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Feynman Lectures on Physics (3 Volume Set) [Paperback]

Richard Phillips Feynman , Robert B. Leighton , Matthew Sands
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)

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Book Description

This series commemorates the 25th anniversary of the intial release of The Feynman Lectures on Physics, a classic introduction to the study of physics. The three volume set is based upon a course of lectures in introductory physics given by Professor Richard Feynman at the California Institute of Technology durng 1961 and 1962. Three hardcover volumes in a slipcase.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic-- but not really for everyone May 11 2004
By A Customer
The Feynman lectures on physics is a transcript of some of the lectures Feynman gave at the California Institute of Technology to freshman and sophomore students. It was somewhat of an "experiment"; feynman had never done this before. He purposed to adress these lectures to the most "intelligent" of the class. It should be no surprise that these lectures are difficult. Caltech students are among the highest scoring on the math college boards of the country; they can handle the math, so often used in these lectures. Feynman often assumes knowledge of certain subjects. These are some things that are helpfull to understanding the content the first volume: equation of oscilliating spring, Newton's equation of gravitation, fundamental algebra, trigonometry, a couple theorems of geometry... Calculus is definately helpfull to know, as Feynman's lecture on its principles is just a reminder to the students he was adressing, most of which were already proficient in the matter. These things aside, this texbook is one of the best college texbooks you can get; lucid, interesting, and very challenging. Feynman at his best; he can be quite humourous at times: i personally love it when he makes fun of the philosphers. So buy the book, but don't get discouraged if it's hard.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare gem July 14 2003
The Feynman 'brand' has been over-extended a bit since his death. All that bongo nonsense! So, was the dude any good? It's a bit too early to judge his research; give it, say, 400 years. We can judge his teaching though, and, as these books show, it was exceptionally good.
These books present a long meandering through the highlights of classical, 19th and early-20th century physics with enough intelligence and content to keep the sharp ones awake and the dim ones from getting lost. So, this is no use as a physics text in the usual sense of the word; if it's 3am and you need to know how to derive the Lorentz transform from the basic relativity axioms, this book won't help. If you want to spend a diverting hour learning about relativity, then this book will be great fun.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Conceptual Clarity Dec 9 2003
By A Customer
Upon reading these books it is immediately apparent that Richard Feyman had a complete grasp of the concepts presented. His expositions are thoroughly well thought out, and extremely logical. Does that make these books great tools for learning to be a practising physicist? The answer to that question has two parts. First, to become a competent physicist one must have a clear conceptual picture of the necessary material. Second, this applies in particular to (although is not limited to) research, one must be able to use the concepts and the machinery to solve problems. These books concentrate on the first problem, having a firm grasp of the concepts fundamental to physics. It must be borne in mind that these books constitute a lecture series. Thus, they contain only the explanations offered by Feyman in his oratory, i.e. no problems sets are included with the texts. Therefore, they are at a significant disadvantage with respect to other, more complete treatments of the material, which is exacerbated by the price of the three volume set. However, when supplemented by another text(s) which provides worked examples and solved problem sets, the volumes really come into their own. Reading and digesting the contents of these three volumes will not develop all of the necessary skills required to practice physics competently, however the sheer clarity of the exposition of the concepts treated provides the student with a thorough grasp of the material from which to formulate approaches to problem solving. Ulimately though, one needs to decide whether the price of these volumes together with that of another complementary text is worth it. If you are serious about developing a deep understanding of the material, the answer is probably yes. If you just need something to get you through your exams, probably not.
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Feynman's famous three-volume set is an edited set based on his lectures to the introductory physics classes at Caltech, which are widely considered to be among the best lecture series ever published. Feynman takes a different approach from the typical introductory physics textbook. His point of departure perhaps assumes a higher level of mathematical sophistication than most introductory or survey texts. Also, his choice of topics is not as broad and comprehensive as many modern surveys of introductory physics. What makes Feynman's work remarkable is the his manner of explaining physical principles underlying a topic, instead of simply presenting the traditional expression of a rule and its formal mathematical expression. When one completes reading a section of Feynman's lecture, if one has the mathematical sophistication one will obtain a "feel" for how the topic fits in the broad context of physics as a whole. As a note of caution: most introductory physics surveys do not present material with use of matrix mathematics. Feynman assumes familiarity with the basics of matrix algebra, and this fact makes his presentation challenging to many students. In various sources I have read that his lectures were well attended by students in the upper division portion of their education and many graduate students and faculty, while the freshman audience intended may have been poor. That reflects the series as being a high-level conceptual overview reflecting the unified structure of physics. Perhaps not suitable for introductory physics instruction to any but the most advanced students.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish all my profs are like Feynman
I rediscovered my lost love for physics through Feynman. I have never ever wanted to read a textbook this much before. Read more
Published on March 15 2009 by superwoman
3.0 out of 5 stars Confusing but decent
I spoke to soon earlier. This is a fairly good book. I'm going to get an"0 of # people foudn this review helpful" but what do I care. Read more
Published on May 8 2004 by some guy
5.0 out of 5 stars Inventing Reality - Feynman's Version
With these lectures, you are along for the ride as Feynman invents reality. I like to compare this work to a Mozart piano variation. Read more
Published on July 9 2003 by veinstein
2.0 out of 5 stars Schaum's>Feynman Lectures
Hype is absolutely right; If you want to really learn physics you have to be solving problems and as Gregory mentioned there are NO exercises. Read more
Published on June 13 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't Believe the Hype!
Like Public Enemy said:
Get ready for some blasphemy to set your head straight:
These books just aren't that great! Read more
Published on April 4 2003 by Gregory Bravo
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't Believe the Hype!
Like Public Enemy said:
Get ready for some blasphemy to set your head straight:
These books just aren't that great! Read more
Published on April 4 2003 by Gregory Bravo
5.0 out of 5 stars An Timeless Classic!!!
The set of lectures was gived by the one of greatest physicist in the earth, Richard Feynman. To me, I didn't take these lectures as my introductory course of physics. Read more
Published on Jan. 20 2003 by TsungpLee
5.0 out of 5 stars The most impressive overview and presentation of Physics
I agree with the many reviewers that state that there is a mathematical sophistication presented by Feynman, that most High School students or Freshman students will not have. Read more
Published on Dec 18 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Best science book
Feynman's is the best science book I ever read. The volume III is really unique. Simply a creative way to present the quantum mechanics, a normally very difficult subject. Read more
Published on Oct. 29 2002 by "bearofthecity"
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