Feynman Lectures, Chapter 2


Tries to give the ultimate top down view of physics, as of 1960. Thankfully it’s not The Road to Reality.

Philosophy

I dunno if the contempt towards philosophers is justified. We’ll see if metamathematics’ work in theorem proving leads anywhere. stay posted.

The goal: generating set of all physics. Basically describe the fundamental forces and particles.

Electromagnetism

He uses a comb analogy to explain the electric field. I still don’t get it.

Why is magnetism only an issue at lower speeds? He says the force drops off more slowly than inverse square Why?

Quantum Physics

Particles seem to become probability distributions. Weirdly fine by me. Heisenberg uncertainty principle explains why electrons don’t fall into the nucleus. Low frequency ~ wave and as you go higher, you get more particle-like. This is an impressive achievement.

Nuclei and Particles

What a mess this is. I have no idea how many particles there are, I zoned out. The bit about neutrinos is now known to be untrue, they don’t have 0 mass. There’s also 3 kinds, not 2.

Conclusion

This then, is the horrible condition of our physics today.

I sympathize.

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