Feynman (center) with Robert Oppenheimer (righ...
Richard Feynman (center) with Robert Oppenheimer (right) relaxing at a Los Alamos social function during the Manhattan Project (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2013 marks the 25th anniversary of the death of one of the great scientific communicators, Richard Feynman. The ability to translate difficult concepts into easily understandable (and entertaining) language is a rare gift. That rarity is why we so treasure the likes of Feynman or Carl Sagan.

Caltech has recently given the world the gift of a nicely-rendered, free online version of Volume 1 of The Feynman Lectures on Physics (Volumes 2 and 3 are in preparation and some background on how this came about can be found here).

The BBC has also made available the Richard Feynman: Fun to Imagine collection of videos, showing “The Great Explainer” joyously describing the mysterious forces that make ordinary things happen. For a brief taste, here’s Feynman explaining how rubber bands work.

David Crotty

David Crotty

David Crotty is the Editorial Director, Journals Policy for Oxford University Press. He serves on the Board of Directors for the STM Association, the Society for Scholarly Publishing and CHOR, Inc. David received his PhD in Genetics from Columbia University and did developmental neuroscience research at Caltech before moving from the bench to publishing.

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4 Thoughts on "The world is a dynamic mess of jiggling things…"


Thanks for the post. One small correction: You write that “Caltech has recently given the world the gift of a nicely-rendered, free online version of Volume 1 of The Feynman Lectures on Physics.” In fact that gift was given by myself, Rudolf Pfeiffer and Caltech, who jointly hold copyright (and economic interest) in The Feynman Lectures on Physics New Millennium Edition, from which the free online version is derived. It was, in fact, my idea to do this in the first place, and convincing Caltech and Basic Books (who holds distribution rights under license to us) to give away FLP like this was no mean feat. So, you’re welcome.

Mike Gottlieb
Editor, The Feynman Lectures on Physics

  • Michael Gottlieb
  • Sep 28, 2013, 6:16 AM

Thanks for the further information. For those interested, there’s a link in the post above to a blog posting that details how this came about.

  • David Crotty
  • Sep 28, 2013, 7:13 AM

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