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

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  16,226 ratings  ·  547 reviews
It was Richard Feynman's outrageous and scintillating method of teaching that earned him legendary status among students and professors of physics. From 1961 to 1963, Feynman delivered a series of lectures at the California Institute of Technology that revolutionized the teaching of physics around the world. Six Easy Pieces, taken from these famous Lectures on Physics, rep ...more
Paperback, 167 pages
Published March 22nd 2011 by Basic Books (first published 1962)
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4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  16,226 ratings  ·  547 reviews

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Ahmad Sharabiani
Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics Explained by Its Most Brilliant Teacher, Richard Feynman
Presents six of the easiest chapters from the Nobel Prize winner's celebrated text Lectures in Physics, originally published in 1963, which comprised the lectures he prepared for undergraduate students at Caltech in the early 1960s. Addressing key topics in largely qualitative terms without formal mathematics, the six selections discuss atoms in motion, basic physics, the relation of physics to other s
Tulpesh Patel
Jun 16, 2012 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
Courtney Lindwall
Mar 15, 2011 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.

Sep 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
Contains the best explanation for the uncertainty principle I have come across. Still trying to wrap my mind around quantum mechanics though.
Roy 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

so this book (if you were at all interested) is a collection of the six 'most basic' lectures delivered by richard feynman when he taught caltech 1st year physics undergrads in the early 1960s. feynman is famously an excellent communicator and very good at explaining physics-y things and coming up with analogies. honestly though, i was a little disappointed.
admittedly, i thought the chapter on quantum behaviour (6) was *fantastic*, and probably the best and most thorough explanation i've come ac
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
Sep 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 05, 2011 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.
May 15, 2014 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
May 11, 2011 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
Apr 30, 2008 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
Connie  Kuntz
Apr 20, 2009 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
Kerem Cankocak
Mar 25, 2016 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
Mεδ Rεδħα
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physics
Great book. Feynman is as enigmatic as usual and his descriptions are vivid and inspiring. He begins discussing atoms and shows us how we can understand the world around us using the simple concept of 'jiggling' atoms. I found this to be a profound and exiting way of understanding how things truly work, for example, why does tea cool down when we blow on it? Well, we cause some of the atoms (well molecules in reality) of the tea to get so excited and jiggly that they break away from the liquid a ...more
Erkin Unlu
3.5'tan 4.

Büyük fizikçi Richard Feynman'ın büyük bir öğretmen olmadığını gösteren kitap. Kuantum mekaniği dışındaki konuları liseden ve genel kültürle öğrenmemiş olsam, büyük ihtimalle bu kitaptan anlayarak öğrenmezdim. Adeta üniversitede elektroniğe giriş dersi almış gibiyim : ).

Bunun dışında kitap şaşırtıcı derecede açık bir Kuantum bölümü ile bitti. Bu sebepten ve Feynman'a saygımdan 4 puan veriyorum.

Ps: Tabii ki Kuantum dalga prensiplerini vs bir ay içinde gene unutacağım ama olsun
Feb 21, 2010 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
Menglong Youk
4.5/5 stars

I picked up this book several months ago and then dropped it despite nearly finishing it due to the complexity of the last chapter: Quantum Behavior. This by no means implies that the book is difficult as a whole.

I thoroughly enjoyed the first three chapters: Atoms in Motion, Basic Physics, and the Relations of Physics to Other Sciences. The method he chose to explain the concepts in these chapters was elegant and easy to understand. He compared our understanding the law of physics to
Jan 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked 4 out of the 6 pieces, so technically it should be 3.3 stars.
I didn't like some of them probably because I didn't understand them, and to be fair I didn't focus a lot while reading it, it was more of a leisure read.
The gravitational piece was beautiful. It explained big complex ideas with simple analogies that made sense, some of the laws he discussed I knew already but after reading the lecture it all clicked and the picture was more clear.
I didn't like the conservation of energy or
Hmd Book
Jan 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
فقط متاسفم که چرا این کتاب را زودتر نخواندم، دوره دبیرستان یا حتی لیسانس. دو فصل فوق العاده خواندنی کتاب از دید من فصل مکانیک کوانتمی و ارتباط فیزیک با علوم دیگر است که بعد از ۵۰ سال و پیشرفت زیستشناسی، شیمی و نوروساینس همچنان مباحث مطرح شده فاینمن درست است. این فصل میتواند دید خوبی به یک دانشجو (حتی شاید دانش آموز) بدهد که حتی بتواند رشته تخصصی آیندهش را تغییر دهد! با این که فصلهای مربوط به اتمها در حرکت و نظریه گرانش با زبان ساده و جذاب بیان شدهاند، اما فصل درخشان این کتاب توضیح ساده نظریه کوا ...more
Fred Rogers teaches high school science.
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
Andrei Augustin
Feb 11, 2015 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
El título no engaña. Seis temas de física sencillos explicados de manera muy asequible.
Ha sido una grata sorpresa, aún así, poder recolocar y matizar algunos de los conceptos que creía entender bastante bien (en concreto: relatividad general y principio de incertidumbre, me han despertado alguna neurona nueva).
Angelo Giardini
Nov 09, 2014 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.
Excellent introduction to physics. Feynman is a great teacher.
Harish Rajamani
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Awesome introduction (or recap, depending on your background) of the most fundamental concepts in Physics. Expect the most relatable language possible for the depth and fidelity with which these topics deserve to be covered.

My favorite excerpt: "The whole universe is in a glass of wine." Sheer poetry created at the end of a lecture, rolling off the tongue of this amazing guy!

I listened to the audible recording, which was great for being able to experience
Linda Vituma
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Biju dzirdējusi, ka gudras idejas mēdzot rasties pastaigu laikā. It kā ticu, bet tomēr līdz galam nē. Tāpēc jo īpaši bija grūti aptvert, ka klausoties ievadlekcijas par fiziku, manā galvā raisījās ne viena vien praktiska doma un reāli pielietojama ideja. Varbūt tāpēc, ka lektors ir KOLOSĀLS? Vai varbūt tāpēc, ka darbinot neierastas smadzeņu daļas, beidzot, beidzot (!) iepriekš noslogotajām bija iespēja izdomāt kādas domas līdz galam.
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stem
This is just 6 of the Feynman Lectures (available for free online) that are the most accessible.

It's definitely good for its intended audience and comes with Feynman's indelible sense of wonder.

Finishing this compels you to read the rest.
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Admittedly, I haven’t read that many physics/nonfiction books but this was just so beautiful. The metaphor/description of the universe contained in a wineglass and how we are not merely atoms (we are not “merely” anything) was touching :)
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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
“You know, the most amazing thing happened to me tonight... I saw a car with the license plate ARW 357. Can you imagine? Of all the millions of license plates in the state, what was the chance that I would see that particular one tonight? Amazing!” 20 likes
“If a law does not work even in one place where it ought to, it is just wrong.” 8 likes
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