Richard Feynman

Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics By Its Most Brilliant Teacher

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Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics Explained by Its Most Brilliant Teacher is a publishing first. This set couples a book containing the six easiest chapters from Richard P. Feynman’s landmark work, Lectures on Physics — specifically designed for the general, non-scientist reader — with the actual recordings of the late, great physicist delivering the lectures on which the chapters are based. Nobel Laureate Feynman gave these lectures just once, to a group of Caltech undergraduates in 1961 and 1962, and these newly released recordings allow you to experience one of the Twentieth Century’s greatest minds — as if you were right there in the classroom.
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239 printed pages



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    b4044691901has quoted5 months ago
    light. That is how one gets flames.
    b4044691901has quoted5 months ago
    This of course is burning; we are getting heat from the combination of oxygen and carbon. The heat is ordinarily in the form of the molecular motion of the hot gas, but in certain circumstances it can be so enormous that it generates
    bblbrxhas quoted8 months ago
    How does the chemist find what the arrangement is? He mixes bottles full of stuff together, and if it turns red, it tells him that it consists of one hydrogen and two carbons tied on here; if it turns blue, on the other hand, that is not the way it is at all. This is one of the most fantastic pieces of detective work that has ever been done—organic chemistry. To discover the arrangement of the atoms in these enormously complicated arrays the chemist looks at what happens when he mixes two different substances together. The physicist could never quite believe that the chemist knew what he was talking about when he described the arrangement of the atoms. For about twenty years it has been possible, in some cases, to look at such molecules (not quite as complicated as this one, but some which contain parts of it) by a physical method, and it has been possible to locate every atom, not by looking at colors, but by measuring where they are. And lo and behold!, the chemists are almost always correct.
    It turns out, in fact, that in the odor of violets there are three slightly different molecules, which differ only in the arrangement of the hydrogen atoms.
    One problem of chemistry is to name a substance, so that we will know what it is. Find a name for this shape! Not only must the name tell the shape, but it must also tell that here is an oxygen atom, there a hydrogen—exactly what and where each atom is. So we can appreciate that the chemical names must be complex in order to be complete. You see that the name of this thing in the more complete form that will tell you the structure of it is 4-(2, 2, 3, 6 tetramethyl-5-cyclohexenyl)-3-buten-2-one, and that tells you that this is the arrangement. We can appreciate the difficulties that the chemists have, and also appreciate the reason for such long names. It is not that they wish to be obscure, but they have an extremely difficult problem in trying to describe the molecules in words!

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