## Six Easy Pieces, by Richard Feynman

I thought I'd tried reading this previously and got stuck, but in fact it is
fairly easy, although not quite on the same level as Surely, You're Joking....

The six pieces are concerned with atomic theory, "basic physics", the
relation of physics to other sciences, conservation of energy, gravity, and
quantum behaviour. Throughout, Feynman emphasises the frame of mind which we
have to be in to "do" science, making the point that sometimes we can observe
and predict how things will happen, even though we don't necessarily
understand *why* they do.

Some of the things I highlighted

- it seems that things do not depend on absolute time: an experiment
carried out at one time will not produce different results if it is later
carried out at a different time
- The ratio of the gravitational constant to the force of electrical
repulsion is a huge number, and various attempts have been made to find
formulae that use such large numbers in order to come up with a universal
equation, but none has yet been successful. One example is the ratio of the
age of the universe to the time taken for a photon to travel the length of a
proton, which has a similar ratio
- Quite a lengthy explanation of the two-slits experiment, although I
couldn't really keep switched on when the mathematical formulae appeared

**Completed : **31-Mar-2004

[nickoh]
[2004 books]
[books homepage]