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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Introductory Physics Book - Now and Forever!
I was fortunate to use these as an undergraduate in
1964 when they first came out. My Physics professor,
Dr Carl Bailey, worked with Feynman on the Manhatten
project and had the forsight to use it in our class.
We were fortunate to have early access to this series
which is just as exciting and informative today as it
was in 1964. I...
Published on 8 Jan 1997

versus
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to rate.
I would prefer not to assign a rating for these books since the rating depends on how one wishes to use them.

As complementary material for an undergraduate degree course in physics I would give them a five. As text books, I would give them a 3, which is my rating here since I have used volume 3 as a text book for a quantum mechanics course. The way Feynman...
Published on 31 May 2008 by Richard Smith


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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Introductory Physics Book - Now and Forever!, 8 Jan 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Lectures on Physics: Complete Set v. 1-3 (Paperback)
I was fortunate to use these as an undergraduate in
1964 when they first came out. My Physics professor,
Dr Carl Bailey, worked with Feynman on the Manhatten
project and had the forsight to use it in our class.
We were fortunate to have early access to this series
which is just as exciting and informative today as it
was in 1964. I often refer to these classics when
I really want to understand a concept. The index is
excellent! When you really want the "bottom line"
on a physical phenomenon, Feynman's index will lead you
through pages filled with gems of understanding you'll
soon find yourself sharing with your colleagues and
friends. I've read plenty of other Physics Books,
but none that go to the "next level" like
Feynman to relate concepts with examples that are
so fascinating you can't help but understand them
and want to share them with others. Feynman truly
lives on through his books and videos!

Dr. Olaf O. Storaasli, NASA Langley, Hampton, VA
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BUY PAPERBACK!, 6 May 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Lectures on Physics (Hardcover)
If you're thinking of buying Feynman's Lectures on Physics (which you should be), then I would recommend buying the paperback versions. To take nothing away from Feynman himself, I found the quality of the hardback set of three books to be poor. The ink on the front of the books easily comes off, and the binding is poor also. I should know - I have tried to buy three sets already, and all of them have been damaged, with pages glued together and other faults. I just think that the publisher has not done a very good job - my advice is buy the paperbacks if you want a lasting set of these excellent lectures.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars These books explain the whole of Physics., 3 July 2003
By 
Matt (Sheffield, Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lectures on Physics (Hardcover)
After a long day ignoring lectures talk about mind-numbingly boring Physics topics, turn to these books enjoy reading and understanding the same topics. These books will explain Physics in a way that reminds you why you took it in the first place, Feynman's style and enthusiasm for the subject shines through and is highly infectious. If you know basic Calculus, then these books explain pretty much the whole of Physics. Ignore the recommended texts and get these instead.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 10 Feb 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Lectures on Physics: Complete Set v. 1-3 (Paperback)
I purchased vol.2 in 1970 having had only high school physics. Since then I have purchased all 3 volumes. I have read them over and over. I have worn out one set and bought a new set. A great book like a great play or great movie never gets tiresome. When I want to calculate something I have many other "how to" books. When I really want to understand something I turn to Feynman. What more can be said?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best physics book I have ever seen, 20 Jun 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Lectures on Physics: Complete Set v. 1-3 (Paperback)
Read these lectures if you want to UNDERSTAND physics instead of just using memorized formulas without knowing what you're doing. Richard Feynman was one of the few persons who are not only a great scientist but also a brilliant teacher.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feynman's mathematical methods ARE available !, 12 July 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Lectures on Physics (Hardcover)
In the introduction to these classics, Feynman regrets not devoting "volume 3" to mathematical methods, instead of to quantum mechanics. However help is at hand, if one can find it. "Mathematical methods" by Matthews and Walker (Addison Wesley) is in the style of Feynman, one of the authors being a former student of his.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to rate., 31 May 2008
This review is from: Lectures on Physics: Complete Set v. 1-3 (Paperback)
I would prefer not to assign a rating for these books since the rating depends on how one wishes to use them.

As complementary material for an undergraduate degree course in physics I would give them a five. As text books, I would give them a 3, which is my rating here since I have used volume 3 as a text book for a quantum mechanics course. The way Feynman introduces quantum mechanics is very non-traditional though I can see some advantages towards introducing the concept of an amplitude as soon as possible. However, the lack of any accompanying questions and the paucity of mathematics makes this a rather weak text book. Furthermore, Feynman has an annoying habit of defining and then redefining the same quantity in the same chapter. To use it as a text book means the teacher has to do far more work (eg coming up with relevant questions and proofs) than should be necessary.

Furthermore, it is a hallmark of these books that Feynman strived to find new ways to present undergraduate physics. This is useful and admirable though does not necessarily lead to a better way of teaching physics. Teachers are typically "borrowers" - well I am anyway. If I encounter a good way of explaining a concept, I'll absorb it and use it in my teaching. Only some small parts of the Feynman lectures (Vol. 3) have found their way into more recent text books; this indicates that teachers don't find them pedagogically superior to existing material.

The near universal 5 star rating for these books puzzles me. I wonder how many reviewers would have given five stars if, when they encountered the books for the first time, the books were called "The John Smith Lectures on Physics".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A priceless treasure., 25 Sep 2007
By 
Antonios F. Arkas (Athens, Greece) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Lectures on Physics: Complete Set v. 1-3 (Paperback)
These books don't need any kind of recommendation, they are just classics. I don't just recommend them, I URGE you to buy them. "Feynman Lectures on Physics" are the most beautiful and intuitive books of physics I've ever read. If you love physics you will fall in love again with this marvelous science and if you are just getting started with studying it you will have the unique opportunity to see the great picture of what lies ahead of your future studies.

I consider Richard Feynman as one of the greatest teachers of physics who succeeds in his difficult task because he really loves physics, something that is obvious through all his texts. He manages to avoid presenting his ideas through abstract mathematics by producing quantitative deductions via qualitative way of thinking. The beauty of physics, conveyed by Feynman, is not just to say that a phenomenon is described from a linear differential equation but to understand why one should expect that this phenomenon, in accordance to its description, should be described by an equation of this kind. With these books you will not learn physics but you will learn how a physicist must be thinking in order to understand part of our fascinating world.

"Feynman Lectures on Physics" were written for undergraduate students in order to keep their interest in physics before they get equipped with the mathematical tools needed for a dipper and actual understanding of physics. For this reason the books are accessible to anyone who has elementary knowledge of college algebra and is willing to learn physics. Since the triad of the books cover almost the whole vast field of mechanics, optics, electromagnetics, thermodynamics, special and general relativity, solid state physics and quantum mechanics, they are appropriate for anyone who studies natural sciences.

As it can be seen from the front cover, the lectures were written from three different physicist something that you will learn to distinguish when you read their chapters. Even though the three scientists do not have the same style of writing, the text is homogeneous and present no gaps or discontinuities. The least successful book, in accordance with Feynman's own opinion, is the third one which deals with the difficult subject of quantum mechanics. This discipline is almost impossible to be taught with out the utilization of highly abstract mathematics but far apart from this intrinsic deficiency, the third volume is an indispensible part of the series.

If you are physicist you MUST buy these priceless books. If you still haven't had any contact with this science and want to get a glimpse of what physics might be, buy them and you'll fall in love with it.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful works, 15 May 2001
By 
This review is from: Lectures on Physics (Hardcover)
Despite the age of these "lectures", the books convey the talent of its author(s) as modern masterminds. Although not best served as reference books, these lectures serve up almost any topic of physics in a self contained unit. You can pick them out for interest or for learning, and I've found them very useful in helping me understand physical concepts. The presentation is clear, and the quality of these hardback books is excellent. Every physicist should have one (and from what I gather, they usually do!)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enthusiasm on every page, 30 Jun 2007
This review is from: Lectures on Physics: Complete Set v. 1-3 (Paperback)
The lectures do a fine job of capturing Feynman's actually quite subtle real-world lecturing style, where the topics under attack were served up with digressions on analysis and narration of physical context, (usually!) generating insight and understanding rather than mathematical indigestion.

Never much of a reference text (plenty of those out there), but a great source of inspiration and imagination for actually doing physics. Also, I couldn't finish without saying that Book II on electromagnetism is still, for my money, the finest classical discussion of the subject in print.
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Lectures on Physics: Complete Set v. 1-3
Lectures on Physics: Complete Set v. 1-3 by Matthew Sands (Paperback - 1 Jan 1970)
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