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Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics Explained by Its Most Brilliant… (1994)

by Richard P. Feynman

Other authors: Edward Hutchings (Editor), Robert B. Leighton (Editor), Matthew L. Sands (Editor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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3,319313,011 (4.08)34
"It was Feynman's outrageous and scintillating method of teaching that earned him legendary status among students and professors of physics. From 1961 to 1963, Feynman delivered a series of lectures at the California Institute of Technology that revolutionized the teaching of physics around the world. 'Six Not-So-Easy Pieces', taken from these famous 'Lectures on Physics' represent some the most stimulating material from the series. In these classic lessons, Feynman introduces the general reader to the following topics: atoms, basic physics, energy, gravitation, quantum mechanics, and the relationship of physics to other topics..."--P. [4] of cover.… (more)
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English (28)  Danish (2)  Catalan (1)  All languages (31)
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
I love Feynman. He is a genius AND entertaining. I read this book a couple of times and listened to the lectures many years ago. I need to go through and read it again. ( )
  Drunken-Otter | Aug 20, 2021 |
6 fundamental physics theorys explained for non-scientists. I have a decent grasp of physics but I have to admit that a lot of the stuff in this book went completely over my head. This appears to be common complaint from other reviews I have read. ( )
  Brian. | Apr 4, 2021 |
What a trip. I understand why physicists on YouTube try to be the best teacher: it’s the true nature of Feynman genius :) they want to do like him. ( )
  jbrieu | Nov 6, 2020 |
Six Easy Pieces is a collection of six lectures by the Legendary Richard P. Feynman. Taken from the Lectures on Physics delivered at the California Institute of Technology, this slim volume covers physics that are “easy” or so I am led to assume from the title. At the same time, we are introduced to Richard Feynman as an educator. His sparkling wit and knack for coming up with analogies to demonstrate what was happening was a great asset.

So as the title of the book suggests, there are six major sections or lectures in the book. The first one discusses the atomic theory and the wonders that follow from that line of thinking. Basically, everything is made of minuscule objects called Atoms. Feynman begins with a thought experiment. Imagine a glass of water. If we zoom in on it with our most powerful optical microscopes, we can see tiny microorganisms swimming about. This would be the realm of Biology. If you zoom further, you would be able to see the individual molecules of water. This is the realm of Chemistry. And zooming yet further would allow you to see an atom itself. That isn’t even as far as we are able to zoom, the center of the atom contains the Nucleus, which is made up of Protons and Neutrons. You can go even further, but Feynman at the time of these Lectures did not know that.

The second talks about Basic Physics. It covers the Scientific Method and how we know what we know about things. It discusses the Electromagnetic Spectrum, and what we knew about the World prior to 1920. Incidentally, this is around the time that Quantum Physics became vogue and was popularized by the early pioneers of the subject. It gets further into the idea of the atomic theory and how we discovered the Neutron and the Proton and so on.

The third chapter is called The Relation of Physics to the Other Sciences. Although this book mainly focuses on Physics, Feynman also discusses other sciences along with it. He talks about Chemistry, Biology, Astronomy, Psychology, and so on. Once upon a time, “Natural Philosophy” encompassed all of the Sciences, but over time things became more specialized. Feynman also discusses how this came about in this chapter.

The fourth chapter is about Conservation of Energy. This is an important idea in that Energy is at a steady amount throughout the universe. It can change form, but there is always a certain amount of it everywhere. So we get inclined planes and some varieties of mechanics. It has something on Kinetic Energy and how to calculate it and lot of different images and examples.

The fifth chapter is about the Theory of Gravitation. This part of the book that includes the Inverse Square Law.

The sixth chapter is called Quantum Behavior. This chapter mainly deals with how an electron and other subatomic particles behave under certain conditions. For instance, it demonstrates the double-slit experiment. An electron can behave like a wave, or it can behave like a particle depending on how the experiment is designed and what you expect to find.

The book was good considering what the Publishers wanted from it. It describes the simple aspects of Physics without resorting to too many equations. Using a simple style is probably the best for the layman. ( )
  Floyd3345 | Jun 15, 2019 |
a must have ( )
  Eva_Filoramo | May 3, 2018 |
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» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Richard P. Feynmanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hutchings, EdwardEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Leighton, Robert B.Editorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sands, Matthew L.Editorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bridge, AndyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davies, PaulIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goodstein, David L.Prefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hibbs, Albert R.Forewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Neugebauer, GerryPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Servidei, LauraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stoddart, JimCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This two-year course in physics is presented from the point of view that you, the reader, are going to be a physicist.
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"It was Feynman's outrageous and scintillating method of teaching that earned him legendary status among students and professors of physics. From 1961 to 1963, Feynman delivered a series of lectures at the California Institute of Technology that revolutionized the teaching of physics around the world. 'Six Not-So-Easy Pieces', taken from these famous 'Lectures on Physics' represent some the most stimulating material from the series. In these classic lessons, Feynman introduces the general reader to the following topics: atoms, basic physics, energy, gravitation, quantum mechanics, and the relationship of physics to other topics..."--P. [4] of cover.

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Le lezioni di fisica di Feynman sono ormai leggendarie per la loro perspicuità ed efficacia. Quelle che qui presentiamo sono le prime (saranno seguite da Sei pezzi meno facili) e partono da zero. Nel primo «pezzo», dopo una breve introduzione ai metodi e al significato della ricerca – tre paginette che valgono intere biblioteche di testi epistemologici –, si dice di che cos’è fatta la materia che cade sotto i nostri sensi: atomi in moto. Nel secondo si spiega che non tutto è così limpido come sembra, e che nella materia c’è anche dell’altro: il mondo quantistico e i suoi paradossi. Senza addentrarsi in una ricostruzione storica, Feynman riesce tuttavia a darci il senso dell’evolversi della fisica nel secolo appena trascorso, mettendone in luce i legami con le altre scienze. Gli ultimi tre saggi selezionano altrettanti capisaldi (energia, gravitazione, la realtà quantistica), presentati a livelli di complessità crescente: a ogni lettura cade una buccia della magica cipolla e si apre un nuovo, affascinante scenario. Chi prevedesse di naufragare su un’isola deserta, e volesse esser certo di avere con sé l’essenziale di quel che sappiamo sul mondo fisico, potrà mettere nello zaino i Sei pezzi facili.
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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140276661, 0141037547

 

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