I am from Spain and my english language is not very good, it´s bad, with many mistakes as you can see, I apologize for it.
It has been a great, great surprise for me to find this web site dedicated completely to Feynman lectures, completely…, incredible, thank you very much.
I have studied Physics and studying Physics as any other thing, may be very bored and very deceiving if you are not able to know what you are really doing, what you are really studying,..., in my case I was not conscious what I was studying, I studied formulas and equations but… what?
It was during the fourth year of Physics when, being in the university library, and ignoring Feynman, I read a lecture of FLP, exactly one in which Feynman explains electromagnetic radiation…, that moment was the best moment in my studies, undoubtedly the best moment, everything changed from that instant…I was not a good student, I passed the exams and no more, and I failed some subjects…, one is young and life offers to you too many things which don´t let you to study, but the main problem was that I had not any kind of motivation to understand Physics…
So, I found that motivation, I found Feynman Lectures, I found Feynman, and I love him now, I pray for him because he was good (he was human, of course), but mainly, he was coherent, it is very difficult to find a scientist with that goodness, it is very difficult…, he was coherent with his science thinking, he was a true scientist, I think.
That moment was very important, very nice, but also very disconcerting, why? because I knew from that moment that EVERY IDEA! of physic I had in my mind was wrong, WAS WRONG!, what happened?, it was a disaster, I couldn´t continue studying, I was studying something that I didn´t know what it was, my knowing in Physics was NULL!. I took into account about this feeling, and I also took into account about the most important thing to learn something, which is to throw out of your mind all incorrect ideas which fill it, it is very difficult because those ideas are “incrusted” into your brain and you are unconscious. Feynman was who “told” me that I was wrong and I had to look for those wrong ideas to clear my mind and then… to learn, and nowadays I am in that situation. I graduated in physics but it was not easy because from that day I always studied with FLP and it was not the best way to pass exams, it was the same the subject to study, Einstein´s General Relativity, Elementary Particles, Molecular Physics,.., it was the same, Feynman always had to show me the essence and I needed to study with FLP, and it is not easy. I continue with it when I have time, I studied Physics but now I work in other thing completely different but my true dream is to work on Physics, I will continue trying it.
What is my study planning?, How do I study?,… Feynman gave me the manner; he is the essence of this method, which I have divided into three steps:
1. When I bought the special issue of Scientific American dedicated to Feynman and I saw a photo of his last blackboard, I copied (and I incrusted it into my brain) the great idea which I think is the master line of the singularity of FLP and, in general, the singularity of any study of Feynman: “What I can not create I do not understand”…, this is my favourite Feynman thinking.
2. And then?, what is the next step in my process, the first is trying to know only with myself, with the main goal to find the incorrect ideas of my mind and so the ground would be virgin, I have to ask me about everything in relation with the subject to study,…, but what, what do I have to try to discover?, let´s imagine one subject, what?, I don´t know, it´s the same, for example, tensors, a mathematical subject and a real situation because it happened to me when I was studying at the university… tensors?, so I had to create something with the ideas of my mind, but what is a tensor?, are vectors?,…, so here is the next step of my process, it is, of course, a Feynman idea that I found in the book together with Weinberg, which contains his Dirac memoriam, the idea is: “…I hope to understand simples examples, generalities will be understood immediately, I understand so the things” (more or less this would be the translation).
3. And finally, the last step, which is totally necessary, it´s not by Feynman, it is a Pascal´s “thinking”, it´s evident but you don´t have to forget it: “No review, no study”…, and so, the circle of the process is closed.
So, if you want to understand tensors, begin with simple vectors, and if you want to understand vectors, create it…, and don´t forget it.
P.S. Feynman, thank you, I´m sure you´ll receive this letter because I know your new address.