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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 23 November 2004
This is basically transcripts of a series of lectures given by Feynman. As such they are informal in style, but also relaxed on things such as sentence structure an punctuation. I'm not just being picky because this led to me having trouble reading some of the passages, they're not impenetrable, just not to his usual high standard.
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.
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on 12 January 2001
This is a book that I really enjoyed because of Richard Feynman's fine writing style. He combined his scientific knowledge with his wit and it came out perfectly. I have read several of Mr. Feynman's books, but I think that this one comes out top. It explains gravity perfectly and the Chapter on Probability and Uncertainty was most interesting. I couldn't ask for more in a book!
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on 10 August 1998
Can someone with freshman college physics understand Professor Feynmans theoretical physics? This cassette really combines well everything from Newton's Laws to quantum theory to Einsteinian gravity to the very mathematical (yet not too much) nature of physical law. The answer is with this two tape cassette (which I purchased and prefer) a definite yes. In spite of the fact that many of the readers aren't theoretical phyicists, this book really brings into focus "hard" physics. I bought this set hoping to benefit from Feynman's more humanistic teaching style and I was pleased with the results.
I highly recommend this read (listen).
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VINE VOICEon 29 September 2014
Clear exposition of difficult ideas. I'd be lying if I said it was an easy read. Feynman eschews analogies (e.g., paired electrons are nothing like two ping pong balls on a spring) as being ultimately unhelpful.

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.
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on 16 March 2012
I am lucky enough to have seen a lot of Feynman on TV in the 70s and 80s on many BBC programmes. His style and light hearted delivery make him exciting to watch. I still have my first copy of TCPL from MIT press (1965); it is a transcript of the lectures now made available online by Bill Gates. The whole series can be viewed at [...]# or search for Project TUVA. The video presentation is a copy of the original recording of a "Messenger Lectures" series filmed live in 1964. It is still worth viewing today. RPF is a very likeable and entertaining character!

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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 24 October 2015
This was a late discovery for me amongst Richard Feynman's books, and it's something of an oddity. Like all the books with his name on, this wasn't a case of Feynman sitting down to write a book; he never wrote a single book - in this case it's a transcription of a set of lectures Feynman gave at Cornell University which were broadcast in the UK by the BBC.

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.
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on 15 February 2014
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.
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on 23 August 2013
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.
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on 2 October 2010
Fascinating book by a highly significant author. Delivered in good condition in a timely fashion.
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on 23 November 2013
A very good read and not complicated. My grandson is 13 and will enjoy this. Alas Feynman died a few years ago
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