The Feynman Lectures on Physics (3 Volume Set)
Richard Phillips Feynman | Addison Wesley Longman | 1970-07-09 | 1552 pages | English | PDF
When I took my sophomore-level physics class in college in the mid-60's, my professor put these Feynman books on reserve in the library. Eventually, looking for anything that could help me with a difficult course, I went into the library to see what Mr. Feynman (of whom I had never heard) had to say. I was spellbound. It was unimaginable to me that a subject so full of technical detail, formulas and equations, could be brought to life so brilliantly and vividly. I soon changed my major to math, and I never heard or thought of Richard Feynman again until the Challenger disaster about 20 years later. When President Reagan appointed Feynman to the investigating panel, I said, "Hey! That's the guy who wrote those wonderful Physics books!" Since then I have learned a lot more about Richard Feynman, and I guess I could say that if I have a hero, he's it. I have also gone back to look at these incomparable physics books again, and they are at least as magnificent as I thought they were in 1966. After decades of reading math and science books, I still believe this set of three books is head and shoulders above ANY textbook that I have seen in ANY subject. (Although, as others have said, it isn't really a textbook. On the other hand, after reading these books, you are likely to ask, "Who the hell needs a texbook?") Feynman manages to cover the technical and mechanical details of his subject while at the same time conveying a deep and philosophical understanding of the way the physical world works. He shines a dazzling and penetrating floodlight on a subject which is murky to all but the most talented among us. No praise is too high or too exaggerated for this work. It is one of the great achievements in the history of scientific writing.
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