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A tribute to Richard Feynman

  1. Feb 1, 2007 #1
    Greetings all,

    If you are like me you have a profound respect and admiration for Richard Feynman, the father of QED. Rarely does humanity produce such a brilliant mind and with such an affable personality to boot. Below is a link where you will find several Caltech lectures, eBooks and other assorted goodies by Richard Feynman. You can download them using 'Bittorrent' which is a modern equivalent to napster.


    P.S. I have a 40 minute BBC interview with Feynman that is a true gem. Upon special request, I could send this video to those intersted. Enjoy!
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 4, 2007 #2
    What is the file size of the video?
  4. Feb 4, 2007 #3

    There were few physicists so great and so able to acknowledge that quantum mechanics with his skill, was beyond him. Not the smartest man in history, but definitely should be inserted in with the greats for his sheer brilliance and imagination. Look and learn, it's not what you've got, it's what you do with it that counts.

    Anyway will watch the video later, but first impressions.
  5. Feb 4, 2007 #4
    I am sure Feynman doesn't care if you illegally download his books on the internet, but the publishing company probably do, don't they? (No idea how that works, its like Tupac and his new CD's, I don't understand that either. :rofl: )

    On the other hand though I think that Feynman was a great man and I have read a lot about him. I find it funny that they have his lectures on physics textbook in audio format.... How do you expect to learn from a textbook in audio format? (without a textbook at all, I mean, of course) Kinda reminds me the other day, I saw a book titled "Special relativity for dummies". Buy the books, they are better in paper format anyway and its not illegal (Although I don't mean to come off as a forum cop. I just know that PF mods don't like this stuff posted on their forum, and I can see why.)
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2007
  6. Feb 5, 2007 #5
    Personally I'm an intelectual socialist, freedom of information is what the internet is about, if the person is alive, or the medium is recent: fine should be protected, when someone dies the copyright expires soon after, so it's only a matter of time anyway. You used to be able to get any classical piece of music without much trouble, now they're selling them on the internet? Why bother, just download it from an illegal site, they're free anyway and their is no copyright issue.:smile:
  7. Feb 5, 2007 #6
    I listened to the audio CD of "Six Easy Pieces" which I obtained from the county library. If you have not heard Professor Feynmann speak, then by all means get a copy just to hear his voice. It reminds me of Ed Norton as played by Art Carney in the TV show "The Honeymooners".
    I see no reason why you cannot learn from these audio lectures.
  8. Feb 5, 2007 #7
    Well to a certain extent I can see the possibility of learning something from the audio lectures. But in order to learn a mathematical/physical/chemical concept, there has to be some paper involved. It is impractical to talk about equations without a chalk board, although of course it can be done. From what I understand his "Lectures on physics" textbooks are pretty in depth (Although I could be wrong). I also find that in order to learn some details in such subjects as physics it is necessary to re-read material over and over, and this would be a hassle with audio. Also, a picture is worth a thousand words, how do you show examples in an audio book... It sounds like "Physics the easy way" to me.

    Even if it were possible to get a pretty good understanding of the material through audio, wouldn't you agree that text would be better? (text and audio would be optimal in my oppinion)

    Schrodinger's Dog: I agree 100% that it is not immoral to download the work of someone who is dead, but I have no idea on the law about it. I assumed that there is a slight chance that the publishing company may make efforts to track down people downloading from that torrent, but I could be wrong. I probably am since I think google is coming out with an ebook library, no idea how that works legally. :smile:
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2007
  9. Feb 5, 2007 #8
    I have already downloaded the software for e books, certain works by dead authors are in the public domain once the copyright has expired, this may vary in time from country to country, but I think it's about 70 years over here? Technically the lectures are illegal, but the fact is if you asked his familly if you could watch his lectures, I see no reason they'd deny you, unless they were themselves coining off of these? To be honest though I doubt it?

    So there is no legal issue as such other than the site itself obviously being illegal.

    http://asp.wlv.ac.uk/Level5.asp?UserType=8&Level5=583 [Broken]

    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  10. Feb 5, 2007 #9
    The Feynman lectures, at least the cassettes, are not meant to be "learning material." You can learn things from it, but they are not supposed to be something alongside textbooks. It's just fun to listen to someone like RPF explain physics.
  11. Feb 5, 2007 #10
    Most of that media is still under strict copyright, which means that any usage of the files on that website is illegal. Also, I prefer reading(owning) the actual books.
  12. Feb 6, 2007 #11
    In the intro to Six Easy Pieces it says that Feynman ended up considering this lecture series a failure, partly due to the restrictions placed on interaction with the students. He was required to talk forth not being able to take the pulse of his audience, not ever knowing if people were following. Attendence dwindled considerably over the course of the lectures, indicating that the students were, in fact, not able to keep up.

    When these lectures were turned into a physics text (three volumes) they were heavily edited by others to clarify things that were unclear due to him having been improvising extemporaneously in pockets here and there, and due to his penchant for very casual, informal speech.

    I think these lectures are probably most rewarding for people who already understand the physics in question: he was great at enriching and developing understanding that was already in place, and not so good at introducing a thing to someone for the first time. For the latter, he needed interaction and feedback to know how to modify his aim.
  13. Feb 6, 2007 #12
    nice, i one searched this text on the net, i wanted to buy it.
    i think ill read it all in time, though promises to myself have never proven reliable...
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2007
  14. Feb 8, 2007 #13
    Six easy pieces, the audio version is easily digestible. It covers 1st year physics and Feynman is quite descriptive so the listener can easily imagine the concepts he brings forth. If you were completely novice to physics, a good science dictionary or textbook with a definition index would be a good supplement.

    Personally, I have no issues with downloading materials from this site, but I can respect those that do. So here is a perfectly legal link to Feynman's BBC Interview. The original interview was about ~40 minutes and can be found in several 2 minute snippets here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/tvradio/prog...chive/feynman/ [Broken]

    Enjoy fellow revellers.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  15. Feb 9, 2007 #14
    It's a 404, but I think I have the same programme on CD (recorded when it was on TV). It's a great documentary.

    Some of my favourite clips from that show:
    Feynman on UFO's and ET's...
    (the first 50 or so seconds is not from the show)[poor quality]
    ...and on discovering new laws
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  16. Feb 10, 2007 #15
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