Monday, July 20, 2009

Feynman's Lectures on Microsoft Web Site

An article [1] of has reported that Bill Gates has bought the rights to seven lectures by the late Richard Feynman, which were filmed by the BBC in 1964 — a year before Feynman shared the Nobel Prize in Physics [with Sin'itiro Tomonaga and Julian Schwinger] — and that you can watch them for free at [2]. All we need to do is download and install a bit of software from Microsoft, which takes us a minute or two.

Feynman presented these lectures as the Messenger Lectures at Cornell University in the United States. Titles of them are
  1. The Law of Gravitation, an example of Physical Law
  2. The Relation of Mathematics to Physics
  3. The Great Conservation Principles
  4. Symmetry in Physical Law
  5. The Distinction of Past and Future
  6. Probability and Uncertainty the Quantum Mechanical Law of Nature
  7. Seeking New Laws
Under the movie we can read Feynman's words, so that non-native speakers of English who are unaccustomed to listening lectures in English can well enjoy these lectures. The Messenger Series of lectures is also available as a book [3]. In the foreword of the book, we read, to our astonishment, that Feynman delivered these lectures not from a prepared manuscript but extempore from a few notes.

  1. H. Johnston, Watch Richard Feynman’s lectures for free, blog (July 17, 2009).
  3. R. Feynman, The Character of Physical Law (Penguin, 2007).

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