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The Pleasure of Finding Things Out

The Pleasure of Finding Things OutBy Richard Feynman
Review by Ropita (Maths and Computer Science)

Although I don’t study physics now, this book is one that completely encapsulates a common pleasure amongst most science students. Capturing a nice balance between light-hearted anecdotes and complicated mathematical concepts, Feynman’s book is an easy read for free time between work, and absolutely achieves what its title sets out to do – remind the reader of the pleasure of finding things out. He allows the reader to indulge their curiosity, without delving too deeply in higher level physical concepts. His descriptions of any concepts he covers are poetic and accessible. He asks the reader questions they may not have considered before – how do you envision the passage of seconds if asked to estimate a minute, say? – and invites the reader to think about problems in maths in a way that may not be familiar to a student at Sixth Form, but is commonplace for someone studying a degree in a science.

The book never really feels like a fact-heavy textbook. His writing approach is friendly and warming. The reader learns a bit about his own life, especially Feynman’s part in the Manhattan project, and he outlines some of his own key discoveries in nuclear physics elegantly. I highly recommend this book for anybody who thinks they would like to do a science degree, not necessarily because the factual information will be much use, but because when you are stressing out during revision, hopefully you – like me – will be reminded of why you love what you do, why you ask the questions, and why you then demand answers. This book really sticks true to its title for me.

The Pleasure of Finding Things Out by Richard Feynman
ISBN-10: 0465023959
ISBN-13: 9780465023950

Try checking the availability of this book at your school or local library or explore second hand bookshops and websites. You may also wish to purchase from either Amazon or Blackwell’s.

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