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Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics Explained by its Most Brilliant Teacher [Paperback]

Richard P. Feynman , Robert B. Leighton , Matthew Sands
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
Price: 8.60 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

7 April 2011
The six easiest chapters from Feynmans landmark work, Lectures on Physics specifically designed for the general, non-scientist reader.

Frequently Bought Together

Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics Explained by its Most Brilliant Teacher + Six Not-so-easy Pieces: Einstein's Relativity, Symmetry, and Space-time (Penguin Press Science) + QED - The Strange Theory of Light and Matter (Penguin Press Science)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; 4th Revised edition edition (7 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465025277
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465025275
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 13.7 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 716,789 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Richard P. Feynman was Richard Chace Tolman Professor of Theoretical Physics at the California Institute of Technology. He was awarded the 1965 Nobel Prize for his work on the development of quantum field theory. He was also one of the most famous and beloved figures of the twentieth century, both in physics and as a public intellectual.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
75 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating for anyone curious about science 28 Nov 2005
By James Bury TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Despite being 'easy' these are full-on scientific concepts. Nevertheless, they are explained about as clearly as possible by one of the finest scientists and communicators of the last hundred years. This isn't a casual read, but it is extremely interesting and mind-blowing. It got me so interested that I ended up buying the full set of Physics textbooks by Feynman!
I'd regard this as essential and enjoyable reading for anyone interested in the way the world works, as this explores some of the most crucial scientific theories that have a bearing on all aspects of science and nature. The structure and behaviour of atoms, quantum mechanics and gravity, are all covered superbly. By the end of the book, you'll still be fairly boggled by the concepts, but they are so fundamental to life, science and technology that there are few people who wouldn't benefit from at least some understanding of these landmark theories.
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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
My son bought me this book for Christmas. I have always had a fascination for physics and as a lay person I found this book extremely readable. I cannot claim to understand all the concepts in detail but these lectures must be close to perfection in explaining matters that are hard to understand.

To give an example - I have an enquiring mind and yet I reached the age of 58 without understanding why a person or article orbiting the earth appears to be weightless. After reading Richard Feynmans brief explanation I now understand.

PS On a similar topic I can thoroughly recommend Quarks, Leptons and the Big Bang by Jonathan Allday published by Institute of Physics Publishing.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Physics Explained Simply and Honestly 19 Nov 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
What is remarkable about the book Six Easy pieces is that Richard Feynman is able to explain concepts in physics with simple examples that anyone can understand. He is also refreshingly honest -- he says "This is what we know" and "This is what we don't know" in a very straightforward way. The book is very good at explaining physics concepts and would make a good primer for someone who skipped high school physics. The book also explains the relationship of physics to other sciences (chemistry, biology, etc.) in a way that is simple and yet clear.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes physics interesting 1 Jan 2010
By Steve
Format:Paperback
Six Easy Pieces is a great place to start, not only for science students but also anyone else who skipped physics at school and wishes to get up to speed with what they missed. The explanations in this relatively modest-sized book are quite possibly the best I have read, and Feynman quickly demonstrates why he is so highly and widely regarded as one of the all time greats.

The six chapters are:

1) ATOMS IN MOTION
- an excellent overview of the structure and behaviour of atoms, this acts as a good taster for Feynman's down-to-earth approach in communicating facts and ideas with daily language and examples.

2) BASIC PHYSICS
- a good run-through of some of the most fundamental principles, both before and after the advent of quantum physics.

3) THE RELATION OF PHYSICS TO OTHER SCIENCES
- including chemistry, biology, astronomy, geology and even psychology. This might as well be described as a rapid-fire explanation of the whole world. Never again confuse your atomic nucleus with your cell nucleus.

4) CONSERVATION OF ENERGY
- the fundamental principle of how energy can change form. Probably the most difficult chapter for a novice, but a decent introduction nonetheless.

5) THE THEORY OF GRAVITATION
- charting the development of the theory of gravity, from Kepler through to Einstein. There's some mathematics here, but provided you pay attention, it's nothing to be scared of.

6) QUANTUM BEHAVIOR
- includes a retelling of the double-slit experiment of quantum mechanics - an explanation which, in my view, remains unmatched for its clarity.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must even for people who work in physics 13 Jan 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
As a top graduate student in engineering and science, physics is a part of my life. A number of courses I took have taught me plenty of analytical tools and essentials of physics. Having thought that I know almost everything about physics, I looked at Feyman's 6-easy pieces and couldn't help reading it to find out if there is something I can learn from a small and elementary physics novel. Well, I am so surprised that Feynman taught me quite a bit about things that I've never thought about before, even if I am well familiar the complicated and challenging quantum electrodynamics that he developed. He had such simple explanations on conceptually deep natural phenomena such as motion of planets and stars, probabilistic interpretation in quantum physics ; and amusingly interesting insights on daily events such as why blowing your soup to make it cooler. That's what I thought of Feynman's 6-easy pieces as a person who knows physics better than most people. In fact, I bought and will read Feynman's lecture on physics (3-volume) after reading 6-easy pieces. I am sure that I will learn much more from Feynman and so will anyone.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Really well explained and easy to follow
Published 2 days ago by debsy twoshoes
5.0 out of 5 stars Short and sweet. I quite like reading science stuff although I'm ...
Short and sweet. I quite like reading science stuff although I'm no science buff. This book explained key principals really we'll and kept it light
Published 4 days ago by Al Dude
1.0 out of 5 stars Explanations deteriorate half way in
This was good until the part about the fulcrum and the weights, where Feynman attempted to explain a "physical" (or "mechanical") proof, and ultimately failed (at... Read more
Published 17 days ago by Arkan M
4.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable insight into Feynman's style of teaching
In the early 1960s the renown physicist, Richard Feynman, delivered introductory courses on physics to first and second year undergraduate students at Caltech, in the USA. Read more
Published 21 days ago by Roger
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
I am reading it but it is difficult for the general public.
Published 1 month ago by John K. Gray
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
If you like physics and you like to laugh. Then you will enjoy this tome.
Published 1 month ago by Steven Szulecki
5.0 out of 5 stars Physics for non-scientists, with love and wit
For a non-physics trained soul this book is brilliant; if you could only choose one man to read in this world this would be it. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ms. A. J. Airey
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good basics. Youtube gives even more flavour.
Published 1 month ago by Y.Ew
5.0 out of 5 stars Six pieces - Richard Feynman
Feynman in a simple and practical way explains how the physics of every day works. 'Everything in science is an approximation'. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Vincent Stevenson
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Feynman
Feynman is often lauded as the greatest modern physicist - not just for his work, but for his ability to communicate. This book proves that fantastically. Read more
Published 6 months ago by chez198
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