Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New Ed edition (24 Sep 1998)
Back in the early 1960s, Dick Feynman, everyone's favourite genius scientist, was persuaded to give a series of lectures to undergraduates in order to explain physics to them. This series of lectures, delivered by a great and enthusiastic communicator, was eventually published as a set of books.
This volume is not one of those volumes. Rather, it's 6 of the lectures culled from the full set. In under 140 pages (the rest is introductions, prefaces and index), it covers a range of subjects from atoms through to quantum mechanics. Yes, you heard right - the sixth lecture is an amazingly understandable introduction to one of the scariest intellectual challenges out there.
I have to declare an interest: until University, Physics was my favourite subject. If I'd thought there was a living for NatScis, I'd have studied it instead of Engineering. (Great life mistake #1, that was.) And sometime many many years ago, I read an earlier edition of this book, so I'm not unfamiliar with its content. Even so, I learnt some things from this, and I'm now beginning to cast around for a copy of the full set.
OK, I've just seen the Amazon price for The Feynman Lectures on Physics: The Definitive and Extended Edition. Methinks I'll have to resort to some burglary instead.
Shows his genius is in making things seem simple.