The Restless universe
|Introduction to The restless Universe|
1 The lawful Universe2 The clockwork Universe
5 The uncertain Universe
Other titles in the Physical World series
Featured PhysicistsRichard P.Feynman (1918-1988)
Richard Phillips Feynman was one of the most colourful and celebrated of US physicists. He was born in New York in 1918 and educated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Princeton. From 1942 to 1945 he was involved in the atomic bomb project at Los Alamos, where he gave ample evidence of his enormous technical virtuosity as well as earning himself a reputation as a practical joker.
In 1950 Feynman moved to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) where he remained for the rest of his life. While there, he worked on many topics, including the theory of fundamental particles, the theory of superfluidity and the nature of the forces and interactions within the atomic nucleus. He became renowned as a teacher of physics, combining profound physical insight with a very down-to-earth style. Towards the end of his life, when already ill with cancer, he was invited to join the commission investigating the in-flight explosion of the space shuttle Challenger. As part of that work he memorably demonstrated, in front of a massive TV audience, the disastrous effect of low temperature on the booster rocket's O-ring seals by dropping one of them into a glass of iced water.
Feynman will long be remembered as one of the twentieth century's greatest exponents of intuitive - yet highly rigorous - physics. The three volumes of Feynman Lectures on Physics from his Caltech years, and Feynman's autobiographical works 'Surely You're Joking Mr Feynman!' and 'What Do You Care What Other People Think?' also ensure that he will be remembered as a character of extraordinary insight, wit and charm. In 1965 Feynman shared the Nobel Prize for Physics with Julian Schwinger and Sin-itiro Tomonaga.
Relevant LinksA note on powers of ten and significant figures
|S207 The Physical World|