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1. Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!
2. Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of
3. What Do You Care What Other People
4. Classic Feynman: All the Adventures
5. The Pleasure of Finding Things
6. The Meaning of It All: Thoughts
7. The Feynman Lectures on Physics
8. Genius: The Life and Science of
9. Quantum Mechanics and Path Integrals:
10. QED: The Strange Theory of Light
11. Six Not-So-Easy Pieces: Einstein's
12. The Feynman Lectures on Physics
13. Don't You Have Time to Think?
14. QED: The Strange Theory of Light
15. Elementary Particles and the Laws
16. No Ordinary Genius: The Illustrated
17. "Most of the Good Stuff:" Memories
18. Quantum Man: Richard Feynman's
19. Tuva or Bust! Richard Feynman's
20. The Quotable Scientist Words of

1. Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! (Adventures of a Curious Character)
by Richard P. Feynman, Ralph Leighton
Paperback: 352 Pages (1997-04-17)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$8.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0393316041
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The outrageous exploits of one of this century's greatest scientific minds and a legendary American original. In this phenomenal national bestseller, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard P. Feynman recounts in his inimitable voice his adventures trading ideas on atomic physics with Einstein and Bohr and ideas on gambling with Nick the Greek, painting a naked female toreador, accompanying a ballet on his bongo drums and much else of an eyebrow-raising and hilarious nature. A New York Times bestseller; more than 500,000 copies sold.Amazon.com Review
A series of anecdotes shouldn't by rights add up to an autobiography, but that's just one of the many pieces of received wisdom that Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman (1918-88) cheerfully ignores in his engagingly eccentric book, a bestseller ever since its initial publication in 1985. Fiercely independent (read the chapter entitled "Judging Books by Their Covers"), intolerant of stupidity even when it comes packaged as high intellectualism (check out "Is Electricity Fire?"), unafraid to offend (see "You Just Ask Them?"), Feynman informs by entertaining. It's possible to enjoy Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman simply as a bunch of hilarious yarns with the smart-alecky author as know-it-all hero. At some point, however, attentive readers realize that underneath all the merriment simmers a running commentary on what constitutes authentic knowledge: learning by understanding, not by rote; refusal to give up on seemingly insoluble problems; and total disrespect for fancy ideas that have no grounding in the real world. Feynman himself had all these qualities in spades, and they come through with vigor and verve in his no-bull prose. No wonder his students--and readers around the world--adored him. --Wendy Smith ... Read more

Customer Reviews (282)

5-0 out of 5 stars 50% grownup, 50% child
The title is a take-off on Freeman Dyson's characterization of Richard Feynman as 50% genius, 50% buffoon. I loved this book when I first read it in the 80s, and I've read it several times since without changing my opinion. Of course the reader has to make some allowances for the raconteur: any really good story has generally been remade by retelling,with minor alterations and exaggerations here and there, but we're looking to be entertained, not just taught. So it is with this book. We meet Feynman the free spirit, enemy of pomposity, self-deception, and mindless rules. He amuses us by poking fun at and sometimes defying the military, polite social conventions, and sexual hypocrisy, while at the same time delighting us with his childlike pleasure in discovering new things, like how to crack safes, find hidden items by smell, and get ants to walk in a circle. And naturally what makes it all so much more interesting is that this incorrigible bad-boy is also a scientist of the first rank, a genuine genius who reinvented quantum mechanics and rescued it from the plague of infinities, for which he "won a prize", as he liked to call his Nobel.

Whether it was telling Bohr or Fermi that their ideas wouldn't work, or testifying on behalf of a strip-club owner threatened with the loss of his livelihood, Feynman was unafraid to live honestly and according to his own rules. It helps in such a situation to be able to do things that no one else can do, like calculate finite quantities in quantum electrodynamics, or explain superfluidity. Many of us would like to live that way too if we could, and there is considerable satisfaction in following the adventures of someone who does.

Feynman can be a little creepy at times, as when he spends days on end incognito in Las Vegas insinuating himself into other people's lives for fun. (Of course as he points out, all scientists with the possible exception of Einstein would be incognito in Las Vegas). But he's never boring, obtuse, or mean-spirited. He subjects himself to the same clear-eyed analysis as others, and cheerily admits his own shortcomings and failures.

It all boils down to two rules to live by: have fun, and don't fool yourself.

Thank you, Richard Feynman. We love you.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Icon in the Scientific Community
Did you think that all scientist could be found some where sitting in a corner reading the latest scientific journals or in a laboratory hovered over some experiment they were engaged in?And did you think that scientist were boring and dull witted?This book tells the personal side of a great and brilliant American scientist.It will change your mind about the results of genius.It is entertaining all the way through and could cause a paradigm shift in your beliefs.I just couldn't set the book down.Very good reading.

4-0 out of 5 stars Definitely an enjoyable ride
One of the ironies of life is the fact that the poets and artists THINK that they are interesting and cool, but the mathameticians and scientists are the ones who are the interesting people. Richard Feynman exudes that combination of geek and confidence well before The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Third Season and Simpsons World The Ultimate Episode Guide: Seasons 1-20 made geekiness and nerdiness fun. This book is light on biography (you'd be hardpressed to remember the names of his wives much less the dates when they were married to him. You know one died in the 1940s only because he was working on the A Bomb at the time) but heavy on anecdotes. I started this book disappointed that it was light on the science but he's just that much of an interesting and fascinating person that I can enjoy him talking about bongos, his trips to Brazil and the A Bomb.

Great book. Very fun. Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars My Hero
Previous to reading this book I had listened to the Fineman lectures on physics, but I didn't fully understand the dynamic personality of this character until I read this book. It is a compilation of stories about Richard Fineman's life, and I enjoyed them very much. These stories range from his time spent in Los Alimos working on the bomb, to playing in a samba band in Brazil, to winning the Nobel prize, to picking up on women in bars, to his artistic forays, to his decision to stay at Cal Tech despite what other school offered to pay him. The book was funny, engaging and read very well by a talented narrator. I look forward to reading more about this charismatic character in What Do You Care What Other People Think?: Further Adventures of a Curious Character

3-0 out of 5 stars READ THIS GOOD REVIEW-Feynman is also an entertainer
Don't pay any attention to that negative review by "Zorba", whose knowledge of post-war bar culture is probably limited.And his appraisal of Feynman's practical jokes being hurtful must be based on something other than this book.Feynman has some funny stories and provides us with some biographical data along the way to give the stories a setting.We hear about his childhood and his first job, along with his early fascination with gadgets and inventions.Not much in the way of specific details on his work in physics, as has been provided in other biographies, and the "Feynman diagrams, which show the arrows of light and time, are mentioned not-a-once, nor is it detailed exactly what he won the nobel prize for, though his headaches of receiving the prize are amuzing.Don't look for physics, but for the social life of a physicist who also happened to be a character.He does talk about physics and math and education in a general way and offers up some general observations about how people approach these subjects. There are stories from Los Alamos to Brazil and Japan and from CalTech and Princeton.A fun short read, if that's what you're looking for. ... Read more

2. Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics By Its Most Brilliant Teacher
by Richard P. Feynman
Paperback: 176 Pages (2005-04-06)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$7.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0465023924
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics Explained by Its Most Brilliant Teacher is a publishing first. This set couples a book containing the six easiest chapters from Richard P. Feynman’s landmark work, Lectures on Physics—specifically designed for the general, non-scientist reader—with the actual recordings of the late, great physicist delivering the lectures on which the chapters are based. Nobel Laureate Feynman gave these lectures just once, to a group of Caltech undergraduates in 1961 and 1962, and these newly released recordings allow you to experience one of the Twentieth Century’s greatest minds—as if you were right there in the classroom.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (64)

5-0 out of 5 stars authoritatively simple
Reading this book reminds me of just how rare it is to find a real expert who knows how to explain his or her subject to non-experts without either lapsing into jargon or patronizing them, and who wants to as well. You can look at all the many science books written by non-scientist journalists and you will not find one that comes anywhere close to this one in terms of clarity, authority, and simplicity.

Feynman learned this skill as a child, and practiced it throughout his life as a teacher. His father used to teach him about the world around him in exactly the same kind of language as he uses in this book. We become his children listening in fascination as he tells us of wonders we never suspected.

And there is so much more in this book than just the subject matter itself. The reader will gain an appreciation of what is meant by the scientific method, scientific theories, and scientific laws. In fact, the essence of positivist philosophy is presented so painlessly and with such good humor as to be positively (pun intended) irresistible. Anyone who reads this book with open eyes and mind will literally never see the world the same way again, both in the physical sense, and in terms of critiquing what we know and how we know it.

Perfect for a bright 12-year old interested in science. Wish I had read it as a kid (hadn't been published yet). Love it as a grownup.

5-0 out of 5 stars Six Easy Pieces
The book by Richard Feynman was in perfect condition and delivered promptly.The timeliness of the delivery was especially important to me.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great!
Dr. Feynman was a great instructor. He made complicated things seem easy to learn albeit you had to have some knowledge about the subject.

5-0 out of 5 stars What we know and what we don't know
In Six Easy Pieces, Feynman describes the basic ideas of physics, how physics relates to other sciences, what physicists mean by "energy", how quantum physics relates to everyday physics, and how gravity works.

Why does an apple fall from the tree when its stem can't hold its weight anymore? Why does the moon go around the earth and the earth around the sun?

Feynman doesn't really tell us anything we don't know when he says that gravity is the thing that causes the apple to fall and the moon to orbit the earth. But he describes gravity a little further and explains that the force of gravity between two masses is described by the product of the mass of the two interacting objects divided by the square of the distance, and the result multiplied by a number called G, the Gravitational Constant, equal to 0.0000000000667426.

So far so good, but still textbook stuff. But why does G have this particular value? Feynman bluntly answers that we don't know. And there lies the value of the book: he gives the boundary between what we can and cannot know. And that's OK. Physics is about understanding how nature works rather than why it's there.

Vincent Poirier, Tokyo

5-0 out of 5 stars The Essentials of Everything
Having read several excellent books about Dr. Richard Feynman, and his critical insights into modern science as well as his lively personality and unorthodox way of thinking, I thought I should do him justice and read his own words about his ideas and vision of the world.He is as spectacular as I hoped.I read a chapter every morning and feel greatly enriched by that daily experience. ... Read more

3. What Do You Care What Other People Think?: Further Adventures of a Curious Character
by Richard P. Feynman
Paperback: 256 Pages (2001-01)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$7.74
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0393320928
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The best-selling sequel to "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!"--funny, poignant, instructive. One of the greatest physicists of the twentieth century, Richard Feynman possessed an unquenchable thirst for adventure and an unparalleled ability to tell the stories of his life. "What Do You Care What Other People Think?" is Feynman's last literary legacy, which he prepared as he struggled with cancer. Among its many tales--some funny, others intensely moving--we meet Feynman's first wife, Arlene, who taught him of love's irreducible mystery as she lay dying in a hospital bed while he worked nearby on the atomic bomb at Los Alamos. We are also given a fascinating narrative of the investigation of the space shuttle Challenger's explosion in 1986, and we relive the moment when Feynman revealed the disaster's cause by an elegant experiment: dropping a ring of rubber into a glass of cold water and pulling it out, misshapen. A New York Times bestseller.Amazon.com Review
A thoughtful companion volume to the earlierSurely You Are Joking Mr. Feynman!. Perhaps the most intriguing parts of the bookare the behind-the-scenesdescriptions of science and policy colliding in thepresidential commission to determine the cause of the Challengerspace shuttleexplosion; and the scientific sleuthing behind his famously elegant O-ring-in-ice-water demonstration. Not as rollicking as his othermemoirs, but in some ways more profound. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (70)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Read
I've enjoyed this book immensely. The style is light and easy to read.Feynman and his antics have inspired me to look at the world with curiosity and not to take myself too seriously. This is a book of life experiences, not technical science, so any reader can appreciate it.

4-0 out of 5 stars A very pleasing and informing book
"What Do You Care What Other People Think?" is a very good book.It is well written, and keeps you interested.It also is very informative.There are also moments in the book that are moving.Like the way he handles his brides' deathly sickness and how he still treat her well, even though they both know she is going to die soon.Then when the story switches to the science parts, you can really learn a lot.The investigating that is done about the exploding space ship, The Challenger, and NASA is very informative and interesting, how NASA, made the poor decision of not postponing the launch.I would deffinatelly recommend this book to anyone that wants to read a good book, and learn about interesting science at the same time.I gave this book a 4 out of five because it's interesting while at the same time you learn about interesting science topics.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Genius of a Curious Character
Wit,humor and scientific inquiry are all included in this book. "What do you care what other people think", is a sequel to Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! (Adventures of a Curious Character) and contains some of the most intriguing details of the great Nobel Prize physics winner and his early life. Within the context of the book you will discover what inspired Feynmans love for science as a young boy, as well as his relationships that incurred with women, or more particularly Arlene. Various letters between Arlene and Richard as well as Richard and Gwenyth(Feynmans second wife) are shown as well.Within the midst of the book is a chapter devoted to images of Feynman at various places. Similarly, drawings in which Feynman drew are included which are all very well done. The second half of the book is devoted to Feynman at the Rogers Commission, If you have no interest in Feynman, but interested in the Challenger disaster of 1986, this book is recommended. Feynman gives a thorough insight on what occurred and what caused the disaster. Incisive figures are shown to give the reader an understanding of the shuttle and parts within. Many of the commission members will be understood through this book, many of whom are some interesting characters. Nevertheless, Feynman provides an in depth investigation of the O-Ring that ruptured off the Solid Rocket Booster as well as an investigation of Avionics,The Main Engine and many other parts of the shuttle. Many important facts are mentioned here regarding the shuttle, in which you don't want to miss! Ultimately, Feynman provides you with an appendix which was his report in the commission report. Also within the book is a lecture entitled "The value of science", this may very well be my favorite part of the book. It contains Feynmans views on the importance of science as well as the important outcomes that many tend to neglect. I HIGHLY recommend this book to all readers, whether it be one desiring a romantic novel, you will find it here. The same applies to those hoping to understand Feynman or one who hope to understand NASA and the Challenger Disaster, I can assure you, you will find it here.

5-0 out of 5 stars Feynman's last musings
Richard Feynman is one of the most famous twentieth century Physicists. He is one of those rare scientists who have managed to go beyond the success in the narrow confines of his field of research and become a public celebrity. A big part of this success comes from his persona which combined incredible brilliance with the irreverent and down-to-earth attitude to most problems in life, be they "big" ones like working on the atomic bomb, or the everyday ones that almost all of us are familiar with. It's the latter ones and his quirky and unorthodox approach to them that made Feynman endearing to the general public.

His earlier book "Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman" was a classic and an inspiration to generations of young scientists who were shown that you can have lots of fun while pursuing a life in science. I myself had read it in single sitting, and had completely been mesmerized by Feynman's wit and irreverent attitude. "What Do You Care What Other People Think" is a further collection of stories and anecdotes from his life. Some of these had been told by others over the years, but in this book they all come together in a single volume as told by Feynman himself. Some of the events and stories presented come from the last few years of his life, and it is hard not to feel the poignancy of the fact that these were some of his last thoughts on subjects and situations that he cared about.

Almost half of the book is dedicated to the investigation of the Challenger disaster. Feynman was on the presidential commission that investigated that disaster, and here we get a full insight into what had been going on during commission's session. Many reports have made it seem that Feynman had single handedly figured out the true cause of the disaster - the faulty o-rings that were not meant to be used in really low temperatures. In this book he sets the record straight and explains that although he was the public face that brought attention to the o-rings, there had been many people behind the scenes who had suspected a problem with them for quite a while. This part of the book is also a very useful and revealing glimpse into the workings of a big governmental and scientific agency like NASA.

The book concludes with few musings on the responsibility of science for social problems. In these musings Feynman turns uncharacteristically philosophical, even almost spiritual. He might not have been the most sophisticated thinkers in these matters, but his instincts were very acute and well worth listening to.

All of those who appreciate Feynman's work and brilliance will be grateful for this honest and easy-going narrative. It is also hard not to think that with Feynman's passing a whole era of Physics had come to an end. Those of us who think that somewhere along the way theoretical Physics had lost its way and had become a caricature of its former self, may wonder if all of that could have been avoided had Feynman lived for another ten years or so. We'll just never really know.

4-0 out of 5 stars What do you care what other people think?Further adventures of a curious character
Richard Feynman must have been a very interesting fellow! Too bad we all didn't get a chance to have a conversation with him in person. However, reading his books is the next best thing...he writes like he's in your living room. ... Read more

4. Classic Feynman: All the Adventures of a Curious Character
by Richard P. Feynman
Hardcover: 528 Pages (2005-11-17)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$16.32
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0393061329
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
An omnibus edition celebrating a great scientific mind and a legendary American original including a live recording.Richard Feynman (1918-1988) thrived on outrageous adventures. In the phenomenal national bestsellers "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!" and "What Do You Care What Other People Think?" the Nobel Prize-winning physicist recounted in an inimitable voice his adventures trading ideas on atomic physics with Einstein and Bohr and ideas on gambling with Nick the Greek, painting a naked female toreador, accompanying a ballet on his bongo drums, solving the mystery of the Challenger disaster, and much else of an eyebrow-raising, hugely entertaining, and astounding nature. One of the most influential and creative minds of recent history, Feynman also possessed an unparalleled ability as a storyteller, a delightful coincidence celebrated in this special omnibus edition of his classic stories. Now packaged with an hour-long audio CD of the 1978 "Los Alamos from Below" lecture, Classic Feynman offers readers a chance to finally hear a great tale in the orator's own voice. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

4-0 out of 5 stars great CD
This is mostly a recompilation of two earlier books, "Surely you're joking Mr. Feynman", and "What do you care what other people think?" with a bit of new material. The CD with Feynman telling the stories himself is itself worth the price of the book, even if you have the other two already.

5-0 out of 5 stars nice deluxe version
I read the originals back in the day but it is really nice to have a hardback copy with a CD included.I'm not going to review the stories b/c others have done so.Instead, I want to focus on something that probably doesn't get much attention - the footnotes.Leighton footnoted certain pieces of information in certain stories that he found especially important.Reading those footnotes provides another perspective.

For example, you can read about Feynman's idiosyncratic spelling, and about someone who wrote to him about disease that was passed to a child through contaminated cow's milk, and about some thoughts on a couple of the stories.Feynman has gotten into a bit of hot water regarding his legacy with some of the things he said.The footnotes clear that up.To me a couple stories read as if they contained a combination of self-criticism, observations of other people, and irony.But irony sometimes falls flat on the page - when people are not paying attention.What may be obvious to someone who is reading carefully may not come across to someone who is skimming a story.

There's a problem that can happen when a person gets famous, either in his lifetime or after it, and that is that the public does either/or thinking, which could also be called 'all or nothing' or 'splitting.'I think those are slightly different but they are all close enough.Either someone is perfect in all ways or they are a total jerk with no redeeming qualities.Or, if he isn't the best person in the world he's terrible - this is all or nothing thinking.Or, the celebrity has it all:genius, talent, etc. and I have nothing.That is splitting, when you have opposite qualities and you assign one to another person and one to yourself.

All of these are false.They are all developmentally immature ways of thinking and they all involve dichotomies.They show up with young children and they are a way of thinking that reflects a poor understanding of the world.As children grow, they usually mature out of this.An exception is when there is early neglect/abuse and then children can retain this way of looking at the world.That can be seen in people who say that they are all bad and someone else is all good.

Most people however, get past this.But then celebrity comes into play and it's like everyone forgets what they know.People don't know how to think about fame very well, not usually.So it's kind of baffling why the public would lift a person up and then bring him down again.My personal feeling is that the reason this is done is b/c normal human flaws are not well tolerated in famous people - which is common knowledge - and that that may be caused by the types of thinking described above.That when people are uncertain or confused about how to understand a situation, they may revert to developmentally earlier ways of thinking, which is what those are.It is idol worship or harsh judgment with little in between.

Also a lot of people do see someone famous as an authority figure, which means if they view parents as described above, they might do that for a famous person, too.Another problem is the desire to compare.Someone can be famous and that really says nothing about me, unless it directly affects me in some way, like he is a family member who won't stop giving me a hard time about it.If I am jealous of this, I have a problem.Someone else's fame also doesn't say anything about how successful or not successful I am.

There is this new technique called dialectical behavioral therapy that is supposed to have some good results in modifying the thinking described above.

If it's good to think about someone you don't know, like a famous person living or dead, it may be good to clarify that they were human and that is what one footnote does, it says even Feynman engaged in behavior on one occasion that he was not proud of.But there are plenty of other footnotes too that say a lot.Sometimes it's good to pay attention to the details.

Like other people said, this version will physically last longer than the paperbacks and that's good.

4-0 out of 5 stars Light reading
For a biography about a quantum scientist, this was very entertaining and not too technical.What a character!

5-0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Combined Volume
As mentioned by others, this volume includes selections from "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!" and "What Do You Care What Other People Think". There are two prologues by Ralph Leighton and Freeman Dyson. There is also an epilogue by Alan Alda. The book also includes a CD containing Feynman's talk on "Los Alamos from Below".

The breakdown:
- The book is classic Feynman, entertaining, funny, thought-provoking and stimulating all at once.
- If you do not own the above mentioned volumes, this is a nice hard cover book to keep in your personal library.
- The CD adds a nice little touch to a volume that essentially has little "new" material.

So, if you are a long time Feynman fan and are considering buying something written by him to read or re-read - this is the book for you.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
If Feynman were only a brilliant physicist he would have been an amazing man. But he was so much more. Reading this book I found that I really got to know what he was about. Every essay was interesting and entertaining. The man knew how to live life and if I manage to have half the experiences he did I well have had a great life. It seems like he was constantly exploring what the world had to offer. It is truly a shame he is no longer with us because I would have loved to hear him live. If you only care about physics this book is not for you but if you want to know about life in general this book is for you. He is truly and inspring and motivational figure. I intend to purchase more books and cds on Feynman. ... Read more

5. The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman (Helix Books)
by Richard P. Feynman
Paperback: 288 Pages (2005-04-06)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$5.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0465023959
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

The Pleasure of Finding Things Out is a magnificent treasury of the best short works of Richard P. Feynman—from interviews and speeches to lectures and printed articles. A sweeping, wide-ranging collection, it presents an intimate and fascinating view of a life in science-a life like no other. From his ruminations on science in our culture to his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, this book will fascinate anyone interested in the world of ideas.
Amazon.com Review
Why do we do science?Beyond altruistic and self-aggrandizingmotivations, many of our best scientists work long hours seeking theelectric thrill that comes only from learning something that nobodyknew before.The Pleasure of Finding Things Out, a collectionof previously unpublished or difficult-to-find short works by maverickphysicist Richard Feynman, takes its title from his own answer.FromTV interview transcripts to his acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize,we see his quick, sharp wit, his devotion to his work, and hisunwillingness to bow to social pressure or convention.It's no wonderhe was only grudgingly admired by the establishment during hislifetime--read his "Minority Report to the Space ShuttleChallenger Inquiry" to see him blowing off politicalconsiderations as impediments to finding the truth.

Feynman had afantastic sense of humor, and his memoirs of his Manhattan Projectdays roil with fun despite his later misgivings about nuclearweapons. Though one or two pieces are a bit hard to follow for thenontechnical reader, for the most part the book is easygoing andengaging on a personal rather than a scientific level.FreemanDyson's foreword and editor Jeffrey Robbins's introductions to eachessay set the stage well and are respectful without beingworshipful. Though Feynman has been gone now for many years, his worklives on in quantum physics, computer design, and nanotechnology; likeany great scientist, he asked more questions than he answered, to givefuture generations the pleasure of finding things out. --RobLightner ... Read more

Customer Reviews (61)

4-0 out of 5 stars Delightful Scientist

Richard Feynman's The Pleasure of Finding Things Out is a collection of interviews, lectures, and other short works written by the Nobel Prize winning physicist. The volume, wonderfully and unobtrusively edited by Jeffrey Robbins, covers a wide range of materials that gives readers a sense not only of the scientist, but of the man; in the included works the audience is treated to stories of Feynman's childhood, his experiences and hijinks while working at Los Alamos during WWII, formal lectures and speeches on various scientific subjects, and a healthy dash of humor and personality throughout.

I was intimidated to read the work, as I fully acknowledge my lack of competency in subjects like mathematics and physics, but my husband (a great admirer of Feynman) promised me I wouldn't get lost in the physics, so I gave it a try. And yes, I did get lost at time - although more so when Feynman discussed nanotechnology than anything else - but I found it very easy to pick up the narrative again if I didn't get myself worked up over understanding the specifics of the material. I wasn't reading The Pleasure of Finding Things Out to understand physics and nanotechnology; I was reading the work to understand a little more about one of my husband's heroes, and the volume accomplished just that. Even for someone with only a marginal interest in Feynman's actual work I found The Pleasure of Finding Things Out to be quite charming.

5-0 out of 5 stars Vintage Feynman!
This is another gem of a book which centers on the approach to life & science taken by the great Richard Phillips Feynman. This book details his musings on the philosophy of science, the definition of whatscience is, the importance of drawing a dichotomy between between authentic science and pseudo-science (what Feynman labels "cargo cult science"), the space shuttle CHALLENGER catastrophe and the relationship between science and other spheres of influence such as psychology and religion.

Reading books by Feynman are always like a breath of fresh air in a world that's full of politically-driven science experiments and the demand for science to be pragmatic at all costs.Feynman's involvement in the investigation of the space shuttle CHALLENGER explosion show his defiance to science being manipulated by politicians and bureaucrats.Two of Feynman's most famous lines are "Nature will not be fooled" and "The first rule is not to fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool."Facts are facts, even when they're inconvenient.

The foreward was written by Princeton's own Freeman J. Dyson. While visiting the Institute for Advanced Study, I had the opportunity of meeting the legendary physicist in person.While professor Dyson was far more interested in the cookie he was holding than he was in me, it was nonetheless a great honor to meet a man who was one of Feynman's best friends. Unfortunately, that is as close as I will ever come to meeting the late Richard P. Feynman.

This is a book that is a must-have for Feynman enthusiasts out there.That said, for people who are not familiar with his work I would recommend the ever popular Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! (Adventures of a Curious Character) 1st.SURELY has far more funny anectdotes than the present book.

While Stephen Hawking gets a lot of press these days, I would venture that Feynman had a great many more contributions to the realm of physics than the great Hawking will have. The 20th century had more great physicists than any other century to date;names such as Heisenberg, Schroedinger, Witten, Einstein, Oppenheimer, Fermi, Pauli - the list goes on.Feynman is a name that belongs to this pantheon as well.Read this book & you'll find out why!

3-0 out of 5 stars Not up to the level of other Feynman books.
I have read most of the books by Feynman that were written for a general reader and this is the first one that I left me disappointed.The book consists of 13 short pieces by Feynman of varying quality.Several consist of transcripts of talks that he has given or interviews for magazines such as Omni.The talks, which may have been great when delivered by Feynman, appear to be rambling and disjointed when read.This is especially true of the first chapter, which I felt was among the poorest and may be off-putting for many readers.The book includes his short appendix to the Challenger accident report, which I felt was the best of the chapters.Not only does this chapter properly castigate NASA management for their ridiculously low estimate of the probability of failure and the resulting false optimism regarding the safety of the shuttle program; but it also serves as a guide of the proper way to approach failure analysis (at least concerning the need to consider the inputs from the working level engineers and designers, as opposed to just their managers).This book is worthwhile for those interested in this.Unfortunately, the other chapters do not reach this level of clarity and focus.Some of the chapters are autobiographical, but this material is covered more completely in Gleicks biography of Feynman (Genius) and more humorously in Feynman's books of anecdotes ("Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman" and "What Do You Care What Other People Think?").

This not the book for someone who knows very little about Feynman.To these people I recommend the aforementioned biography and autobiographical books.This is also not the book for someone who knows very little about Feynman's scientific work.I recommend the Gleick biography and Feynman's general science books ("QED", "Six Easy Pieces", "Six Not So Easy Pieces" and "The Character of Physical Law").

Those who are familiar with Feynman and his science may find this book of some interest.This is particularly true if they want more information about his approach to learning science, the proper way to estimate the risk of failure in a complex system, the integrity required for honest science, the difference between science and pseudoscience, and Feynman's view of science versus religion.For these people I would give the book 4 stars (five stars for the Challenger chapter), but I can only give it three stars for a more general readership.The three stars are based on an average of 2 to 5 star chapters.Unfortunately I feel that the number of 2 star chapters far outweigh the few 4 star chapters and one 5 star chapter.

3-0 out of 5 stars Okay but thin...
This is a decent book although it's rather thin.This is true in both content and production value.It shouldn't come as a surprise since it's a summary of some interviews.If Feyman had a blog this book would basically be a compendium of his top posts.That's what it feels like.

Oddly enough I thought of Feynman looking over me reading and saying "why are you wasting your time reading this book."

As usual he would be mostly right!

3-0 out of 5 stars Not quite what I expected....
Here's the problem with having high expectations: they're so often dashed.

In my years trawling the web and being a science nerd, I've heard a lot about Richard Feynman.There are legends about him, that he was the Puck of physics - brilliant, untamed, and really, really funny.When I got the book, I was expecting to read a lightning-quick volley of ideas that would set my mind alight with the wonder and infinite possibilities continued within a lifetime's pursuit of science.

Yeah, that didn't quite happen.

Don't get me wrong - Feynman is indisputably brilliant, and far from the classic mold of the physicist.He had no patience for titles or honors, and in fact couldn't give a damn about them as long as he had science to do.He would tell Nobel laureates - men whose names were bywords for scientific brilliance - that they were wrong, without hedging or worrying about their egos.He liked to play the bongos, loved a good party, and delighted in playing tricks.One of his more irritating hobbies was safe-cracking, and by the time he left Los Alamos labs after the Manhattan Project there were no places left to hide secrets from Feynman.

So Feynman was no doubt a really cool guy, the kind of scientist you would want to invite to your party without hesitation.His first interest was science, and as scientist go, he was one of the best.

That doesn't mean that reading him is entirely entertaining.

The book is, for me, not very readable for two reasons.The first is that it goes get terribly technical at times, and while I love science, I am not educated enough in it to grasp a lot of the technical details. Indeed, it broke my heart when Feynman said that, when it comes to physics, if you don't know the math, you don't know the science.True, yes.Humbling, yes.But still....

Were I editing a collection of Feynman's work, I would have started with the Big Ideas, defenses of science as an integral function of humanity's ultimate progress.Then, having made the reader comfortable with how Feynman thought, they could have gotten into what Feynman thought.

But no, the book starts of with highly technical lectures on quantum electrodynamics and the difficulties in getting parallel computers to work.If you don't know a lot about how computers work, or you don't have a detailed awareness of atomic theory, you're going to be a little lost.Or a lot lost.Even his minority opinion on the Challenger accident, something I was especially keen to read, was far too dry to be enjoyable.

The second reason why I didn't really enjoy this book is because a lot of it is transcripts of speeches and interviews.Very few people are able to speak in a readable manner, and someone with a mind like Feynman's - always moving, always active - isn't one of them.There are a lot of asides and false starts, wandering thoughts and truncated paragraphs.Even his more structured speeches aren't structured very well for the reader.Perhaps it would be different to listen to him, to sit in the audience and watch the man speak.I reckon that he had the kind of infectious energy and enthusiasm that would make it easy to gloss over structural problems and really enjoy the speech.But turning speech into print is always dangerous, and here I think it fails.

For different people - people who are deeply involved in physics or who are Feynman acolytes - this book is probably a fascinating look into the mind of one of the 20th century's greatest scientists.For the rest of us, we're going to have to find other things to enjoy from the text, and it is there.One of those is, indeed, the title of the book - the pleasure of finding things out.

For Feynman, science wasn't a rigor or a job, it was a joy.He attributes a lot of that attitude to his father, an unlikely fan of science.As a uniform salesman, Feynman's father was not a scientist and had no scientific training.But he raised his son to think about the world.Rather than tell him why, for example, a bird picked at its feathers with its beak, encouraged Richard to observe the bird, to form a hypothesis and then see if observations confirmed it.His father taught him to question everything, to form his own opinions about the world, and by doing so, made him into a scientist from an early age.

It is that attitude which should be the dominant theme of this book, rather than Feynman's technical genius.He says, over and over, to doubt everything.Ask yourself why things are the way they are, rather than just relying on what other people tell you.Observe, experiment and test, and you're doing science.

He has some disdain for social sciences, and a pretty healthy dose of misogyny in a couple of places, but if he is arrogant, then it is probably deserved.Feynman was a man fascinated with how the universe worked, all the way down to its smallest components, and that was his passion.Not awards, not titles, not praise - just the work, the discovery and the pleasure. ... Read more

6. The Meaning of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist
by Richard P. Feynman
Paperback: 144 Pages (2005-04-06)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$6.84
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Asin: 0465023940
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Many appreciate Richard P. Feynman’s contributions to twentieth-century physics, but few realize how engaged he was with the world around him—how deeply and thoughtfully he considered the religious, political, and social issues of his day. Now, a wonderful book—based on a previously unpublished, three-part public lecture he gave at the University of Washington in 1963—shows us this other side of Feynman, as he expounds on the inherent conflict between science and religion, people’s distrust of politicians, and our universal fascination with flying saucers, faith healing, and mental telepathy. Here we see Feynman in top form: nearly bursting into a Navajo war chant, then pressing for an overhaul of the English language (if you want to know why Johnny can’t read, just look at the spelling of “friend”); and, finally, ruminating on the death of his first wife from tuberculosis. This is quintessential Feynman—reflective, amusing, and ever enlightening.
Amazon.com Review
In this series of lectures originally given in 1963, whichremained unpublished during Richard Feynman's lifetime, theNobel-winning physicist thinks aloud on several"meta"--questions of science. What is the nature of thetension between science and religious faith? Why does uncertainty playsuch a crucial role in the scientific imagination? Is thisreally a scientific age?

Marked by Feynman's characteristic combination of rationality andhumor, these lectures provide an intimate glimpse at the man behindthe legend."In case you are beginning to believe," he saysat the start of his final lecture, "that some of the things Isaid before are true because I am a scientist and according to thebrochure that you get I won some awards and so forth, instead of yourlooking at the ideas themselves and judging them directly...I will getrid of that tonight. I dedicate this lecture to showing whatridiculous conclusions and rare statements such a man as myself canmake." Rare, perhaps. Irreverent, sure. But ridiculous? Not evenclose. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (47)

4-0 out of 5 stars lectures stand up over time
When the lectures were published in the 1990s, the early reviews commented that much of what Richard Feynman said still made sense. With another ten years gone by, I still agree. The content is dated in some ways, such as direct comments about the Soviet Union, yet the key observations, attitudes and insights remain valid. Feynman's perspective on uncertainty (and doubt), the balance between science and religion, shoddy (unscientific) thinking and more hit my sweet spot.

As audio material, Feynman's lectures and essays work well. His writing was clear, and with a relatively modest vocabulary that he uses to good effect. He won't win any points as a brilliant, ground-breaking philosopher, but that's not what his role was. He brought intelligence and insight to many topics in an accessible way. For this book, the narrator was fine, with a suitable delivery.

The last lecture was more rushed and rambling, as others have commented, while still being worth listening to.

People who enjoyed this book might consider audio or print for "The Pleasure of Finding Things Out", a pleasant collection. In there, he also covers science as it relates to doubt, and science / religion. Of course, the place to start with RPF is "Surely You're Joking...".

5-0 out of 5 stars I am glad for Amazon
The book arrived in time.It was a first edition in hardbound form--clean and like new, at a very good price.

5-0 out of 5 stars If you know that you are not sure . . .

Every now and then comes a gem of a book, and this is one of the classics of American literature on the basis of common sense, intelligence and a rational way to resolve the unknown.

"All other aspects and characteristics of science can be understood directly when we understand that observation is the ultimate and final judge of the truth of an idea," Feynman states.Instead of jumping to conclusions based on instinct or an ideology, Feynman sought meanings from direct observation.It's a rare and revolutionary quality, especially in a time when most ideas are based on satisfying conservative or liberal prejudices.Feynman was a master of careful observation instead of careless ideology.

Okay, so much for his curriculum vitae.One essential quality of this book comes from three lectures delivered in a distinguished setting.Instead of a thousand pages to outline an idea, a lecture is limited to essential facts based on the ability of the human behind to stay comfortably seated and the mind not to drowse into a nap.This isn't Cuba where the faithful endure hour-upon-hour of lectures by Comrade Drone;it's America, where speakers must be brief, blunt, brilliant and finished in time for another cup of coffee or even a potty break.

Feynman demolishes the rigid ideologies of politics and religion without attacking either;he describes religion as an essential quality in the human experience, but he stays away from mandatory belief that is not based on observed facts.Even then, he points out how observations change with new knowledge.

For him, life was the most precious experience possible because it was continual learning.His tone is conversational, not pedantic;he's a wise teacher chatting comfortably to average listeners and not an abstruse scientist debating arcane theories among colleagues.Think of Abraham Lincoln describing democracy as "of the people, by the people, for the people . . ."Compare the hundreds of pages used by Alexis de Tocqueville to describe 'Democracy in America' and you will understand the ability of a rare few people to concisely capsulize the heart of an issue.It explains why an honest politician cannot be successful but a good scientist is always a delight.

In everyday terms, Feynam doesn't talk "of science, by science, for science."He does better;he explains how anyone can develop a similar rational approach to life on the basis "all scientific knowledge is uncertain."

Instead of rigid orthodoxies and ideologies, Feynman says, "If we were not able or did not desire to look in any new direction, if we did not have a doubt or recognize ignorance, we would not get any new ideas.There would be nothing worth checking, because we would know what is true."

It's a rare quality.Most people don't like to think;they prefer Harry Potter to hoary principles.It's not a book for the smugly self-satisfied or the religious zealot, it's for the unsure who are seeking knowledge.The scientific method assures those with insight to realize "If you know that you are not sure, you have a chance to improve the situation."

This book is priceless in content and well worth the modest cost.It's fortunate it is reprinted, and it's a delight that so many have reviewed it so well.

5-0 out of 5 stars Enlighted thoughts of an intelligent man
By reading this book everyone can appreciate the richness of Richard Feynman, not only as a scientist, but as a man of undoubtable intelligence.
In this book Feynman discusses interesting aspects of society, from politics to religion and their relationship with science. I suggest reading this book, independently of your attitude towards physics and science!

3-0 out of 5 stars A pleasant read
I would describe this book as a "classic Feynman". It is witty, upbeat and very honest. The content is timeless in the sense that his "scientist view" of society and politics is very pure and well grounded in the scientific approach. The examples are well chosen and the book is therefor a pleasant read as I am sure it must have been a very pleasant set of lectures to attend. I did however also find the purity its pitfall. It leaves you somewhat unsatisfied. He demonstrates convincingly that the choices to be made in society are choices that contain values that must be derived outside science and then he more or less stops. This is scientifically commendable and correct but does leave you clammering for his personal opinion. Perhaps this shows an obsession of current times to want to extract the motivation behind every thought by discussion the point of reference of the author, he does actually comment on this behaviour and correctly points out that in science the motivation should be irrelevant. How true. ... Read more

7. The Feynman Lectures on Physics including Feynman's Tips on Physics: The Definitive and Extended Edition
by Richard P. Feynman, Robert B. Leighton, Matthew Sands
Hardcover: Pages (2005-08-08)
list price: US$195.00 -- used & new: US$112.32
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Asin: 0805390456
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The revised edition of Feynman's legendary lectures includes extensive corrections and updates collated by Feynman and his colleagues. A new foreword by Kip Thorne, the current Richard Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics at Caltech, discusses the relevance of the new edition to today’s readers. This boxed set also includes Feynman’s new Tips on Physics — the four previously unpublished lectures that Feynman gave to students preparing for exams at the end of his course. Thus, this 4 — volume set is the complete and definitive edition of The Feynman Lectures on Physics. Packaged in a specially designed slipcase, this 4 — volume set provides the ultimate legacy of Feynman’s extraordinary contribution to students, teachers, researches, and lay readers around the world.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (51)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Have for any Physicist Worth His or Her NaCl
These books are absolutely amazing. I've loved physics for over 9 years now and have read numerous books on the subject. Somehow though I missed this set. After only a few pages and you can already see the value of the set. 40 years of fixing errata has lead the set to be one of the least error-prone sets on physics. It details the process in which they were created, and how they have been cared for over the years. Feynman himself edited them to his last day. The tips book will help any physicist who knows the concepts but not so much the problems.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unique and distinguished quaility
Well, I guess if you've come to this page, you have already heard of these famous books and why they're so wanted. So all I want to say is about the quality of the product. They're three books (The Lectures) plus the Tips On Physics. They come inside a box, which safely store them all, without loosenesses. All of the books are hardcovers, it feels like cloth, amazing. The pages are of higher density, which will make the books last long enough for two generations or more, for humidity or microorganisms won't affect the page so easily. They're very thin, but won't be a problem for a careful reader.
My recommendation: you've lost enough time reading reviews. Just buy it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Truly a brilliant teacher
I'm a physics major, and whenever I had the chance and needed to reference something, rather than looking in my own textbook, I would check in this book first.Professor Feynman is the most brilliant professor that may ever live.This series is incredibly easy to read, with diagrams and descriptions that draw a very vivid picture in your mind.A must read for anyone interested in physics.

3-0 out of 5 stars Ok set
I bought this for a class that required it.I actually never used it because it didn't apply to much that I was studying.I'm sure its a great book otherwise.

5-0 out of 5 stars Feynman
I'm a Freshman physics major. I got these babies but I don't have the balls to read them through yet. But whenever I don't understand something from HRK, or that something's not explained all the way, I just open up the lectures. The answer's always right there, like he knew just what I was going to have questions about after a normal physics regimen, it's disturbing. They smell really good too and it almost makes me giddy knowing there's a prophetic source of physics knowledge waiting for me on my bookshelf. On more than one occasion I've just pulled a volume from its sheath and cradled it, knowing the scripture held within will soon become a part of me. It's a source of inspiration and I'm going to continue working through HRK so that I may tackle the lectures with confidence.

Feynman's a cool guy, but I'm disappointed to hear Gleick retell how he slept with graduate students' wives. Unless he was just sleeping with them, but I think Gleick meant having sex. Kids my age need to know that he's funny and smart and like Calvin from C&H, but a Calvin who is sexually mature. Overall, I like Dyson more. ... Read more

8. Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman
by James Gleick
Paperback: 531 Pages (1993-11-02)
list price: US$17.95 -- used & new: US$6.29
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Asin: 0679747044
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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From the author of the national bestseller Chaos comes an outstanding biography of one of the most dazzling and flamboyant scientists of the 20th century that "not only paints a highly attractive portrait of Feynman but also . . . makes for a stimulating adventure in the annals of science" (The New York Times). 16 pages of photos.Amazon.com Review
If you've read any of Richard Feynman's wonderfulautobiographies you may think that a biography of Feynman would be a waste of your time. Wrong! Gleick's Genius is amasterpiece of scientific biography--and an inspiration to anyone inpursuit of their own fulfillment as a person of genius. Deservedlynominated for a National Book Award, underservedly passed over by thecommittee in the face of tough competition, andvery deservedly a book that you must read. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (56)

5-0 out of 5 stars An engrossing story about a brilliant boy who never quite grew up
To my mind, this book certainly establishes James Gleick as a master of scientific biography.He weaves in all the elements we could hope for: biographic details on Feynman which give a coherent sense of the man and his life, insights into other famous people he interacted with (Gell-Mann, Oppenheimer, etc.), and plenty of substantive information on the ideas and development of 20th-century physics.And Gleick presents all of this through a buttery-smooth narrative which enabled me to glide along almost effortlessly, making this long book go by fairly quickly.I certainly recommend this book to anyone interested in Feynman or 20th-century physics, or who just enjoys reading a well-written biography of an interesting person.

Now let me offer a few personal thoughts on my impression of Feynman.From a technical standpoint, he had a formidably deep feel for mathematics going far beyond just manipulating symbols, and he had a similarly strong intuitive grasp of physical behavior, apparently related to a burning curiosity to understand how the physical world works.He combined this theoretical and intuitive power with a relentless creative drive, which resulted in development of quite original and useful mathematical and mechanistic models (eg, Feynman diagrams).Moreover, his creativity was linked to an individualistic and sometimes iconoclastic need to do things his own way, so he tended to avoid studying the work of others, didn't really collaborate much with colleages, and even periodically reorganized established knowledge in his own way (hence the Feynman lectures on physics).

But Feynman's curiosity was a bounded curiosity, as he seemed to have little interest in much beyond physics.This made him something of an uncultured philistine, with a resulting overall immaturity and (dare I say it) shallowness.We see this in Feynman's somewhat self-indulgent personality, as evidenced by a kind of defiant roughness and rudeness, episodes of selfishness, and considerable womanizing, sometimes with wives of colleagues (perhaps he was just never able to recover from the tragic loss of his first wife?).

In the end, I think Feynman was shaped as much by his limitations as his strengths.His unique combination of curiosity, technical ability, individualism, creativity, and passion gave him unique potential, and his limitations focused that potential in a productive direction.He seems to have been reasonably happy overall in his life, and he certainly helped make the world a more interesting place, so perhaps it was all for the best.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Good Account
Mr. Gleick's 1992 biography of Richard Feynman is an informative and enlightening journey through not just the life of the subject, but through the exciting world of physics from the early 20th century through the 1980's. While the first 100 pages were a tough read, the remainder was a reward; Feynman's brilliance and brutal honesty are on full display. Mr. Gleick does a nice job also of providing ample background on Feynman's colleagues/competitors/mentors, etc. and provides pretty clear explanations of the concepts brought to life by Feynman & Co. As a biography, this work is first-rate and highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well written review of Feynman's life and physics
As the subtitle of this book states "The Life and Science of Richard Feynman", this book is about both aspects of his life.This is not the book if all you are interested in are the funny stories that Feynman told about his life.Some of these are mentioned, but they are not the focus of the book.If all you want are the funny stories, then stick to "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman" and its sequel "What Do You Care What Other People Think".Gleick provides much more.This book covers his whole life, from his early life in Far Rockaway New York to his death 69 years later in California.His schooling and his unique approach to scientific problems are detailed.Gleick shows how some common approaches pervade Feynman's approach to physics and how they enabled him to solve the problem of Quantum Electro-Dynamics. Along the way are capsule portraits of many of the scientists who interacted with Feynman (such as Hans Bethe, Freeman Dyson, Julian Schwinger and Murray Gell-Mann).Gleick also tells about Feynman's contribution to the development of the atomic bomb.Feynman's anecdotes make it seem that he was the court jester of the project, more interested in jokes and breaking into his collogues' safes.In reality, he impacted most of the theoretical aspects of the program.He was the youngest group leader and, among other responsibilities, was responsible for setting up the mechanisms to perform many of the required calculations as well as determining the approaches to be used for these calculations.He worked incredibly hard at not only his assigned tasks but also doing whatever was required (such as repairing mechanical adding machines) to get the job done.Gleick shows why Feynman was one of the greatest physicists of the second half of the 20th century and perhaps of all time.He also shows why he was the subject of such adulation, far more than equally important physicists such as Julian Schwinger (who won the Nobel Prize with him).

I must admit that I postponed reading this book because I was not overly fond of the two books written by Cleick that I had read previously ("Chaos" and "Isaac Newton").I did not get a feeling for the science of chaos from the book of that name and when I finished Isaac Newton I did not feel that I knew very much the man, other than the merest facts concerning his life.I was glad that I overcame my initial reservations and read "Genius".I found that, unlike the presentation in "Chaos", I did get a feeling for Feynman's physics and of the problems that he worked on.I also found that, unlike the presentation in "Isaac Newton", I got a feeling for Feynman the man and well as Feynman the physicist.

Gleick presents Feynman "warts and all".He shows him to be a womanizer, a seducer of other men's wives as well as bar girls.He shows him to be a man who neglected the mundane aspects of academia, such as: proposal writing, participating in university administration, grading exams and submitting course grades, taking on graduate students, and writing student recommendations.He forced others to do the work that he chose to skip.Had he been anyone but Feynman he would likely have been fired; but being Feynman he was given special dispensation to avoid doing these chores, a dispensation that he took full advantage of.Cleick provides explanations for Feynman's behavior, but does not try to psychoanalyze him.(I actually would have liked a little psychoanalysis; after all, he spent years going over Feynman's papers and talking to his friends, so some psychoanalysis would have been appreciated and appropriate.)As it is Gleick does provide many clues (such as the tragic death of his first wife), but leaves the analysis to the reader.

This is a great book for anyone interested in Richard Feynman (the man and the scientist), science, the history of science, and the background of modern physics.It does not give you enough information to solve problems, or to fully understand them, but the book does give you a feel for these problems and Feynman's approach to them. As previously stated, this is not the book for you if all you want are funny Feynman anecdotes.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book covering a very interesting life
Gleick has provided first rate research and produced an very readable product on the life of one of the fascinating persons of the 20th century.

5-0 out of 5 stars An original mind
Adopting a definition of the word 'genius' as a 'truly original thinker', Gleick shows throughtout this entertaining book - how Feynman meets this definition. From his work on the Manhattan project to his investigation of the Challenger disaster, Feynman continues to approach problems from 'scratch' so to say. Feynman did not believe in reading his peer's papers - he believed in looking at the abstract and trying to figure out the contents on his own! He believed in solving every KNOWN problem first - before dealing with unknown tough problems. There are several insights into his 'problem-solving' approach - which may have seemed madness to some - but Gleick goes on to show how there was method to his madness - and how his peers were more than aware of his brilliance.
There are several great anecdotes - from Feynman's time at Princeton, Caltech, Cornell and Los Alamos. ... Read more

9. Quantum Mechanics and Path Integrals: Emended Edition (Dover Books on Physics)
by Richard P. Feynman, Albert R. Hibbs, Daniel F. Styer
Paperback: 384 Pages (2010-07-21)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$12.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0486477223
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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The developer of path integrals, Nobel Prize–winning physicist Richard Feynman, presents unique insights into this method and its applications. Feynman starts with an intuitive view of fundamental quantum mechanics, gradually introducing path integrals. Later chapters explore more advanced topics, including the perturbation method, quantum electrodynamics, and statistical mechanics. 1965 edition, emended in 2005.
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Customer Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good
Softcover, with the front cover a little curled. The overall quality is fine, and the content is without doubt worth reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars classic
This is a classic on path integrals by one of the founders of the subject, finally in Dover edition.

5-0 out of 5 stars Return of a classic
It is wonderful to see this extraordinary work back in print, especially in this attractive low cost Dover edition.As an added bonus, the myriad misprints that plagued the original 1965 printing (and caused me such grief when I first read it in high school) have been corrected.

The path integral approach, so clearly explained in this volume, derived from Feynman's graduate research at Princeton where he applied variational principles to quantum mechanics.This, in turn, was motivated by a seminal 1932 paper of Dirac.

At the time, the formalism appeared to provide only an elegant means of deriving the wave equation without achieving any new results.But elegant mathematics always seems to have a way of finding application in physics.Just look at how formerly "obscure" topics like Lie algebras and differential geometry have become part of the essential language of particle physics.And path integral methods have proved useful in fields ranging from quantum electrodynamics to acoustic propagation.

Like all of Feynman's works, this text combines sound, if unconventional, mathematics with remarkable physical insight.There is still no better introduction to the topics treated here.This book is required reading for anyone wishing to understand quantum mechanics (at least in so far as anyone can understand quantum mechanics) and who intends to pursue more advanced topics.

Heartily recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars If you liked volumes I and II of the Lectures...
The Feynman Lectures deserve their status as classics, bringing novel insights and clarity even to topics that one would think ancient and musty (e.g. his exposition of radio waves). I'm not sure I would recommend them as undergraduate texts, since there may be too much wizardry where the solutions depend on deep insights or unexpected symmetries, with perhaps too few examples of brute calculation and no exercises to be worked by the student. However, they are unsurpassed when used to supplement the usual treatments or just to appreciate the beauty of the subject. For some reason, I never had the same feeling toward Volume III (Quantum Mechanics). In part, I think this is because he was trying too hard to reconcile the usual Schroedinger description with his own version of Quantum Mechanics, namely the least action/ path integral approach used in this text. Without the same constraint here (although he does very elegantly derive the wave equation from the least action principle), I experienced the same sense of wonder and awe that I felt from his earlier treatment of mechanics and electricity/magnetism. Although it's only my personal opinion, I would recommend this as the true successor to volumes I and II of the Lectures.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must have for anyone interested in Particle Physics or String Theory
It is a gospel for all physics students that this masterpiece is finally available as a Dover edition. Written by Feynman himself, this book explains the path integral approach to quantum mechanics in a way that is understandable to every beginning quantum mechanic. Path integrals are integral (sorry, bad English) to the study of quantum field theory and string theory, and you must be a master at it if you would like to work in either of these fields. Purchase this book at once and start working!
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10. QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter (Princeton Science Library)
by Richard P. Feynman
Paperback: 192 Pages (2006-04-04)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$9.86
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Asin: 0691125759
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Celebrated for his brilliantly quirky insights into the physical world, Nobel laureate Richard Feynman also possessed an extraordinary talent for explaining difficult concepts to the general public. Here Feynman provides a classic and definitive introduction to QED (namely quantum electrodynamics), that part of quantum field theory describing the interactions of light with charged particles. Using everyday language, spatial concepts, visualizations, and his renowned "Feynman diagrams" instead of advanced mathematics, Feynman clearly and humorously communicates both the substance and spirit of QED to the layperson. A. Zee's new introduction places both Feynman's book and his seminal contribution to QED in historical context and further highlights Feynman's uniquely appealing and illuminating style.

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Customer Reviews (31)

4-0 out of 5 stars adding arrows
I highly recommend this book to anyone without a formal background in quantum physics or higher math who is interested in learning about the modern explanation for how the world works at the atomic level. Richard Feynman is one of the originators of this worldview, and in this book manages to present an explanation which is at once true to the actual math while avoiding actually delving too deeply into the math. It's all about the math because as someone once said, "mathematics is the language of physics". That Feynman was able to carry off this seemingly impossible feat is evidence of his exceptional teaching ability. As he once said, if you can't explain something to a freshman, you don't really understand it.

In a nutshell, he explains that everything that happens in the world of atoms and light particles is governed by probability and chance. Every event has a certain numerical factor associated with it called an "amplitude", and the probability of the event occuring is the square of the amplitude. He doesn't get into the very complicated math of actually calculating the amplitude, but he explains two fundamental rules about amplitudes: first, if a single event can happen in more than one way, such as a light particle going from point A to point B by more than one path, then you add the amplitudes for each way the event can happen and then square the sum to determine the probability of the event happening. On the other hand, if there is a sequence of events, first event 1 then event 2, for example first a light particle goes from point A to point B, then from point B to point C,you multiply the amplitude for event 1 times the amplitude for event 2 and then square the product to get the amplitude for the sequence of events to occur.

Then he explains that an amplitude can be thought of as an arrow, with both a length and a direction, and that to add amplitudes you line up all the individual arrows tip to tail, draw one big arrow from the first tail to the last tip, and that arrow is the amplitude which is the sum of the individual amplitudes. (I forget how you multiply the arrows.)

Then he gives an example using partial reflection of light from glass, a mystery known since Newton's time which was not solved until the advent of quantum theory. Here light particles are emitted from a source, travel to a glass surface, and a certain percentage bounce off the front side of the glass and go back to a detector, the percentage varying from 0 to 4% based on the thickness of the glass. The mystery has been how the light bouncing off the front surface knows how thick the glass is. He shows that in order to solve the mystery, you have to include an amplitude for every path that a light particle can take from the light source to both the front surface and back surface of the glass and back to the detector, including loop-de-loops that go around Jupiter 15 times, and paths that go to the far end of the universe and back. Since these are all different ways the same event can occur, the rule for amplitudes says you have to add all these amplitudes to get the final amplitude. I.e., you have to add up all the amplitudes for every possible path the particle can take to either surface, no matter how crazy. And then if you do, you find that you end up with an amplitude which is basically the same as if you had the light particle going in the shortest possible path (i.e., a straight line) directly from the source to the front surface of the glass and then back again back by the shortest possible path (i.e., a straight line) to the detector, just like we "know" light does, and varying with the thickness of the glass just as observed. But if you don't include all possible paths in your summing up of the amplitudes, you won't get the right answer for partial reflection!

This is all so cool and fascinating. You end up actually seeing how the mathematical apparatus of quantum electrodynamics explains this phenomenon,without having to know that the arrows are actually complex numbers, and that adding, multiplying, and squaring arrows is just the arithmetic of complex numbers.

As the Guinness man says, "brilliant"!

For those who enjoyed the book, or want to learn more, or are confused, or learn better by listening and watching than by reading, I highly recommend watching a series of four lectures Feynman gave at the University of New Zealand in Auckland in the sixties, which goes over the same material. You get the inimitable Feynman persona, with interesting asides on the Mayans, and astronomy, and all sorts of other tangentially related topics, delivered in a quintessential New York accent, accompanied by diagrams in multi-colored chalk on the blackboard. It's available on the world's most well known Internet video site, which I'm not sure I can mention by name in this review, so I won't. Each lecture is an hour and a half, but in my opinion worth every minute.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awed by the actual complexity of nature (unlearned years of oversimplification that was inaccurate)
This is one of my favorite books of all time.This book changed the way I view the world and was inspiring.

Throughout high school and college, we are taught statements that light moves in a straight line as facts.The reality is that this is not a fact but rather a simplification.The real mechanisms which this book explains are not that much harder to understand but a lot more beautiful, interesting and amazing.

I unlearned years of Physics I was taught and am now even more interested in learning more.Feynman not only makes reading this book rewarding but also very easy.

One of the things I greatly appreciate is that Feynman does not simplify without letting you know what he is doing and why.I wish that someone when I was in high school had told me that light appearing to move in a straight line is a simplification of a complex process of interactions of photons with each other.At that age I may not have bother to learn the reality but at least would have kept my mind open.

I recommend this book to everyone curious and interested in how nature works.I am reading my copy for the third time now and it still continues to awe me.

5-0 out of 5 stars Feynman is a genius (and good fun to boot)
More technical then most books I've read by or about Feynman, but less than others.His intelligence AND personality comes through in spades.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful!
Feynman is so masterful that he makes everything perspicuous.The book tells you what complex numbers (those things that you learned in high school) are for (amongst other things of course).It also tempts you to interpret the quantum nature of light - but you have also been warned by Feynman not to (page 9).You will have the chance of having Feynman himself explaining Feynman diagrams.You will learn that things can travel backwards in time (page 97) - or do they? You will also comprehend how all the three forces (electromagnetic, weak and strong) are inter-related (pages 136-142).And towards the end, Feynman will try to marvel you with the elegance of nature and its imbued mystery.Truly a masterpiece!

4-0 out of 5 stars It's Feynman's World
Feynman's QED is a introduction to the theory of quantum electrodynamics, one of the most successful scientific theories of our time. QED is theory in which Feynman himself had a hand in developing and he won the 1956 Nobel Prize for his accomplishments.

Feynman's descriptions and explanations throughout the book are first rate. He includes many diagrams and descriptions to better help the reader understand the concepts and situations that he addresses in the book. Feynman also employs humor effectively throughout which helps get through some of the more involved and detailed areas of the book.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Everything is explained in rigor and Feynman uses simple examples that are easy to understand. However, my one objection is the fact that Feynman uses no equations which could have been useful in some instances (as when he mentions De Brogile's wavelength) a few simple explanations and explanations of terms would have been invaluable. Still anyone interested in a introductory quantum mechanics book that is easy and quick to read will thoroughly enjoy this book. ... Read more

11. Six Not-So-Easy Pieces: Einstein's Relativity, Symmetry, And Space-Time
by Richard P. Feynman
Paperback: 184 Pages (2005-04-06)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$7.90
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Asin: 0465023932
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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No twentieth-century American scientist is better known to a wider spectrum of people than Richard P. Feynman (1918–1988)—physicist, teacher, author, and cultural icon. His autobiographies and biographies have been read and enjoyed by millions of readers around the world, while his wit and eccentricities have made him the subject of TV specials and even a theatrical film. The spectacular reception of the book and audio versions of Feynman’s Six Easy Pieces (published in 1995) resulted in a worldwide clamor for “More Feynman! More Feynman!” The outcome is these six additional lectures, drawn from the celebrated three-volume Lectures on Physics. Though slightly more challenging than the first six, these lectures are more focused, delving into the most revolutionary discovery in twentieth-century physics: Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. No single breakthrough in twentieth-century physics (with the possible exception of quantum mechanics) changed our view of the world more than that of Einstein’s discovery of relativity. The notions that the flow of time is not a constant, that the mass of an object depends on its velocity, and that the speed of light is a constant no matter what the motion of the observer, at first seemed shocking to scientists and laymen alike. But, as Feynman shows so clearly and so entertainingly in the lectures chosen for this volume, these crazy notions are no mere dry principles of physics, but are things of beauty and elegance. No one—not even Einstein himself—explained these difficult, anti-intuitive concepts more clearly, or with more verve and gusto, than Richard Feynman.
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Customer Reviews (31)

5-0 out of 5 stars As always, classic Feynman
This book tackles the next set of material continuing from "Six Easy Pieces".It's not that these pieces are any more "not-so" than the previous ones, just a bit more abstract; but essential for understanding physics.Feynman's writing is top-notch (as usual), and the book is relatively short, so it isn't too large of a time commitment.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sheer MUSIC to my eyes *-*|| *-*
OK. You'd think I am kidding talking like that and calling a book "MUSIC"-al. Trust me, this guy REALLY knew how to expose a difficult topic(s). Check this out when starts of explaining relativity - "The equations of motion enunciated by Newton were believed to describe nature correctly, and the first time that an error in these laws were discovered, the way to correct it was also discovered. Both the error and its correction were discovered by Einstein in 1905". Honestly tell me how many books on Relativity can explain in two sentences what the essence of relativity is. The chapters goes on to reveal nature in all her glory at the hands of this man. He truly was a wonder. One of the seven pillars of scientific wisdom. The entire book actually are chapters from his lectures on Physics. I ONLY wish they'd take more chapters out and create shorter condensed editions like this. The Feynman Lectures on Physics, while marvelous in every which way, is too hard to carry with you and read in the park or a cafe. This version makes it a perfect traveling companion. Read it, re-read it! Its really awesome

5-0 out of 5 stars This will be short
1. Will require much effort to get through, guaranteed
2. So don't read if you haven't read "Six Easy Pieces."
3. Or go ahead and read it if you really want to.
4. If you're interested in physics there's no wrong place to start.
5. However, keep in mind, in order to get a greater understanding of physics you'll have to start with the basics.
6. Then, once you've worked your way back to these lectures you'll feel more satisfied with how much more you'll absorb.

4-0 out of 5 stars Six not-so easy pieces by Richard P. Feynman review
I think this book would be a wonderful pick for anyone who loves physics and understands the basic concepts of physics but i suggest you read Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics By Its Most Brilliant Teacher first if you haven't already.

5-0 out of 5 stars Six Not So Easy Pieces
Richard Feynman was a truly gifted physicist who taught a remarkable freshman class on physics at Cal Tech. These six lectures are taken from Feynman's celebrated three volume The Feynman Lectures on Physics.
Feynman was a larger than life physicist who was both a Nobel Laureate and a showman. He had a great exuberance for life and for his field. His students loved him. His love for physics is readily apparent in the lectures.
My husband reviewed this book. ... Read more

12. The Feynman Lectures on Physics (3 Volume Set) (Set v)
by Richard Phillips Feynman
 Paperback: 1552 Pages (1970-06)
list price: US$101.10 -- used & new: US$63.39
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Asin: 0201021153
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The Feynman Lectures on Physics: Commemorative Issue, Three Volume Set.

  • Feynman's effective classroom style remains intact in these volumes, a valuable work by a remarkable educator.
  • The volumes are an edited version of Richard Feynman's lectures, taped and transcribed specifically for the books.
  • The three volume commemorative issue is either available hardbound and packaged in a specially designed slipcase, or in a paperbound edition.
This three volume work was originally designed for a two-year introductory physics course given at the California Institute of Technology — a course designed to take advantage of readers' increasing mathematical prowess and to provide a more comprehensive view of modern-day physics. It is a rigorous undertaking that resulted in a classic reference work for anyone interested in physics. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (99)

5-0 out of 5 stars provides phenomenal insight
These books examine almost everything worthy of note in intermediate (where calculus 3 is assumed) physics by presenting concepts and calculations using the most fascinating applications thereof. It is practically a compendium of astonishing results that are given the greatest possible clarity with expertly planned verbal explanations; indeed, even if you lack the math skills mentioned above you may well become enchanted and informed by these expertly presented physics topics.
However, a few points require mention:

1. These books are for students that want to UNDERSTAND how the physics works, rather than just applying a formula some book says is applicable in a given context during a physics exam. (there is a large difference!)

2. These books do not contain enough problems to fortify the physics calculations, but they do excellently illustrate the essential concepts needed to solve such problems; my advice is to get some conventional texts like " Halliday/Resnick--Fundamentals of physics" and doing their problems to reinforce the ideas after reading the corresponding material in these lectures. The amount you read of these conventional text' explanations depends on you; some, like myself, feel that reading the explanations of most conventional texts is a big waste of time------they shower you with seemingly disconnected formulas and say "ha,ha: this is it".

3. These books were designed for lectures at Caltech during the 1960's; suffice it to say, this is not the watered-down modern university physics book---sometimes pretty heavy math is used, but that's not the main difficulty; most university physics books nowadays give formula-like sequences of steps that allow one to do well on calculations without knowing much of what came before it, but in these lectures understanding many chapters requires knowing details from many other previous chapters------the bright side is that you know what you are doing, and you realize how things are actually connected to the physical world. (I got A's in my 3 calculus based college physics courses, but I could not recall what was physically happening in these problems I so "expertly" solved for my exams:)

4. Feynman doesn't mind doing hard problems, so long as it's the best way to illustrate what he's trying to explain; in no other book I've read is there such thought provoking and satisfying examples of physics-------I learned to calculate the motion of the planets to any degree of accuracy, to calculate the general amount of radiation density in a super-hot star, and to see, dare I say, the very breadth of the universe with these lectures.

Good luck...

5-0 out of 5 stars Physics
great text-books for anybody who wants to understand a bit more how things work :P

5-0 out of 5 stars These books are amazing!
I love the set! I'm a grad student in Physics and these are a great reference to have.

5-0 out of 5 stars Revisiting The Feynman Lectures
I loved the Feynmann Lecture series when I was an undergraduate student, but I sold them after three years of using them. Years later, I have seen the Commemorative Issue on the shelve of bookstores again and I could not resist the urge to buy it again. It vividly brings back wonderful memories of a time long gone, and the commemorative issue is better (hardcover) than the original (paperback). I strongly recommend this issue to anyone who wishes to learn physics from a master narrator.

4-0 out of 5 stars Looks good on your shelf, but please read instructions before using...
This famous 3 volume set is best used in one of the following ways:

1.You are a student who has already taken university calculus based physics and are interested in another view of the subject by one of the modern masters ofphysics
2.. You are a professional who is reading the texts for intellectual stimulation; e.g., you are a curious engineer (Really,
anyone who has taken the standard university calculus sequence through multivariable calculus can tackle the material in these books)
3. You are taking university physics and want to use these books for additional readings to understand important concepts and the big picture

If you are planning to use these books as your primary textbook source to learn the basics of physics, I agree with the comments that Feynman made in the preface that these lectures were a failure. Better textbooks such Alonso and Finn already exist that cover the standard freshman physics faire. However, the Feynman lectures are great to flip through, scan, skip around, read a page here and there. There are amazing deep insights sprinkled throughout.

As an aside, the very serious student of physics should try and dig up the 5 volume Berkeley Physics Course to seek a deep and mathematically rigorous introductionto
physics. Volume 2 on E&M by Purcell is still in print and still in use but the other volumes on Mechanics, Waves, Quantum, and Statistical Physics are harder to find.
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13. Don't You Have Time to Think?
by Richard P. Feynman
Hardcover: 512 Pages (2005-06-02)
list price: US$41.35 -- used & new: US$112.19
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Asin: 0713998474
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Throughout his extraordinary career Richard Feynman wrote regularly to friends and family, to his fans around the world, and to colleagues eager for advice. This collection of his letters has been lovingly woven into a life story by his daughter Michelle Feynman. They provide a unique portrait of a man whose passion and commitment inspired all who were lucky enough to come within his orbit. Feynman's letters are direct and uncompromising; patient, thoughtful, always humourous, he challenges his readers to be true to themselves and not to accept conventional wisdom. He is also, in this, his personal correspondence, exceptionally entertaining. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars European title for Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track
Thought this was a new/different collection of Feynman letters. No, same page images as the U.S. edition of Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track, collected by his daughter Michelle.Good stuff anyway;now I can loan out the American edition.

The puzzle on page 5 is called "skeleton division".More at [...]

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended
This book is my choice for the best read of 2005. Feynman's letters are fascinating, touching, sometimes challenging, frequently very funny.

I expected to be quite bored with a book consisting only of letters, but I was completely wrong! Every letter is there for a reason and because Feynman corresponded with laymen, as well as fellow scientists and a host of institutions, there is a lot of variety here.

I loved it! ... Read more

14. QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter
by Richard P. Feynman
Paperback: 176 Pages (1988-10-01)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$4.19
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Asin: 0691024170
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Famous the world over for the creative brilliance of his insights into the physical world, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman also possessed an extraordinary talent for explaining difficult concepts to the nonscientist. QED--the edited version of four lectures on quantum electrodynamics that Feynman gave to the general public at UCLA as part of the Alix G. Mautner Memorial Lecture series--is perhaps the best example of his ability to communicate both the substance and the spirit of science to the layperson.

The focus, as the title suggests, is quantum electrodynamics (QED), the part of the quantum theory of fields that describes the interactions of the quanta of the electromagnetic field-light, X rays, gamma rays--with matter and those of charged particles with one another. By extending the formalism developed by Dirac in 1933, which related quantum and classical descriptions of the motion of particles, Feynman revolutionized the quantum mechanical understanding of the nature of particles and waves. And, by incorporating his own readily visualizable formulation of quantum mechanics, Feynman created a diagrammatic version of QED that made calculations much simpler and also provided visual insights into the mechanisms of quantum electrodynamic processes.

In this book, using everyday language, spatial concepts, visualizations, and his renowned "Feynman diagrams" instead of advanced mathematics, Feynman successfully provides a definitive introduction to QED for a lay readership without any distortion of the basic science. Characterized by Feynman's famously original clarity and humor, this popular book on QED has not been equaled since its publication.

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Customer Reviews (73)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Have for Physicists and Artists
If you are a physicist it is a must have.If you are an artist and want to know more about light, you can handle it.It was written for a non-physicist friend to explain this portion of the world in terms anyone willing to put forth the time and effort can understand.A small but powerful book.You will think of it every time you see a colorful bird, a mirage, a sunset or sunrise, and a lot of time in between.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
I thouroughly enjoyed this book.Very simple explanation of the essence of "e to ix" to any one not exposed to math.I passed the book on to an uncle.Then I was sorry I did it as soon as I handed the book because I remembered it's now out of publication. In the end still happy to have an English teacher exposed to this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another excellent book by Feynman
To me Feynman is right up there with Albert Einstein. I love is fearlessness and is desire to see the truth. The Buddha and Feynman are probably enjoying a good laugh. I recommend his other book " What do you care what other people think".

5-0 out of 5 stars The truth about charged quanta!
This is the shortest book about quantum electrodynamics I've ever read, but it is still full of profound revelations (for instance, electrical charge is really nothing more than the square root of the probability that an electron will couple to a photon, etc)...

5-0 out of 5 stars It takes a genius to make it simple
Feynman picks the thing that is simplest in the quantum world, a single particle, and explains it using no math.Instead of equations, the quantum theory in this book consists entirely of pictures.But this is not a popularization in the usual sense.This is not gossip about science.This actually is quantum theory in a very simple case.For anyone who wants to know how the universe is put together, this is an astonishing mind opener. ... Read more

15. Elementary Particles and the Laws of Physics: The 1986 Dirac Memorial Lectures
by Richard P. Feynman, Steven Weinberg
Paperback: 110 Pages (1999)
list price: US$15.99 -- used & new: US$9.08
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Asin: 0521658624
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Developing a theory that seamlessly combines relativity and quantum mechanics, the most important conceptual breakthroughs in twentieth century physics, has proved to be a difficult and ongoing challenge. Thisbook details how two distinguished physicists and Nobel laureates have explored this theme in two lectures given in Cambridge, England, in 1986 to commemorate the famous British physicist Paul Dirac. Given for nonspecialists and undergraduates, the talks transcribed in Elementary Particles and the Laws of Physics focus on the fundamental problems of physics and the present state of our knowledge. Professor Feynman examines the nature of antiparticles, and in particular the relationship between quantum spin and statistics. Professor Weinberg speculates on how Einstein's theory of gravitation might be reconciled with quantum theory in the final law of physics. Highly accessible, deeply thought provoking, this book will appeal to all those interested in the development of modern physics. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
Feynman's lecture is the simplest and the most intuitive explanation of the connection between spin and statistics that I have ever seen! This is a very readable book, no knowledge of quantum field theory is required, but a good understanding of relativity and quantum mechanics is essential for understanding the book. I think every physicist should read these lectures, although very simple, they add a lot to our understanding and even to our knowledge of fundamental physics.

3-0 out of 5 stars Summary of Paul Dirac Memorial Lectures
This book is a summary of 1986 Paul Dirac memorial lectures delivered by physicists, Richard Feynman and Steven Weinberg. This book requires the knowledge of undergraduate level physics and perturbation theory, and it is described in two chapters; the first is by Feynman under the title "The reason for antiparticle." This section describes the first attempt of Dirac in 1928 to "wed" newly discovered quantum mechanics and theory of relativity. When relativity was included into Schrodinger's pure wave equations, the relativistic equation (Dirac equations) would only be satisfied if there were two solutions corresponding to positive and negative energy states, and in the case of the electron, an electron with a positive charge was required for negative energy state. Thus the existence of antiparticles (positron) was predicted as a direct result of combining the relativity with quantum mechanics. Paul Dirac was also able to explain the origin of the electron magnetic moment and spin. Feynman postulated one of the revolutionary thought in quantum field theory, that antiparticles could be viewed as particles going back in time. This should not be taken as a physical reality in which cause - effect sequence could be revered. Because during the Lorentz transformation the time sequence of two events gets reversed, one of them could not have been the cause of the other because the two events are outside each other's sphere of influence. In frame A, if event 1 occurs first and event 2 occurs after event 1, but in frame B, event 2 occurs before event 1. This is possible in relativity because the time ordering of two events is not an absolute concept; one event can be in the past of another event in one frame, and in its future in a different frame. An observer in frame A will see an electron before event 1, an electron between events 1 and 2, and an electron after event 2, but in frame B, he will see one electron before event 2 and only one electron after event 1.

In the second part under the title, Toward the final laws of physics, Steven Weinberg discusses the developments in physics to explain physical reality with one set of physical laws. This has lead to several unsuccessful theories to unify relativity and quantum physics, finally leading to String theory.

Paul Dirac believed that physical laws should have mathematical beauty. Both Feynman and Weinberg have made beautiful theories. Weinberg played a key role in the unification of electricity and magnetism with the weak forces of radioactivity, and Feynamn expanded the understanding of quantum electrodynamics; they were best suited to deliver the Paul Dirac memorial lectures.

1. Paul Dirac: The Man and his Work
2. Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac: Reminiscences about a Great Physicist
3. Dirac: A Scientific Biography
4. Lectures on Quantum Mechanics
5. Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! (Adventures of a Curious Character)
6. Classic Feynman: All the Adventures of a Curious Character
7. Positron Physics (Cambridge Monographs on Atomic, Molecular and Chemical Physics)
8. Dreams of a Final Theory: The Scientist's Search for the Ultimate Laws of Nature
9. QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter (Princeton Science Library)
10. Cosmology

5-0 out of 5 stars Tougher than the Lectures on Physics
When I readThe Feynman Lectures on Physics including Feynman's Tips on Physics: The Definitive and Extended Edition, I was hoping to understand the reasoning behind the exclusion principle, and was disappointed to find that RPF felt that this was too complex for undergraduates, so he asked them to take it on faith for the moment.

Here he is talking to a more advanced audience, and explains it - he was right, it's tough.I'm still struggling to understand it, but I have confidence that this is a good book to help.

[Added nearly a year later] Having reread the book several times, I finally understand Feynman's lecture!As is often the case, once I understand the principle, I see relationships to various other things I had not fully understood before.

I should also comment on Weinberg's lecture: he's talking about more speculative areas than Feynman, which is perhaps one reason I found him less enlightening than Feynman, but in a rather vague way I follow what he's saying.Certainly these are fascinating ideas, but they don't sing to me like Feynman's lecture.

4-0 out of 5 stars Recommended
From Richard Feynman, with love. Need more to be said? Read it, and read it again. This one can be read all over again once in a while and does not get boring.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Lectures.Requires Math Background.
This short book, Elementary Particles and the Laws of Physics, offers two lectures: Richard Feynman's The Reason for Antiparticles and Steven Weinberg's Toward the Final Laws of Physics. These two talks comprise the 1986 Dirac Memorial lectures at Cambridge University. Both presentations are cogently structured and make fascinating reading.

The talks were directed at an advanced audience, one that was familiar with quantum mechanics. Unlike many popular presentations by Feynman and Weinberg, these lectures are not suitable for the general layman.

However, these lectures are accessible to a persistent (perhaps, stubborn) layman with a calculus background and a deep interest in particle physics. I am not a physicist, but I did take my share of physics, chemistry, and math courses several decades ago. I encountered Schrodinger's equation in more than one class, but not relativistic quantum mechanics. However, having recently read Bruce Schumm's wonderful review of particle physics (titled Deep Down Things), I was sufficiently motivated to work my way through both Dirac memorial lectures.

Richard Feynman's lecture, The Reason for Antiparticles, is decidedly the more difficult. Feynman first demonstrates that quantum mechanics and relativity together require the existence of antiparticles, and then shows that they also establish the spin-statistics connection. Within a few pages advanced mathematical expressions appear and then persistently stay in the foreground for nearly the entire talk.

Although understanding Feynman's mathematics is critical for a full and deep appreciation of his exposition, with careful, repeated readings the stubborn layman will have sudden moments of enlightenment and can come away with a deeper understanding of antiparticles and spin statistics.For readers engaged in some self-tutorial readings, it may prove helpful to return occasionally to this classic Feynman lecture to qualitatively measure progress.I have no doubt that, on a deeper level, Feynman's lecture will similarly challenge and enlighten physics majors as well.

Steven Weinberg discusses his speculations on the shape of a final underlying theory of particle physics.Initially, his talk is deceptively easy as few mathematical expressions are used.However, about midway a Lagrangian density equation appears, ratcheting the difficulty several notches, as Weinberg considers a theoretical framework based on quantum mechanics and a few symmetry principles, that is also mathematically consistent with the Lagrangian dynamical principle. After discussion of some limitations of the Standard Model, Weinberg concludes his talk with a somewhat mathematical introduction to string theory. ... Read more

16. No Ordinary Genius: The Illustrated Richard Feynman
by Richard P. Feynman
Paperback: 272 Pages (1996-02-17)
list price: US$21.95 -- used & new: US$13.81
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Asin: 039331393X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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A life of the late Nobel Prize-winning physicist features more than a hundred photographs and interviews with family, friends, and Feynman himself, offering insight into the mind of a great creative scientist at work and play. Reprint. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars A moving tribute to a non-ordinary man
The last pages of the book are especially moving, as they deal with Feynman's death. No fan should miss it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Nice supplement
This is a very insightful and informative biography of one of the 20th century's great minds. Just finished Gleick's excellent bio and picked this up. This book gives more insight into what others thought about Feynman---and they pull no punches. No Ordinary Genius is an excellent, topical biography in the words of the participants. Well done and recommended.

4-0 out of 5 stars Feynman was a likable genius
Don't be iontimidated bythinking there may be too much math or physics in this book.This is not a scientific biography as much as it is a fun trip through some of the things that made Richard Feynman so loved by all who knew him.

I admire the author's choice to have Feynman's colleagues contribute their knowledge of the incidents discussed.In many cases Feynman himself is cited to help understand the situation extant.

Whether you know Feynman's life well or not, this book is a fun read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Pictures and Anecdotes for those who already know of Feynman
If you know of Richard Feynman's life and work, this is a great book, full of pictures and anecdotes from other emminent physicist w/ whom he worked (and sometimes clashed).

Very easy and pleasing to read. Nothing too in-depth e.g. Feynman's disdain for written fiction, "...I read 'Madame Bovary' once and it was NIFTY!". No more analysis beyond that. Enough said if you know something of the person.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Illustrated Richard Feynman
Excellent book for anyone looking for a pictorial representation of Feynman. ... Read more

17. "Most of the Good Stuff:" Memories of Richard Feynman
Hardcover: 181 Pages (1993-10-12)
list price: US$44.95 -- used & new: US$138.75
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Asin: 0883188708
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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"A printed eulogy of one of the most interesting and creative physicists of our time....The reader gets fascinating first-person accounts from eminent physicists qua ardent admirers of one who will forever be remembered in the pages of physics." Choice

Prominent physicists such as John Wheeler, Freeman Dyson, Hans Bethe, Julian Schwinger, Murray Gell-Mann, David Pines, and others offer intimate reminiscences of their colleague and perceptive explanations of Feynman's trailblazing work. These essays uncover the precocious undergraduate, the young scholar at Cornell, the theoretician in his prime at Caltech, and the mature teacher and mentor. Highlighting both the charm and brilliance of Feynman, "Most of the Good Stuff" is an engrossing collection for enthusiasts--scientists and nonscientists alike--awed and entertained by one of the century's greatest minds. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars quintessential Feynman
This is probably not the first book to read about Feynman. I think the best introductory read is Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman. However, this one is unique in that it gives a first hand objective account of his life, personality and achievements (particularly in Physics). It's unfortunate that I have had to skip parts of certain essays (written originally for Physics Today) because they required the kind of Physics knowledge that I do not have, in order to understand and appreciate what Feynman's contribution was to the problem. Nonetheless, the book is a pleasure to read, and some essays are gems in that respect. I especially liked Richard Feynman and the Connection Machine by W. Daniel Hillis. Just when I'm thinking I've learned all of the interesting Feynman stories that I will ever get to know, I come across yet another one that makes me smile and shake my head. I wonder if there are any left after reading this book :)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Most Personally Satisfying of All the Feynman Books
Divided into seven sections (The Early Years, At Los Alamos, The Cornell Years, The Research Physicist at Caltech, The Teacher at Caltech, The Public Physicist and Consultant, and Feynman--The Man), this fine book presents Richard Feynman as he was seen by those closest to him--his friends and colleagues. To their credit, they present him as they knew him, the qualities with the flaws.

The book is especially successful in communicating Feynman's way of thinking, the processes he used in attacking problems. The essay entitled "Richard Feynman and the Connection Machine" by W. Daniel Hills is notably successful in this regard, and by itself justifies the purchase of the book. I found it especially interesting that Feynman was fascinated, as I am, by the potential of cellular automata for modeling fluids. Readers with the same interest should also consider purchasing Seek! Selected Nonfiction by Rudy Rucker.

Five or so essays by other physicists who knew Feynman contain mathematics that is proably beyond the ability of the average reader (certainly mine), but even these contain gems of insight that reward readers who wade through them.

All in all, a most satisfying experience.

Also recommended: Feynman's Rainbow: A Search for Beauty in Physics and in Life

5-0 out of 5 stars Anyone who has followed Feynman should read this
Fascinating and insiteful lectures from many of the great people in the world of physics. Amusing anecdotes, touching tributes, and glimpses into the private life of a genius who was also extremely human and perseveredthrough very painful personal problems to help create the atomic bomb whilehis wife was seriously ill, yet keeping his spirits up and his sense ofhumor. Never a person to rest on his laurels Feynman is shown in this bookas a person who listened intently to other people's theories, no matter howodd they sounded and never assumed anything was right or wrong until heworked it out for himself from first principles. It's all here, his life,his work, his friends, family and colleagues - but most of all his spirit. ... Read more

18. Quantum Man: Richard Feynman's Life in Science (Great Discoveries)
by Lawrence M. Krauss
Hardcover: 320 Pages (2011-03-21)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$16.47
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Asin: 0393064719
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A gripping new scientific biography of the revered Nobel Prize–winning physicist (and curious character).Perhaps the greatest physicist of the second half of the twentieth century, Richard Feynman changed the way we think about quantum mechanics, the most perplexing of all physical theories. Here Lawrence M. Krauss, himself a theoretical physicist and best-selling author, offers a unique scientific biography: a rollicking narrative coupled with clear and novel expositions of science at the limits. An immensely colorful persona in and out of the office, Feynman revolutionized our understanding of nature amid a turbulent life. Krauss presents that life—from the death of Feynman’s childhood sweetheart during the Manhattan Project to his reluctant rise as a scientific icon—as seen through the science, providing a new understanding of the legacy of a man who has fascinated millions. An accessible reflection on the issues that drive physics today, Quantum Man captures the story of a man who was willing to break all the rules to tame a theory that broke all the rules. ... Read more

19. Tuva or Bust! Richard Feynman's Last Journey
by Ralph Leighton
Paperback: 260 Pages (2000-05-15)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$6.97
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Asin: 0393320693
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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As a stamp-collecting boy always fascinated by remote places, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman was particularly taken by the diamond-shaped stamps from a place called Tannu Tuva deep within Outer Mongolia. He hoped, someday, to travel there. In 1977, Feynman and his sidekick--fellow drummer and geography enthusiast Ralph Leighton--set out to make arrangements to visit Tuva, doing noble and hilarious battle with Soviet red tape, befriending quite a few Tuvans, and discovering the wonders of Tuvan throat-singing. Their Byzantine attempts to reach Tannu Tuva would span a decade, interrupted by Feynman's appointment to the committee investigating the Challenger disaster, and his tragic struggle with the cancer that finally killed him. Tuva or Bust! chronicles the deepening friendship of two zany, brilliant strategists whose love of the absurd will delight and instruct. It is Richard Feynman's last, best adventure.Amazon.com Review
Richard Feynman, brilliant physicist and inspirationalteacher, wasn't much for coats and ties. He lived a life that theadjective "bohemian" doesn't begin to cover, scripting percussionscores for avant-garde ballet troupes, musing over life'simponderables, and delighting and annoying his many friends withodd-duck questions--all the while teaching generations of students atCalTech.

Always adventurous, Feynman was also a careful planner, recounts hisfriend and fellow drummer Ralph Leighton in this affectionatememoir. When a chance remark happened to dislodge a long-dormantmemory of a faraway Siberian land called Tannu-Tuva, Feynman andLeighton set about scheming to get there--a program that includedlearning the little-described Tuvan language, picking up the rudimentsof throat singing, and reading the scattered, hard-to-find literatureconcerning a place that, in Feynman's fond view, was as close toparadise as the earth contained. It also involved corresponding withscholars in what was still the Soviet Union and wrangling withbureaucrats to secure the necessary papers--all for the sake of seeinga country that had to be interesting, Feynman insisted, just becauseits capital, Kyzyl, had such an odd spelling.

These picaresque armchair adventures make up the bulk of Tuva orBust, an unconventional mix of travelogue and scientific biographythat's a pleasure to read at every turn. The book yields a memorablepicture of Richard Feynman--who did not live to see Tuva, but whosememory is honored there today, thanks to Leighton's refusal to abandontheir shared dream. --Gregory McNamee ... Read more

Customer Reviews (32)

3-0 out of 5 stars Worth reading, but not my favorite R. Leighton book
I think 'Surely You're Joking...' and 'What do you Care...' are the best biographical books on Feynman. They were written by RL with Feynman as first person, that is, as if Feynman wrote it.To me, this added greatly to the books, and I had hoped for something similar from this book.

Unfortunately, Tuva or Bust! is written from RL's point of view, not Feynman's. I guess there was not enough direct involvement by Feynman to support writing in Feynman's words.Or maybe RL just wanted to write from his own point of view for a change.Just be aware, this is more a Leighton book than a Feynman book.

The book and other reviewers write about the journey being greater than the destination, which I completely understand. But, word-for-word, this book is about RL's journey with Feynman checking in from time to time.

That said, I think it is still very much worth reading.It is a facinating story of a facinating time in international affairs, and for the die-hard Feynman buff, there is plenty of new information and trivia. Who would have expected a Feynman connection to Alan Alda?

5-0 out of 5 stars Uplifting, well-written and informative book
Tuva or Bust, by Feynman's close friend Ralph Leighton is a well-written account of attempts by Richard Feynman, Leighton and friends to visit Tuva.The quixotic effort begins with a seemingly random aside regarding "Tannu Tuva" and its unusual stamps. One thing leads to another and eventually Feynman and Leighton become obsessed with Tuva, learning everything they can about it, and desperately trying to get to Tuva.

Reading this book in 2010 reminds a reader of how much the world has changed in the 20+ years since the events recounted in the book transpired.From Tuva being a forbidden location to foreigners, the Cold War, problems trying to locate people, to the difficulties and expenses in telecommunications and transportation, the amazing changes wrought by the telecommmunications/Internet revolution of the past twenty years is glaringly obvious.Although getting to Tuva is not very easy even in 2010, the ease of reaching there and learning about couldn't be more shockingly different.Searches that we can now complete in less than a second with an Internet search engine took Leighton months to complete, if ever.Someone wanting a Tuvan pen pal could now presumably just send out an e-mail.Imagining (or remembering) what life was like 20 years ago was part of the fun of the book for me.

The challenges faced by the group, whether overcome or not, provide for stimulating and sometimes entertaining moments. In this day of instant gratification one can delight at the simple pleasures that they achieved through simply getting a book on Tuva, obtaining a picture of it, or simply a letter from a real Tuvan.Feynman's battle with cancer, his resilient spirit, bonhomie, and perseverance are inspiring.

Whether you're interested in Feynman, Tuva, the Soviet Union, or are simply curious, I heartily recommend this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Where is Tanu Tuva?
This is a book by Ralph Leighton. It chronicles the adventures he and others had in trying to get to visit Tanu Tuva with Richard Feynman, the American Nobel prize-winning physicist.

Do you know where Tanu Tuva is located? I do, as I once saw it on a globe years ago. It was a country wedged between Russia and Mongolia, but Stalin took it over in the 1940's. Like the people in the book, exotic locales like this interest me, so I had to read this book.

The subtitle of the book is "Richard Feynman's Last Journey" - but Feynman died before getting to Tuva. Sort of sad after all the trouble they went to to get there. The author did go, but it was very anti-climatic, as he barely said anything about the actual trip after pages on all the hoops they had to go through to get there.

If you read the book, it seems like Feynman was involved, but not nearly as much as the author and others mentioned in the book. Well, Feynman was famous, so I guess the subtitle helped attract attention to the book. In any case, the story is interesting and illustrates how weird and frustrating it was to deal with the old USSR - something quickly being forgotten perhaps.

To digress, I had a Russian penpal during communist rule, and it was interesting. I had to use registered mail (very expensive) to be sure he saw my letters. He actually defected to England before the Communists were out in Russia, and I got to meet him there at the end of a business trip. Sort of made the book relate to me more as I had this experience.

Getting back to the book review, I do recommend the book. It is like a time capsule for life so different, but not that long ago. Give it a look.

1-0 out of 5 stars This book is a fraud
I am a confirmed Feynman fan and even met him a couple of times.I was eager to learn more about him and his travels.The subtitle promised details of his "last journey", which, it turns out, he never made.Instead, I was bored with insipid details of the author's attempts to arrange a trip to the USSR and other assorted junk.It did not even spend much time on Tuva itself, but on unrelated trivia.It was apparent that the author was immensely more interested in the trip than Feynman, and that even he wasn't interested enough to stay at it to fruition.The author trades on the Feynman name to shamelessly promote the book and con the reader into plodding through endless drivel.Don't bother.

5-0 out of 5 stars More than a book...
It was all just accidental. I stumbled upon this book through a documentary that I rented, called Ganghis Blues. I like all types of music and thought "A documentary about Blues music, cool..." After realizing what a fortune of life I had found in this movie, I was drawn to everything TUVA. SO, to the book I go. The book of course came before the documentary, and obviously was an influence in the boys who produced it. When was the last time a book did something for your soul? This one touches your soul, your heart and your longing to achieve a goal or live out a dream. Aaaah. I loved it. ... Read more

20. The Quotable Scientist Words of Wisdom from Charles Darwin,Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, Galileo, Marie Curie, Rene Descartes, and more
by Leslie Alan Horvitz
Hardcover: 169 Pages (2000-06-15)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$7.02
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Asin: 0071360638
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Challenging, controversial, and frequently eloquent musings from an impressive, ‘all-history' lineup of groundbreaking scientists and philosophers.

Those who refuse to go beyond fact rarely go as far as fact. --Thomas Henry Huxley ... Read more

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