Notes for 400 hours of Richard Feynman’s Hughes Lectures

Notes for 400 hours of Richard Feynman’s Hughes Lectures

John Neer writes to announce that he has made available “to the public for non-commercial use” an extensive collection of notes for lectures that Richard Feynman delivered to employees of Hughes Aircraft Company from 1966 through 1971, for two hours on Monday evenings, 9 to 10 months per year. No attempt was made to record or capture Feynman’s board work for these lectures. Mr. Neer, accomplishing what would seem to have been a Herculean task, took notes as extensively as possible during Feynman’s two-hour lectures, and then spent four to six hours transcribing each lecture as soon as possible afterward. References and subsequent results from the Internet were added some time later. The lecture notes are available at

These notes are for all those who want to learn more about science, math and nature as Feynman did; to learn more of how he taught and embrace his charge to pass on what we have learned.

I believe consistent with Feynman’s interest to teach as many as he could about science these notes are free and open to the public for non-commercial use.

As to Mr. Neer’s motivations for making available more than 1000 pages (about 132 MB) of notes from more than 400 hours of Feynman’s lectures on topics from cosmology to molecular biology, he writes:

… Over the years I have noted people commenting on how much they would have given to have experienced Feynman in the environment I did. I was truly fortunate to be in his pedagogical presence for so many memorable hours (over 400+ I estimate) and able to soak up some of his genius. The notes are a reflection of my attempt to do just that. I trust the reader will find in the notes the Feynman spirit, intensity and passion he had in both teaching and learning about science and the world we live in. Even his microbiology lecture represents the broader interest and dimension in his personal quest to understand nature and science.

So to those who find these notes both relevant and interesting to augmenting their studies and or their actual work (which includes teaching these subjects) there is an effort required by you to follow the text and even more so the mathematical representation of a given subject or lecture. On those mathematical equations, as Feynman developed them on the blackboard, I worked to write them down as accurately as possible before he erased them to start over on the left side of the boards. It is, therefore, up to the reader/student/teacher then to follow the material and actually check the math as I captured and wrote it down. Errors are certainly there from my rapid capture and reconstruction; perhaps one can find where Feynman actually made a mistake along the way. My syntax and spelling is not perfect I know but the notes should preserves the topic’s integrity and thoroughness. I am sure one can read through those uncorrected textual errors and still be able to understand the content of the lectures. The learning experience is then to follow the material, understand it, find the errors and be smart enough to know how to correct them. Reading the notes for “pleasure” only is not learning; it is like reading a novel. So to all who have downloaded these notes: Enjoy and learn the Feynman way; I am sure he would be pleased to see these notes open and free to the public. …
— John T. Neer,

All those interested in Richard Feynman and his many contributions to science, technology, and teaching will appreciate the immense effort made by John T. Neer to bring these notes to the public.
—James Lewis, PhD

By | 2017-06-01T14:01:54+00:00 November 12th, 2014|Foresight Kudos, Found On Web, Memetics, Nanodot, NanoEducation, News|9 Comments

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  2. Christine Peterson November 14, 2014 at 2:46 pm - Reply

    This is amazing!! Thank you so much, John!

  3. John Neer November 14, 2014 at 5:06 pm - Reply

    You are welcome and I hope your readership finds them interesting and stimulating

  4. David November 22, 2014 at 6:35 pm - Reply

    Mirrors? Quite understandably, seems to be down, probably overwhelmed.

  5. Stephen Craffen November 22, 2014 at 8:10 pm - Reply

    Excellent, thank you for this. Dr. Feynman has been a intellectual hero of mine for at least 25 years.

  6. John Paterson December 4, 2014 at 1:28 pm - Reply

    Mr. Neer: I have to thank you profusely for the enormous effort and willingness to share Feynman’s work. I think I fit the very category of physicists you intended — I was in the UK at the time of these notes, no chance to participate, just had to worship my hero from afar, but what an inspiration he was !! Surprising to find the notes are just as relevant today……. many of the mysteries still not solved

  7. Brian Cogan August 2, 2015 at 6:53 am - Reply

    I would love to see the Hughes lecture notes but they will not download for me – are they still available?

    Kind Regards,

    Brian Cogan

  8. John Neer October 8, 2015 at 11:32 am - Reply

    For those who had trouble getting to my notes and the website I discovered that the shared server I was using had blocking sw that blocked certain IP addresses after multiple hacking attempts. There is an interim solution by moving to a separate port. Unfortunately, hackers are making a business out of surfing for an open port and if found, unleash automated hacking sw and password search tools.

    Hopefully open access and download activity can take place.

    To those who express appreciation for my efforts on these notes and for posting them on the web I appreciate your comments. My reward is to know that after nearly 50 years others find value in both the notes and the personal effort expended to reconstruct the lectures as best possible.

    I would note though that my effort expended so many years ago was to ensure the lectures I attended were of great personal value in my own educational and professional development. I was very fortunate for the time spent with Feynman and glad others still find value in his work and my notes.

    Ultimately his seminal paper on unlocking the world of nanoscience and technology with be one of his most enduring legacies.
    Best to all who share their interest in Feynman and his teachings

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