How good Feynman Lectures are ?

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  • #1
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how good Feynman Lectures are ?
and if learn basic physics
what mathematical physics book should i learn to learn core course physics ?
Is Mathematical methods for physicists good enough ?
 

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  • #2
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Halliday/Resnick Fundamentals of Physics is an excellent introductory text.
 
  • #3
chroot
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Feynman's lectures are beautiful and inspiring; they're fun to read, and will give you a profound and deep understanding of many phenomena and techniques. I think anyone with a real interest in physics should own a copy.

Unfortunately, they are quite bad at teaching you to solve problems. If you need to learn to do physics, that is, to be able to ace a test or write a paper, you should avoid them.

- Warren
 
  • #4
mgb_phys
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I'm not sure how readable the Feynman lectures are if you don't already have a physics degree? They do assume lot of maths knowledge.

(Can't check - my house is in storage somewhere)
 
  • #5
chroot
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Well, they were intended to be the first two years of physics lectures given to incoming Caltech students (given alongside math, etc.). By that logic, readers are only supposed to need high-school math... but I agree that it presumes a great deal more sophistication than do, well, all other books aimed at that audience. :smile:

- Warren
 
  • #6
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I personally found them overrated. At least the classical mechanics section that I actually read.

Sometimes he obscures the main point by his analogies.
 
  • #7
mgb_phys
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They are an excellent set of books an often give a unique way of looking at or deriving well known bits of physics. Not my field but a lot of QM people love the 3rd volume.

Although even the authors are not sure it's a great intro text:

Regarding the Feynman lectures on physics (that eventually became the famous three volumes), David Goodstein and Gerry Neugebauer wrote, “Through the distant veil of memory, many of the students and faculty attending the lectures have said that having two years of physics with Feynman was the experience of a lifetime.
But that’s not how it seemed at the time. Many of the students dreaded the class, and as the course wore on, attendance by the registered students started dropping alarmingly. But at the same time, more and more faculty and graduate students started attending. The room stayed full, and Feynman may never have known he was losing some of his intended audience.

But even in Feynman’s view, his pedagogical endeavor did not succeed.
He wrote in the 1963 preface to the Lectures: ‘I don’t think I did very well by the students.’ Rereading the books, one sometimes seems to catch Feynman looking over his shoulder, not at his young audience, but directly at his colleagues, saying ‘Look at that! Look how I finessed that point! Wasn’t that clever?’ But even when he thought he was explaining things lucidly to freshmen or sophomores, it was not really they who were able to benefit most from what he was doing. It was his peers — scientists, physicists, and professors — who would be the main beneficiaries of his magnificent achievement, which was nothing less than to see physics through the fresh and dynamic perspective of Richard Feynman.”
 
  • #8
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Some people always feel the need to point out that the Feynman Lectures are not exam workbooks. They are, however, filled with insight, will introduce you to a lot of interesting physics, and are a pleasure to read.
 
  • #9
Feynman's book, I feel are more for reference, like an encyclopedia. But the best introductory textbook I have seen after using Serway, University Physics, Halliday resnick WALKER and Halliday Resnick KRANE is Halliday Resnick Krane. I repeat, KRANE. Walker sucks. University Physics is amazing too, buy Krane explains as much and its much more compact, with good problems and MCQ too.
 
  • #10
j93
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I personally found them overrated. At least the classical mechanics section that I actually read.

Sometimes he obscures the main point by his analogies.
I would agree. It would also not be a good introductory book especially for quantum because it is not taught like the other books.
 
  • #11
They are the best introduction for understanding, methods & techniques in thinking & formulating theories.
They are helpful as 1st step in understanding the concepts & philosophy of physics
But unfortunately, they aren't enough, there is no solved & unsolved problems
U'll not find the recent discoveries, Experiments & new techniques
"LHC, DarkMatter....etc" that u can read about them in Halliday for examples
 
  • #12
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In the book it says that the aim is for undergrads but it seems that its the grads that got most out of it. Its probably not for you.
 
  • #13
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How good are the feynman lectures to one who's self-studying, meaning going more advanced?
 
  • #14
thrill3rnit3
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It's great for conceptual learning, not for problem solving.
 
  • #15
j93
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The problem with them they are too much like a popular science book for physics, there is too much focus on qualitative features of physics. Its the quantitative aspects that differentiate a popular science book from a proper textbook.
 
  • #16
How good are the feynman lectures to one who's self-studying, meaning going more advanced?
You would be better off with a standard undergraduate text for "self-studying".
 
  • #17
thrill3rnit3
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You would be better off with a standard undergraduate text for "self-studying".
He can read both "standard" undergraduate text and Feynman lectures at the same time to get the most out of them.
 

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