Welcome to the reviewing page of the physics website. Here you'll find the book reviews written by the students on the A-Level Physics course.

Book Review:
Six Easy Pieces, by R.P. Feynman

I chose to read this book because the reviews quoted on the front and back covers suggested it was something of an idiots guide to physics. However, if this is the book's purpose I think Mr Feynman's idea of an idiot is slightly more advanced than mine.

The book was very well written and tried hard to explain complex theories. In fact, in several places the author seemed to be trying too hard to explain some fairly simple points which served only to make them more complicated than they really are. For example I felt Feynman's explanations of evaporation and dissolving in chapter one were a little too wordy and the vocabulary not always suitable in a book which aimed to "introduce the essentials of physics to the general reader".

However, as someone studying physics, I did find several of Feynman's explanations helpful and the book was informative. For example the fourth chapter, about the conservation of energy, and the fifth about quantum behaviour both helped clarify a few points in my mind. I therefore did not feel I was completely banging my head against a brick wall every time I turned the page.

Mr Feynman was obviously very enthusiastic about his subject which, along with the length of the book, make it a beneficial read for any physics student. I would therefore recommend it to people studying physics who need a few of the basic theories explained to them at length, however I would not recommend it to a member of the general public with only a sideline interest in the subject as the author does have a tendency to go over the top.


Reviewed by Katriona Jones - 1998

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