Penn State

Howard Weiss - Professor of Mathematics, Penn State University Park

Book Title: The Feynman Lectures on Physics: Commemorative Issue, Three Volume Set

Author: Richard P. Feynman, Robert B. Leighton, Matthew Sands

Book Description:

Richard Feynman shared the 1965 Nobel Prize in physics for his role in the development of the theory of quantum electrodynamics. Feynman was a masterful teacher, a notorious practical joker, and one of the most colorful characters in physics. He was able to see the universe in a way that is almost magical to everybody else. His 1985 book of reminiscences, Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman, was on the New York Times best-seller list for 14 weeks.

At Caltech, Feynman was asked to "spruce up" the teaching of undergraduate physics. After working for three years, he produced a series of lectures for freshman and sophomores, which eventually became the famous Feynman Lectures on Physics. I purchased the Feynman lectures as a freshman physics major, and studied them extensively as an undergraduate. I found Feynman's explanations remarkably lucid and intuitive, and I still find these lectures capivating and inspiring. I have recommended them to many people: from bright high school students to Ph.Ds.

From the lectures I also learned the amazing power of mathematics to describe nature. This theme has played a major role in my career as a reseacher and teacher.

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