Surely You Re Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character by Richard Feynman
I first read Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character when it was originally published as I was a new fan of Feynman. From that time on, I always tried to model my way of thinking after his; direct, concise, from first principles and thorough. I never had his brilliance, but it sure made physics easier to understand when adapting his style.
This book can be enjoyed by any fan of science. While some physics is described in the book, the accounts are mostly anecdotes of Feynman's experiences. Experiences that were always interesting and shed light on new ways of looking at things. Give it a whirl, and if you like it, read its sequel: What Do You Care What Other People Think? and the one after that: Tuva or Bust!: Richard Feynman's Last Journey. James Gleick wrote an excellent biography: Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman and to get a feel for what Feynman's methods and how his efforts and accomplishments in physics affected the field, Lawrence Krauss wrote an excellent account: Quantum Man: Richard Feynman's Life in Science. Of course, no physicist should be without The Feynman Lectures on Physics, excepts from which can be found in Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics By Its Most Brilliant Teacher and Six Not-So-Easy Pieces: Einstein's Relativity, Symmetry, and Space-Time. Feynman's most brilliant lectures are transcribed in The Character of Physical Law and QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter. The more advanced physicist is likely familiar with the several other lectures that have been immortalized in print.
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