Richard Feynman Biography

Richard Feynman was born on May 11, 1918, in Queens, New York City, to Lucille née Phillips, a homemaker, and Melville Arthur Feynman, a sales manager originally from Minsk in Belarus.

Feynman was a late talker, and did not speak until after his third birthday.

In 1941, with World War II raging in Europe but the United States not yet at war, Feynman spent the summer working on ballistics problems at the Frankford Arsenal in Pennsylvania.

Richard Feynman
Richard Feynman

After the attack on Pearl Harbor had brought the United States into the war, Feynman was recruited by Robert R. Wilson, who was working on means to produce enriched uranium for use in an atomic bomb, as part of what would become the Manhattan Project.

Feynman developed a widely used pictorial representation scheme for the mathematical expressions describing the behavior of subatomic particles, which later became known as Feynman diagrams.

During his lifetime, Feynman became one of the best-known scientists in the world. In a 1999 the British journal Physics World poll of 130 leading physicists worldwide ranked him as one of the ten greatest physicists of all time.

He assisted in the development of the atomic bomb during World War II and became known to a wide public in the 1980s as a member of the Rogers Commission, the panel that investigated the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.

Richard Feynman Quotes

Physics is like sex: sure, it may give some practical results, but that’s not why we do it.

Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.

Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.

Richard Feynman Books

Richard Feynman was a keen popularizer of physics through both books and lectures including a 1959 talk on top-down nanotechnology called There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom and the three-volume publication of his undergraduate lectures, The Feynman Lectures on Physics.

Feynman also became known through his semi-autobiographical books Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! and What Do You Care What Other People Think?

Richard Feynman Education

Feynman attended Far Rockaway High School, a school in Far Rockaway, Queens. Nobel laureates Burton Richter and Baruch Samuel Blumberg also attended the school.

When Feynman was 15, he taught himself trigonometry, advanced algebra, infinite series, analytic geometry, and both differential and integral calculus.

Before entering college, he was experimenting with and deriving mathematical topics such as the half-derivative using his own notation.

Feynman applied to Columbia University but was not accepted because of their quota for the number of Jews admitted.

Instead, he attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he joined the Pi Lambda Phi fraternity. In 1939, Feynman received a bachelor’s degree, and Putnam Fellowship.

Richard Feynman Lectures

The Feynman Lectures on Physics is a physics textbook based on some lectures by Richard P. Feynman, a Nobel laureate who has sometimes been called “The Great Explainer”.

He presented the lectures before undergraduate students at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), during 1961–1963. The book’s co-authors are Feynman, Robert B. Leighton, and Matthew Sands.

Historian thinks that Feynman Lectures on Physics is perhaps the most popular physics book ever written. Publisher also sold more than 1.5 million English-language copies. Publisher probably sold even more copies in a dozen foreign-language editions.

Richard Feynman IQ

He have been such a great physicist and yet still have an IQ score of only 125.

Richard Feynman Nobel

For his contributions to the development of quantum electrodynamics, Feynman, jointly with Julian Schwinger and Shin’ichirō Tomonaga, received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965.

Richard Feynman Death

In 1978, Feynman sought medical treatment for abdominal pains. Doctor diagnosed him with liposarcoma, a rare form of cancer.

Surgeons removed a tumor the size of a football that had crushed one kidney and his spleen. He died on February 15, 1988, at age 69.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *