33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Worth its weight in gold,
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This review is from: Feynman Lectures on Physics, boxed set (Hardcover)
I approached the decision to purchase this collection with much hesitation. You, the reader of this review are, in all likelihood aware of the fact that another version of this product is available for purchase at a much cheaper price. Yes, this version will dent your wallet considerably more, however it must be said that the overall feel of this version is a great advantage. Bear in mind that there is approximately 1500 pages worth of content, so to have a stable hardcover is indispensible. The cheaper version has a tenuous softcover which will show considerable wear after heavy use. I also love the colour choice for this product and the font is perfect for the content. I also like the feel of the pages with this version.
As the proverb says "Don't judge a book by its cover" so, with the aesthetics out of the way let's move on to what lies beneath that magnificent exterior. This is presented in three volumes and in it, Feynman covers a vast plethora of topics. Volumes I and II cover too many topics to discuss in this review. However, Volume II is generally concerned with the concept of Quantum Electrodynamics (or QED) and other concepts within quantum theory. For the most casual of readers, I would recommend "Quantum: A Guide For the Perplexed" by Jim Al-Khalili or "QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter" by Richard Feynman for a fundamental understanding of Quantum Theory. Although there are more rigorous and explicit dissections of each of the presented topics in many of Feynman's other works, most of them are scattered across various publications, and in many cases, in more advanced texts designated for the bookshelf of the university student. It is most probable, that in the vast library of physics publications, this collection is unmatched in the presentation of substantial material in such a compelling, comprehensive and accessible manner.
These series of lectures, though wonderful, come with an asterisk, a side warning if you will. There are many chapters, which make heavy use of mathematics. It can be quite difficult for someone who has no background in mathematics or physics beyond GCSEs. Even the best of us might struggle through some sections with no loss of self-worth considering one of the finest minds in the history of science devoted two years of hard work into these lectures. In conclusion, this is a must-buy for anyone who is a physics enthusiast. It stands out in an age where information is abundant, but knowledge is scarce, as testament to a great man and an even greater field.