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Krishna Sundarram

Six Easy Pieces

/ 2 min read

Feynman gave a series of lectures to first year students in the 1960s and the ones in this book are the 6 easiest topics. I was already familiar with these because I elected to study physics in school, so what I really after was understanding what made Feynman such a good teacher. After all, I had been taught the same matter by different teachers, some of whom taught in the conventional way, one of whom was heavily inspired by Feynman (shoutout to Prof Raavi!) and had also read 2-3 different texts on my own. So I hoped that I’d be able to contrast their approach to Feynman’s and see if I could learn the techniques that made Feynman such a great teacher.

Sadly, I couldn’t. I know nothing more about teaching than I did before I started reading this (I didn’t know much to begin with). That’s not to say I got nothing out of it. I have a better intuitive grasp of escape velocity (should come in handy if I ever play Kerbal Space Program) and I finally understand the significance of the double slit experiment and the Uncertainty Principle. Its a fun read, even if you’re already familiar with the matter.

I still think its possible to become a great teacher by reading all the lectures repeatedly. Someday, I might look into that.

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