Helix Books)
Authors:Richard P. Feynman (Author)
Info:Basic Books (1998), 192 pages
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Six Not-So-Easy Pieces: Einstein's Relativity, Symmetry, And Space-Time by Richard P. Feynman (1963)

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» See also 13 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
I've only ever read one lucid explanation of relativity, and that was a chapter of [b:Music of the Spheres|393653|Music of the Spheres The Material Universe From Atom to Quaser, Simply Explained (Volume II The Microcosm Matter, Atoms, Waves, Radiation, Relativity)|Guy Murchie|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1387716643s/393653.jpg|383216]. But [a:Richard Feynman|1429989|Richard P. Feynman|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1219782432p2/1429989.jpg] is a great teacher, and this is a lucid book with actual equations. I could wrap my head around this subject under his guidance. I wonder if there is a seminal textbook on the subject... ( )
  Victor_A_Davis | Sep 18, 2015 |
I admit that I never read the entire thing. However, this book has totally saved my life twice now. It's a fascinating and relatively easy-to-understand explanation of relativity, perfect for math projects. :) ( )
  TrgLlyLibrarian | Feb 1, 2015 |
Tough going for non-professional physicists. ( )
  hcubic | Jan 30, 2013 |
First of all, despite the title, viewing this as a sequel to Feynman's Six Easy Pieces may lead to a bit of disappointment. While both books are drawn from his monumental Lectures on Physics, they have a different target audience in mind. The first book aimed more at the lay reader, carefully choosing sections from the larger work that avoided mathematics and did not posit any prior understanding of physics.

This book, while still intending to educate the newcomer, is farther down the track, assuming elementary algebra, calculus and physics. In this case, elementary means elementary college level, not typical high school classes.

Do you have to have this to get through the chapters? No. However, without it, much of the content will be meaningless...in the sense that you'll just have to assume he's not talking baloney. You'd probably be better off finding an overview article on these topics somewhere on the Web and reading it. This material is from actual undergraduate lectures given by Feynman and the approach is correspondingly rigorous.

Feynman has a marvelous gift for making the esoteric understandable and entertaining. It's hard to imagine anyone could do a better job of giving an introduction to relativity. Nonetheless, these are "not so easy" compared to the first book. ( )
1 vote TadAD | Sep 13, 2009 |
“Whenever the predictions of Einstein have been found to differ from the ideas of Newtonian mechanics, Nature has chosen Einstein’s.”

While the truth of the laws of physics rests upon mathematics, and physics is a fascinating field, chalk-board notes presenting the mathematics behind the laws of physics do not necessarily make for enjoyable reading (unless you like reading math). Culled from the famous Feynman Lectures on Physics, these six selections want to explain relativity, but discontinuities, reiterations, and interjections from absent lectures remind a reader that the book is cobbled together.

The best bits rearranged make for a kind of Dadaist prose poem:
When the outsider sees the man in the space ship lighting a cigar, all the actions appear to be slower than normal…Even those ideas which have been held for a very long time and which have been accurately verified might be wrong…If we have a set of ‘strange’ ideas, such as that time goes slower when one moves, whether we like them or do not like them is an irrelevant question…The man who has felt the accelerations is the one who would be the younger…What we mean by ‘right now’ is a mysterious thing which we cannot define and we cannot affect, but it can affect us later, or we could have affected it if we had done something far enough in the past…An object always moves from one place to another so that a clock carried on it gives a longer time than it would on any other possible trajectory.

Planet Porter
Caerbannog Rabbit Ale
  MusicalGlass | Aug 1, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Richard P. Feynmanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Leighton, Robert B.Editorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Penrose, Rogersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sands, Matthew L.Editorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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In this chapter we introduce a subject that is technically known in physics as symmetry in physical law.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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No twentieth-century American scientist is better known to a wider spectrum of people than Richard P. Feynman (1918-1988)--physicist, teacher, author, and cultural icon. His autobiographies and biographies have been read and enjoyed by millions of readers around the world, while his wit and eccentricities have made him the subject of TV specials and even a theatrical film.The spectacular reception of the book and audio versions of Feynman’s Six Easy Pieces (published in 1995) resulted in a worldwide clamor for "More Feynman! More Feynman!” The outcome is these six additional lectures, drawn from the celebrated three-volume Lectures on Physics. Though slightly more challenging than the first six, these lectures are more focused, delving into the most revolutionary discovery in twentieth-century physics: Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.No single breakthrough in twentieth-century physics (with the possible exception of quantum mechanics) changed our view of the world more than that of Einstein’s discovery of relativity. The notions that the flow of time is not a constant, that the mass of an object depends on its velocity, and that the speed of light is a constant no matter what the motion of the observer, at first seemed shocking to scientists and laymen alike. But, as Feynman shows so clearly and so entertainingly in the lectures chosen for this volume, these crazy notions are no mere dry principles of physics, but are things of beauty and elegance. No one--not even Einstein himself--explained these difficult, anti-intuitive concepts more clearly, or with more verve and gusto, than Richard Feynman.

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