## Feynman Lectures on ComputationFrom 1983 to 1986, the legendary physicist and teacher Richard Feynman gave a course at Caltech called “Potentialities and Limitations of Computing Machines.”Although the lectures are over ten years old, most of the material is timeless and presents a “Feynmanesque” overview of many standard and some not-so-standard topics in computer science. These include computability, Turing machines (or as Feynman said, “Mr. Turing’s machines”), information theory, Shannon’s Theorem, reversible computation, the thermodynamics of computation, the quantum limits to computation, and the physics of VLSI devices. Taken together, these lectures represent a unique exploration of the fundamental limitations of digital computers.Feynman’s philosophy of learning and discovery comes through strongly in these lectures. He constantly points out the benefits of playing around with concepts and working out solutions to problems on your own-before looking at the back of the book for the answers. As Feynman says in the lectures: “If you keep proving stuff that others have done, getting confidence, increasing complexities of your solutions-for the fun of it-then one day you’ll turn around and discovers that nobody actually did that one! And that’s the way to become a computer scientist.” |

### What people are saying - Write a review

#### LibraryThing Review

User Review - wweisser - LibraryThingSomewhat of a mixed bag. The first half is very interesting, then kind of loses steam towards the end. It seems like some course lecture notes were somewhat quickly tossed together to make a book ... Read full review

#### LibraryThing Review

User Review - yapete - LibraryThingA very challenging and very deep book. Feynman at his best and most suprising, anticipating things like quantum computing years in advance. See a genius at work. Read full review

### Contents

Introduction to Computers | 1 |

Computer Organization | 20 |

The Theory of Computation | 52 |

Copyright | |

6 other sections not shown

### Common terms and phrases

actually adder atoms ball basic binary numbers build calculation CalTech CCN gate cell chips circuit clerk clock CMOS consider contents CONTROLLED copier copy course cursor decoder device diagram digit diode discussion dissipation effective procedure electrons entropy example FANOUT Feynman finite state machine flip-flop Fredkin Gate free energy function give halt Hamiltonian Hamming code Hamming distance Huffman Coding idea input instructions inverter layer lectures logic gates look Maxwell's Demon memory message space molecule MOSFET move n-type NAND operation output parity check physical polysilicon possible probability problem quantum mechanics quintuples represent result reversible computing semiconductor shown in Figure signal silicon simple string Suppose switch symbol tape tell Theorem things transistor truth table Turing machine VLSI voltage wires XOR gate zero