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Famous the world over for the creative brilliance of his insights into the physical world, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman also possessed an extraordinary talent for explaining difficult concepts to the nonscientist. QED--the edited version of four lectures on quantum electrodynamics that Feynman gave to the general public at UCLA as part of the Alix G. Mautner Memorial Lecture series--is perhaps the best example of his ability to communicate both the substance and the spirit of science to the layperson.

The focus, as the title suggests, is quantum electrodynamics (QED), the part of the quantum theory of fields that describes the interactions of the quanta of the electromagnetic field-light, X rays, gamma rays--with matter and those of charged particles with one another. By extending the formalism developed by Dirac in 1933, which related quantum and classical descriptions of the motion of particles, Feynman revolutionized the quantum mechanical understanding of the nature of particles and waves. And, by incorporating his own readily visualizable formulation of quantum mechanics, Feynman created a diagrammatic version of QED that made calculations much simpler and also provided visual insights into the mechanisms of quantum electrodynamic processes.

In this book, using everyday language, spatial concepts, visualizations, and his renowned "Feynman diagrams" instead of advanced mathematics, Feynman successfully provides a definitive introduction to QED for a lay readership without any distortion of the basic science. Characterized by Feynman's famously original clarity and humor, this popular book on QED has not been equaled since its publication.

Reviews with the most likes.

Knowing absolutely nothing about quantum electrodynamics (the theory of photon interaction with matter), one can still make sense of the the book - and that is Feynman's true genius, in a way.

In a nutshell, QED is (at present) the nearest step to a Grand Unified Theory, the utopian theory which will explain the universe in the form of formulae that are so short that they can be inscribed on your shirt. It explains almost *everything* that we notice in our day-to-day lives - ranging from why you see your image in a mirror, to more esoteric effects such as predicting which particles arise during extremely high-energy collisions (such as in the Large Hadron Collider).

It is a marvel to witness a genius at work. Without any Math whatsoever, Feynman explains the theory while not leaving out any detail - where it works, where it *doesn't* work, and how our understanding of Physics is still pitiful, because every answer that we find brings a whole lot of questions to the fore.

The fourth chapter is on our understanding of Physics so far, and where QED fits in - it is a tonal mess, especially when compared to the succinct previous chapters, and it is the only time I felt disgruntled when reading the book.

TL;DR - an amazing read to reinvigorate interest in Physics/science, or to ignite the spark of interest that was never there in the first place. Either way, it is a must-read for the inquisitive mind.