Feynman Simplified 1A Cover

Guide to the Cosmos
Making the Wonders of our Universe

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Robert L. Piccioni, Ph.D.

Feynman Lectures Simplified

Feynman Simplified
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1A: Basics of Physics & Newton's Laws

Feynman Simplified 1A covers about the first quarter of the freshman course of The Feynman Lectures on Physics. The topics we explore include:
  • What is science
  • Basics of Physics
  • Conservation of Energy
  • Motion
  • Newton's Laws
  • Work
  • Potential Energy



Quantum Electrodynamics (QED) is our most advanced model of electromagnetism, incorporating all the discoveries of special relativity and quantum mechanics. QED says that the force between two charged particles is caused by their exchange of photons, as sketched below:

Feynman Diagram
Figure 2-1 Electrons Exchanging a Photon

Figure 2-1 is a schematic representation of two electrons repelling one another through the electromagnetic force. The time axis is vertical: time increases from the bottom to the top. The horizontal axis represents the distance between the electrons. Neither axis is intended to be quantitative; only the sequence of events is important. As the electrons (e–) approach one another, the left electron emits a photon (a particle of light) that is subsequently absorbed by the right electron. QED posits the photon transfers energy and momentum from one particle to the other, which results, in this case, in a repulsive force.

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