Skip Nav

Richard Feynman

Navigation menu

❶The result corresponded to Bethe's version. It is possible to write such programs because the Feynman diagrams constitute a formal language with a formal grammar.

Educational Reads, by Subject. Results 1 to 4 of 4. Feynman papers A very good series of free papers from the feynman lectures. It covers everything from basic science to advanced physics in an actually easy to understand presentation.

The Feynman Lectures on Physics. Thanks for the physics resource! Two years of a college course, designed for physicists! My spelling and typing are fine, its my keyboard that doesnt cooperate. Yes, I actually have one. But they are definitely geared to college level or advanced high school, really motivated kids.

If you are interested in Feynman, there are lots of resources available. You can find many of his talks available online to listen to. A mama, who teaches college writing, as well as help her year-old in choosing his own life adventure. Using Global Village School to support our desire to develop a sense of social justice and global awareness. I also share free and low-cost educational resources at http: Tags for this Thread advanced , feynman , papers , physics , science.

Resources for Secular Homeschoolers. Last Post By inmom 7 replies Today, How did you find out about Last Post By Koa'sMom replies , Howdy, Linda from Seattle is here!

Last Post By Koa'sMom 1 replies , He borrowed Fuchs' car and drove to Albuquerque where he sat with her for hours until she died on June 16, Feynman claimed to be the only person to see the explosion without the very dark glasses or welder's lenses provided, reasoning that it was safe to look through a truck windshield, as it would screen out the harmful ultraviolet radiation. On witnessing the blast, Feynman ducked towards the floor of his truck because of the immense brightness of the explosion, where he saw a temporary "purple splotch" afterimage of the event.

Feynman nominally held an appointment at the University of Wisconsin—Madison as an assistant professor of physics, but was on unpaid leave during his involvement in the Manhattan Project. His appointment was not extended when he did not commit to returning. In a talk given there several years later, Feynman quipped, "It's great to be back at the only university that ever had the good sense to fire me.

As early as October 30, , Bethe had written to the chairman of the physics department of his university, Cornell , to recommend that Feynman be hired. On February 28, , this was endorsed by Robert Bacher , [75] also from Cornell, [76] and one of the most senior scientists at Los Alamos. Oppenheimer had also hoped to recruit Feynman to the University of California, but the head of the physics department, Raymond T.

Birge , was reluctant. He made Feynman an offer in May , but Feynman turned it down. Because Feynman was no longer working at the Los Alamos Laboratory, he was no longer exempt from the draft.

At his induction physical Army psychiatrists diagnosed Feynman as suffering from a mental illness, and the Army gave him a 4-F exemption on mental grounds. The letter was sealed and only opened after his death.

His work during this period, which used equations of rotation to express various spinning speeds, ultimately proved important to his Nobel Prize—winning work, yet because he felt burned out and had turned his attention to less immediately practical problems, he was surprised by the offers of professorships from other renowned universities, including the Institute for Advanced Study , the University of California, Los Angeles , and the University of California, Berkeley.

Feynman was not the only frustrated theoretical physicist in the early post-war years. Quantum electrodynamics suffered from infinite integrals in perturbation theory. These were clear mathematical flaws in the theory, which Feynman and Wheeler had unsuccessfully attempted to work around. For Feynman, it was his "first big conference with big men I had never gone to one like this one in peacetime. Bethe took the lead from the work of Hans Kramers , and derived a renormalized non-relativistic quantum equation for the Lamb shift.

The next step was to create a relativistic version. Feynman thought that he could do this, but when he went back to Bethe with his solution, it did not converge. Like Bethe, he made the integral finite by applying a cut-off term. The result corresponded to Bethe's version.

It did not go well. Julian Schwinger gave a long presentation of his work in quantum electrodynamics, and Feynman then offered his version, titled "Alternative Formulation of Quantum Electrodynamics". The unfamiliar Feynman diagrams , used for the first time, puzzled the audience.

To Freeman Dyson , one thing at least was clear: He was convinced that Feynman's formulation was easier to understand, and ultimately managed to convince Oppenheimer that this was the case. While papers by others initially cited Schwinger, papers citing Feynman and employing Feynman diagrams appeared in , and soon became prevalent. Computer programs were later written to compute Feynman diagrams, providing a tool of unprecedented power. It is possible to write such programs because the Feynman diagrams constitute a formal language with a formal grammar.

Marc Kac provided the formal proofs of the summation under history, showing that the parabolic partial differential equation can be re-expressed as a sum under different histories that is, an expectation operator , what is now known as the Feynman—Kac formula , the use of which extends beyond physics to many applications of stochastic processes.

By , Feynman was becoming restless at Cornell. He never settled into a particular house or apartment, living in guest houses or student residences, or with married friends "until these arrangements became sexually volatile. In an interview, he described the House as "a group of boys that have been specially selected because of their scholarship, because of their cleverness or whatever it is, to be given free board and lodging and so on, because of their brains.

Feynman spent several weeks in Rio de Janeiro in July In Brazil, Feynman was impressed with samba music, and learned to play a metal percussion instrument, the frigideira. Feynman did not return to Cornell. Bacher, who had been instrumental in bringing Feynman to Cornell, had lured him to the California Institute of Technology Caltech.

Part of the deal was that he could spend his first year on sabbatical in Brazil. They had met in a cafeteria in Cornell, where she had studied the history of Mexican art and textiles. She later followed him to Caltech, where he gave a lecture. While he was in Brazil, she taught classes on the history of furniture and interiors at Michigan State University. He proposed to her by mail from Rio de Janeiro, and they married in Boise, Idaho , on June 28, , shortly after he returned.

They frequently quarreled and she was frightened by his violent temper. Their politics were different; although he registered and voted as a Republican , she was more conservative, and her opinion on the Oppenheimer security hearing "Where there's smoke there's fire" offended him. They separated on May 20, An interlocutory decree of divorce was entered on June 19, , on the grounds of "extreme cruelty".

The divorce became final on May 5, Mary Louise Bell, divorce complaint []. In the wake of the Sputnik crisis , the US government's interest in science rose for a time. Feynman was considered for a seat on the President's Science Advisory Committee , but was not appointed.

Edgar Hoover on August 8, I do not know—but I believe that Richard Feynman is either a Communist or very strongly pro-Communist—and as such as [ sic ] a very definite security risk. This man is, in my opinion, an extremely complex and dangerous person, a very dangerous person to have in a position of public trust In matters of intrigue Richard Feynman is, I believe immensely clever—indeed a genius—and he is, I further believe, completely ruthless, unhampered by morals, ethics, or religion—and will stop at absolutely nothing to achieve his ends.

Feynman's love life had been turbulent since his divorce; his previous girlfriend had walked off with his Albert Einstein Award medal and, on the advice of an earlier girlfriend, had feigned pregnancy and blackmailed him into paying for an abortion, then used the money to buy furniture. Feynman knew that this sort of behavior was illegal under the Mann Act , so he had a friend, Matthew Sands , act as her sponsor.

Howarth pointed out that she already had two boyfriends, but decided to take Feynman up on his offer, and arrived in Altadena, California , in June She made a point of dating other men, but Feynman proposed in early They were married on September 24, , at the Huntington Hotel in Pasadena. They had a son, Carl, in , and adopted a daughter, Michelle, in Feynman tried marijuana and ketamine at John Lilly 's famed sensory deprivation tanks, as a way of studying consciousness.

At Caltech, Feynman investigated the physics of the superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium , where helium seems to display a complete lack of viscosity when flowing. Feynman provided a quantum-mechanical explanation for the Soviet physicist Lev Landau 's theory of superfluidity. This helped with the problem of superconductivity , but the solution eluded Feynman. Feynman, inspired by a desire to quantize the Wheeler—Feynman absorber theory of electrodynamics, laid the groundwork for the path integral formulation and Feynman diagrams.

With Murray Gell-Mann, Feynman developed a model of weak decay , which showed that the current coupling in the process is a combination of vector and axial currents an example of weak decay is the decay of a neutron into an electron, a proton, and an antineutrino. George Sudarshan and Robert Marshak developed the theory nearly simultaneously, Feynman's collaboration with Murray Gell-Mann was seen as seminal because the weak interaction was neatly described by the vector and axial currents.

It thus combined the beta decay theory of Enrico Fermi with an explanation of parity violation. Feynman attempted an explanation, called the parton model , of the strong interactions governing nucleon scattering. The parton model emerged as a complement to the quark model developed by Gell-Mann. The relationship between the two models was murky; Gell-Mann referred to Feynman's partons derisively as "put-ons". In the mids, physicists believed that quarks were just a bookkeeping device for symmetry numbers, not real particles; the statistics of the omega-minus particle , if it were interpreted as three identical strange quarks bound together, seemed impossible if quarks were real.

The SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory deep inelastic scattering experiments of the late s showed that nucleons protons and neutrons contained point-like particles that scattered electrons. It was natural to identify these with quarks, but Feynman's parton model attempted to interpret the experimental data in a way that did not introduce additional hypotheses.

These electrically neutral particles are now seen to be the gluons that carry the forces between the quarks, and their three-valued color quantum number solves the omega-minus problem.

Feynman did not dispute the quark model; for example, when the fifth quark was discovered in , Feynman immediately pointed out to his students that the discovery implied the existence of a sixth quark, which was discovered in the decade after his death. After the success of quantum electrodynamics, Feynman turned to quantum gravity.

By analogy with the photon, which has spin 1, he investigated the consequences of a free massless spin 2 field and derived the Einstein field equation of general relativity, but little more.

The computational device that Feynman discovered then for gravity, "ghosts", which are "particles" in the interior of his diagrams that have the "wrong" connection between spin and statistics, have proved invaluable in explaining the quantum particle behavior of the Yang—Mills theories, for example, quantum chromodynamics and the electro-weak theory.

John and Mary Gribbin say in their book on Feynman: In the early s, Feynman acceded to a request to "spruce up" the teaching of undergraduates at Caltech. After three years devoted to the task, he produced a series of lectures that later became The Feynman Lectures on Physics. He wanted a picture of a drumhead sprinkled with powder to show the modes of vibration at the beginning of the book.

Concerned over the connections to drugs and rock and roll that could be made from the image, the publishers changed the cover to plain red, though they included a picture of him playing drums in the foreword.

Leighton and Matthew Sands, as part-time co-authors for several years. Even though the books were not adopted by universities as textbooks, they continue to sell well because they provide a deep understanding of physics. Feynman wrote about his experiences teaching physics undergraduates in Brazil. The students' study habits and the Portuguese language textbooks were so devoid of any context or applications for their information that, in Feynman's opinion, the students were not learning physics at all.

At the end of the year, Feynman was invited to give a lecture on his teaching experiences, and he agreed to do so, provided he could speak frankly, which he did.

Feynman opposed rote learning or unthinking memorization and other teaching methods that emphasized form over function. Clear thinking and clear presentation were fundamental prerequisites for his attention. It could be perilous even to approach him when unprepared, and he did not forget the fools or pretenders. He was not impressed with what he found. Elementary students were taught about sets , but:. I see no need or reason for this all to be explained or to be taught in school. It is not a useful way to express one's self.

It is not a cogent and simple way. It is claimed to be precise, but precise for what purpose? In April , Feynman delivered an address to the National Science Teachers Association , in which he suggested how students could be made to think like scientists, be open-minded, curious, and especially, to doubt.

In the course of the lecture, he gave a definition of science, which he said came about by several stages. The evolution of intelligent life on planet Earth—creatures such as cats that play and learn from experience. The evolution of humans, who came to use language to pass knowledge from one individual to the next, so that the knowledge was not lost when an individual died.

Unfortunately, incorrect knowledge could be passed down as well as correct knowledge, so another step was needed. Galileo and others started doubting the truth of what was passed down and to investigate ab initio , from experience, what the true situation was—this was science. In , Feynman delivered the Caltech commencement address on the topic of cargo cult science , which has the semblance of science, but is only pseudoscience due to a lack of "a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty" on the part of the scientist.

He instructed the graduating class that "The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool. So you have to be very careful about that. After you've not fooled yourself, it's easy not to fool other scientists. You just have to be honest in a conventional way after that.

Feynman served as doctoral advisor to 31 students. In the s, Feynman began thinking of writing an autobiography, and he began granting interviews to historians. In the s, working with Ralph Leighton Robert Leighton's son , he recorded chapters on audio tape that Ralph transcribed. The book was published in as Surely You're Joking, Mr. The publication of the book brought a new wave of protest about Feynman's attitude toward women. There had been protests over his alleged sexism in , and again in It did not help that Jenijoy La Belle , who had been hired as Caltech's first female professor in , was refused tenure in She filed suit with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission , which ruled against Caltech in , adding that she had been paid less than male colleagues.

La Belle finally received tenure in Many of Feynman's colleagues were surprised that he took her side. He had got to know La Belle and both liked and admired her. Gell-Mann was upset by Feynman's account in the book of the weak interaction work, and threatened to sue, resulting in a correction being inserted in later editions. Gell-Mann often expressed frustration at the attention Feynman received; [] he remarked: When invited to join the Rogers Commission , which investigated the Challenger disaster , Feynman was hesitant.

During a break in one hearing, Rogers told commission member Neil Armstrong , "Feynman is becoming a pain in the ass. Feynman's account reveals a disconnect between NASA 's engineers and executives that was far more striking than he expected.

His interviews of NASA's high-ranking managers revealed startling misunderstandings of elementary concepts.

For instance, NASA managers claimed that there was a 1 in , chance of a catastrophic failure aboard the shuttle, but Feynman discovered that NASA's own engineers estimated the chance of a catastrophe at closer to 1 in He warned in his appendix to the commission's report which was included only after he threatened not to sign the report , "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled. Because of Strauss's actions in stripping Oppenheimer of his security clearance, Feynman was reluctant to accept the award, but Isidor Isaac Rabi cautioned him: Any virtue that a man has, even if he has many vices, should not be used as a tool against him.

In , Feynman sought medical treatment for abdominal pains and was diagnosed with liposarcoma , a rare form of cancer. Surgeons removed a tumor the size of a football that had crushed one kidney and his spleen.

Further operations were performed in October and October A ruptured duodenal ulcer caused kidney failure , and he declined to undergo the dialysis that might have prolonged his life for a few months. When Feynman was nearing death, he asked Danny Hillis why he was so sad.

Hillis replied that he thought Feynman was going to die soon. Feynman said that this sometimes bothered him, too, adding, when you get to be as old as he was, and have told so many stories to so many people, even when he was dead he would not be completely gone.

His daughter Michelle later undertook the journey. Aspects of Feynman's life have been portrayed in various media. Feynman was portrayed by Matthew Broderick in the biopic Infinity. Feynman is commemorated in various ways. On May 4, , the United States Postal Service issued the "American Scientists" commemorative set of four cent self-adhesive stamps in several configurations.

Feynman's stamp, sepia-toned, features a photograph of a something Feynman and eight small Feynman diagrams. In Gates made a video on why he thought Feynman was special.

The video was made for the 50th anniversary of Feynman's Nobel Prize, in response to Caltech's request for thoughts on Feynman.

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

[] Feynman Lectures on Gravitation, edited by Brian Hatfield; notes taken by Fernando B. Morinigo and William G. Wagner. Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley. [] Feynman Lectures on .

Privacy FAQs

The Papers were gifted to Caltech by Richard Feynman and Gweneth Feynman in two main installments, beginning in Caltech has title to the Papers themselves, while the Feynman heirs retain literary and publication rights.

About Our Ads

Oct 01,  · Feynman papers A very good series of free papers from the feynman lectures. It covers everything from basic science to advanced physics in an actually easy to understand presentation. - Richard P. Feynman was born May 11, to Melville and Lucille Feynman. His father, Melville, never had a chance to endulge his interests in science, so he engulfed Richard in science from a young age.

Cookie Info

Feynman's childhood home was in the community of Far Rockaway, in the outskirts if Manhattan. When Feynman was born, his father, Melville, had already determined that Feynman would grow up to be a . 1 day ago · NEW YORK, NY.-Sotheby’s announced that the Nobel Prize, papers and personal research library of the brilliant, inspiring, and much-beloved theoretical physicist Richard P. Feynman will headline their second annual History of Science & Technology auction in .