Free: Richard Feynman’s Physics Course from Cornell (1964)

We’re beaming you back to 1964. Richard Feynman, our favorite Bongo-playing, Nobel Prize-winning physicist, reduces science to the barest essentials, to its most fundamental truth. If a theory doesn’t square with experiment, it’s wrong. That holds true for clever theories, elegant theories, and all of the rest.

This clip is just a small outtake from a seven-part lecture series that Feyman presented at Cornell in 1964, and the lectures are all now freely available on the web thanks to Bill Gates. You can watch the full series on our site, or on a Miscrosoft site, but be warned: if you choose the latter, you’ll need to download Microsoft’s Silverlight software to watch the lectures.

For more free physics lessons, don’t miss our collection of Free Online Physics Courses, part of our larger collection, 1,700 Free Online Courses from Top Universities.

Feynman fans will also want to see this other open project: The Feynman Lectures on Physics, The Most Popular Physics Book Ever Written, Now Completely Online.

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Comments (14)
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  • Plonimus says:

    I get the impression that Richard Feynman never seriously studied the philosophy of science. He is quoted as saying: “Philosophy of science is about as useful to scientists as ornithology is to birds.”

    A little disappointing from such a smart man.

    • John S Wilkins says:

      Of course, the inverse applies. Physicists know about as much about the philosophy of physics as birds do about ornithology…

      • loganspappy says:

        Physics became the foundation of all real-world philosophies by a simple philosophy of observation and Occam’s razor, throwing all other philosophies out of physics, beginning with Brahe, Kepler, and Galilieo, who are the giants upon whom Newton stood. Orinthology is an uncompressed, non-Occam’s razor view of the compressed DNA programming of birds and what the birds need to know and experience. The uncompressed view is what people need in order to understand birds. Likewise, philosophy is the expanded view of what physics has achieved. There are also philosophies of how to approach advancing the knowledge of physics, which Feynman discusses in these lectures, but they are not really considered a branch of philosophy. Philosophy these days is mainly just picking up the crumbs from the physics table. Like psychology of the 1900’s, philosophy is still all about who can be the most entertaining and prolific writer.

    • daryl says:

      Philosophy is fantastically captivating and useful as a vehicle for studying the history of our understanding. As a vehicle for advancements of our understanding, however, it is exhausted; it holds no further potential in this regard. The method of philosophy (ruminating) has been gradually displaced by the method of science. No doubt remains that the only way to learn about the nature is through interrogating the nature; in every area of inquiry. This includes the long “resisting” domains of consciousness, morality and art. That’s what modern scientists mean by these comments. Feynman was one of the first ones to say this publicly.

  • penguin says:

    did you guys see this video of bill gates discussing philanthropy, commerce and citizenship with his dad?

  • If Mr. Gates is helping in science project regarding computer then it will be great for students who will learn under them.

  • Leslie says:

    i want to watch all series, but do i have to download Microsoft’s Silverlight software to watch them? I don’t like getting extra software on my pc. I was just going to convert flv to avi , will i need this Silverlight software in this case?

  • Avi Player says:

    I think it’d be a good thing if bill Gates helped in science project relevant to computer technology, It’d be great for studying.

  • Vendy says:

    the lectures are raelly interesting for me..

  • Alane Jewel says:

    Feyman was brilliant. @leslie maybe try to watch all the series. I am the same way, I hate extra software, usually I stick to RealPlayer lately for my media player

  • Jim Stuttard says:

    Leslie asked about Silverlight. I was pleased to here Gates was publishing these and then discovered you can only watch them cos Gates and Balmer have turned them into a cheap marketing lockin. Cornell is complicit in locking up publicly-funded info and should insist that these are made available in an open source format.

  • Jim Stuttard says:

    /watch them/watch them with Silverlight

  • vaskojoao says:

    Mr Gates does a great deal of charity to gives us this lectures… if you download the f#$&/( silverlight. Come on, were not stupid.

  • aa says:

    how ignorant…

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