Saturday, April 29, 2006

Six Easy Pieces

So earlier today while browsing some bands on myspace, I ran into an Austin band with the most peculiar name, Six Easy Pieces.

It just so happens that Six Easy Pieces is also a title to one of my favorite books that I’ve owned since my junior year in high school. It is a condensed collection containing the six easiest chapters from Dr. Feynman’s landmark work, Lectures on Physics. These six easy pieces include atoms in motion, basic physics, the relation of physics to other sciences, conservation of energy, the theory of gravitation, and quantum behavior.

He also has a book out that I purchased my senior year in high school, Six Not So Easy Pieces, dealing with vectors, symmetry in physical laws, the special theory of relativity, relativistic energy and momentum, space-time, and curved space. I can’t tell you how handy this book was during college engineering physics.

Dr. Richard Feynman was that rare scientist who excelled in his field and loved to teach others about what he knew. The thing that distinguishes Dr. Feynman from other physics teachers is his incredible ability to simplify complex and seemingly unintuitive physical phenomena and make them a little more understandable.

Dr. Feynman died in 1988, but his works made such a huge impact on me when I first read them. I was so pumped-up and just plain enthusiastic about physics, especially in high school… oh how I wished I could have attended one of his lectures. Hell, I still do wish I could have!

Anyway, I’m finished with my little tangent that all started with an Austin band’s name that brought back some wonderful memories.

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