Chances are, if you are not in the field of science, or if you don’t work at a bookstore or library, you might not be familiar with the works of Richard Feynman. Feynman was a rock star in his field, an American theoretical physicist known for his work in the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics, and the physics of the superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium, and more. He even developed a widely used pictorial representation scheme for the mathematical expressions explaining subatomic particles, which later became known as Feynman diagrams. For his contributions to science, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965.
Feynman also worked on the development of the atomic bomb, and was a member of the panel that investigated the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. He has been credited with pioneering the field of quantum computing and introducing the concept of nanotechnology. He led quite an amazing life!
Now, if you are not a theoretical physicist, quantum electrodynamics, the physics of the superfluidity, and those other things I just talked about probably sound pretty confusing to you. I know that I couldn’t explain them! But that’s why Feynman was a rock star: he took his brilliant work and broke it down into layman’s terms in several books that everyone can enjoy.
With such an amazing career, Feynman had a lot of knowledge to share with the world. And whether you’re a theoretical physicist, a student, or just curious about Feynman and his work, these Richard Feynman books will give you a broad overview of the man and his work.
As a professor, Feynman saw firsthand the parts of learning physics that his students struggled with the most. So he wrote this handy-dandy guide that anyone interested in learning about physics can comprehend. It includes three lectures on problem-solving and a lecture on inertial guidance that were not included in his famous collection The Feynman Lectures on Physics. There are also exercises to help you practice what you learn.
Not only was Feynman a brilliant scientist, he was also deeply engaged, fascinated, and delighted with the world around him. This book is based on a previously unpublished, three-part public lecture he gave at the University of Washington in 1963. This is Feynman on science and religion, flying saucers, telepathy, faith healing, the loss of his first wife, and more, told with his characteristic wit and charm.
This is a must-read for every Feynman fan. It collects over forty years' worth of Feynman's letters, including correspondence with scientific luminaries, and letters to and from fans, students, family, and people from around the world who were interested in connecting and learning more from such a fascinating man.
This is a wide-ranging collection of short interviews, speeches, lectures and printed articles, full of Feynman's intelligent views on religion, war, his work with the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster panel, and of course, quantum physics. There are a lot of great Richard Feynman quotes in this collection.
And this is six lectures based upon Einstein's Theory of Relativity, that E = mc2 equation you always see when people write about Einstein. But Feynman explains it in a clear, concise way that not even Einstein himself could pull off. It's easy to see why Feynman was beloved by his students and revered by the world of academia.
Finally, this is the whole collection of Feynman's lectures about physics, which is considered essential reading for anyone looking to learn. It is the definitive guide to physics, from the most basic principles of Newtonian physics through such formidable theories as general relativity and quantum mechanics. What Feynman called "an experiment" turned into the most essential work on physics available.
Liberty Hardy is a Book Riot senior contributing editor and velocireader in the great state of Maine, where she reads 500-600 books a year and lives with her three cats, who hate to read.