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Relativity Lectures on Gravitation by R P Feynman, 1962-63?

  1. Aug 30, 2017 #1
    The Feynman Lectures on Gravitation is a famous book. There are originally 27 lectures but only the first 16 has been published. The remaining 11 lectures can only be found in the first edition (1962-63).

    It is very rare but is there a (possible) way to read the content, provided that my university does not have a copy in library? Thanks.
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  3. Aug 30, 2017 #2


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    I didn't know that there are 11 additional lectures and I have no idea where to find them. In fact, how do you know that those 11 lectures exist? Anyway, if they exist, I want to have them.
  4. Aug 30, 2017 #3
    In the foreword of the new edition of the book:

    "Feynman delivered 27 lectures in all, one each week over the full 1962–63 academic year. The class met ...

    Only 16 lectures are included in this book; these correspond, roughly, to the first 16 of the 27 that Feynman gave. Morinigo and Wagner prepared notes for all 27 lectures, but by the end of the academic year Feynman had reviewed and corrected only the first 11. Evidently he then became distracted by other projects and never returned to the task of editing the notes. Thus, only the notes for the first 11 lectures were distributed to the students during 1962–63 and were reproduced for sale by the Caltech bookstore in succeeding years.

    In July 1971, a new reproduction of the notes was prepared for bookstore distribution, and Feynman authorized the inclusion of the next 5 lectures. The ..."

    reference: http://www.theory.caltech.edu/~preskill/pubs/preskill-1995-feynman.pdf

    1962-63 (first edition, unpublished) 27 chapters
    1971,1995 (second and third editions) 16 chapters

    The 11 extra chapters probably mention the quantum gravity, from the view point of Feynman.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2017
  5. Aug 30, 2017 #4


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    So out of 27, 16 were eventually (i.e. in 1995) (re-)published, out of which the first 11 are "Feynman certified material" (just like his General Physics course at Caltech also at the beginning of the 1960s which has been published in 3 thick volumes worldwide), the lectures 12-16 are "error prone", so the reader should really only concentrate on the first 11.
    Coming back, why didn't the OP quote the whole text?

    Because Feynman never authorized the distribution of the Morinigo-Wagner notes for the last 11 lectures, they are omitted from this volume. These later lectures were mostly concerned with radiative corrections in quantum gravity and in Yang-Mills theory. We assume that Feynman did not want them distributed because he was dissatisfied with their content
  6. Sep 15, 2017 #5


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    I saw the "rare" 1963 version listed at [archive.org link to sophiararebooks] for $4500.
    (I was going to post the original link, but it was just taken down by the bookseller because he realized,
    in my response to my query about it, it had already been sold. For archival purposes, I'm glad that archive.org had a copy. )
    I learned that this particular item was just the first 11 lectures (at 155 pages) printed in 1963 [with no mention of 1971 on the cover sheet].

    Sadly, my version is the 1971 version, with the additional 5 lectures (at about 228 pages).
    The cover page adds has a line referencing 1971.
    I had bought mine a while ago (in the late80s/early90s) when I visited the CalTech bookstore.
    This is the version that what was corrected, re-typeset, and republished by Preskill.

    No luck in my search through numerous university library sites.
    If there is a copy in some library, it shouldn't have a publication date of 1971 or later.
    If it has a 1963 publication date or if listed as "unpublished", it should have much more than 155 pages (and more than 228 pages).
    So, I suspect that there are two 1963 versions...
    one with just the first 11 chapters [like the one above], and rare more complete set of 27 (with more than 300 pages, I would guess).
    (Maybe those last 11 lectures are only in handwritten form or partially-typed form. Maybe audio? [see the Warsaw reference below])

    Here are some references to what Feynman was thinking about on quantum gravity:

    (1957) Feynman's "Critical Comments" at the 1957 Chapel Hill conference: http://www.edition-open-sources.org/sources/5/32/index.html

    (1962) Here is someone's scan of journal article of Feynman's "Quantum Theory of Gravitation" in Acta Physica Polonica
    http://blogs.umass.edu/grqft/files/2014/11/Feynman-gravitation.pdf (from the 1962 Warsaw conference)

    (1972) Here is a Google Books link to Feynman's "Problems in Quantizing the Gravitational Field, and the Massless Yang–Mills Field" (reprinted in "Selected Papers" edited by Brown, originally from "Magic without Magic" edited by Klauder)
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