Update: Most of the questions center on cost. I've answered in more detail below, but the short version is simple: no off-the-shelf converter was remotely sufficient for our needs, so we had to write lots of custom software, and writing custom software is hard.
Now I've just read the first two chapters online, and I have a question. Have the lectures been updated to 2013 physics, or should I read comments like this:
"We seem gradually to be groping toward an understanding of the world of subatomic particles, but we really do not know how far we have yet to go in this task." (last sentence in chapter 2)
..as being the state in the 1970s?
If so, what has changed then in the "big picture"? String theory?
Also, please collect data regarding whether this harms book sales. If it turns out not to have any significant effect, then this could be cited as evidence in any future circumstance where someone is trying to convince a book publisher to approve of releasing an online version of a book.
I notice the material is copyright Caltech. Any chance that they'd consider releasing it under an open license? A CC-BY license would enable this material to be repurposed and improved in all kinds of interesting ways.
I try to emphasize to the interested parties that, by doing things like giving away online content and using CC licenses, they stand to make more money (if they execute right), but it's a hard sell to people who don't live on the bleeding edge like we do. And since I don't have equity in the project, my efforts in this direction are strictly pro bono.
Where I'm sitting in our lab, I'm probably within 50m of at least ten copies.
CC-BY-ing just a few of the old stalwarts (I like the 1970 Sears and Zemansky, for example, and old editions of Thomas' Calculus are fine (probably better than present editions) ) would stop a lot of expensive silliness with the generation of open-source textbooks. Buying out the rights to the best textbooks is in our national interest.
Did you mean "has not authorized"? Otherwise, I would gladly pay for PDF editions of the 3 volumes.
If they already went with producing a free online copy of the 1st volume, I don't see why they should be against selling official eBook PDF editions for people like me who prefer to read this offline.
Anyway, great job on the conversion, it looks marvelous!
> The conversion from LaTeX to HTML was expensive: we raised considerable funds, but ran out before finishing Volumes II and III, so we are only posting Volume I initially.
I don't know too much about digitalisation, but why does it cost so much?
Unfortunately, there's a vast gulf between "kinda-sorta mostly converted"—which is the best you can get with off-the-shelf converters—and "a faithful representation of the Feynman Lectures". Closing this gap required a large amount of gruesome work.
Really really appreciate this effort.
I've sent this to some of my deaf friends who are studying or trying to get into Physics and they are over the moon about this.
So, hopefully it will not be long before we add the completed Vols. II and III chapters to the published HTML edition, with the few remaining chapters to follow shortly.
Michael A. Gottlieb
Editor, The Feynman Lectures on Physics
Has there been any consideration of making a semantic version of the equations involved? The great thing about having this on the web, is I could easily see myself maintaining links in long calculations to various formulas as the authority.
(Also: what's the font in the SVG images? It's great!)
Microsoft Research announced on Wednesday that Mr. Gates, who purchased the rights to the videos privately from the Feynman estate, BBC and from Cornell University, in cooperation with Curtis Wong, a Microsoft researcher, has created a Web site that is intended to enhance the videos by annotating them with related digital content.
I'm really glad he's made this available on line. And at the risk of looking a gift horse in the mouth, I wish it didn't require silverlight.
That's a very sad requirement indeed.
I got the following 403 Error, which is kind of amusing.
You don't have permission to access /moonlight/redirector.html on this server.
Apache/2.2.22 (Ubuntu) Server at www.go-mono.com Port 80
There are a ton of Feynman lectures on this YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/FeynmanVideoLectures/videos although I'm unable to tell if they are authorized / legitimate. They've been up for 3 years, though, so presumably they would have been DMCA'd by now if they weren't.
Out of all his writings, this is the one that has always stuck with me.
Feynman long held that one does not understand something if one cannot explain it to someone who is not deeply steeped in the subject already. I regard this lecture as probably the culmination of that philosophy for Feynman. Anybody with a deep mathematical background will be stunned on reading this book to realize that, oh, he was actually just talking about complex numbers and the path integral formulation all along.
Taken from one of those reviews, I don't need to say much more than this: "He does close to the impossible by explaining the rudimentary ideas of Quantum Electro Dynamics (QED) in a manner that is reasonably accessible to those with some physics background"
Even if you aren't at all interested in physics, math, or anything science related, I would still recommend this book.
That said, I now have a lot more reading to do. I know almost nothing about physics, and this collection looks like the perfect introduction. I'm going to read it in Mr. Fenyman's voice, and try to have the same curiosity as he did as a kid. Very excited to see this post.
I thought to address them to the most intelligent in the class and to make sure, if possible, that even the most intelligent student was unable to completely encompass everything that was in the lectures.
But regardless, the lecture series is a wonderful overview on the actual physics, even if it doesn't work that well as a straight textbook.
They're not a singular reference, but they're really good. His rachet and pawl lecture is timeless.
You can read the Feynman lectures either as a first-year UGRAD, a last-year UGRAD, or even as a graduate student and you will always find lots of things to learn.
The thing that I appreciate the most about Feynman's teaching is he shows you how to derive things from first principles. That is what learning should be like---just stating results is not enough: the teacher's job is to show (intuitively or formally) how the result is derived from other things the student knows.
Dear Feynman Lectures Forum Members,
Have you ever wished there was a high-quality up-to-date version of The Feynman Lectures on Physics available online? One that could be read with a browser so you could study FLP on your smartphone, tablet, notebook or desktop computer, whenever you felt like it? For free? Well, now there is, and you are among the first to hear about it!
A few words about the free HTML edition of FLP (New Millennium Edition)
It was an idea conceived many years ago, when through FL website correspondence I became aware of the many eager young minds who could benefit from reading FLP, who want to read it, but for economic or other reasons have no access to it, while at the same time I was becoming aware of the growing popularity of horrid scanned copies of old editions of FLP circulating on file-sharing and torrent websites. A free high-quality online edition was my proposed solution to both problems. All concerned agreed on the potential pedagogical benefits, but also had to be convinced that book sales would not be harmed. The conversion from LaTeX to HTML was expensive: we raised considerable funds, but ran out before finishing Volumes II and III, so we are only posting Volume I initially. (I am working on finishing Volumes II and III myself, as time permits, and will start posting chapters in the not-too-distant future, if all goes as planned.)
When you read our HTML edition you will notice a floating menu in the top right corner with Twitter, Facebook, and email buttons (to tell your friends about it!), navigation buttons ('last chapter,' 'table of contents', and 'next chapter'), a "contact us" button (that sends email to me), and a "Buy" button that links to a page of advertising for our books and ebooks, with links to retailers' web pages. To support our effort in producing and maintaining the HTML edition, and to help us keep it free, I would appreciate it very much if you would take some time to explore the retailer's pages through the links on our "Buy" page.
You can access the free HTML edition of FLP either by going to the home page of www.feynmanlectures.info and clicking on "Read," or you can go directly to it at either of two servers:
(So what's the difference between the servers? I maintain the site at feynmanlectures.info, so changes are reflected there immediately. On the other hand, feynmanlectures.caltech.edu is generally faster and more responsive. The entire edition is mirrored from feynmanlectures.info to feynmanlectures.caltech.edu every day, so the latter is current within 24 hours.)
- hope you enjoy the new edition! If you like it, please tell your friends.
Editor, The Feynman Lectures on Physics, New Millennium Edition
P.S. If you've received this email more than once, I apologize. We're having some problems with our mail servers this morning!
BTW - Nice touch on the equations.
Go forth and use wget on your own machines!
Maybe we're not all smart enough for this, but it does make sense that if we understand the problem well, then the calculation for it will be obvious.
I have been trying to get this book online,but apparently only Microsoft's Project Tuva had a right to them.So one had to watch them on a Windows platform requiring software that cant seem to run on my machine
I suppose you must mean that most people do not get an immediate material benefit out of art. But there is so much more in life than that.