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Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics Explained by Its Most Brilliant Teacher

4.19  ·  Rating Details  ·  11,404 Ratings  ·  373 Reviews
The six easiest chapters from Feynman's landmark work, "Lectures on Physics"-- specifically designed for the general, non-scientist reader.
ebook, 215 pages
Published May 14th 2014 by Basic Books (AZ) (first published 1962)
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Emilian Kasemi


What do we mean by “understanding” something? We can imagine that this complicated array of moving things which constitutes “the world” is something like a great chess game being played by the gods, and we are observers of the game. We do not know what the rules of the game are; all we are allowed to do is to watch the playing. Of course, if we watch long enough, we may eventually catch on to a few of the rules. The rules of the game are what we mean by fundamental physics. Even if we knew every
...more
Tulpesh Patel
Jun 16, 2012 Tulpesh Patel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pop-science
There is not much more to be said about Richard Feynman’s impact on physics or science communication; the man is as bona-fide legend and as close to being a worshipable God as scientists can have. Six Easy Pieces is a collection of the ‘easiest’ six chapters from Richard Feynman’s most-celebrated text book The Feynman Lectures on Physics.

The ‘easy’ in the title, is, like our sense of time, all relative. The lectures, delivered in the early 60’s, were aimed at “the most intelligent in the class
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics Explained by Its Most Brilliant Teacher, Richard Feynman
عنوان: شش قطعهٔ آسان؛ نویسنده: ریچارد فاینمن؛ مترجم: محمدرضا بهاری؛ تهران، هرمس، 1387، در نه، 198 ص؛ مصور؛ شابک: 9789643635558؛
مبانی فیزیک
Lotz
This is one of those rare books whose title says everything that has to be said about it. In fact, the title sums up the book so well that I’ll only repeat it:

Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics Explained by its Most Brilliant Teacher

Courtney Lindwall
Mar 28, 2011 Courtney Lindwall rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Science Nerds
Recommended to Courtney by: Required
Note to reader: I am not within Feynman's target demographic...

So if anyone is familiar with Feynman's "claim to fame," it's basically the idea that he's the most brilliant Physicis teacher of the 20th century and his lectures are ingenius in both their presentation and method.

Now, I'm not the most science-inclined person out there. I've never taken even a preliminary physics course (and these lectures were intended for his intro Caltech class, so...). But I'm also not dumb as a rock, either.

W
...more
Bob Nichols
In these lectures, Feynman is very good at explaining some basic concepts for those fairly new to physics. For field theory, he uses the analogy of waves in a pool to show how motion in one place affects motion in a distant place. He says that matter goes straight unless acted upon by an external force, but we don't know why; that the earth is pulled toward the sun, as opposed to the earth moving around the sun; and that atoms are always in motion ("jigglings and wigglings of atoms") and that su ...more
Kerem Cankocak
Apr 02, 2016 Kerem Cankocak rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bu kitabın da Alfa Bilim dizsinden yeni çeviriyle baskısı var. Eski çeviride çok fazla hata vardı.
Feynman Physics Lecture'daki ilk bölümleri kapsayan bu kitap fizik bilmeyenler için çok güzel bir giriş kitabı. Bu arada Feynman Physics Lecture'ların 3 cildinin de çevrilmekte olduğunu bildirim :-)
Kerem Cankoçak
Roger
Aug 27, 2014 Roger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the early 1960s the renown physicist, Richard Feynman, delivered introductory courses on physics to first and second year undergraduate students at Caltech, in the USA. His lectures were very popular at the time and whilst aimed at undergraduates, it wasn't uncommon for graduate physics students to infiltrate his classes; the one thing Feynman could be assured of was a full house each time he came to teach this course. The lectures, after some editing, were published in three large volumes. T ...more
Laoonatic
Sep 07, 2013 Laoonatic rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
I think that, when reading this book, you have to be familiar with physics and maths. There are a lot of books claiming to be for the neophytes in physics/maths/astrology etc. but, truth be told, there is little to be learned when in that position. Which is why people shouldn't consider this book as being no good just because they haven't reached the paradise of enlightment which was promised to them. Such a thing isn't possible. Not from a single book, as far as I know, and anyway, not from thi ...more
Cassandra Kay Silva
Jun 15, 2011 Cassandra Kay Silva rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
I think it is very rare for someone to be not only brilliant but also a wonderful teacher. Feynman has a very clear and direct style of imparting information. I just love it. Not quite as good as his autobiographical one but still very good.
Mark
Jun 22, 2011 Mark rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those interested in a straightforward introduction to quantum mechanical "weirdness"
If you have heard about the "weirdness" of quantum mechanics but don't know what the hype is all about, look no further than chapter six of this book. In chapter six, with his usual down-to-earth approach, Feynman describes one of the most famous experiments in physics (the double-slit experiment) and what it tells us about the way fundamental particles behave. He compares the behavior of "lumps" to the behavior of "waves" before moving on to the behavior of electrons... and the outcome might su ...more
Mike
Feb 21, 2010 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
I have read several other books by and about Richard Feynman: a man whose brilliance and oddness were well known within the Physics community, but sadly only his eccentricities were known by most of the wider world.

This book is not really about Feynman, rather it is six chapters excised out of a two-year course of physics lectures he gave at CalTech in the mid 60s. The publisher created this volume (and a second one that I am just getting into called "Six Not-So-Easy Pieces") and a companion aud
...more
Ioannis Savvas
Feb 13, 2013 Ioannis Savvas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: Φυσική
Ο Richard Feynman (1918-1988) είναι ένας από τους μεγαλύτερους θεωρητικούς φυσικούς του 20ου αιώνα. Καθηγητής στο Cornell, δούλεψε μαζί με το Hans Bethe στο Los Alamos. Το 1965 βραβεύθηκε με το βραβείο Nobel για τη δουλειά του στη θεωρία της κβαντομηχανικής.

Το Six Easy Pieces είναι μια συλλογή διαλλέξεων στους φοιτητές του. Ο Feynman διακρινόταν για την ικανότητά του να εξηγεί πολύπλοκα θέματα φυσικής με απλό τρόπο, χρησιμοποιώντας παραδείγματα από την καθημερινότητα. Το βιβλίο είναι απολαυστικό
...more
Connie  Kuntz
Apr 22, 2009 Connie Kuntz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who believes that science and spirituality aren't mutally exclusive
Recommended to Connie by: Christine O'Brien (soon to be Dr. C. O'Brien)
This book is truly mind-opening and I am convinced that Feynman was one enlightened dude. As I read the book, I felt myself opening up to the concept of atoms, amalgamations, energy, astronomy, gravity, light years, colliders and quantum physics. There was humor, history and simplified experiments in the book, too, which gave the field of Physics an "inviting" feeling, rather than a snooty one. The first five chapters were wonderful, but I struggled quite a bit with Chapter 6. To be clear: I sti ...more
Rob
May 28, 2010 Rob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rob by: io9
Almost five-stars. For someone like me (i.e., a layperson that has no background in physics whatsoever), this is a great introduction to the mysterious world of physics—it is humorous and accessible and makes an effort to be "approximately accurate" about everything (while calling itself out on things that are simplified for the sake of the example or else "unknown or unknowable"). However, to be "approximately accurate about everything" means a bunch of math and other fancy-pants equations that ...more
Andrei Augustin
Sep 30, 2015 Andrei Augustin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Între cele mai impresionante descoperiri se numără cea legată de originea energiei stelelor, care le face să continue să ardă. Unul dintre descoperitori a ieșit cu prietena sa tocmai în seara zilei când și-a dat seama că în stele trebuie să se desfășoare reacții nucleare pentru a le face să strălucească.
„Uite ce frumos strălucesc stelele!” zise ea. „Da, răspunse el, și în acest moment sunt singurul om din lume care știe de ce strălucesc ele.” Dar ea a râs de el. Nu a fost deloc impresionată de f
...more
Steve
That subtitle may seem overwrought, but it's true. Hawking and Greene have done much to popularize (and fetishize) physics, but Feynman will help the layperson really start to understand it at its most conceptual, basic form. And if you haven't the ability to sustain fifteen years of advanced mathematics, these lessons can still illuminate the marvels of the "mechanism."

To be fair, Hawking (astrophysics) and Greene (quantum mechanics) both do a lot for their respective fields as well, but they a
...more
Alcatraz Dey
Jul 16, 2015 Alcatraz Dey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a brilliant way to broaden your knowledge of the key concepts of physics. Adapted from the undergraduate lectures delivered by Richard Feynman during his professorship at Caltech, the narrative is very talkative and easy to digest.

Feynman himself contributed well to physics, receiving (jointly) the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1965 for his work in quantum electrodynamics, developing pictorial representations of quantum interactions (now known as Feynman diagrams) and pioneering the fi
...more
Diego
Aug 26, 2015 Diego rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Six Easy Peaces es un extracto de los capítulos más sencillos de sus afamadas lectures on physics impartidas en Caltech durante los años 60.

Es un gran libro que cumple varios propósitos, primero es una gran introducción a la ciencia para aquellos interesados en una aproximación amigable, segundo cumple con una labor importante de divulgación sobre algunos principios generales de la física y tercero permite al hombre común que no tiene antecedentes en el mundo cientifico aproximarse de una forma
...more
Angelo Giardini
Jan 02, 2015 Angelo Giardini marked it as partially-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
Não é particularmente ruim, mas o livro definitivamente me decepcionou. Eu já assisti a alguma das lectures de Feynman em vídeo na internet e seu carisma é impressionante, mas há algo que se perdeu na transição entre a oralidade e a escrita.
Hadrian
Excellent introduction to physics. Feynman is a great teacher.
Hayley
Jan 08, 2013 Hayley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is an introduction to the most basic ideas of physics, and part of its sophistication is that it hints at how deep the...rabbit hole...is, without requiring readers to have enough expertise to really go down it.

It was readable but challenging for me - someone with a bachelor's in biology and no great adeptitude for physics or math. My one complaint is that author Richard Feynmann could work a little harder to help lay readers understand how his verbal descriptions of physics translate
...more
Tom
Nov 28, 2011 Tom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've had this book on the shelf for some time, meaning to read it to refresh my memory of physics classes taken long ago. It was a quick enjoyable read that explained things I've already learned in a new and refreshing way, (even though these lectures were given almost fifty years ago.) I was especially impressed with the first two chapters. With some minor modifications, these two lectures could be used to explain atomic theory to elementary students. This is quite an accomplishment considering ...more
Molly Ison
Possibly the most important part of this book is in the preface, when Feynman discusses the problems of physics pedagogy. These actually are easy pieces - if you have had high school level physics, the concepts should be immediately familiar. While Feynman presents them in a way that is fairly labeled brilliant, there are many physics teachers and professors who could give you an excellent understanding of the same material (and it's not too hard to find some online). The real issue here is the ...more
Laura
Nov 02, 2010 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
I may be one of the few scientists who is not a Feynman fan. He admits that his approach is to teach to the very brightest students, hoping that the others manage to catch something along the way. But, when you remember the man taught at CalTech--where basically every student is pretty darned smart, his approach seems a bit arrogant. He also claims that he had no opportunity during the lecture series to gain feedback from students--that this came only at the end of the course. Astonishing that s ...more
Punk
Jun 06, 2007 Punk rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, science
Non-fiction. This book contains six chapters from Feynman's Lectures on Physics, which were transcribed from actual lectures he gave at Caltech during 1961-1964. It made me feel dumb. Well, not entirely, I did okay with the chemistry, biology, and astronomy aspects of it, as I have background in those areas, and I was all right with the quantum mechanics stuff because that requires more imagination than math, but I've never taken a physics course, so all the nonsense with pulleys totally shot ov ...more
Upom
Feynman, the debonair physicist of the last generation. Part physicist, part bongo player, part safe cracker, all man. A charming genius without the snooty air of formalism is a role model I can follow. And here in this book is the start to understanding a Feynman way of mind. These 6 essays are adapted from Feynman's Lectures on basic physics back in the 1960's. I wish I had discovered these essays before college, because they really would have made physics easy and interesting to learn before ...more
Lauren
Jan 05, 2012 Lauren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Feynman never ceases to amaze me with his genuine ability to take a complicated subject (or concept) and make it accessible to the masses. After reading his book of short stories, I've been perpetually intrigues by Feynman, his interests, accomplishments, and thought process. These six lectures provide a window into the mind that helped inspire many future physicists and their subsequent breakthroughs. It inspired me to think more carefully about the mundane things we take for granted; I found m ...more
Yiheng Wang
Aug 17, 2015 Yiheng Wang rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As an educator in STEM discipline, I started to read this book (primarily) hoping to glean some ideas on how to explain the basics of physics to other people in vivid but simple words. In that sense I did get inspired here and there. But this book reads just like what it is: transcripts of live lectures, therefore in my opinion it just doesn't makes too good a book on introductory physics without the brilliant personality of the lecturer and his spontaneous notes on board or any other in-class d ...more
Michiel Verhaeghe
Aug 21, 2015 Michiel Verhaeghe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This classic book is an essential introduction to the world of physics by one of its greatest teachers and icons.
Richard Feynman inspired people around the world with his scientific brilliance, endless curiosity about the world and unorthodox outlook on life. Here he guides the reader through the very basics of physics, including atoms, energy, force, the relation of physics to other sciences, the theory of gravitation and quantum behaviour. Presenting complex ideas in simplified, understandabl
...more
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Richard Phillips Feynman was an American physicist known for the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics and the physics of the superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium, as well as work in particle physics (he proposed the parton model). For his contributions to the development of quantum electrodynamics, Feynman was a joint recipient of the Nobel Pr ...more
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