1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Intro Physics What do you think about the Feynman lectures?

  1. Feb 23, 2016 #1
    Hi! I've bought book Feynman lectures, Feynman exercises and Physics Jay Orear. Is worthwhile to buy Landau and Lifshitz books? I'm beginner in physics. I'm not sure what to school textbooks. School programme is too easy for me. I need more accurate source to learn physics. Although in my school math teacher think that square roots from negative numbers doesn't exists and if delta is negative, then equation doesn't have any solutions. What do you think about Feynman lectures, Jay Orear Physics, A.S. Davydov's books, L.D.Landau's & Lifshitz's books and Resnick & Halliday Physics?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 23, 2016 #2
    I think Feynman lectures are wonderful. They are quite detailed. For EM I often go to a much more concise series of lectures here http://farside.ph.utexas.edu/teaching/em/lectures/
  4. Feb 23, 2016 #3
    I learn from Feynman lectures but I wanted to ask you what do you think about this. Lectures sometimes seem to be written as popular science. Feynman exercises from this book https://www.amazon.com/Exercises-Feynman-Lectures-Physics-Richard/dp/0465060714 aren't easy. How do you know ways to fast and smoothly solve this problems? Are all exercises related to lectures or are any exercises extra-curricular?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  5. Feb 23, 2016 #4
    Richard Feynman has been called by some "The Great Explainer".
    These lectures were given to undergraduates during Feynman's time at Caltech. While I'm sure that they know more physics than the Average Joe, they are not experts in any way.
    That's why it sometimes may feel like popular science. I actually grew up to hate physics. I am not interested in pursuing it as a career but Feynman managed to turn my opinion on physics around and made me like it.
    His way of explaining made me understand the concepts behind physics and that's where it will be fun.
    If you don't understand something in any way, will it be fun? No.
    That's why mathematics and the "exact" sciences are not so popular. During my time at English and History, I could improvize a little.
    With mathematics, you can't. You need to study before you understand it and teenagers, myself included, just don't want to study.

    As far as I can recall, those exercises are all related to the lectures in the book itself.
  6. Feb 23, 2016 #5
    I similarly grew up to hate physics. I mean that some people don't accept my passions but I'm into in IT and physics. Some people said to me that I shouldn't learn physics and I should follow to school programme.
    So, as I can't solve any problem then it means that I don't something read in lectures?
  7. Feb 23, 2016 #6
    At times, it can become a little overwhelming due to the large slab of text thrown at you.
    That may make it more difficult to filter out the essentials.
    You most likely missed a detail in there.
  8. Feb 23, 2016 #7


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Why don't you pick one of the problems, try to solve it, and if you can't then post it here in the homework section with your attempt at a solution so we can help? Please read the homework help guidelines and use the appropriate template.
  9. Feb 23, 2016 #8
    The L&L series is terrific but well beyond the ability of a beginner.

    If you know some calculus, this is a terrific place to start. Supplement with the Feynman Lectures.
  10. Feb 24, 2016 #9


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2017 Award

    The Feynman lectures are among the best physics textbooks ever written. I think, they are only topped by Sommerfeld's Lectures on Theoretical Physics (concerning classical physics, because these are only covering classical physics and are quite old-fashioned nowadays, but concerning the mathematical methods they are still the best I can think of).

    Forget school books. They are usually more confusing than helpful, written by people more involved towards didactics rather than physics and then think to simplify things they have to get inaccurate on the edge of becoming wrong.

    Landau and Lifshitz are also marvelous books but not quite for a beginner. My favorites are vol. II on classical field theory (E&M and GR) and vol. X (kinetic theory, including a very intuitive introduction of the Schwinger-Keldysh real-time formalism of quantum many-body theory).

    However, concerning quantum field theory, I'd recommend a more modern book than vol. IV of L&L. My favorite at the intro level at the moment is M. Schwartz, Quantum Field Theory and the Standard Model.
  11. Feb 24, 2016 #10
    I'm not the problem solving type. But if you want to acquire skill, that is the only way. Feynman himself was extremely skilled. Freeman Dyson said he never saw anyone else work so hard. So...

    Fumbling with problems is normal. Fortunately you have Physics Forums for when you get stuck. Make an honest try, and when you get stuck write a clear report and ask your question.
  12. Feb 25, 2016 #11


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2017 Award

    ...in the homework section of the forums!!!
  13. Feb 25, 2016 #12
    As said before, try some and ask for help in the appropriate section of the forums.
    Its a fact that solving problems is a skill you obtain in a way similar to learning theory. Work at it.

    He (supposedly) had this very quick way to work through a problem/derivation where he ignored numerical prefactors.
    This is a great method to use, first see if you get what's happening without getting lost in details.
    When studying theory, this can be enough to just skip the detailed derivation.
    When doing problems you basically get a plan on how to approach the problem when looking for an exact solution.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted

Similar Discussions: What do you think about the Feynman lectures?
  1. Feynman Lectures (Replies: 2)