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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Richard Feynman Physics Video Lectures

This month I bring to you a bunch of Richard Feynman physics video lectures, a few Feynman video interviews, and a few Feynman audios.

Richard P. Feynman (1918-1988) was a scientist, teacher, great orator, and musician. He worked on atomic bomb, invented quantum electrodynamics, translated Mayan hieroglyphics, and cut to the heart of the Challenger disaster. But beyond all of that, Dick Feynman was a unique and multi-faceted individual.

Also hear this - my friend just registered www.FeynmanPhysicsLectures.com, and he is going to make the best website dedicated to Richard Feynman!

He has also made Carl Sagan Videos website and Stephen Hawking Videos website. Check them out, they are really great!

One more thing - I created an Amazon Wish List with some mathematics and computer science books. I'd appreciate if someone bought me a New Year present. :)

Here is my wishlist: Peter's Wish List.

And here are the Feynman videos:

Richard Phillips Feynman at The Douglas Robb Memorial Lectures


Video lecture description:
Chosen by the New Scientist - best on-line videos of 2007. A set of four priceless archival video recordings from the University of Auckland (New Zealand) of the outstanding Nobel prize-winning physicist Richard Feynmann - arguably the greatest science lecturer ever. Although the recording is of modest technical quality the exceptional personal style and unique delivery shine through. Feynman gives us not just a lesson in basic physics but also a deep insight into the scientific mind of a 20th century genius analyzing the approach of the 17th century genius Newton. The lectures are in the same style as his famous "Feynman Lectures on Physics" which he taught at Caltech.

Quantumelectrodynamics (QED) was the subject of "QED - The Strange Theory of Light and Matter," the popular book by Richard Feynman which was first published by Princeton University Press in 1985. Feynman makes passing references to the fact that the book is based on a series of general lectures on QED which were first delivered in New Zealand.

Feynman had doubts about the accessibility of the lectures on QED to a general audience, and chose not to initially deliver these lectures at his native Caltech. Rather he chose remote New Zealand as his testing ground and in the process, gave the New Zealand physics community the dubious honor of being the guinea-pigs for his QED lectures.

At Auckland University, these lectures were delivered in 1979, as the Sir Douglas Robb Lectures. Although the published version of "QED - The Strange Theory of Light and Matter" is an excellent self-contained description of the subject, watching an unedited Feynman delivering the lectures reveals his style and enthusiasm for his subject in a way which is impossible in a printed medium. Direct quotations from the lectures provide fascinating additional insight both into the material of QED itself and into Feynman's character.

Videos provided by Vega Science Trust.



The Pleasure of Finding Things Out (1981)


Video description:
This is an interview with Richard Feynman from 1981. As it is said, it's fifty minutes of pure Feynman! It will delight and inspire anyone who would like to share something of the joys of scientific discovery. Feynman is a master storyteller, and his tales - about childhood, Los Alamos, or how he won a Nobel Prize - are a vivid and entertaining insight into the mind of a great scientist at work and play.

Feynman talks about his childhood, his first encounter with calculus reading "Calculus for the Practical Man" at age thirteen, how they build the Bomb in Los Alamos, how they threw a party while Hiroshima was burning, how a seemingly simple problem of rotating bodies led to to quantum electrodynamics. Here's Feynman commenting on the Nobel prize he received: "I don't like honours. I appreciate it for the work that I did and for people who appreciate it and I notice when other phycicists use my work. I don't need anything else. I don't think there's any sense to anything else.I don't see that it makes any point, that someone in the Swedish academy decides that this work is nobel enough to receive a prize. I've already got the price! The prize is the pleasure of finding the thing out, the kick in the discovery, the observation of the people who use it. Those are the real things! The honours are unreal to me. I don't believe in honours."



Richard Feynman, The Last Journey Of A Genius: The Quest for Tannu Tuva


Video description:
Richard Feynman was not only an iconoclastic and influential theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate but also an explorer at heart. Feynman through video recordings and comments from his friend and drumming partner Ralph Leighton tell the extraordinary story of their enchantment with Tuva, a strange and distant land in the centre of Asia.

While few Westerners knew about Tuva, Feynman discovered its existence from the unique postage stamps issued there in the early 20th century. He was intrigued by the unusual name of its capital, Kyzyl, and resolved to travel to the remote, mountainous land. However, the Soviets, who controlled access, were mistrustful, unconvinced that he was interested only in the scenery. They obstructed his plans throughout 13 years.

The majority of the scenes are extended narratives by Feynman. There is included a delightful extended discussion and demonstration of Feyman's bongo playing. Feynman explains how he used a phrase book of the Tuva language to write and express an interest in visiting there. The proposed trip took years to arrange. The programme never does get to show Feyman in Tuva; he died of abdominal cancer a few days after the recorded interview, at age 69 in February 1988. The story is interspersed with earlier recorded conversations by Feynman that add his perspectives on the nature of physics. So, this is not a travel documentary at all; rather it is another fascinating insight into the exciting personality of Richard Feynman.



Take The World From Another Point Of View with Richard Feynman


Video description:
In this video Feynman invites the viewers to think about the world from a different angle. He starts with an interesting question, "Why do we do things we do?" and then asks if there is a good reason to do these things. He proceeds with explaining that there is absolutely zero value in knowing the names of things. The only value is in knowing what they are and now how they are called. The video continues with Feynman explaining how physics is done and what it means.


The Best Mind Since Einstein: Richard Feynman


Video overview:
The Best Mind Since Einstein video discovers why Feynman was an unrivaled storyteller and explainer of science. Hear Feynman talk - not only about the meaning of existence and the impact of the atom bomb, but also flying saucers, anti-gravity machines, and why uncooked spaghetti always breaks in three pieces. The Feynman video relives the moments when Feynman revealed the cause of the Challenger disaster by dropping a rubber ring into a glass of ice water. It was a piece of showmanship that brought him more attention than anything else in his career. But Feynman insisted that awards and honors meant little. The real prize, he claimed was "the pleasure of finding things out."


Remembering Richard Feynman


Video description:
Nobel-Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman lived an extraordinary life and inspired people in many disciplines. His daughter Michelle Feynman joined Nathan Myhrvold, co-founded Intellectual Ventures, George Dyson, author and historian, and UW Physicist Steve Ellis, who knew Feynman and worked in his field of particle physics, to talk about his life and read from his newly released book of letters, 'Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track'. This event was presented with Elliott Bay Books as part the Seattle Science Lectures at Town Hall.


Murry Gell-Mann Talks About Feynman


Video description:
Murry Gell-Mann also received the Nobel Prize. He says Feynman and him collaborated, and Richard invited him to Cal-Tech. Murry says Richard helped him with some physics, particularly renormalization groups, which he (Richard) had never seen before. They worked together for a few years. Murray says he got annoyed by Feynman because Feynman spent too much time generating anecdotes about himself. As Murray says, Feynman always wanted to be different, he even didn't brush or floss his teeth! Feynman kept saying that brushing and flossing teeth and washing hands after toilet was superstition.


Richard Feynman Remembers How He Understood Inertia


Video description:
This video is a fragment from "The Pleasure of Finding Things Out" above. Richard talks about how he first learned about concept of inertia from his father when he was little.


Feynman Playing Bongos and Singing About Orange Juice


Video description:
This video fragment is taken from the "Take The World From Another Point Of View" videos above. In this video Richard Phillips Faynman is playing drums and singing about orange juice.


Feynman Compares Doing Physics to Figuring out Rules of the Chess Game


Video description:
This video is a fragment from "The Pleasure of Finding Things Out" above. Richard P. Feynman comes up with a fun analogy of how physicists are trying to understand the Nature. Imagine that Gods are playing a chess game and you don't know the rules, but you are allowed to see the game from time to time. From this game you have to figure out the rules of chess, that is analogous to discovering physical laws!


Feynman at Challenger Disaster Investigation Committee


Video description:
Richard Feynman states that the O-ring material has no resilience at 32F or 0C which was the temperature at Challenger's launch. This allowed the liquid oxygen leak from the main booster tank.


Feynman Doesn't Like Nobel Prize


Video description:
This video is a fragment from "The Pleasure of Finding Things Out" above. In this fragment Richard Feynmen is very critical of the Nobel Prize. He says he does not like honours, and he does not need it and there is no point in this prize. Feynman says that the pleasure of finding things out is everything that needs!


Rich Feynman Explains the Feeling of Confusion


Video description:
When you are thinking about something you don't understand you have a terrible, uncomfortable feeling called "confusion." It's a very difficult and unhappy business. Most of the time you are rather unhappy with this confusion, you can't penetrate this thing. The confusion is because we are some kind of apes, we are kind of stupid, trying to figure out how to put two sticks together to get banana. Feynman says he gets this feeling all the time, that he is a stupid ape trying to put two sticks together. Once in a while, however, the sticks go together and you reach banana!


What Mr. Feynman's Wife Said About Him Starting Challenger Disaster Investigation


Video description:
This is a small fragment from "The Best Mind Since Einstein" video above. Feynman's wife said: "If you are not on the commission, there will be 12 members who will figure it all out and write a report. If you are on this thing, there will be 11 guys writing the report and one guy running all over the place as a mosquito. And you probably won't find anything. But if there is something interesting, something strange about it, you'll find it and it wouldn't have been found otherwise."


Richard Feynman on Scientific Investigation


Audio description:
This is the intro to the Basic Physics lecture from the Feynman Lectures on Physics given in 1961 at Caltech. Feynman describes where we can see physics in the Nature, and scientific (mathematical) nature of physics.


Feynman on the Universe in Glass of Wine


Audio description:
A poet once said, "The Whole Universe is in a Glass of Wine". Feynman argues that it is true! If you look closely, there is the Universe in wine. There is all the physics - twisting liquid, reflections and glass, our imagination adds atoms, it evaporates depending on wind and weather.


Feynman on Symmetry in Physical Law


Audio description (+ slides):
Richard Feynman, towards the end of a Caltech lecture to undergraduates on symmetry in physical laws, discusses Nature's near-symmetry (as in parity non-conservation) and the Yomeimon in Nikko, Japan. Illustrated after the fact with still images of the Yomeimon. Of the four pillars at the front of the gate, the pillar with the inverted motif (sakakibashira) is the third from the left, as shown.


Have fun with these videos and don't forget to visit Feynman Physics Lectures website soon!


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