Feynman Trilogy

Six Easy Pieces, by Richard Feynman ★★★★
This, and the subsequent two books, are actually not a trilogy, though they seem to go together, in providing a layman’s read for modern physics. Feynman has written a number of other popular-read books. In this book, Feynman, the noted Nobel-prize-winning American physicist, includes six lectures that he gave at Caltech to explain fundamental physics to non-scientific types. While these lectures are very rudimentary, they exhibit the sheer brilliance of Feynman, who has the ability to make those principles that one strained over in college physics seem quite simple. This book is a fun read for both the scientifically literate, and those who are otherwise.

Six Not So Easy pieces, by Richard Feynman ★★★★
Obviously, this is a continuation of the book reviewed above. This time, Feynman attempts the nobler task of explaining Einsteinian physics to laymen. He mostly succeeds, and is even able to offer a rationale behind such formula as E=mc2. There are some formulae that he fears not tackle how they were derived, such as the Lorenz transformation. This book is a natural continuation of his previous text, and fun read.

QED, by Richard Feynman ★★★★
QED is what made Feynman a Nobel prize winner, in that he was able to tackle one of the dilemmas of quantum mechanics, that of applying quantum mechanics to electricity, etc., thus quantum electrodynamics. Feynman makes one thing perfectly clear, and that is that ultimately, he has no clue as to really understanding the nature of quantum physics. Quantum physics doesn’t make sense, but it seems to give the correct numbers to most, but not all, calculations. It provides only a model, and as we learn more, even more confusing data seems to grab our interest, such as all the new atomic particles that continue to be discovered. Feynman diagrams provide a rough visual experience as to how photons and electrons interact, though it also demands such explanations like time going backward. I won’t hold my breath too much on the next installment of physics explanations. This was a fun though somewhat bizarre book to read, and, together with the other two books above, helps a non-physicist see where we’re at in the grand world of physics.