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Six Not So Easy Pieces: Lectures on Symmetry, Relativity, and Space-Timeby Richard Feynman
Synopses & Reviews
No twentieth-century American scientist is better known to a wider spectrum of people than Richard P. Feynman (19181988)—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 Feynmans Six Easy Pieces (published in 1995) 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 twentieth-century physics: Einsteins Theory of Relativity.No single breakthrough in twentieth-century physics (with the possible exception of quantum mechanics) changed our view of the world more than that of Einsteins 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.
Book News Annotation:
Six "easy" pieces were published in 1995. Now the publisher has dipped back into Feynman's three-volume Lectures on Physics to present these somewhat less accessible lectures. While the previous six-piece collection tackled various subjects, this volume deals only with Einstein's theory of relativity. Suitable for students and determined lay readers who want to learn from the master teacher, renowned not only for his scientific contributions, but for his wit, and the immediacy and clarity of his explanations.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
The spectacular reception of the book and audio versions of Feynmans Six Easy Pieces (published in 1995) 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 twentieth-century physics: Einsteins Theory of Relativity.
"In these lectures, everything you've ever heard about Feynman's wit and genius comes through". — John Horgan, author of The End of Science.
"Want to really understand why time slows, mass increases and length contracts as something approaches light speed, why space has just got to be curved and why it is not only impossible to predict the future, but actually there is no fortune teller who can even tell us the present?' ... Sure this is hard stuff — the cerebral equivalent of high-impact aerobics...but there is no better explanation for the scientifically literate layman...Just do it". — The Washington Post Book World
Table of Contents
Vectors — Symmetry in physical laws — The special theory of relativity — Relativistic energy and momentum — Space-time — Curved space.
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