Richard Feynman was an American physicist and folk hero, known for his humour as much as his scientific work.
Particle Physics, quantum mechanics, quantum electrodynamics
Nobel Prize in Physics, 1965, for his work in quantum electrodynamics, in particular developing the Feynman Diagrams, to explain sub-atomic particle formation and disintegration.
Albert Einstein Award, 1954
E. O. Lawrence Award, 1962
Oersted Medal, 1972
National Medal of Science, 1979
The British Journal Physics World ranks Feynman as one of the ten greatest physicists of all time.
Expert on the Rogers Commission, 1986, investigating the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.
Part of the Los Alamos part of the Manhatten Project, which developed the atomic bomb during World War 2.
Professor of Physics at Caltech
There's Plenty of Room at the Top, 1959 talk on top-down nanotechnology.
The Feynman Lectures, 3-volume publication of his undergraduate lectures.
Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: adventures of a curious character, 1985, compiled by Ralph Leighton.
Theory of Quantum Electrodynamics, which, using path integral formulation (sum over histories), and the Feynman Diagrams, could predict the behaviour of subatomic particles.
Superfluidity: a quantum-machanical explanation of Landau's theory of superfluidity
Weak Decay model
Feynman Diagrams: conceptualising and calculating interactions between particles in spacetime.
Mathematical expressions governing the behaviour of subatomic particles.
As a young man, Feynman joined the Manhatten Project to develop the atomic bomb before the nazis. He later expressed his horror at the bomb being used, and becoming a danger to all humanity during the Cold War.
Feynman was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965, for his work on quantum electrodynamics. He developed many breakthrough techniques for predicting the behaviour of subatomic particles. These included the Feynman Diagrams, now a basic of all undergraduate courses.
Feynman has done much to popularise science. Though he did not write books himself, there have been many written about him, or collections of his reminiscences, which are both entertaining and illuminating. His lectures were videotaped, and are still very popular as he was a brilliant and engaging teacher and speaker.
Richard Feynman was instrumental in exposing the engineering flaw which caused the 1986 Challenger disaster. This flaw was exposed in a classic Feynman way during the hearings, by his dipping a piece of rubber gasket into a paper cup of liquid nitrogen to demonstrate that cold made it brittle, in contradiction to the assertions of the engineers. Feynman died soon after from cancer.
(Biographies of famous scientists no. 58)
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1879 - 1955
Albert Einstein is considered by many to be the greatest scientist of the 20th century, and his contributions to science equal in importance and scope to those of Isaac Newton.
...in thinnest aether, or in the most subtle fifth essence, or in vacuity – how shall the stars keep their places in the mighty swirl of these enormous spheres composed of a substance of which no one knows aught?
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