Feynman Audio Lectures

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  • #26
Codelieb, I'm concluding from your comments that you are, in fact, Micheal A. Gottlieb.
Thank you very much for all your effort, work, and patience in helping make R. P. Feynman's Lectures on Physics available to the public.
In my humble opinion, R. P. Feynman's Lectures on Physics are a world-wide public treasure.
I bought Vol. I, 1963, Vol. II, 1964, and Vol. III, 1965 in 1981. There were lots of typos, and I quit reading at chapter 6.
I read James Gleick's biography of RPF, Genius, in 1992, while in Bio Pre-med, after working 20 years as an engineer.
When I found out about the New Millenium Edition, with all the typos fixed, I bought it.
Then my wife had a heart attack. Reading put on hold.
When I found out about Basic Books audio CDs, I bought them.
My original self-study plan was for 3 sequential reads with concurrent listens:
1. a pleasure read/listen,
2. a work read/listen,
3. a finish-up read/listen.
Having R. P. Feynman's Lectures on Physics in front of me and, simultaneously, listening to the lecture on headphones seems to me to be just as if I am in the classroom with RPF and it is 1963 again. Pure magic!
Feynman is, no exaggeration, a genius, has complete command of math and physics, and has a wonderful speaking voice.
After my first read/listen, I concluded that my ancient knowledge of algebra, trig, calc, de, physics were inadequate and so have also been re-learning those.
I plan to spend years with R. P. Feynman's Lectures on Physics reading, listening, and working the problems before I die.
And you, Sir, have made this possible for me. I thank you.
PS Is there an audio recording of the FLP1 lecture on Resonance. Resonance is a hugely important topic, but I can not find an audio.
 
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  • #27
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TomJohnson, Thanks for your kind words.

I'm happy to hear you're enjoying reading and listening to FLP, and I am also glad to hear you are planning to work on the exercises, since (as stated earlier in this thread, and elsewhere) working on exercises is really necessary if you want to understand the lectures in more than a superficial way. (And it's also fun to do!)

With regard to the audio recording of lecture I:23, Resonance: that recording has never been published, neither by Addison-Wesley when they licensed the rights, nor by Basic Books who licenses them now. I have no idea why not!

[I hope that the powers-that-be on this forum will not consider it off-topic if I tell you'all some things about the FLP audio recordings that are weighing on my mind. I write this because I've recently had some long carefully written posts deleted from this forum for being "off-topic" (that in my opinion were not off-topic), and my time was wasted writing them. I hope that will not be the case here.]

When FLP was moved from it's former publisher (Pearson Addison-Wesley) to its current publisher (originally Perseus Basic Books, now Hachette Basic Books) a large advance on royalties was paid (6 figures). A big chunk of that was invested by Caltech in having the original 1/4" inch reel-to-reel tapes professionally digitized at high resolution, in their entirety. [I write "in their entirety" because the commercial recordings include only part of what's on the original tapes; also included are conversations Feynman had with faculty and students before and after the lectures, but those are edited out.]

Ralph Leighton (son of FLP coauthor Robert Leighton, coauthor of some of Feynman's most popular books and publisher of the tape recordings they are based on) has been re-engineering the newly digitized tapes, so that the lecture recordings can be re-released. In addition to our desire to improve their sound quality, we don't like the way they are sold online now - how they've always been sold - in non-sequential redundant groups, mimicking the CDs, which mimicked the cassette tapes. We want the lecture recordings to be sold individually online, so people only have to pay for the lectures they want to hear.

The only problem is, Perseus hasn't cooperated. Caltech submitted re-engineered lecture recordings years ago and has subsequently requested their publication several times; Perseus has ignored every request. According to the publishing contract, Perseus has 18 months to publish Caltech's submissions, and it is well past that 18 months for some of the re-engineered recordings, which gives Caltech the option to formally demand publication, after which if Perseus fails to publish within 90 days the rights to the unpublished submissions would revert to Caltech; then Caltech would be free to publish them some other way. However, there is a new twist in this story: Perseus has recently been sold to another publisher, Hachette! So now we have to deal with a whole new group of people, whom we don't know!

I'm not sure how happy Caltech, Perseus or Hachette will be to find that I am disclosing these matters to the general public, but I am doing so because I want to show everyone just how difficult it can be to get things published! As for the fate of the unpublished audio recording of I:23 Resonance... the fact that it's never been published means Caltech could, as described above, formally demand that it be published within 90 days, but I'm not so sure they will: from a contractual POV it's an aggressive move, and FLP is only one of many books Perseus (now, Hachette) publishes for Caltech. For obvious reasons Caltech doesn't want to sour their relationships with their publishers.

P.S. You won't find the recording of lecture I:23 in torrents or other illicit distributions for the same reason you won't find the discussions omitted from the commercial recordings in such distributions: the illicit distributions are all copied from the commercial recordings! For editorial purposes I have in my possession a copy of all the original lecture tapes, so I can tell you that I:23 is a good one (well.. they are all pretty good :-), and I would like everyone to be able to hear it, so I intend to keep trying to get it published.
 
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  • #28
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Codelieb,

Thanks for keeping us all updated!
I spoken to you at length sometime ago regarding these lectures and your effort is still much appreciated :)
If you dont mind, please let us know if there are any updates on the multimedia release and also if there is anywhere we can make a donation of these projects?
(or would it be better to buy more copies of the books and recording? :)
let us know thanks

regards
 
  • #29
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If you dont mind, please let us know if there are any updates on the multimedia release
Unfortunately, I have no news on that front.

and also if there is anywhere we can make a donation of these projects?
We're not taking donations, currently.

(or would it be better to buy more copies of the books and recording? :)
let us know thanks
Rudi Pfeiffer, Ralph Leighton and I don't benefit from sales of printed editions of FLP, nor from sales of the current commercially available lecture recordings, nor do the FLP projects, such as the free-to-read online edition, benefit from them: to date, at least, all income from those sources goes into the general coffer of Caltech's Division of Physics, Math and Astronomy. We benefit only from sales of the electronic (PDF, ePub and Kindle) editions of FLP, the FLP Exercises, Feynman's Tips on Physics, and the iBooks multimedia edition of Six Easy Pieces.
 
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  • #30
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Hello Feynman Lectures Audio Fans,

I thought I'd share with you some interesting discoveries I made yesterday:

The recordings of two FLP lectures, which Addison-Wesley and Perseus have been selling for over 20 years, are the wrong recordings - they are not the recordings of the lectures on which the corresponding book chapters are based, but recordings of other, similar lectures, made a year later.

Not many people are aware of the fact that Feynman gave three of his intro. quantum mechanics lectures twice: first in 1963, and then again in 1964; these are the lectures corresponding to FLP Vol. III chapters 16-18. What I discovered yesterday, much to my surprise and amazement, is that while FLP chapters 17 and 18 are based on the 1963 versions of the lectures, the commercially available recordings are of the 1964 versions. Oops! [BTW, you are the first people to know this besides myself and a few of my colleagues at Caltech. After I post this message I intend to write email to our publisher informing them that they're selling the wrong recordings for those two lectures!]

But wait, there's more! Unlike chapters 17 and 18, for which the corresponding '63 and '64 lectures are very similar, the '63 and '64 versions of the lecture corresponding to chapter 16 The Dependence of Amplitudes on Position are VERY different from each other. The '64 version is what's in the book (and on the commercial recording). However, I have in my possession (given to me by Matt Sands via Ralph Leighton) Matt Sands' Preliminary Manuscripts for FLP Vols. II and III. These are crudely typed and bound copies produced by Caltech's Graphics Art Facilities in 1963, before the books were published by Addison-Wesley. I sometimes use them to check whether old errata originated at Caltech, or whether the publisher introduced it. In these manuscripts one can find Matt's edited versions of the '63 lectures, including the lecture that corresponds to FLP III:16, which means we have the edited/illustrated version and the recording of an FLP lecture that has never seen the light of day - never been published in any form... well, almost! I can't say that this lectures is entirely new because Feynman and Sands scavenged from it, putting bits and pieces into various FLP Vol. III chapters (other than III:16). Nonetheless, it's a finished unpublished FLP lecture, probably the last one that will ever be discovered, and certainly the only one we have that was written exclusively by the authors of FLP (unlike, for example, the lectures in Feynman's Tips on Physics, which were coauthored by other people). I am quite excited about this find!
 
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  • #31
Michael,
Thanks for your many years of work in trying to bring R.P. Feynman's Lectures on Physics to everyone.
Your comment on Hachette was very informative. I think they are Brits.
Is there any way to release Feynman's lecture on Resonance? I suspect that it is spectacular. Resonance is so important.
Perhaps an appeal could be made to Hachette that, for the sake of preserving knowledge, an exception could be made wrt RPF.
I can understand that average folk might not understand the significance of the importance of Feynman's Lectures on Physics,
but publishers like Perseus and Hachette are generally well educated folks who have an appreciation for physics and outstanding
teachers of physics, such as Feynman.
Feynman's knowledge and his teachings compare to wonders like the Egyptian pyramids - beyond national treasures - world treasures.
Hang in there. We are all counting on you and Hachette.
Thanks.
 
  • #32
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Hachette is French, not British.

As for releasing the recording of the lecture on resonance (I:23) and the other unpublished lecture recordings ... For seven years Perseus (now Hachette) has ignored all of Caltech's requests to replace the current FLP audio with the newly digitized FLP audio. They are still selling the old commercial recordings, which do not include I:23. So... I can write another letter about it, but I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for the missing lecture recordings to come out.

No doubt there are people at Perseus/Hachette with pedagogical interests, but they are in business to make money. That is why they are refusing to publish our newly digitized FLP lecture recordings: there is no economic motivation for them to do so. If there were, they would do it. Another example: we recently made a 'demo' for a Kindle eTextbook (PDF-based) edition of Exercises for The Feynman Lectures on Physics, and Hachette refuses to publish such an edition because they say that their non-Amazon retailers retaliate when they sell anything exclusively at Amazon by refusing to sell their other books.
 
  • #33
ahmad musa
  • #34
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@codelieb
On a similar note, is there a chance we'll see (well, hear) an audio version of Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! or What Do You Care What Other People Think? read by Feynman himself? As I understand, both books were taken from recordings, so with some editing, it seems possible. The books are fantastic, but to hear the original audio would take them to another level. It might be a nice way to celebrate Feynman's 100th birthday, too :biggrin:

As others have said, kudos and thanks for helping to bring the great man's works to all of us.
 
  • #35
According to my audio, in public version there isn't more lectures: V1Ch23, V1Ch34, V1Ch35, V2Ch4, V2Ch8, V2Ch19, V2Ch21, V2Ch28, V2Ch29, V3Ch5.
 

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