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The Character of Physical Law by Richard…
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The Character of Physical Law (1965)

by Richard Feynman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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» See also 22 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
I Love Feynman ( )
  RFBrost | Nov 2, 2017 |
Off to a great start. When talking about science Feynman speaks really engagingly but not always in a way that is easy to understand. ( )
  themulhern | May 2, 2015 |
In these Messenger Lectures, originally delivered at Cornell University and recorded for television by the BBC, Richard Feynman offers an overview of selected physical laws and gathers their common features into one broad principle of invariance. He maintains at the outset that the importance of a physical law is not "how clever we are to have found it out, but... how clever nature is to pay attention to it," and tends his discussions toward a final exposition of the elegance and simplicity of all scientific laws. Rather than an essay on the most significant achievements in modern science, The Character of Physical Law is a statement of what is most remarkable in nature. Feynman's enlightened approach, his wit, and his enthusiasm make this a memorable exposition of the scientist's craft.The Law of Gravitation is the author's principal example. Relating the details of its discovery and stressing its mathematical character, he uses it to demonstrate the essential interaction of mathematics and physics. He views mathematics as the key to any system of scientific laws, suggesting that if it were possible to fill out the structure of scientific theory completely, the result would be an integrated set of mathematical axioms. The principles of conservation, symmetry, and time-irreversibility are then considered in relation to developments in classical and modern physics, and in his final lecture Feynman develops his own analysis of the process and future of scientific discovery.Like any set of oral reflections, The Character of Physical Law has special value as a demonstration of the mind in action. The reader is particularly lucky in Richard Feynman. One of the most eminent and imaginative modern physicists, he was Professor of Theoretical Physics at the California Institute of Technology until his death in 1988. He is best known for his work on the quantum theory of the electromagnetic field, as well as for his later research in the field of low-temperature physics. In 1954 he received the Albert Einstein Award for his "outstanding contribution to knowledge in mathematical and physical sciences"; in 1965 he was appointed to Foreign Membership in the Royal Society and was awarded the Nobel Prize. ( )
  MarkBeronte | Jan 7, 2014 |
A transcription of a series of seven lectures given in 1964 by the legendary physicist Richard Feynman on the subject of the laws of nature and how we go about learning them. Feynman was a notoriously informal lecturer who worked without prepared speeches, and I think his style suffers a bit here from being transferred into print, despite having been cleaned up slightly for publication. There are places where I'm quite sure the lecture would have been more effective live and in person, and even a few spots where I had a little trouble following. Regardless, this is still a marvelous exploration of the subject, as Feynman discusses the fundamental laws of the universe, with all their neat interconnections and their profound mysteries. This book gave me new insights into aspects of physics I thought I already understood, and it contains what is probably the best explanation of the law of energy conservation that I have ever seen. Most importantly, Feynman understood, perhaps better than anyone else ever has, that science is not about facts, it's about figuring things out, and he was very, very good at helping other people to understand that, too. ( )
3 vote bragan | Apr 17, 2011 |
This book is a transcription of a series of lectures Feynman gave in 1964 for an audience of non-physicists. Much of it is similar to what you find in good popular science books today, but Feynman has an original touch that makes this book worth reading. I particularly liked how often he emphasized the things he didn't know rather than the things he knew. The final chapter on how difficult it is to discover new laws was also very interesting.
  thcson | Feb 21, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (14 possible)

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Richard Feynmanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bosch, AntoniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davies, PaulIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It is odd, but on the infrequent occasions when I have been called upon in a formal place to play the bongo drums, the introducer never seems to find it necessary to mention that I also do theoretical physics.
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Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
In questo ciclo di conferenze, il premio Nobel Richard Feynman, parlando a braccio sulla scorta di poche note, racconta a studenti di varia provenienza, con scarse conoscenze matematiche, in che cosa consiste il lavoro del fisico teorico. 
Il suo intento non è però di divulgare i contenuti della fisica (ché, tanto, senza equazioni nessuno «potrà mai far capire la natura a “quelli dell’altra cultura”») ma di mostrare il modo in cui essa procede e di rendere in qualche misura consapevoli anche i profani del valore intellettuale dell’impresa. E lo fa col suo stile immediato e antiretorico, senza vaghe affermazioni qualitative, sulla base di esempi concreti tratti dalla fisica di ieri e di oggi, analizzati quanto basta per mettere in luce l’essenza del metodo. Al lettore più esperto non sfuggiranno le osservazioni sottili, 
le intuizioni profonde di cui questo libretto, come ogni scritto di Feynman, è ricco: dalla dimostrazione einsteiniana della località delle leggi di conservazione all’analisi del significato della termodinamica, alle considerazioni finali sul futuro della fisica.
(piopas)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0262560038, Paperback)

In these Messenger Lectures, originally delivered at Cornell University and recorded for television by the BBC, Richard Feynman offers an overview of selected physical laws and gathers their common features into one broad principle of invariance. He maintains at the outset that the importance of a physical law is not "how clever we are to have found it out, but... how clever nature is to pay attention to it," and tends his discussions toward a final exposition of the elegance and simplicity of all scientific laws. Rather than an essay on the most significant achievements in modern science, The Character of Physical Law is a statement of what is most remarkable in nature. Feynman's enlightened approach, his wit, and his enthusiasm make this a memorable exposition of the scientist's craft.The Law of Gravitation is the author's principal example. Relating the details of its discovery and stressing its mathematical character, he uses it to demonstrate the essential interaction of mathematics and physics. He views mathematics as the key to any system of scientific laws, suggesting that if it were possible to fill out the structure of scientific theory completely, the result would be an integrated set of mathematical axioms. The principles of conservation, symmetry, and time-irreversibility are then considered in relation to developments in classical and modern physics, and in his final lecture Feynman develops his own analysis of the process and future of scientific discovery.Like any set of oral reflections, The Character of Physical Law has special value as a demonstration of the mind in action. The reader is particularly lucky in Richard Feynman. One of the most eminent and imaginative modern physicists, he was Professor of Theoretical Physics at the California Institute of Technology until his death in 1988. He is best known for his work on the quantum theory of the electromagnetic field, as well as for his later research in the field of low-temperature physics. In 1954 he received the Albert Einstein Award for his "outstanding contribution to knowledge in mathematical and physical sciences"; in 1965 he was appointed to Foreign Membership in the Royal Society and was awarded the Nobel Prize.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:06 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Like any set of oral reflections, The Character of Physical Law has special value as a demonstration of the mind in action. The reader is particularly lucky in Richard Feynman. One of the most eminent and imaginative modern physicists, he was Professor of Theoretical Physics at the California Institute of Technology until his death in 1988. He is best known for his work on the quantum theory of the electromagnetic field, as well as for his later research in the field of low-temperature physics. In 1954 he received the Albert Einstein Award for his outstanding contribution to knowledge in mathematical and physical sciences; in 1965 he was appointed to Foreign Membership in the Royal Society and was awarded the Nobel Prize.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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