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# QED: de zonderlinge theorie van licht en materie

This book is a venture that, as far as we know, has never been tried. It is a straightforward, honest explanation of a rather difficult subject-the theory of Quantum electrodynamics-for a nontechnical audience. It is designed to give the interested reader an appreciation for the kind of thinking that physicists have resorted to in order to explain how Nature behaves.

Paperback, 134 pages

Published
1989
(first published 1985)

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*really*is. Really, it's a love letter to a dead woman. Feynman says in his introduction that his friend Alix Mautner had always wanted him to explain quantum electrodynamics to her so that she could understand it, and he'd never gotten around to doing that. Now it was too late. But, somehow, you can see that that only made him want to do it, n...more

Dec 17, 2012
Shish
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5 of 5 stars
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review of another edition

Shelves:
favorites,
non-fiction

Once in a blue moon, a book comes along that leaves you gasping for breath, almost unable to believe that an author could achieve such a thing. This is that kind of a book.

Feynman starts by promising to, in four slim chapters, derive the fundamental properties of light and matter. Not describe, but derive, starting from the basic axioms of his newly developed theory of quantum electrodynamics, the theory for which he won the Nobel in Physics, and which is a part of the Standard Model, the most a...more

Feynman starts by promising to, in four slim chapters, derive the fundamental properties of light and matter. Not describe, but derive, starting from the basic axioms of his newly developed theory of quantum electrodynamics, the theory for which he won the Nobel in Physics, and which is a part of the Standard Model, the most a...more

*only*popular quantum physics book that both preserves a modicum of accuracy and is accessible to the layperson is "QED" by Richard Feynman. My formal education in physics doesn't extend beyond the GCSE level, so I'm in no position to judge this book's accuracy directly. However, I do know that Feynman is widely considered not just one of the most brilliant physicists but also one o...more

The book is transcription of a few lectures Feynman gave on Quantum Electrodynamics (QED), a branch of quantum theory he and Dirac developed. Feynman introduces a few simple rules on how electrons and photons behave (which appear to be easy-to-digest analogs for vector calculus) and then off he goes, explaining the theory a...more

Jan 24, 2010
Joshua Nomen-Mutatio
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5 of 5 stars
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review of another edition

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physics

It's all arrows, man. All about arrows. Physics is not a subject I have a terribly good grasp on mainly because my eyes glaze over at the sight of advanced mathematical equations, however Feynman is a pretty great at making the complex subjects of particle physics and quantum mechanics intelligible to the layest of laypersons. Fortunately I also read this with able-minded people who translated the math into clearer ideas which of course opened things up to broader philosophical speculation--some...more

Alas, that's the nature of science popularization. If you omit math, the heart is gone, and you have to make do with the leftover shell. Feynman does the best job of leaving behind some substance that I've ever seen in such a book.

Excellent pedagogy, and some great q...more

The author is one of the greatest physicists of 20th century, and highly regarded as one of the best instructors of physics, but the reader must have some knowledge of science and strong interest in physics, and appreciate optical phenomenon; reflection of light, refraction, etc. Reading this book at first may be boring, but reading for second or third time gives you a good idea about the theory and help you understand the elegance with which the author has...more

I don't think I would recommend this book for anyone that doesn't have a basic understanding of both classical mechanics and quantum mechanics.

Feynman is that unique and rare breed of scientist who can successfully explain very complicated ideas in simple terms so non-scientists...more

His conclusions in chapter 4: that 99% of what we observe is the relationship of electrons and photons and that we understand them well, but that the remaining 1% is such a...more

Jun 23, 2014
Gianni Costanzi
rated it
5 of 5 stars
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review of another edition

Recommends it for:
Anyone interested in Particle Physics and Physics/Science as general topics

Ho comprato questo libro dopo aver attraversato un percorso nella fisica divulgativa con i libri di Brian Greene (La trama del cosmo. Spazio, tempo, realtà, L'universo elegante. Superstringhe, dimensioni nascoste e la ricerca della teoria ultima e La realtà nascosta. Universi paralleli e leggi profonde del cosmo, Sean Carroll (La particella alla fine dell'universo. La caccia al bosone di Higgs e le nuove frontiere della fisica e Jim Baggott Il bosone di Higgs. L'invenzione e la scoperta della «p...more

Partendo dalle basi e arrivando alle ultime teorie più azzardate, Feynamn riesce perfettamente a far comprendere quanto la fisica moderna sia bizzarra e allo stesso tempo logica, assurda, ma estremamente precisa.

Benché Feynman abbia uno stile di scrittura semplice ed efficace, con molto pochi termini tecnici astrusi e in...more

Il risultato �� buono, ma non soddisfacente, a mio avviso. Mentre l'autore riesce bene a mostrare i

*conti con i fagioli*, come li descrive lui stesso, non tenta nemmeno di avvicinare il lettore da questa astrazione dei calcoli alla realt�� fisica del fenomeno calcolato. Ovviamente i concetti...more

A...more

May 26, 2012
Shivanee (Novel Niche)
marked it as to-read
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Recommended by Claude.

*everything*we see in everyday life. So it's like fairy tale land, except that it involves a lot of mathematics. But as Richard Feynman brilliantly demonstrates here, math skills are an important aspect, but an even more important one is that you need a totally creative mind that's able to imagine the unim...more

Oct 05, 2008
Chad Bearden
rated it
4 of 5 stars
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review of another edition

Shelves:
popular-science

"QED" brings together two of my favorite things: Richard Feynman and Quantum Electrodynamics. I've read several books and articals that lay out layman-friendly explanations of this quirkly little sub-genre of physics, and I've read several books by Richard Feynman, but amazingly, never a book

[Sidenote: even if you don't give a whit about science, you owe it to yourself to read Feynman's two non-fiction personal essay collections, "Surely You Must Be Joking, Mr. Feynman"...more

*about*physics*by*Feynman.[Sidenote: even if you don't give a whit about science, you owe it to yourself to read Feynman's two non-fiction personal essay collections, "Surely You Must Be Joking, Mr. Feynman"...more

Mar 04, 2012
Remo
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review of another edition

Shelves:
divulgacion-cientifica,
2007

Esta es una de las muchas incursiones que hizo el gran Feynman en el terreno de la divulgación científica. En realidad él no escribió ninguno de sus libros de divulgación científica, sino que se adaptaron de sus ciclos de conferencias de divulgación, que, ahí sí, Feynman preparaba a conciencia. Este libro surge de una serie de cuatro conferencias que dio Feynman en UCLA (que en inglés no se dice ucla sino u-c-l-a, *iusielei*, dato CPI para viajeros por tierras californianas).

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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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“What I am going to tell you about is what we teach our physics students in the third or fourth year of graduate school... It is my task to convince you not to turn away because you don't understand it. You see my physics students don't understand it... That is because I don't understand it. Nobody does.”
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“There is a most profound and beautiful question associated with the observed coupling constant, e - the amplitude for a real electron to emit or absorb a real photon. It is a simple number that has been experimentally determined to be close to 0.08542455. (My physicist friends won't recognize this number, because they like to remember it as the inverse of its square: about 137.03597 with about an uncertainty of about 2 in the last decimal place. It has been a mystery ever since it was discovered more than fifty years ago, and all good theoretical physicists put this number up on their wall and worry about it.) Immediately you would like to know where this number for a coupling comes from: is it related to pi or perhaps to the base of natural logarithms? Nobody knows. It's one of the greatest damn mysteries of physics: a magic number that comes to us with no understanding by man. You might say the "hand of God" wrote that number, and "we don't know how He pushed his pencil." We know what kind of a dance to do experimentally to measure this number very accurately, but we don't know what kind of dance to do on the computer to make this number come out, without putting it in secretly!”
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