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Feynman Lectures

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ilikebooks
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Feynman Lectures

Post by ilikebooks » Tue May 19, 2015 9:40 am

So, I'm bored in Personal Finance and was wondering what part of the Feynman lectures I should read for Quizbowl. As some know the lectures are separated into volumes and the volumes into chapters, and from what I know Feynman is pretty good at "dumbing things down," for the everyday guy that knows very little physics. From this I figure it could help us convert a physics bonus or something... For once...

Anyways, I would ask Dennis, but Physics =/= Music

Link for reference: http://www.feynmanlectures.caltech.edu

Edit: the teacher in Dennis reigned true so I might just read all of it, but any other suggestions on certain sections are welcome seeing as well... what's a physics?

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Jeffrey Hill
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Re: Feynman Lectures

Post by Jeffrey Hill » Tue May 19, 2015 6:20 pm

It's been over 6 years since I took a physics class, so my science knowledge that isn't computer-related has significantly degraded since then. Physics was also never a particularly strong quizbowl subject for me. You'd probably get better advice from someone else, but just in case you don't, I'll see what I can do with my stale knowledge.

While a lot more will be asked about in some way, from skimming the table of contents, here is a non-exhaustive list of a few chapters that sound like they would contain things that come up in quizbowl:
Volume I: Chapters 7, 10, 12, 39, 44
Volume II: Chapters 1, 18, 22, 34, 38, 41

I have no idea how useful those chapters will be, if they will require previous knowledge to be understandable, etc. It's possible you might have to read a lot of it for later chapters to make sense. I suppose if you decide to read all of it, as you go along, it might not hurt to search for key terms on something like Quinterest to get an idea of how often they have come up in the past (i.e. if it comes up a lot, it would probably be worth looking at the relevant chapter more carefully to make sure you remember it).

Hopefully this helps, or at least prompts someone else to come along and provide better advice.

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Mickey0R0urke
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Re: Feynman Lectures

Post by Mickey0R0urke » Tue May 19, 2015 6:34 pm

You could also try listening to the series on Youtube, Joe. Watch it here.

ilikebooks
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Re: Feynman Lectures

Post by ilikebooks » Tue May 19, 2015 6:48 pm

Jeffrey Hill wrote:It's been over 6 years since I took a physics class, so my science knowledge that isn't computer-related has significantly degraded since then. Physics was also never a particularly strong quizbowl subject for me. You'd probably get better advice from someone else, but just in case you don't, I'll see what I can do with my stale knowledge.

While a lot more will be asked about in some way, from skimming the table of contents, here is a non-exhaustive list of a few chapters that sound like they would contain things that come up in quizbowl:
Volume I: Chapters 7, 10, 12, 39, 44
Volume II: Chapters 1, 18, 22, 34, 38, 41

I have no idea how useful those chapters will be, if they will require previous knowledge to be understandable, etc. It's possible you might have to read a lot of it for later chapters to make sense. I suppose if you decide to read all of it, as you go along, it might not hurt to search for key terms on something like Quinterest to get an idea of how often they have come up in the past (i.e. if it comes up a lot, it would probably be worth looking at the relevant chapter more carefully to make sure you remember it).

Hopefully this helps, or at least prompts someone else to come along and provide better advice.
Mickey0R0urke wrote:You could also try listening to the series on Youtube, Joe. Watch it here.
Thanks to both of you. Especially Jeffrey for taking the time to skim everything, because honestly I have no clue what I'm looking at either. Those chapters may give me a half fighting chance to say something intelligible at nationals. Also Jacob I'm doing one a day on those lectures, my head hurt after the full first one and I just went back to reading Silas Marner afterwords.

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dwd50
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Re: Feynman Lectures

Post by dwd50 » Tue May 19, 2015 8:22 pm

I'm doing one a day on those lectures, my head hurt after the full first one and I just went back to reading Silas Marner afterwords.
Science (and in this case Science + Math) has a huge language barrier. Once you understand the structure of the terminology and the basic underlying principles, you can start to make sense of that world.

Only area that (I think) comes close to having the same language problem is Music. Music tossups can be written in such a way that someone unfamiliar with some Theory would swear that it wasn't in English. (I have my own problems with lead-ins like "rising triplet figures that reach a crescendo at measure 43." (Cool, that's possibly 300 different works.))

Anyway...

I would say starting at the very beginning - a la Homer Simpson and "Marketing" would be a big help. Again, there's no end to helpful guides in the wonderful world of YouTube, (or books, 'cause you like those. I'll take the movie version every time, but that's just me.)

After some quick Google-fu, it seems that among Physics fans (who knew?), Feynman's Lectures are considered very good at explaining things to a slightly more knowledgeable crowd, but also not considered good introductory texts. Think "not the shallow end of the pool, but not the deep part. The spot where you're still able to stand up, but only by your tiptoes." Something like "Basic Physics: A Self-Teaching Guide" by Karl F. Kuhn, or "Physics Demystified: A Self-Teaching Guide" by Stan Gibilisco are considered good beginner texts. I looked for free copies and found bupkus. Going to check Half.com soon.

Or, alternatively, get to kicking the butt of your science player (or your math concepts player) and see that they learn some of this. I never "got" math until I took Physics my Senior year. This is why you have teammates.

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scphilli
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Re: Feynman Lectures

Post by scphilli » Tue May 19, 2015 9:29 pm


ilikebooks
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Re: Feynman Lectures

Post by ilikebooks » Tue May 19, 2015 9:49 pm

dwd50 wrote:Or, alternatively, get to kicking the butt of your science player (or your math concepts player) and see that they learn some of this. I never "got" math until I took Physics my Senior year. This is why you have teammates.
See now don't tell Dew, but this now this is the desired effect. I beat him to a few science tossups, get him shaking in his boots and he finally stops playing video games and watches a Feynman lecture himself. Well and along the way I learn something so I can be helpful at something else, and beat people in the HS Quizbowl Protobowl lobby to something other than lit.

I also enjoyed the Simpson reference(s).

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dwd50
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Re: Feynman Lectures

Post by dwd50 » Wed May 20, 2015 6:20 am

Speaking as someone who's been through a broken engagement for a not-dissimilar sort of reason - talking to said person(s) rather than trying to motivate them obliquely/calling them out in a public forum is usually a better way to go.

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