Environment & Science

Caltech makes Richard Feynman's physics lectures available online for free

Richard Feynman (center) and Robert Oppenheimer (right of Feynman) at Los Alamos National Laboratory during the Manhattan Project.
Richard Feynman (center) and Robert Oppenheimer (right of Feynman) at Los Alamos National Laboratory during the Manhattan Project.
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Richard Feynman (center) and Robert Oppenheimer (right of Feynman) at Los Alamos National Laboratory during the Manhattan Project.
American Nobel prize winner for Physics Richard Feynman (1918-1988) on Dec. 10, 1965 dancing with his wife at the Nobel Ball in Stockholm, Sweden.
Keystone/Getty Images
Richard Feynman (center) and Robert Oppenheimer (right of Feynman) at Los Alamos National Laboratory during the Manhattan Project.
A group of Nobel prize winners on Dec. 13, 1965 after the presentation ceremony in Stockholm, (from left) Professor R B Woodward who won the prize for chemistry, Professor Julian Schwinger and Professor Richard Feynman, the winners of the prize for physics, Professor Francois Jacob, Professor Andre Lwoff and Jacques Monod, the winners of the prize for medicine and the author Mikhail Sholokhov, the winner of the prize for literature.
Keystone/Getty Images


Richard Feynman was one of the most influential physicists of all time, working on everything from the Manhattan Project to looking into the Challenger disaster, and he taught right here in Southern California at Caltech. Some of those lectures became essential reading in the three-volume "The Feynman Lectures." Now, Caltech has made all three volumes available to read online on a beautiful new website.

The new site took some time to develop, with volume one going up previously before the collection was completed this year. They offer updated versions of the lectures, originally presented at Caltech in the 1960s, with the website designed to be mobile friendly.

If you want to enjoy some of the material covered in those books on video, watch Feynman deliver the first of a series of seven lectures at Cornell below in a series recorded by the BBC, in addition to several other Feynman lectures on the same YouTube playlist.

Feynman lecture

Also, you can watch the lectures with captions, additional notes, search capabilities and more thanks to Microsoft's Project Tuva.

Listen to a reading of Feynman's 1974 Caltech commencement address, "Cargo Cult Science":

Cargo Cult Science

If you want a chance to learn more about Feynman with less of the science, you can read some of his books aimed at a popular audience that are filled with biography and amusing anecdotes like 1985's "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman."

(Hat tip: Metafilter)