- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 5 hours and 57 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 15 Jun. 2013
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00D80T3IE
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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The Character of Physical Law Audio Download – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
The content however is good. I have read a few of his books and I wouldn't rate this amongst his best work. Usually he puts a new slant on ideas, presenting them in a way which gives fresh insights, but that isn't so evident here. He did introduce a couple of new concepts to me, like the equivalence of the symmetries and conservation laws, and how orbits can be described by conservation. These were entirely new though, so it wasn't like the new understanding of general relativity I gained from 'Six Not-so-Easy Pieces'. The final chapter on 'Seeking New Laws' fails to strike the right note for me, falling short of it's aims to explain where innovation comes from.
This is a book which doesn't deal directly with the laws of physics, there's plenty of those around already, some from the same author. It deals instead with the general structure of these laws, and how it is possible to have these laws in the first place. As such it is an interesting read, and should be considered if you have tired of books on relativity and quantum mechanics.
It probably should form part of the A level Physics background syllabus because if your are seriously considering taking the subject further you need to understand this material.
I highly recommend this read (listen).
What the great physicist sets out to do is to explore the nature of physical laws. Where this works best (and he would probably have hated this suggestion) is where he was at his most philosophical. In the first lecture he explored just what was meant by physical laws and this is genuinely interesting stuff, especially as it's something we rarely give much thought to.
After that he goes on to cover specific areas, with lectures on gravity, maths, conservation, symmetry, the arrow of time and probability, before pulling things together in a final lecture on the search for new laws. For me these chapters don't work quite as well in book form, partly because we miss the visual aspects of Feynman's talks, and partly because they are perhaps a little too summary for the topics covered. The other slight problem with specifics is that inevitably some of the content (from the 1960s) is quite dated - particularly in the 'new laws' section, where he covers particle physics at a point before quarks and when the particle zoo seemed out of control. It's interesting from a historical perspective of what the understanding was like at the time, but it's not an ideal way to find out about particle physics.
Overall, an essential if you want to have a complete picture of Feynman's output, and fascinating in that opening chapter, but not the best of the Feynman books.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book. You can hear Feynman's voice in your head as you read, which is a pleasure in itself.Published 5 months ago by FencingCoach_3w
But equations are virtually unreadable in the kindle format.Published 14 months ago by goodshipruffles
Physics as seen by one of the 20th century greatest physicists - brilliantPublished 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
written in an easy style but explaining correctly not with silly analogies. Easy (ish) for a scientist and do'able for most others. I will be buying other books.Published on 15 Feb. 2014 by A J Holland
A very good read and not complicated. My grandson is 13 and will enjoy this. Alas Feynman died a few years agoPublished on 23 Nov. 2013 by Worried Teenager
I recommend reading this and watching the lectures too. The written text is great for picking up the exact detail but the delivery is better heard from Feynman himself.Published on 23 Aug. 2013 by maissie8
A readable book about something largely incomprehensibly understood. If you want more brain cells, read the book. Read it again to keep the same cells alive.Published on 22 Mar. 2013 by Mike