The Feynman Lectures on Physics

The Feynman Lectures on Physics Online, Free!

From the webpage:

Caltech and The Feynman Lectures Website are pleased to present this online edition of The Feynman Lectures on Physics. Now, anyone with internet access and a web browser can enjoy reading a high quality up-to-date copy of Feynman’s legendary lectures.

The lectures:

Feynman writes in volume 1, 1-1:

You might ask why we cannot teach physics by just giving the basic laws on page one and then showing how they work in all possible circumstances, as we do in Euclidean geometry, where we state the axioms and then make all sorts of deductions. (So, not satisfied to learn physics in four years, you want to learn it in four minutes?) We cannot do it in this way for two reasons. First, we do not yet know all the basic laws: there is an expanding frontier of ignorance. Second, the correct statement of the laws of physics involves some very unfamiliar ideas which require advanced mathematics for their description. Therefore, one needs a considerable amount of preparatory training even to learn what the words mean. No, it is not possible to do it that way. We can only do it piece by piece. (emphasis added)

A remarkable parallel to the use of “logic” on the WWW.

First, logic is only a small part of human reasoning, as Boole acknowledges in the “Laws of Thought.” Second, a “considerable amount of preparatory training” is required to use it.

Feynman has a real talent for explanation. Enjoy!

PS: A disclosed mapping of Feynman’s terminology to current physics would make an interesting project.

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