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Watch Feynman July 16, 2009

Posted by gordonwatts in physics.

Microsoft Research just posted the Cornell Messenger Series of lectures by Feynman. He is excellent. I’d never seen him speak before this – his wry wit – many of the jokes he uses to teach seem rather too fitting given today’s world. I’ve not finished watching them yet – but they are just too good to pass up. The first lecture seems to be fairly general – he is talking about what a physical law is and what it means – so I suspect anyone interested in science would be able to get something out of these.

The site is called Project Tuva. It will require some time. 🙂 And for the places that the audio isn’t totally clear they have a transcript that runs underneath the video. Spotted on the science feed of the Register.




1. Lisa Smith - July 16, 2009

My engineering physics teacher in high school worshipped Feynman, and I remember watching some documentaries about him back in the day. Ever since then, Tuvan throat singing always makes me think of Richard Feynman, or vice-versa…

2. gordonwatts - July 17, 2009

Before I saw this I never understood the connection between Tuva and Feynman. But that is a good association. His comments right at the top of the first lecture: (paraphrasing): “Funny how when drummers introduce me they never mention I’m a theoretical physicist as well, but when a physicist introduces me they always mention I’m a drummer too”. A nice connection to have.

3. Lisa Smith - July 17, 2009

I’m not sure what all this video covers, but Feynman actually traveled to Tuva and participated in the singing rituals and technique, if I recall. So he was musical on many levels!

4. gordonwatts - July 17, 2009

These are lectures he gave, from much earlier in his life. I thought he never made it there – it was oen of the things he wanted to do when cancer took him down…

5. Lisa Smith - July 17, 2009

You’re right, my memory was warped. I think in one of the films I saw, the footage of Tuva was so interwoven with Feynman’s passionate commentary on the place that I remembered him as having been there. 🙂 (I was also struck with seeing/hearing the throat singing for the first time – it is very strange indeed.)

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