By Richard P. Feynman
This is undoubtably the best Physics book
ever written. The book is written in language that anybody can understand, explaining the six basic subjects in Physics: Atom
s, Basic physics, ther relationship of physics to other topics, energy
, and quantum force. To somebody that has very little background in physics, this seems insanely complicated for a book that uses no math
more complicated than carefully explained algebra
(certainly nothing more than a high school
freshman would have learned.)
There is a great story in the introduction that really shows the level of explanation in the book and Feynman's approach to explaining physics:
Feynman was once asked by a Caltech faculty member to explain why spin-1/2 particles obey Fermi-Dirac statistics. He replied "I'll prepare a freshman lecture on it." But a few days later he returned and said "You know, I couldn't do it. I couldn't reduce it to a freshman level. That means we really don't understand it."
Basically, this theory of teaching underlies the entire book. Don't think, however, that this simplcity is used at the expense of clarity, rigor, or treatment of complex issues.
Overall, this book is amazing in scope and readablity, and I would suggest it to everyone, regardless of whether they have a PhD in physics or never took a math or science class after high school.