Category Feynman

Layman on Feynman on Motion – Sarah Smith

Feynman begins his description of motion with a discussion of description itself: the concept of motion is defined by the changes that occur in bodies over time, he says, and “to find the laws governing [these] changes, … we must be able to describe the changes and have some way to record them.” Feynman’s recognition […]

Richard Feynman’s “The Theory of Gravitation” – Sarah Smith

It’s clear from Feynman’s lectures that he doesn’t just understand physics—he understands humans. As I discussed in my previous essay on Feynman’s “Conservation of Energy,” Feynman lectures for the everyman. Although some basic understanding of algebra is required for comprehension of Feynman’s content, he includes so much humanity that even bibliophiles like myself can “get […]

Richard Feynman’s “The Relation of Physics to Other Sciences” – Dillon Carroll

In chapter 3, Feynman describes the relationship between physics and the other branches of science, namely, chemistry, biology, astronomy, geology, and psychology, which can all be described in terms of physics. As Feynman himself says towards the end of the chapter, “in order for physics to be useful to other sciences in a theoretical way, […]

Richard Feynman’s “Probability” – Dillon Carroll

In chapter 6 of The Feynman Lectures, Richard Feynman once again demonstrates why he was a master teacher. This chapter is on probability, and Feynman essentially encapsulates an entire field in eleven pages. Much detail is left out, true, but in one broad stroke, he paints an accurate picture of the essentials of probability and […]

Richard Feynman’s “Basic Physics” – Jordan Cannon

The life and science of Richard Feynman were emblematic of the tumultuous age in which he lived. Though born to Jewish parents, religious tradition was as distant a memory for Feynman as his parents’ original homeland of Poland. Feynman could only be convinced of that which he could observe and measure—he wondered how people could […]

Richard Feynman’s “Atoms in Motion” – Zach Eldredge

“Science is the poetry of reality,” says Richard Dawkins, speaking much truth in the process. Just as a great poem stirs emotions in a way that cannot easily be articulated, great science stirs the mind to understanding where previously it lay in ignorance. Every discipline has its own particular expressions of beauty that approach this […]

Richard Feynman’s “Time and Distance” – Hunter Ash

I’m a sophomore physics major, so I’ve taken a fair if not extravagant number of physics classes. For the most part, they have been taught well enough. They’ve all had some bad days, lectures during which my mind inexorably drifted away from whatever tedious and unenlightening derivation was being scrawled on the board. However, they’ve […]