For years, I’ve wanted to read Richard Feynman’s Six Easy Pieces, the beginning of his famous lectures on physics at MIT. It looked like such a great review of the high school science I didn’t pay attention to at the time, and I’d heard so much about what a great teacher Feynman was.
Now that I have, I’m disappointed. Feynman’s teaching is good, but hardly legendary. He throws in a few good quips and analogies; clearly, he wants to be accessible, but his presentation still feels typical. Maybe it was more refreshing at the time.
But half a century after these lectures were given, I can’t recommend them as the introduction they’re meant to be.
In the first chapter, Feynman complains that his illustrations of atomic particles must be restricted to two-dimensional drawings. So I went on YouTube and found the video below, including the series that follows it (in fact, the whole “Best of Science” channel is excellent—there’s a great source for some basic science intros).