Exploring Potential Errors in Feynman Lectures on Physics: A Scientific Inquiry

In summary: I don't think I would be able to do that.Thanks for the hero to...me! I don't think I would be able to do that.
  • #1
rudransh verma
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I was reading Motion chapter 8 in Vol 1 and I came across a line in speed topic which seemed confusing. So I checked with others and we concluded that its a mistake. Are there printing mistakes in this book? I will be surprised. Its pearson.
 

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If you think "at the beginning of the 6th minute" is in error, what do you think it should be, instead?

As a guess, perhaps your confusion comes from the fact that the "n'th minute" begins at t = n-1 minutes and ends at t = n minutes.
 
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  • #5
jtbell said:
If you think "at the beginning of the 6th minute" is in error, what do you think it should be, instead?

As a guess, perhaps your confusion comes from the fact that the "n'th minute" begins at t = n-1 minutes and ends at t = n minutes.
Yes! It should be “at the beginning of the 7th”
 
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  • #6
rudransh verma said:
Yes! It should be “at the beginning of the 7th”
Did you understand @jtbell 's comment? The 7th minute begins at t=6 and ends at t=7. This is because the first minute begins at t=0.
 
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  • #7
phyzguy said:
Did you understand @jtbell 's comment? The 7th minute begins at t=6 and ends at t=7. This is because the first minute begins at t=0.
Yeah! If it would be 6th then it would be from t=5 to t=6. But we have 5000ft traveled from t=6 to t=7 ie 7th minute not 6th minute.
 

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  • #8
rudransh verma said:
Yeah! If it would be 6th then it would be from t=5 to t=6. But we have 5000ft traveled from t=6 to t=7 ie 7th minute not 6th minute.
Yes you are right, he should have said "at the beginning of the 7th minute" or "at 6 minutes".

But this is completely irrelevant to the point Feynman is making: you should focus more on learning the point that is being made rather than finding immaterial faults in the teaching materials.
 
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  • #9
pbuk said:
Yes you are right, he should have said "at the beginning of the 7th minute" or "at 6 minutes".

But this is completely irrelevant to the point Feynman is making: you should focus more on learning the point that is being made rather than finding immaterial faults in the teaching materials.
It is unacceptable and unimaginable that a book by such a great man could have errors.
 
  • #10
rudransh verma said:
It is unacceptable and unimaginable that a book by such a great man could have errors.

RPF says:"we can get a rough idea that she was going 5000 ft/min during the 7th minute, but we do not know, at exactly the moment 7 minutes, whether she had been speeding up and the speed was 4900 ft/min at the beginning of the 6th minute, and is now 5100 ft/min"
Frankly I do not see anything incorrect in this nor do I care . But always remember (from RPF): "Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts"
 
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  • #12
rudransh verma said:
It is unacceptable and unimaginable that a book by such a great man could have errors.
You have VERY high standards for great men. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone. Especially when the mistakes are of little importance, like this one.
 
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  • #13
rudransh verma said:
It is unacceptable and unimaginable that a book by such a great man could have errors.
Maybe you are good in physics, but you don't know much about psychology.
 
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  • #14
All books have errors, but few have people dedicated to correcting them.

Mike Gottlieb
Editor, The Feynman Lectures on Physics
 
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  • #15
rudransh verma said:
It is unacceptable and unimaginable that a book by such a great man could have errors.
Have you ever written a scientific paper or lecture notes? If you tell all of us how to safely avoid any typos and mistakes, you'd be a hero!
 
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  • #16
Couldn't Feynman (and his coauthors) be using 0-based counting here, so that what you call "the first minute" he would call "the 0th minute," and what you call the seventh minute he calls the sixth? Zero-based counting is not uncommon in vernacular English. For example, when referring to the floors of a house, what some people call "the first floor" other's call "the second floor."
 
  • #17
I wouldn't use the formulation "the n-th minute" at all. What is this good for? It only underlines why we use math to describe physics and describe motions of particles with help of vectors (position, velocity, acceleration) as function of time.
 
  • #18
vanhees71 said:
Have you ever written a scientific paper or lecture notes? If you tell all of us how to safely avoid any typos and mistakes, you'd be a hero!
Thanks for the hero to be!
 
  • #19
codelieb said:
Couldn't Feynman (and his coauthors) be using 0-based counting here, so that what you call "the first minute" he would call "the 0th minute," and what you call the seventh minute he calls the sixth?
No, you can see that from the numbers. It is just an inconsequential slip - he probably just misread his notes or was ad-libbing. Or perhaps he did it deliberately to confuse people who can't see the wood for the trees.
 
  • #20
pbuk said:
No, you can see that from the numbers. It is just an inconsequential slip - he probably just misread his notes or was ad-libbing. Or perhaps he did it deliberately to confuse people who can't see the wood for the trees.
Your supposition that Feynman would deliberately confuse people (his freshman students) is impertinent, and you are wrong not only about that. For example where it says "but something happened between 3 and 4 and even more so at 5," Feynman is referring to what rudransh verma would call the 4th, 5th and 6th minutes.
 
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  • #21
rudransh verma said:
It is unacceptable and unimaginable that a book by such a great man could have errors.
It's like saying that it is unacceptable and unimaginable that Messi or Ronaldo misses the penalty.
 
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  • #22
codelieb said:
Your supposition that Feynman would deliberately confuse people (his freshman students) is impertinent

Well, he kind of did by introducing relativistic mass o0) You can treat it as a half-joke on my side, but I did have a few discussions with people (non-physicists) defending this concept by saying that I don't know much about this issue and I should read Feynman lectures o0)
 
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1. What are the Feynman lectures on physics?

The Feynman lectures on physics are a series of three textbooks written by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman. They cover a wide range of topics in physics, from basic concepts to advanced theories, and are known for their clear and engaging explanations.

2. Who is Richard Feynman?

Richard Feynman (1918-1988) was an American theoretical physicist known for his work in quantum mechanics, particle physics, and quantum electrodynamics. He also made significant contributions to the development of the atomic bomb during World War II. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965 for his work in quantum electrodynamics.

3. Are the Feynman lectures suitable for beginners?

While the Feynman lectures are known for their accessibility and engaging style, they are not necessarily suitable for complete beginners in physics. Some background knowledge in mathematics and physics is recommended for a better understanding of the concepts presented in the lectures.

4. How can the Feynman lectures be used?

The Feynman lectures can be used as a textbook for self-study or as a supplement to a formal physics course. They can also serve as a reference for those interested in learning more about specific topics in physics.

5. Are the Feynman lectures still relevant today?

Yes, the Feynman lectures are still highly relevant today. While some of the material may be outdated, the fundamental concepts and theories presented in the lectures are still widely used in modern physics. The lectures also provide valuable insights into Feynman's thought process and approach to problem-solving, making them a timeless resource for aspiring physicists.

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