Let me start with a one-sentence summary: this is a thoroughly enjoyable little book explaining, in a beautifully intuitive and holistic way, the main core features of Einstein's relativity, without getting bogged down into too much mathematical detail. However, having said that, I would still recommend this book even to a more intermediate level reader, as the way how Feynman manages to get to the core of things with lucid rigor, and simplicity, and how he manages to holistically connect all the different aspects of the physics he is explaining, is something magic and a great pleasure to experience.
As you probably know, this book, like its predecessor, consists of excerpts from Feynmans legendary Caltech lectures. The best way to think of them are as Feynman samplers; you will not be able to eat your fill, but the books leave a pleasant taste in your mouth. Perhaps the best example of this is his explanation of simple machines in the first volume; he jumps past all the rules we learn in grade school, and explains it all in terms of conservation of energy. He has a keen sense for the dramatic, and will unveil a physical principle like a magician pulling a dove from a hat. You will by no means be given a rigorous understanding of relativity from this book; but Feynman does, in his inimitable way, give you a feel for it. Like those two, Feynman manages to be brilliant in three syllables or less.
Bu durum fizie mesafeli olanlar kadar, ortalama fizik bilgisine sahip olanlar açsndan da böyle. Kolaydan zora doru sralanm 6 bölümden oluan bu kitap, üst düzey fizik bilgisine sahip olmayan okuyucularn da bu hayli soyut kavramlar hakknda az buçuk fikir sahibi olabilmesini salyor.
It is a foundational ingredient of the very universe in which we live." On that note, it is encouraging for many readers that this book offers a great opportunity to take that extra step to learn the mathematical constructions for the effects of Lorentz transformations, Einstein's equations, relativistic dynamics; equivalence of mass and energy, Lorentz contraction and transformation of time. An event (physical reality) is defined by both space and time because the position of an object is characterized by the time. The "now" is an idea or a concept of our mind, it is not physically definable at the moment, and we have to wait to observe it separated by distance in (light) time. Relativistic dynamics; objects moving at high speeds (during forward motion) comparable to the speed of light shortens its physical length, and also time slows down (time-dilation) for the stationary observer, but the time remains the same for the moving astronaut.
The book also had Feynman's characteristic humor and crazy imagination to illustrate really tough physics and mathematics.
This book is aimed at teaching Special Relativity to students who have high school algebra (thus can handle a co-ordinate transform) and Newtonian mechanics. For example, he tells us that the Caltech synchrotron requires a magnetic field 2,000 times stronger than would be expected on the basis of Newtons laws to deflect the increased mass of a rapidly moving proton. Oops, now we are supposed to know what a Lagrangian is to understand the significance of what he has done, generating classical mechanics purely from optimizing proper time in relativity.
(Last read this book in 2005)
Richard Phillips Feynman was an American physicist known for the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics and the physics of the superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium, as well as work in particle physics (he proposed the parton model).