The Very Best of the Feynman Lectures

Title: The Very Best of the Feynman Lectures
Speaker: Richard P. Feynman
ISBN: 0465099009
Format: Audio CDs
Rating: 4/5

Jesse got me these CDs for Christmas and I finished up listening to them last week. I ripped the six Audio CDs to a single MP3 CD that I could listen in my car without having to change disks. The audio quality isn’t great — it’s pretty crackly and hollow sounding — but it’s clear enough. This poor sound quality is one of the main reasons for not rating it higher.

I found the content of the lectures to be very interesting. They cover: The Theory of Gravitation, Curved Space, Electromagnetism, Probability, The relation of Wave and Particle Viewpoints, and The Schrödinger Equation in a Classical Context.

The best part of listening to these lectures is how it brought me back to the days in college when I would sit outside of classrooms with their doors open and just listen. It was a great way to pass the time waiting for a class to start, and I was able to learn a lot (even if I didn’t understand everything).

I was surprised to find that Feynman sounds a bit like Ray Romano, especially in the 1961 recordings. Like Romano, Feynman is very funny, but in a nerdy sort of way. Dr. Matthew Sands presents the section on Probability which I found quite enjoyable and educational.

The math was a bit hard for me grasp because it’s been a long time since I took calculus and I couldn’t see what was being written on the blackboard. I don’t think I would recommend these CDs for someone who hasn’t taken (and isn’t planning on taking) university level physics and math. Of course, if you want to get it for yourself, don’t let me stop you.