Tom's Reviews > Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics By Its Most Brilliant Teacher

Six Easy Pieces by Richard Feynman
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's review
Nov 28, 2011

really liked it
Read in November, 2011

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 that the targeted audience is Cal Tech undergraduates!

Feynman often said something like (and I'm paraphrasing here) "It all goes back to the Double Slit experiment.) I truly believe that a person who becomes aware of this experiment and what it "means" can never really look at the world the same way again. As well versed as Feynman was with the intricacies of the paradoxes that permeate the Double Slit, I was sort of disappointed with his explanation of it. I think the chapter on it in "The Dancing Wu Li Masters" explains it better and does a better job of conveying the awesome mystery of it. Of course, Gary Zhukov had the advantage of writing his book after Alain Aspect had run his experiment (1964) related to Bell's Theorem, confirming that the Universe we inhabit is truly, deeply, weirdly mysterious. Still, I didn't think Feynman conveyed that very well in this book, but really that wasn't his purpose here, so I'm giving it four stars.
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