Who Should Read This Book
This particular book is based on three lectures that Richard Feynman gave on the topic of Quantum Electrodynamics (QED), the Strange Theory of Light and Matter, which won him the Nobel prize for physics in 1965 along with two colleagues Julian Schwinger and Shin’ichirō Tomonaga.
Quantum mechanics is a fascinating, yet highly unintuitive, topic and it takes the unique pedagogical skills, that Feynman is most famous for, to popularize it.
The subject of quantum mechanics is not highly relevant in our everyday activities but it has gained wide interest because of the magnificent strides that were made in the last couple of years by Quantum Computing machines.
Some of these machines are now commercialised and can perform optimization problems called Quantum Annealing.
The book is divided into 4 chapters:
- Chapter 1: Introduction
- Chapter 2: Photons – Particles of Light
- Chapter 3: Electrons and Their Interactions
- Chapter 4: Loose Ends
In the first chapter of the book, the author provides an introduction to the physics of light. Most interestingly, he gives an in-depth analysis of the nature of the theory of Quantum Mechanics, a highly controversial topic even today.
He also discusses in chapter one the tools, mathematical and otherwise, as well as a few physics concepts such as the nature of light and reflection, that will be very useful for understanding how QED works.
The second part of the book talks exclusively about light, its nature, properties, and behaviour under various conditions. Richard Feynman brilliantly describes the reflection of light in a mirror, the double split experiment, and how to explain and predict the behaviour of photons in these experiments and others.
The third part of the book is the most “magical”. This is where the author addresses the bizarre nature of the photon-electron interactions.
In the fourth and final chapter, Feynman moves on to talk about two topics. the first topic is about what’s missing in the theory of QED. The second topic is all about quarks, neutrinos, gluons, and other elementary particles of the subatomic world and the strange methods scientists use to calculate and explain their interactions.
20 x 13 x 0.5 cm
Richard Phillips Feynman (/ˈfaɪnmən/; May 11, 1918 – February 15, 1988) was an American theoretical physicist, known for his work in the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics, the physics of the superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium, as well as his work in particle physics for which he proposed the parton model. For contributions to the development of quantum electrodynamics, Feynman received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965 jointly with Julian Schwinger and Shin’ichirō Tomonaga.
- Feynman, Richard P. (1942). Laurie M. Brown (ed.). The Principle of Least Action in Quantum Mechanics. PhD Dissertation, Princeton University. World Scientific (with title “Feynman’s Thesis: a New Approach to Quantum Theory”) (published 2005). ISBN 978-981-256-380-4.
- Wheeler, John A.; Feynman, Richard P. (1945). “Interaction with the Absorber as the Mechanism of Radiation”. Reviews of Modern Physics.
- Feynman, Richard P. (1948). “Space-time approach to non-relativistic quantum mechanics”. Reviews of Modern Physics
- Feynman, Richard P. (1949). “Space-Time Approach to Quantum Electrodynamic”. Physical Review.
- Feynman, Richard P. (1950). “Mathematical formulation of the quantum theory of electromagnetic interaction”. Physical Review.
- Feynman, Richard P. (1959). “Plenty of Room at the Bottom”. Presentation to American Physical Society. Archived from the original on February 11, 2010.
- Feynman, Richard P. (1968) . “What is Science?” (PDF). The Physics Teacher.
- Feynman, Richard P. (1966). “The Development of the Space-Time View of Quantum Electrodynamics”.
- Feynman, Richard P. (1974a). “Structure of the proton”.
- Feynman, Richard P. (2000). Laurie M. Brown (ed.). Selected Papers of Richard Feynman: With Commentary.