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Brief Summary of Book: The Character of Physical Law by Richard P. Feynman
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In the Messenger Lectures, originally delivered at Cornell University and recorded for TV by the BBC, Feynman offers an overview of selected physical laws and gathers their common features into one broad principle of invariance. He maintains at the outset that the importance of a physical law isn’t “how clever we are to have found it out, but…how clever nature is to pay attention to it” and tends his discussions toward a final exposition of the elegance and simplicity of all scientific laws. Rather than an essay on the most significant achievements in modern science, The Character of Physical Law is a statement of what is most remarkable in nature. His enlightened approach, wit and enthusiasm make this a memorable exposition of the scientist’s craft. The Law of Gravitation is the principal example. Relating the details of its discovery and stressing its mathematical character, he uses it to demonstrate the essential interaction of mathematics and physics. He views mathematics as the key to any system of scientific laws, suggesting that if it were possible to fill out the structure of scientific theory completely, the result would be an integrated set of axioms. The principles of conservation, symmetry and time-irreversibility are then considered in relation to developments in classical and modern physics. In his final lecture he develops his own analysis of the process and future of scientific discovery. Like any set of oral reflections, The Character of Physical Law has value as a demonstration of a mind in action. The reader is particularly lucky in Feynman. One of the most eminent and imaginative modern physicists, he was Professor of Theoretical Physics at the California Institute of Technology until his death in 1988. He’s best known for work on the quantum theory of the electromagnetic field, as well as for later research in the field of low-temperature physics. In 1954 he received the Albert Einstein Award for an “outstanding contribution to knowledge in mathematical and physical sciences”; in 1965 he was appointed to Foreign Membership in the Royal Society and was awarded the Nobel Prize.
The Character of Physical Law by Richard P. Feynman – eBook Details
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- Full Book Name: The Character of Physical Law
- Author Name: Richard P. Feynman
- Book Genre: Nonfiction, Philosophy, Physics, Popular Science, Science
- ISBN # 9780679601272
- Date of Publication: 1964–
- PDF / EPUB File Name: The_Character_of_Physical_Law_-_Richard_P_Feynman.pdf, The_Character_of_Physical_Law_-_Richard_P_Feynman.epub
- PDF File Size: 1.4 MB
- EPUB File Size: 2.5 MB
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