Six Not-So-Easy Pieces

  • by Richard P. Feynman
  • 5 hrs and 24 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

No 20th-century American scientist is better known to a wider spectrum of people than Richard P. Feynman (1918-1988), physicist, teacher, author, and cultural icon. His autobiographies and biographies have been read and enjoyed by millions of readers around the world, while his wit and eccentricities have made him the subject of TV specials and even a theatrical film. The spectacular reception of the book and audio versions of Feynman's Six Easy Pieces resulted in a worldwide clamor for "More Feynman! More Feynman!" The outcome is these six additional lectures, drawn from the celebrated three-volume Lectures on Physics. Though slightly more challenging than the first six, these lectures are more focused, delving into the most revolutionary discovery in 20-century physics: Einstein's Theory of Relativity. No single breakthrough in 20-century physics (with the possible exception of quantum mechanics) changed our view of the world more than that of Einstein's discovery of relativity. The notions that the flow of time is not a constant, that the mass of an object depends on its velocity, and that the speed of light is a constant no matter what the motion of the observer, at first seemed shocking to scientists and laymen alike. But, as Feynman shows so clearly and so entertainingly in the lectures chosen for this volume, these crazy notions are no mere dry principles of physics, but are things of beauty and elegance. No one, not even Einstein himself, explained these difficult, anti-intuitive concepts more clearly, or with more verve and gusto, than Richard Feynman.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Very Interesting, but ...

This particular book is actually easier to follow (in audio format) than Feynman's individual lectures. I would, however, warn folks that aren't already somewhat versed in "real" physics (versus the popularized variety) - you may have some difficulty following his mathematical reasonings as he scribbles them on an invisible chalkboard. I had previously studied the 3 volume book set of Feynman's lectures and have many years of physics and mathematical studies so it was no problem visualizing the various equations being scribbled on the chalkboard. I would think this could be a bit frustrating if you haven't previously been visually aquainted with the visual material.

That being said, these six lectures aren't exclusively chalkboard math. There's a good deal of clever narration and you surely will, if nothing else, get a sense of Feynman's keen wit and wonderful skills as a physics lecturer. I'd give any of Feynman's lectures 5 stars if it wasn't for the fact that you can't see the chalkboard. If you really want to learn physics from Richard Feynman, I'd recommend buying the set of books. The 3 volume, high quality, paperback version can be had for around $70 US and is one of a dozen or so books that I'd probably choose to have along if shipwrecked on the proverbial desert island.
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- Doug

chalkboard not included

While it may be inspiring to hear the man's voice. The content is difficult to follow without figures. If you're listening at home with pad and pen and have a mathematics or physics background it is easy enough to follow along with your own scribblings (equations, diagrams, etc) as he describes them. Otherwise, if you listening while driving (like I was) you only get the gist and miss out on the details where, of course, most of the beauty lies.
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- A. Pico

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-25-2005
  • Publisher: Perseus Books Group