> However, we want to be clear that this edition is only free to read online, and this posting does not transfer any right to download all or any portion of The Feynman Lectures on Physics for any purpose.
I know it doesn't actually mean anything in practice, but still, I'm shaking my head in disbelief that there's still people out there clinging to this mentality. Aside from the fact that it's fundamentally technically impossible to read something online without downloading it first.
Absolutely great books however!
I've learned a lot already from those books.
Also, the "For the Practical Man" (algebra, geometry, trig, arithemtic) series of books on mathematics that Feynman started his career with. They are hard to get hold of and expensive but the calculus book is wonderful if incredibly dense and written in an early 1900's style!
Those, a cheap Casio calculator, a box of pencils and some school exercise books have taught me more than a university degree and years of industry experience.
Edit: found a legitimate PDF of "Calculus for the practical man" http://physsocyork.co.uk/notes/J.%20E.%20Thopmson--Calculus%...
I guess I could buy them and then download the "pirate" versions from somewhere.
Instead, I'll stick with my hardcopy edition.
Added: There's only one other introductory physics text by a historically first-rank physicist, and that was Maxwell in the 19th century. (Maybe there were earlier ones, like Euler's books on mechanics, which I haven't read. Einstein's Relativity was a popularization like Feynman's QED or The Character of Physical Law rather than like the Feynman lectures. Newton's Principia has also been used as an intro text, which seems hilariously inappropriate.) The lectures are also unusually full of the this-is-how-a-physicist-thinks thing which is hard to pin down.
Whether it's worthwhile is to at least some extent a value judgment, and also as I see it, depends to some extent on what else you would have done with the time. If you have a block of time allocated for work, and you're thinking of spending it reading about physics instead of reading documentation on something you do actually need, that's probably suboptimal. If you've finished work for the day, you have a block of time allocated for intellectual leisure and you're trying to decide between reading about physics versus, say, the latest Dungeons & Dragons rules, in my opinion the former is more worthwhile.
Since it's still in its infancy, higher level abstractions won't be engineered for atleast another 2-3 decades.
So the first few engineers who get into it - even software engineers - will have to grapple with fundamental quantum mechanical concepts, in the same way computer engineers in the 1940s-60s had to grapple with fundamental electrical engineering concepts.
Feynman's Volume 3 is an especially useful introduction to these fundamental concepts, and I feel a good investment for the future.
For someone just curious about modern physics, without any specialized knowledge or advanced mathematical skill, it might be overwhelming.
As he opens in QED, you won't be able to solve heavy physics problems analytically in a short period of time, but with a little effort, you'll certainly be able to qualitatively understand the situation. And there's quite a lot of beauty to have there, even without heavy math (but there will be math!)
"However, we want to be clear that this edition is only free to read online, and this posting does not transfer any right to download all or any portion of The Feynman Lectures on Physics for any purpose."
It generally does not include temporary transfer of small parts of the document for immediate reading, except when the focus of the discussion is about the underlying mechanics of the transfer.
b) That's not how the internet works. One has already wgot the entire thing.
This repository previously included a toolchain to build a collection of eBooks, in ePub and MOBI formats, from Caltech's online edition of the Feynman Lectures. Those scripts have since been removed, in response to the suggestion that their continued availability might lead to a permanent discontinuation of HTML access.
All 3 volumes:
Otherwise, if you must download the basic version, go to the piratebay and search for "Feynman Lectures on Physics (epub,mobi,html) - FIXED"
SIX EASY PIECES, taken from these famous Lectures on
Physics, includes the most approachable material from the
classics.. to be sure....
edit: i almost feel like these shouldn't be something that gets digitized.....this knowledge and its presentation belongs in a tactile medium...
What one finds 'classical' is highly relative: remember Socrates famously despised books as a degrading and pernicious medium, for one .
Not to be a jerk about it, but the misuse of history is characteristic of very pernicious rhetoric.
The advantage of contact with people separated in space or time seem less meaningful at the time. But, venerating books over one on one contact is a huge mistake.
This is not the case with fiction or poetry, where what is communicated is often precisely what cannot be communicated socially or even explicitly. The experiences of both writing and reading are often in a different realm altogether than those of speaking and listening face to face -- one is not a watered down version of the other. They have different qualities.
And even in the case of scientific and mathematical exposition, where your statement is more often true, there are many exceptions. For example, I think of professors I've had who could write lucidly but were poor teachers, both in the classroom and in office hours. Either their social skills stood in the way of their communication, or their verbal skills were not as good as their written ones. They needed time and solitude to express their thoughts clearly.
So, you gain absolutely nothing by writing the spoken word down as a skilled orator can speak with a nuteral tone when desired but the written word can't add inflection.
This is what Feynman himself wrote in the preface to the books under discussion.
Someday we'll have an honest-to-god book with e-ink, which will reconfigure itself to whatever we want to read and get the best of both worlds. (PopSci promised me this more than a decade ago and I'm bitter it hasn't happened yet!)
Also if I get into a book, I always end up buying the thing as I don't want any electronic distractions taking away from it.
Reading on Kindle is pretty distraction free I find.
Plus I can't give my books to other people to read when I'm done.
I had a Kobo and a Kindle and they were horrid.
I understand but no thanks.
"Another thing we can see from Fig. 1–4 is why ice shrinks when it melts. The particular crystal pattern of ice shown here has many “holes” in it, as does the true ice structure. When the organization breaks down, these holes can be occupied by molecules. Most simple substances, with the exception of water and type metal, expand upon melting, because the atoms are closely packed in the solid crystal and upon melting need more room to jiggle around, but an open structure collapses, as in the case of water."
Going much further than that gets tricky, because you will usually need more development in math in concert with the physics. The omnibus "engineering mathematics" type books will cover a lot of it but I don't really like them. Boas's Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences would be something I would look at. For more detailed looks at electromagnetism and quantum mechanics, I (and many others I know) really liked David Griffiths's textbooks. The Feynman lectures make an excellent supplement to these for the different perspective and interesting physical insights.
"Now if we multiply Eq. (41.19) by [math], [math]. We want the time average of [math], so let us take the average of the whole equation, and study the three terms. Now what about [math] times the force?"
Soo... am I going to need math skills to understand this stuff?
That said, it's always helpful at first to skim through and get a surface understanding of the whole picture before you dive in and try to understand it all. You can probably complete a surface scan like that in a few weeks or months. I studied these becomes along with my high school physics course and completed the books in about a year, but I was spending double the usual amount of time on this stuff. As a high school student, I didn't have anything better to do, but as an adult I'd expect it to take me two dedicated years.