The character of physical law

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Like any set of oral reflections, The Character of Physical Law has special value as a demonstration of the mind in action. The reader is particularly lucky in Richard Feynman - one of the most eminent and imaginative modern physicists. In these Messenger Lectures, originally delivered at Cornell University and recorded for television by the BBC, Richard Feynman offers an overview of selected physical laws and gathers their common features into one broad principle of invariance. He maintains at the outset that the importance of a physical law is not ''how clever we are to have found it out - but . . . how clever nature is to pay attention to it'' and steers his discussions toward a final exposition of the elegance and simplicity of all scientific laws. Rather than an essay on the most significant achievements in modern science, The Character of Physical Law is a statement of what is most remarkable in nature. Feynman's enlightened approach, his wit, and his enthusiasm make this a memorable exposition of the scientist's craft. The law of gravitation is the author's principal example. Relating the details of its discovery and stressing its mathematical character, he uses it to demonstrate the essential interaction of mathematics and physics. He views mathematics as the key to any system of scientific laws, suggesting that if it were possible to fill out the structure of scientific theory completely, the result would be an integrated set of mathematical axioms. The principles of conservation, symmetry, and time irreversibility are then considered in relation to developments in classical and modern physics, and in his final lecture, Feynman develops his own analysis of the process and future of scientific discovery.
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9780679601272
9781481573207
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Grouped Work ID 39ad5751-8d83-62b7-3358-40f9fabbb4f2
full_title character of physical law
author feynman richard p
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-01-17 03:58:54AM

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auth_author2 Runnette, Sean.
author Feynman, Richard P. (Richard Phillips), 1918-1988.
author-letter Feynman, Richard P.
author2 Runnette, Sean., hoopla digital.
author2-role Runnette, Sean.|Narrator, hoopla digital.
author_additional Richard Feynman ; introduction by James Gleick.
author_display Feynman, Richard P
availability_toggle_boulder Available Now, Available Online, Entire Collection
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callnumber-first Q - Science
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date_added 2014-01-02T07:00:00Z
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detailed_location_boulder Boulder Main Adult NonFiction, Online Hoopla Collection
display_description In these Messenger Lectures, originally delivered at Cornell University and recorded for television by the BBC, Richard Feynman offers an overview of selected physical laws and gathers their common features into one broad principle of invariance. He maintains at the outset that the importance of a physical law is not "how clever we are to have found it out but...how clever nature is to pay attention to it" and steers his discussions toward a final exposition of the elegance and simplicity of all scientific laws. Rather than an essay on the most significant achievements in modern science, The Character of Physical Law is a statement of what is most remarkable in nature. Feynman's enlightened approach, his wit, and his enthusiasm make this a memorable exposition of the scientist's craft. The law of gravitation is the author's principal example. Relating the details of its discovery and stressing its mathematical character, he uses it to demonstrate the essential interaction of mathematics and physics. He views mathematics as the key to any system of scientific laws, suggesting that if it were possible to fill out the structure of scientific theory completely, the result would be an integrated set of mathematical axioms. The principles of conservation, symmetry, and time irreversibility are then considered in relation to developments in classical and modern physics, and in his final lecture, Feynman develops his own analysis of the process and future of scientific discovery. Like any set of oral reflections, The Character of Physical Law has special value as a demonstration of the mind in action. The reader is particularly lucky in Richard Feynman-one of the most eminent and imaginative modern physicists.
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edition Modern Library edition., Unabridged.
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id 39ad5751-8d83-62b7-3358-40f9fabbb4f2
isbn 9780679601272, 9781481573207
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physical 1 online resource (1 audio file (5hr., 58 min.)) : digital., xx, 167 pages : illustrations ; 19 cm.
popularity 4
primary_isbn 9780679601272
publishDate 1994, 2013
publishDateSort 1994
publisher Blackstone Audio, Inc. :, Made available through hoopla,, Modern Library,
rating 2.5
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subject_facet Physics
table_of_contents The law of gravitation, an example of physical law -- The relation of mathematics to physics -- The great conservation principles -- Symmetry in physical law -- The distinction of past and future -- Probability and uncertainty: the quantum mechanical view of nature -- Seeking new laws.
target_audience Adult
target_audience_full Adult
title The character of physical law
title_display The character of physical law
title_full The character of physical law / Richard Feynman ; introduction by James Gleick, The character of physical law [electronic resource]
title_short The character of physical law
title_sort character of physical law
topic Physics
topic_facet Physics