Friday, September 13, 2013

Feynman lectures on physics: Volume I now free



Some kind folks at Caltech have made the legendary 1964 Feynman Lectures on Physics (book by Feynman, Leighton, Sands) available online for free. Well, so far, you may only read Volume I but Volumes II and III should be added in a foreseeable future.




The mathematics is typed using the newest MathJax \(\rm\LaTeX\), just like you're used to from this blog.

The URLs are:
feynmanlectures.caltech.edu/

...Volume I TOC main server,
...Volume I TOC backup
Recall that the first volume is mostly dedicated to mechanics, radiation, and heat.




I personally recommend Feynman's lectures for their pragmatic, nearly engineering approach and for the extra depth that Feynman actually possessed while he was presenting these seemingly (and sometimes not just seemingly) simple topics in physics.

11 comments:

  1. Weren't those lectures originally recorded and then transcribed? It would be nice to hear (see?) the originals. I nearly went to Cal Tech in 1961. Wasn't that when he lectured to freshman?

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  2. Hello, and thanks for your kind words about the free HTML edition of The Feynman Lectures on Physics.

    About the FLP-HTML servers: You have them listed backwards. The main site, where I maintain this edition, is feynmanlectures.info. The Caltech site is a mirror.

    You write, "Some kind folks at Caltech have made the legendary 1964 Feynman Lectures on Physics (book by Feynman, Leighton, Sands) available online for free." In fact this edition is brought to you courtesy of Caltech's Division of Physics Math and Astronomy, the eFLP Group, consisting of myself and Rudolf Pfeiffer who created and own the LaTeX Manuscript from which the free HTML edition derives, and Basic Books, who owns the reproduction rights for FLP under license. This is a gift for the pedagogical benefit of the general public, from all of us. (I might add that many other people were in key in its creation, including, for example, Adam Cochran, and Carver Mead.)

    Mike Gottlieb
    Editor, The Feynman Lectures on Physics, New Millennium Edition.

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  3. This is very nice and kind of you and all the other people involved to make the Feynman Lectures freely readable, thank you :-)

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  4. Scott ScarboroughSep 13, 2013, 10:32:00 PM

    I have inherited the hard-back volumes from my father. I have to take the time to read them.

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  5. Earth, a great place to live just got better!

    Thank you Mike and thanks to Professor Motl for the heads up.

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  6. Harry Dale HuffmanSep 14, 2013, 3:14:00 AM

    I am in favor of having many older physics texts available free from the internet. I downloaded the Volume 1 chapters, but most of the figures are missing. It looks like a clean, readable copy. However, I never got into the Feynman Lectures (I bought the softbound edition probably only when I was in graduate school, by which time these books did not speak to me). Frankly, I would like to see the 2 volumes of Weidner and Sells used in my first two years of college. The best physics book I ever saw was my first, in high school (1964), "Modern Physics" by Dull, Metcalfe and Williams; I still have that book (I had the chance to buy it for just $1 at the end of the year, and I grabbed it); I find it much better than the Feynman Lectures, but of course that is just my opinion.

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  7. Somewhat off topic and somewhat illegal but this link may be of great interest to many readers here. http://thepiratebay.sx/torrent/4555365/All_Physics_Books_Categorized

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  8. Dear Lubos, in addition, probably you would get enchanted also by reading H.M. Nussenzveig's books on "basic physics" ... but, unfortunately, it is still a privilege just for Lusophones =(

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  9. It's great to have a version with full errata applied - it had been tricky to make corrections to the printed additions see http://feynmanlectures.caltech.edu/I_90.html for the story. I bought the 3 volumes in soft back when I was a nerdy teen about 25 years ago. They are still in good condition except the third volume has horribly yellowed from sunlight exposure - I neglected it compared to vols I and II as it looked like an obsolete treatment of QM to my untrained eyes (I had a peculiar idea that matrix mechanics was old-fashioned and (non-relativistic) schrodinger wave methods were modern)

    You can find audio versions of over a dozen of the lectures on the CDs accompanying the books Six Easy Pieces, SIx Not So Easy Pieces and The Very Best of the Feynman Lectures (details at the end of the wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Feynman_Lectures_on_Physics)

    This resource is another excellent addition to the online teaching materials for physics students. It is always helpful to have different approaches and styles to learn from, students may benefit from comparing Feynman's treatment of the various topics to a more modern one in the free online textbook by the OpenStax college http://openstaxcollege.org/textbooks/college-physics

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  10. Hi lukelea,

    Try this site for the audio of the lectures on CD

    http://www.basicfeynman.com/audio.html

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  11. I'm late to the party but on the topic of free physics books Landau's series should be mentioned as well (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Course_of_Theoretical_Physics). It is available on archive.org since the copyright has expired (except for the latest editions that kept getting released until Lifshitz died in the 80's)

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