“The whole thing was basically an experiment,” Richard Feynman said late in his career, looking back on the origins of his lectures. The experiment turned out to be hugely successful, spawning a book that has remained a definitive introduction to physics for decades. Ranging from the most basic principles of Newtonian physics through such formidable theories as general relativity and quantum mechanics, Feynman’s lectures stand as a monument of clear exposition and deep insight. (Feynman Lectures)
The timeless lectures are now being put online for free, these are “not just for students of physics but for anyone seeking an introduction to the field from the inimitable Feynman.”
An iconoclastic and influential theoretical physicist, not to mention Nobel Laureate, Richard Feynman (1918-1988) touched the lives of many.
Feynman is best known for his role in Los Alamos and the challenger investigation, but he was also an amazing teacher.
Now, at long last, his famous physics lectures, thanks to Caltech and The Feynman Lectures website, are being put online. Starting with the 52 chapters of volume one. Of course, you can always watch a few of them in video.
These are the lectures in physics that I gave last year and the year before to the freshman and sophomore classes at Caltech. The lectures are, of course, not verbatim—they have been edited, sometimes extensively and sometimes less so. The lectures form only part of the complete course.
See: Volume I: mainly mechanics, radiation and heat.
It’s impossible to learn very much by simply sitting in a lecture, or even by simply doing problems that are assigned. But in our modern times we have so many students to teach that we have to try to find some substitute for the ideal. Perhaps my lectures can make some contribution. Perhaps in some small place where there are individual teachers and students, they may get some inspiration or some ideas from the lectures. Perhaps they will have fun thinking them through—or going on to develop some of the ideas further.
This is all a work in progress, volumes II and II “will be posted as time and funds permit.” If you can’t wait, or you don’t want to kill your printer, you can always buy the paperbound set.