The book ‘Six Easy Pieces’ was written by Richard Feynman and it was published in 1994. Feynman was a well known college profesor at the time of the books release. He had a focus on teaching physics which made this book very easy to believe. Throughout the book, he goes into a range of physics topics which are very important to understand everyday life. Even thought the topics do connect to each other, they are very unique.
Piece 1: During the first piece, Feynman explains the smallest particle on the earth which is the atom, mainly the atomic theory. He describes the analogy of water that can also be explained as the process it follows the moments it begins to boil. He explains all of the parts of water and how they change as it goes threw different phase changes and the complexity of its movement. He uses pictures to show these changes. He then describes organic latter and the different parts of molecules that make it up.
Piece 2: During the second piece, the author tries to focus on explaining basic physics. In it, the author uses a visual representation to show the physical nature of everyday life. The first picture has a beach with someone jogging along it. Feynman then starts to compare the picture to a visual game played by a pair of Gods. He then explains that when people don’t know how to play but they watch for a long period of time, they may learn some of the rules. However, people may never be able to understand why some moves are made. This is an example of how physics works in some aspects. The author then continues to explain that based on the new research and ideas that keep coming out, scientists will be able to evolve their scientific discoveries which means that not any idea is concrete for the end of time because at any point it can be changed. Feynman also dives into how physics was observed during the 1920s. After this, he continues to explain particles, quantum physics and nuclei. He also explains the chart that was used at the time that consisted of the particles that they knew of, which could be similar to the periodic table.
Piece 3: During this piece, Feynman discusses that physics relates to all of the different types of sciences that scientists are aware of. Physics is in every aspect of life and it can be found in about every type of science that has been discovered. He continues to explain how physics can be such a broad topic that there is parts of it incorporated into everyday life and science subjects in school. The aspect of physics being essentially everywhere isn’t really thought of until someone decides to look closer into it.
Piece 4: During this piece, the author discusses the subject of conservation of energy. Feynman uses a very easy to understand analogy to make it as clear as he possibly can for the readers. He uses a child with 28 building blocks that won’t be able to be broken and which are sturdy to compare it to the conservation of energy. Therefore the child won’t be able to ever break any of the blocks and he’ll always have 28. If the child was ever to get locked ins a room, when he gets out, he should still have all 28. When released, the child is discovered to only have 27. Its then discovered that while he was in the room, he threw out one block out of the window and then he was returned his missing block. He was later on locked in the room again, but mysteriously he came out with 30 blocks this time. On this occasion, he had a friend that left two of his blocks in his room before leaving and are later on returned to the friend. The third time the boy has 25 blocks when leaving the room. When looking it’s observed that the tub’s water is elevated and you can assume that the 3 blocks clogged it. When he has all of his 28 blocks by his side, the water is measured. Then when one block is inside the bathtub it’s measured again. Through this simulation he tries to show that energy can come and leave in many different ways. If we can determine when energy is in its original state and when it takes a new form, it’ll always end going back to a constant.
Piece 5: During this part of the book, Feynman explains the theory of gravitation. He starts off by discussing the gravity force equation. He then goes on to discuss Kepler’s laws going into detail about it’s orbit and compares it to the motion of a bullet that is shot out of a gun. Afterwards he starts the lecture of horizontal movement and proved that it’s completely independent from vertical motion. At last, he goes over Einstein’s theory of gravity and how light is manageable and bent over in large objects located in outer space.
Piece 6: During the last part of the book, he goes over all quantum matter. This goes onto explain how objects and particles interact in the microscopic level. He goes to do experiments involving bullets, waves and electrons. With that, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle is connected to the experiment performed and also discusses how it conects to a large part of the universe as well. He wrote this to help the reader understand quantum behavior better.
This book was very easy to understand. The way in which Feynman tries to explain his arguments by incorporating many different settings that occur in daily life made it easy to understand what he was trying to explain. Another interesting fact that I had never noticed was the fact that physics was incorporated into most of the sciences. Now that I read this book and I learned this fact, I can actually picture physics in many different ways in the past science classes I’ve had. After this book, I can now say that I am more aware of how I interact with physics in my everyday life.