Richard Feynman's popular lectures on quantum electrodynamics: The 1979 Robb lectures at Auckland University
The subject of quantum electrodynamics (QED) was the subject of QED—The Strange Theory of Light and Matter, the popular book by Richard Feynman which was published by Princeton University Press in 1985. On p. 1, Feynman makes passing reference to the fact that the book is based on a series of general lectures on QED which were, however, first delivered in New Zealand. At Auckland University, these lectures were delivered in 1979, as the Sir Douglas Robb lectures, and videotapes of the lectures are held by the Auckland University Physics Department. We have carried out a detailed examination of these videotapes, and we discuss here the major differences between the original Auckland lectures and the published version. We use selected quotations from the lectures to show that the original lectures provide additional insight into Feynman's character, and have great educational value.