The Feynman Lectures on Physics, The Most Popular Physics Book Ever Written, Now Completely Online

feynman textbook1

Image by Tamiko Thiel, via Wikimedia Commons

Last fall, we let you know that Caltech and The Feynman Lectures Website joined forces to create an online edition of The Feynman Lectures on Physics. They started with Volume 1. And now they’ve followed up with Volume 2 and Volume 3, making the collection complete.

First presented in the early 1960s at Caltech by the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman, the lectures were eventually turned into a book by Feynman, Robert B. Leighton, and Matthew Sands. The text went on to become arguably the most popular physics book ever written, selling more than 1.5 million copies in English, and getting translated into a dozen languages.

The new online edition makes The Feynman Lectures on Physics available in HTML5. The text “has been designed for ease of reading on devices of any size or shape,” and you can zoom into text, figures and equations without degradation. Dive right into the lectures here. And if you’d prefer to see Feynman (as opposed to read Feynman), we would encourage you to watch ‘The Character of Physical Law,’ Feynman’s  seven-part lecture series recorded at Cornell in 1964.

The Feynman Lectures on Physics is now listed in our collections of Free eBooks and Free Textbooks.

Photograph by Tom Harvey. Copyright © California Institute of Technology.

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‘The Character of Physical Law’: Richard Feynman’s Legendary Course Presented at Cornell, 1964

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Comments (13)
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  • Mike Shelton says:

    The more I read and listen to Feynman, the more fascinated I am of the man himself. We may never see another one like him in our lifetime. I ordered the hard cover boxed set from Amazon earlier this week, even though they are available for free online. For me, they are worth having physical copies of.

  • gluejar says:

    Note that these are free to access but prohibited to “download”. I wrote a blog post about it earlier this year:

  • swatiramesh says:

    These three books are kind of bibles who want to study physics. i almost slept with them in my young days..We will definitly not have another man like this. Mr. Feynman, YOU ARE THE MAN..

  • I was a grad student of Feynman and Bill Wagner (Coauthor of Feynman’s only book on gravity) at the time the Feynman Lectures were being given. I have spent my career trying to write sequels of FL for graduate courses I’ve taught. Difficult task, indeed! But, it’s been fun trying and I gained appreciative students. Ongoing results are free online. {} See what you think. Enjoy comments good or bad.

  • Posted some comments relative to Feynman Lectures and my own experience as his graduate student in the 60’s. These comments have disappeared.

  • Judy Moken says:

    I really would like to chat online about some physics problems that are bothering me.Will they have the books etc online free?
    Judy Moken

  • Gabriel Ferraz Rubinger says:

    Feynman também têm muitos fãs aqui no Brasil! Realmente, era uma mente brilhante e singular. Tenho a coleção dele em português; e o próximo livro de Feynman que desejo ler é o ‘QED’. ‘The Character’ já foi traduzido para o português, eu o tenho. Quanto ao QED, não sei se existe em língua portuguesa; de qualquer forma, posso lê-lo em inglês.

    TRANSLATION: Feynman also have a lot of people who like him in Brazil! He was really a brilliant mind. I have his books (the ‘Lectures’) in portuguese; and the next I want to read is ‘QED’. ‘The Character’ was already translated into portuguese language, I´ve purchased it. But I don´t know if QED is available in my language; anyway, I can read this in english.

  • jneer says:

    For those interested in continuing their learning through Feynman you may find my lecture notes posted free on line at

    The notes are transcribed from raw real time lectures lasting about 2 hours per week for 9 month a year. They cover lectures from 1966 through 1971

    While doing my undergraduate work in physics my counselor offered me the opportunity to use the FLP books in a special studies program. That hooked me on Feynman and when hired by Hughes in LA in 1966 I found him lecturing at the Hughes Labs to a small group of practicing senior scientist and engineers.
    Unfortunately the lectures we not recorded in any media. These notes a the best representation of those lectures and are cross referenced to the FLP where applicable which was in the 2nd and 3rd year of lectures. The first lecture on Cosmology and Astrophysics is unique since he never lectured on those subject at CalTech. Volume 5 is on math-physics and covers material he thought he should have started the 3 volume FLP with.

    FYI Since posting these notes last year, there have been nearly 50,000 visits and downloads from around the world and 165 countries. This interest and reaction to my posting is personally gratifying for the work involved in them and a response I know Feynman would be very pleased with.
    …and yes, he was genius, a fantastic teacher, a one of a kind, controversial, but the one who had the biggest influence on my educational development.

  • jneer says:

    See my comment and the lecture note downloads if you would like to dig deeper into the FLP subject matters and other topics: Cosmology, Astrophysics, and Math-Physics

    find them here

  • Mike Nenens says:

    I used those texts and was lucky to have a seminar with Feynman. Delighted that many more can now enjoy his clarity and insight b

  • Guido says:

    Descarga en español. Por favor

  • Asutosh says:

    Is there a free audio book available in Hindi(an Indian language) ?

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