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Feynman Lectures Editions

  1. Sep 17, 2011 #1
    Hi, I am wondering how different the Feynman Lectures editions are. I have the option of getting the 1964,1965, 1970, and 1989 editions. Obviously getting the latest of those editions is the best, however I heard that the 2005 edition is the best edition with all the corrections and the one that CalTech endorses. However that is much too expensive. Will the 1989 edition have substantial disadvantages to the 2005 edition?

    For some reason I cannot post this in the Science and Math Education forum, so I'm just posting it here.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 17, 2011 #2
    Errata for many editions of the Feynman Lectures on Physics can be found here (under the menu option "Errata"):

    Just purchase any of the editions you mentioned and correct where needed.
  4. Sep 24, 2011 #3
    Some corrections were made to FLP between 1964 and 1970, though not very many. No (new) corrections at all were made in the 1989 ("Commemorative Issue") edition. In the first printing of the 2005 (so-called) "Definitive" edition we corrected about 200 errors, and another 80 were corrected in the 3rd printing of that edition.

    The latest edition of FLP is the 2011 "http://basicfeynman.com/"," which is printed from an entirely new (LaTeX/Postscript) electronic manuscript, featuring improved typography, better-drawn, more accurate figures, improved indexes a new symbol index, and 885 (new) corrections.

    I would warn you to avoid the first hardback printing of "The New Millennium Edition," because there were about 100 (minor, but annoying) typos in it that we inadvertently introduced in the LaTeX conversion, and which (after exhaustive proofreading) we subsequently corrected in the second hardback printing, and also in the first paperback printing.

    If you are concerned about cost, I suggest you buy the paperback New Millennium edition of FLP Volume I - that will only set you back $37 (on Amazon), and should keep you busy for a while, if you are planning to use the book to study physics - there's quite a lot of material covered in it.

    Mike Gottlieb
    Editor, The Feynman Lectures on Physics
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  5. Oct 25, 2011 #4
    Hi Mike,
    I was looking for someone explaining the multiple editions of these Lectures and got to read it's own editor's explanation on this topic! Thanks a lot.

    I'm planning to buy these on my next trip to the USA next week, and wanted to makesure that I was going to get the latests edition (the one without the new latext typos you were speaking about).

    Can you please confirm that if I buy it from amazon here:

    I'll be getting the correct one,or I'll be getting the one with the new typos?
    If it;s the wrong one, can you point me to a place where I would be getting the good latest one? (I'll be in Miami for 2 weeks so I can either purchase locally or online).


    Product Details
    Hardcover: 1552 pages
    Publisher: Basic Books; 1 edition (January 4, 2011)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 0465023827
    ISBN-13: 978-0465023820
    Product Dimensions: 11.9 x 9 x 4 inches
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  6. Oct 25, 2011 #5
    Hi, Luciano.
    What you want to buy is The New Millennium Edition (FLP-NM), either the second printing of the hardback, or the paperback (any printing). The URL above leads to Amazon's page for the boxed 3-volume hardback set of FLP-NM, which is identified by ISBN number (only). Unfortunately, the ISBN number of a book doesn't change when a new printing is made, so I can't tell you what printing you will get from Amazon if you order FLP-NM from them... I suppose it depends on what they happen to have in stock.

    However, I can tell you how to identify the printings, and then, you can ask Amazon (or other sellers of FLP-NM) to check what they have in stock: The very first printed page of each volume is a right-side (cover) page with the title, name of the edition, authors, volume number, and name of the publisher. On the opposite side of that page (the copyright page) are the copyright notices, ISBN #, AND at the very bottom, there is a funny looking backwards-running sequence of numbers - that's what you have to look at. If the numbers run from 10 to 1, like this:

    "10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1"

    it's a first printing. You want the second printing, in which the numbers will run from 10 to 2, like this:

    "10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2"

    I'll be interested to know whether Amazon is able to tell you what printing(s) of FLP-NM they have to offer.

    Good luck, and have a great trip!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  7. Oct 25, 2011 #6
    Thanks Mike for the help!

    I really appreciate it.

  8. Oct 25, 2011 #7
    You're welcome! I hope you enjoy The Feynman Lectures!

  9. Nov 9, 2011 #8
    Has anyone checked which one they have in amazon?
  10. Nov 13, 2011 #9
    At the end Ive bought the paperback version because I knew for sure that it wa gonna be the second printing and they didnt answer to my query about which one was the hardback. Well they just replied (now that its too late to cancel the ortherr). This is their answer:

    I'm following up on a chat you made to our Customer Service department about the book "The Feynman Lectures on Physics, boxed set: The New Millennium Edition."

    I've contacted our catalog department and verified that this book is 6th printing. Here's the link to the book:


    I hope this information helps. I'm sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

    Is it true that is there a 6th edition?
    Anyways im happy because the paperback will surely be the latest version
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2017
  11. Nov 13, 2011 #10
    I believe that the Amazon representative meant that it's the sixth compilation of the Feynman Lectures. The current hardcover Millennium edition on Amazon is the first edition. When they run out of copies, they will begin selling the second edition.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2017
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