Tuesday, September 3, 2019
Richard P. Feynman :: biographies biography bio
Richard Feynman, born on May 11, 1918 to Lucille and Melville Feynman, is remembered for many things by many people. He was Physicist, a Mathematician, a Noble Laureate in Physics, he worked at Los Alamos constructing the first atomic bomb, he probed the Challenger shuttle disaster, made new paths into Quantum Mechanics and Electrodynamics through Path Integrals and Feynman Diagrams, he was a teacher, a husband and a father. He was all these things and more, yet he was still just a man, like everyone else, and he liked to play the bongo drums. Feynman attended MIT where he received his bachelor if science degree and then Princeton for his Ph.D. It was during his time at Princeton that Feynman married his first wife, his high school sweetheart, Arline Greenbaum. Arline was already ill with tuberculosis at the time, and the young newlyweds could not even kiss. In 1942 the young couple left for Los Alamos where 24 year old Feynman would be made group leader in the theoretical division. Eventually Arline was admitted into the Albuquerque hospital where she eventually died in 1945. Feynman was very distraught. Feynman took several teaching positions over the following years, ending up at CalTech where he would spend the rest of his career. Feynman married two more time, in 1952 he married Mary Louise Bell, and in 1960 he married Gweneth Howarth. They had a son, Carl, and adopted a daughter, Michelle. During his time at CalTech Feynman agreed to teach a two-year course of introductory physics to freshman students. The lectures were recorded, transcribed and photographs were taken of all the blackboards. From these lectures three books, The Feynman Lectures on Physics, were published. Also published were two books by Ralph Leighton,Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman! in 1985 and What Do You Care What Other People Think? in 1988, both highly enjoyable books to read that capture the personal side of Feynman that he was so infamous for. Feynman died February 15, 1988 at the age of 69 from stomach cancer. The above picture is a formal pose of Feynman after receiving the Nobel Prize in Physics, along with Sin'ichiro Tomanaga and Julian Schwinger, for his work in Quantum Electrodynamics(QED). Although Tomanaga and Schwinger had independently created equivalent theories, it was Feynman's that proved to be the most original and far-reaching. Feynman was recruited onto the Los Alamos project in 1942, where he developed many experimental devices to test his theories, without having to blow up Los Alamos.