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About the book
  • Published: 29 October 1992
  • ISBN: 9780140175059
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $19.99

The Character Of Physical Law


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Collecting legendary lectures from freewheeling scientific genius Richard P. Feynman, The Character of Physical Law is the perfect example of Feynman's gift for making complex subjects accessible and entertaining.
Here Richard Feynman gives his own unique take on the puzzles and problems that lie at the heart of physics, from Newton's Law of Gravitation to mathematics as the supreme language of nature, from the mind-boggling question of whether time can go backwards to the exciting search for new scientific laws.
Using simple everyday illustrations to bring out the essence of a complicated principle - for example the surprising parallels between the law of conservation of energy and drying yourself with wet towels ­- these lectures are a brilliant example of Feynman's mind in action.
'The greatest physicist of the twentieth century'
Sunday Times
'It is unlikely that the world will see another Richard Feynman ... his style inspired a generation of scientists. This volume remains the best record I know of his exhilarating vision'
Paul Davies
'Fascinating ... an insight into the thought processes of a great physicist ... the acknowledged master of clear explanation'
The Times Literary Supplement
'One of the most enjoyable books written by a major scientist'
Observer
Richard P. Feynman (1918-1988) was one of this century's most brilliant theoretical physicists and original thinkers. Feynman's other books, also available in Penguin, include QED, Six Easy Pieces, Six Not-so-Easy Pieces, Don't You Have Time to Think, The Pleasure of Finding Things Out, What Do You Care What Other People Think? and The Meaning of it All.
%%%Collecting legendary lectures from freewheeling scientific genius Richard P. Feynman, The Character of Physical Law is the perfect example of Feynman's gift for making complex subjects accessible and entertaining.



Here Richard Feynman gives his own unique take on the puzzles and problems that lie at the heart of physics, from Newton's Law of Gravitation to mathematics as the supreme language of nature, from the mind-boggling question of whether time can go backwards to the exciting search for new scientific laws.



Using simple everyday illustrations to bring out the essence of a complicated principle - for example the surprising parallels between the law of conservation of energy and drying yourself with wet towels ­- these lectures are a brilliant example of Feynman's mind in action.



'The greatest physicist of the twentieth century'
Sunday Times



'It is unlikely that the world will see another Richard Feynman ... his style inspired a generation of scientists. This volume remains the best record I know of his exhilarating vision'
Paul Davies



'Fascinating ... an insight into the thought processes of a great physicist ... the acknowledged master of clear explanation'
The Times Literary Supplement



'One of the most enjoyable books written by a major scientist'
Observer



Richard P. Feynman (1918-1988) was one of this century's most brilliant theoretical physicists and original thinkers. Feynman's other books, also available in Penguin, include QED, Six Easy Pieces, Six Not-so-Easy Pieces, Don't You Have Time to Think, The Pleasure of Finding Things Out, What Do You Care What Other People Think? and The Meaning of it All.

  • Pub date: 29 October 1992
  • ISBN: 9780140175059
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Authors

Richard Feynman

  Richard P Feynman was one of this century's most brilliant theo­retical physicists and original thinkers. Born in Far Rockaway, New York, in 1918 he studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he graduated with a BS in 1939. He went on to Princeton and received his Ph.D. in 1942 During the war years he worked at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. He became Professor of Theoretical Physics at Cornell University, where he worked with Hans Bethe. He all but rebuilt the theory of quantum electrodynamics and high-energy physics and it was for this work that he shared the Nobel Prize in 1965. Feynman was a visiting professor at the California Institute of Technology in 1950, where he later accepted a permanent faculty appointment, and became Richard Chace Tolman Professor of Theo­retical Physics in 1959. He had an extraordinary ability to communicate his science to audiences at all levels, and was a well­-known and popular lecturer. Richard Feynman died in 1988 after a long illness. Freeman Dyson of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, called him `the most original mind of his generation', while in its obiturary The New York Times described him as `arguably the most brilliant, iconoclastic and influential of the postwar generation of theoretical physicists'.
A number of collections and adaptations of his lectures have been published, including The Feynman Lectures on Physics, QED (Penguin, 1990) The Character of Physical Law (Penguin, 1992) Six Easy Pieces (Penguin 1998 The Meaning of It All (Penguin 1999) Six Not-So-Easy Pieces (Penguin, 1999), The Feynman Lectures on Gravitation (Penguin, 1999) and The Feynman Lectures on Computation (Penguin, 1999). His memoirs, Surely You're Joking, Mr Feynman were published in 1985.

Richard P Feynman

Richard Feynman was, until his death in 1988, the most famous physicist in the world. Only an infinitesimal part of the general population could understand his mathematical physics, but his outgoing and sunny personality, his gift for exposition, his habit of playing the bongo drums, and his testimony to the Presidential Commission on the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster turned him into a celebrity.

Freeman Dyson, of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, called him 'the most original mind of his generation', while in its obituary The New York Times described him as 'arguably the most brilliant, iconoclastic and influential of the postwar generation of theoretical physicists'.


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