In July 2009, Microsoft Research released Project Tuva, based on the famed Messenger Lectures presented at Cornell University in 1964 by the late Richard Feynman, an American physicist and California Institute of Technology (Caltech) professor who shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965 for his contributions to the development of quantum electrodynamics. Bill Gates, Microsoft chairman, made the lectures freely available to the public to encourage people to learn about science via a Silverlight-enhanced video player that presents the original, BBC-recorded videos of the seven physics lectures. The videos are searchable and include linked transcripts, notes, and interactive extras, originally including academic commentary on the first of the lectures.
Now commentary on all seven lectures has been added by Robert Jaffe, Jane and Otto Morningstar Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Jaffe first met Feynman early in his academic career.
I would encourage anyone interested in maths, physics or engineering to watch The Character of Physical Law, Feynman’s seven-part lecture series recorded at Cornell in 1964. The BBC recorded the seven lectures as part of the Messenger Lectures series.
The lectures covered the following topics:
- The law of gravitation, an example of physical law
- The relation of mathematics and physics
- The great conservation principles
- Symmetry in physical law
- The distinction of past and future
- Probability and uncertainty - the quantum mechanical view of nature
- Seeking new laws