Richard Feynman

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Richard Feynman, 1984
Richard Feynman ( Los Alamos ID card during World War II)

Richard Phillips Feynman [ ˈfaɪnmən ] (born May 11, 1918 in Queens , New York , † February 15, 1988 in Los Angeles ) was an American physicist and Nobel Prize winner in 1965.

Feynman is considered to be one of the great physicists of the 20th century who made significant contributions to the understanding of quantum field theories . Together with Shin'ichirō Tomonaga and Julian Schwinger , he received the Nobel Prize in 1965 for his work on quantum electrodynamics (QED). Its clear presentation quantum field theory of elementary interactions by Feynman diagrams is now a de facto standard.

For Feynman it was always important to bring the non- visual laws of quantum physics closer to laypeople and students and to make them understandable. His series of lectures ( The Feynman Lectures on Physics ) is widespread at universities . He addressed a wider audience in books such as QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter and Character of Physical Law . His charisma and ability to respond to his audience made his lectures and lectures legendary.

His unconventional and non-conformist manner was also evident in his autobiographical books, as you may be joking, Mr. Feynman. A curious physicist's adventure and do you care what other people think? In the same essay he coined the term " cargo cult science " (Cargo Cult Science) , but the demands of the content is not just for a scientific discipline that is sufficient, although the form. Since the term cargo cult originally described a pattern of behavior by indigenous people in the South Pacific, its use in relation to science showed a certain subtle disrespect.


Richard ("Dick") Feynman was born in Far Rockaway , a neighborhood in the New York borough of Queens . He called his Jewish parents, whose ancestors immigrated from Russia and Poland, as declared atheists. His sister Joan, who was nine years younger than him, made contributions as an astrophysicist to the interaction between the earth and solar wind .

At the insistence of his father, who was not allowed to study, the young Feynman was trained in scientific thinking at an early age and - as he tells Mr. Feynman in his book You May be joking - pointed out the difference between a real explanation and a mere naming. Feynman also showed technical talents very early on: He was an electrical hobbyist and earned extra pocket money repairing radios. His talent was also shown in the science subjects, where his teacher provided the bored Feynman with advanced math books.

Feynman studied physics as an undergraduate from 1935 to 1939 at MIT , the results of his bachelor thesis are known today as the Hellmann-Feynman theorem . From 1939 to 1943 he attended Princeton University , where he became an assistant to John Archibald Wheeler . In his dissertation with Wheeler in 1942, he also developed his path integral formulation of quantum physics , following an idea of ​​the Nobel Prize winner Paul Dirac .

Richard Feynman (center) and Robert Oppenheimer (right) in Los Alamos during the Manhattan Project

During the Second World War , like many American physicists in Los Alamos, he participated in the Manhattan project , the construction of the first atomic bomb . One of his tasks was the organization of the necessary extensive numerical calculations, but there was still enough time for pranks, as he reports in the article Los Alamos from below . He achieved a true mastery in opening his colleagues' document safes. In Los Alamos, Feynman discovered drumming as one of his passions (a well-known photo from his books shows him with bongo drums ), which he improved on during a stay in Brazil.

He met his future wife, Arline Greenbaum, as a teenager, but they only got closer after leaving high school . By the time he moved to Princeton, she was seriously ill. It took a long time, however, for doctors to diagnose a life-threatening form of tuberculosis . He later made sure that she (now his wife) was accommodated in a hospital near where he was studying, Princeton. During his time in Los Alamos, too, a hospital was found in Albuquerque , 100 miles away , where Feynman hitchhiked as often as possible. Despite the serious illness, the two were known to his colleagues as a humorous couple. His wife died on June 16, 1945. The story was filmed as Infinity in 1996 by Matthew Broderick , who also played the leading role alongside Patricia Arquette .

After the war he was instrumental in a formulation of quantum electrodynamics that was presented at the Shelter Island conference in the late 1940s . His immediate boss in Los Alamos, the Nobel Prize winner Hans Bethe , invited him to his first teaching position at Cornell University in New York State, where he stayed until 1951. He was then professor of theoretical physics at Caltech in Pasadena (from 1959 "Richard Chase Tolman" professorship) and stayed there for the rest of his academic career. There he devoted himself intensively to teaching, and the well-known Feynman Lectures on Physics were created in 1961/62 , all of which take an original approach. They arose from a project to reform introductory physics lectures at Caltech with Matthew Sands and Robert B. Leighton . In 1972 he received the Oersted Medal of the American Association of Physics Teachers for his achievements in teaching physics . However, Feynman did not found an actual school, and he only had a few doctoral students.

In the 1950s he turned to solid-state physics and investigated, among other things, superfluidity (a macroscopic quantum state that can be observed at low temperatures, for example with liquid helium ). Together with the Nobel Prize laureate Murray Gell-Mann , he developed a new formulation of the laws of weak interaction ( vector-axial-vector form ), which reflected the parity violation just discovered in beta decay.

On December 29, 1959, he made his famous speech at Caltech There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom (dt. At the bottom is a lot of space or frequent travel to bottom ), by the nanotechnology is often regarded as its founding text.

Feynman developed the Feynman diagrams, later named after him, for the simple representation of subatomic interactions. The figure shows electron-electron scattering due to the exchange of a virtual photon (time axis from bottom to top).

In 1965 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for his contributions to the development of quantum electrodynamics. In the late 1960s and 1970s he worked on the expansion of the Parton image of high-energy scattering processes, which is now integrated into quantum chromodynamics . He accepted the quark picture of his Caltech colleague Murray Gell-Mann, when it was experimentally confirmed better and better in the 1970s, and was himself a pioneer of Yang-Mills theories (non-Abelian gauge theories ) with which the fundamental interactions are described today: In the 1960s he investigated them in connection with the quantization of gravity . He remained skeptical about string theory , which was booming in the 1980s, until his death, as in his opinion it was too far removed from experimental predictions.

In 1981, Feynman on one of the first workshop on Physics and Computation (physics and predictability ) the question Can (quantum) physics be (Efficiently) simulated by (classical) computers? (Eng .: Can quantum physics be effectively simulated by classical computers?) and came to the conclusion that this is best done with quantum computers , a research area that is very topical today. His interest in computers also led him to become a technical consultant in Daniel Hillis' “Thinking Machines” company , which manufactured the massively parallel “connection machine”. At Caltech he also held interdisciplinary courses “Lectures on Computation”, which were later published as a book.

Throughout his life, Feynman practiced a practical and vivid approach to physics that directly followed his physical intuition. He quickly met aloof and too abstract discussions as well as schematic, superficial thinking with impatience. He passed on many of his contributions to physics only orally in discussions to colleagues, where they became part of the "folklore" and were often only published much later. In this respect, his behavior was similar to that of Wolfgang Pauli , the 1945 Nobel laureate in physics, whose motto was: "I can afford not to be quoted."

In 1986 he was appointed to the Commission of Inquiry into the Challenger Disaster (Rogers Commission). His public appearance became known in which he demonstrated the consequences of frost on the sealing rings of the solid fuel tanks with a glass of ice water. His report, which deviated from the majority, was critical of the bureaucratic organization of NASA . It was only against resistance that his minority report was attached to the official report. Feynman had threatened to publicly resign from the commission if his views were not taken into account. His report ended with the sarcastic or, for NASA officials, devastating statement: "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled." (German, for example, "For a successful technology, reality must have priority over public relations , because nature cannot be fooled.")

Cancer , which had been latent for many years , became acute in 1987. After undergoing an operation for this a few years earlier, Feynman decided to refrain from further treatments. He gave his last lecture two weeks before his death. He died on February 15, 1988. His last words were: "It's good that you only have to die once, it's so boring."

Feynman was married three times. His first wife Arline died of tuberculosis while in Los Alamos. With his third wife Gweneth, he had a son Carl and an adopted daughter Michelle.

Feynman as a biologist

Feynman began to be more interested in biology during the summer lecture-free period and in his sabbatical year 1959/60. What fascinated him about this branch of the natural sciences was that there were questions that were easy to formulate and nobody knew the answer. He had previously attended courses and seminars with E. Newton Harvey and interest was stimulated by lectures by James D. Watson and others. His acquaintance with Max Delbrück enabled him to work in the bacteriophage group at Caltech. Delbrück was famous for his bacteriophage experiments, but had meanwhile shifted his focus and left this research to his post-doctoral student Robert S. Edgar. In his laboratory, Feynman carried out reverse mutations on bacteriophages. He discovered that mutations in neighboring parts of the gene sometimes canceled each other, but sometimes not. For Francis Crick and colleagues a little later, similar experiments were key to unraveling the genetic code (and they also cite an oral communication by Feynman in their paper). However, Feynman and colleagues missed the correct explanation and central insight of Crick and colleagues that three bases stand for an amino acid and a single mutation that removes or adds a base postpones the readout, but two mutations at neighboring positions because of the length three " Normality ”. Instead, he envisioned a change in the pH of an amino acid that was offset by another mutation. After all, the experiments led to an invitation from Watson to give a lecture at Harvard. After that he worked under Matthew Meselson and among others with J. D. Smith with ribosome research, which did not go well: he could not reproduce his experiments. Feynman, who had worked on it for eight months, then lost interest in experimental biological research. In addition, a crucial experiment failed due to a laboratory contamination for which he was ultimately responsible. Together with the experienced molecular biologist Hildegard Lamfrom (1922–1984), he wanted to prove that bacterial ribosomes isolated from E. coli could produce pea proteins with (from today's perspective) messenger RNA from peas. That would have been a contribution to the universality of the genetic code, but as he himself wrote and deeply regretted, he behaved "like an amateur - stupid and sloppy" by dissecting a month old, by himself and Meselson, but now contaminated Used a batch of ribosomes from the refrigerator instead of re-dissecting them. His conclusion was not entirely negative, however, because he got to know and befriended well-known molecular biologists such as Francis Crick and James Watson, and he was pleased that he was also able to teach laboratory techniques as a teaching assistant to Edgar students during his training.

More work

In the last years of his life, Feynman also visited Germany, where he “took a cure” on the island of Wangerooge in 1987 and took part in a conference on variation methods in quantum field theory. There he criticized the common applications and the " grid methods " of the 1970s and 80s, which he found unimaginative. In the early 1980s he tried to use path integral methods (Feynman path integral) to contribute to the qualitative understanding of Yang-Mills theories ( confinement , mass gap).

Eugene Paul Wigner invited Feynman in Princeton in 1941 to a seminar lecture at the Institute for Advanced Study , in which he reported on his work with Wheeler on a reformulation of classical electrodynamics ("action at a distance" theory). The aim of this was to investigate divergences that result from the self-interaction of the electron in classical theory (a discussion of these divergences can be found in the Feynman Lectures , Volume 2). The scientists John von Neumann , Henry Norris Russell , Wolfgang Pauli and Albert Einstein were present . Einstein pointed out his own work and discussions with Walter Ritz , as Feynman tells in his Nobel Lecture. In this collaboration with John Archibald Wheeler , the foundations for his later formulation of the QED were laid.

Anecdotes and trivia

Sign for Feynman-Platz between Kanalstrasse and Liebherrstrasse not far from the Isartor in Munich (student joke)

In Munich , citizens have designated a street corner as Feynman-Platz because the streets that converge there form a specific Feynman diagram. The canal road runs north and west; Liebherrstrasse to the south and Mannhardtstrasse to the east.

Like his father, Richard Feynman always had liberal views. Feynman says in his memoir that the joy of drawing led him to practice professional life drawing during his time at Caltech . Supposedly for this purpose, he also went to a nightclub five or six times a week, where he was even able to sell some works. When the "topless bar" was about to be closed after a raid, the host asked the guests if they would testify for him. Feynman was the only one to agree despite his prominent position. In court he declared: "Employees, craftsmen, business people, technicians, a physics professor [...]".

In his book You want to be joking, Mr. Feynman describes Feynman's chapter I want my dollar , how he got the patent for the atomic airplane in a bizarre way and even got a dollar for it which he had to fight for against a bureaucratic hurdle.

On a vacation in Mexico he deciphered astronomical periodicities ( Venus ) and calculations in a book edition of the Codex Dresdensis of the Maya without knowledge of the hieroglyphs . He also gave a lecture on it and reports it in his book You may be joking, Mr. Feynman , but did not publish anything.

During a stay on the German island of Wangerooge (where he stayed because of his cancer), Feynman is said to have discovered a packet of quark in a supermarket . Alluding to the namesake from physics, Quark , he is said to have commented on this with the words that Germany is way ahead of America: what is the subject of current research in America is already available in Germany in the refrigerated shelf.

In the 1980s, Feynman and his friend Ralph Leighton tried to tour the Tuvinian ASSR in the middle of the Cold War . In cooperation with the Soviet Academy of Sciences , they succeeded in organizing an exhibition of Tuvinian art objects in the USA, and they were thus able to obtain an entry permit into the area otherwise closed to foreigners. However, Feynman died a few months before departure.

In his early days in high school, Feynman, like his classmates, took an IQ test, which gave a respectable but not exceptional score of 125, as Feynman himself noted when reviewing his school reports at the Nobel Prize ceremony. He declined an invitation to become a member of the highly gifted Mensa Association , which he had received after winning the Nobel Prize, because he had missed the minimum IQ of 130.

As a student in the early semesters, he quickly attracted attention with his math skills; among other things, he won the prestigious Putnam competition , which was taking place for the second time in 1939, as an MIT student . In doing so, he benefited from mental arithmetic skills, for example to manipulate series and integrals , which he had already acquired as a schoolboy and for which he developed independent methods that were also useful in the analytical treatment of Feynman integrals.


After receiving the Nobel Prize, Feynman was offered various honorary doctorates, but he refused on principle because he did not believe in honorary doctorates. In 1954 he received the Albert Einstein Award (which he initially wanted to reject due to an aversion to Lewis Strauss , but then accepted on the advice of II Rabi ). In 1955 he became a Sloan Research Fellow . He was a Fellow of the Royal Society and the National Academy of Sciences (1954), but resigned a little later because he had doubts about her scientific work after attending some of their meetings.

On April 22, 1997 an asteroid was named after him: (7495) Feynman .

The Foresight Institute has awarded him the Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology since 1993 .


“After reading Feynman's description of a rose - in which he explained that he knew how to appreciate the fragrance and beauty of the flower like anyone else, but that his physical knowledge intensified the experience immensely because he also appreciated the wonder and glory of the the underlying molecular, atomic and subatomic processes - I was forever addicted to the natural sciences. "

“We absolutely have to leave room for doubt, otherwise there will be no progress, no additional learning. You can't find anything new unless you ask a question beforehand. And to ask, you need to doubt. "

- Richard P. Feynman

"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts."

- Richard P. Feynman 1966

“There was a time when newspapers said only twelve people understood the theory of relativity . I don't think there was ever such a time. On the other hand, I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics . "

- Richard P. Feynman


Feynman's books on physics

  • with Robert B. Leighton, Matthew Sands: The Feynman Lectures on Physics . 3 volumes, ISBN 0-201-02115-3 (German lectures on physics . Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-486-58444-8 ), first published in 1963/1965 by Addison / Wesley (in volume 3 quantum mechanics on Diracs Bra-Ket-Notation treated, as application Maser, Transistor, Josephson-Effect), the English original edition is available online
  • QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter 1985 (Eng. QED: The strange theory of light and matter . 1987, ISBN 3-492-21562-9 )
  • Six Easy Pieces . penguin 1998 (German six physical finger exercises . Piper, 2003, ISBN 3-492-04283-X ) (Six chapters from the Feynman Lectures on atoms, gravitation, quantum theory, the relationship between physics and other sciences)
  • Six Not So Easy Pieces . penguin 1999 (German physical finger exercises for advanced users . Piper, 2004, ISBN 3-492-04425-5 ) (Six additional chapters from the Feynman Lectures on relativity, symmetry, space-time)
  • The Character of Physical Law (German From the nature of physical laws . ISBN 3-492-21748-6 ) (Messenger Lectures Cornell 1964 and BBC series)
  • Theory of fundamental processes . 1961 (Caltech lectures from 1959), new Addison-Wesley, 1998, ISBN 0-201-36077-2
  • Quantum electrodynamics . BI Hochschultaschenbuch 1969 (in the appendix reprint of some Physical Review articles by him on QED, these essays are also in Schwinger (Hrsg.): Selected papers on QED . Dover)
  • Photon-hadron interactions . Addison-Wesley 1972, ISBN 0-8053-2511-5 (Parton picture)
  • Lectures on gravitation . first mimeographed notes Caltech 1962/63, new Addison-Wesley, 1995, ISBN 0-201-62734-5
  • Gauge theories . Les Houches lectures Volume 29, 1976 (also in Selected Papers )
  • Statistical mechanics - a set of lectures . Frontiers in Physics 1972 (inter alia superfluidity , superconductivity )
  • Quantum Mechanics and Path Integrals (together with AR Hibbs) 1965, ISBN 0-07-020650-3
  • Elementary particles and the laws of physics. Dirac memorial lectures 1986 . Cambridge University Press, 1987, ISBN 0-521-34000-4 (there he gives the elementary derivation of the spin statistics theorem, which he announced in his Lectures on Physics Volume 3; in the same volume also a lecture by Weinberg)
  • Anthony Hey (Eds.) And Robin Allen (Eds.): Lectures on computation . Addison-Wesley, 1996, ISBN 0-201-48991-0
  • Laurie Brown (Ed.): Selected Papers of Richard Feynman, with Commentary . World Scientific, 2000, ISBN 981-02-4130-5
  • David Goodstein (eds.) And Judith Goodstein (ed.): Feynmans lost lecture . WW Norton, 1999, ISBN 0-393-31995-4 (geometric derivation of Kepler's law from 1 / r potential, Feynman on Newton's footsteps)
  • Laurie Brown (Ed.): Feynman's Thesis . World Scientific, 2005, ISBN 981-256-366-0 (Feynman's dissertation from 1942, with the two essays by Dirac and Feynman on the justification of the path integrals)
  • Physics tips . 1st edition 2009, Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag. ISBN 978-3-486-58932-0 (other previously unpublished lectures by Feynman)
  • Quantum electrodynamics. A lecture transcript . 4th edition 1997, Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag. ISBN 978-3-486-24337-6

Important essays (selection)

  • Forces in molecules , In: Physical Review , Volume 56, 1939, pp. 340-343.
  • with John Archibald Wheeler : The interaction with the absorber as the mechanism for radiation . In: Reviews of modern physics . Volume 17, 1945, pp. 157-181, doi: 10.1103 / RevModPhys.17.157 , as well as Classical electrodynamics in terms of direct interparticle action . In: Reviews of modern physics Volume 21, 1949, pp. 425–433, doi: 10.1103 / RevModPhys.21.425 ("action at a distance" formulation of electrodynamics, symmetrical in retarded and advanced potentials)
  • Space-time approach to non relativistic quantum mechanics . In: Reviews of modern physics . Volume 20, 1948, pp. 367–387, doi: 10.1103 / RevModPhys.20.367 (path integral formulation quantum mechanics, from his dissertation in 1942 with Wheeler)
  • Theory of positrons . In: Physical Review . Volume 76, 1949, pp. 749–759, doi: 10.1103 / PhysRev.76.749 (antiparticles declining in time)
  • Spacetime approach to quantum electrodynamics . In: Physical Review . Volume 76, 1949, pp. 769-789, doi: 10.1103 / PhysRev.76.769
  • Mathematical formulation of the quantum theory of electromagnetic interaction . In: Physical Review . Volume 80, 1950, pp. 440–457 doi: 10.1103 / PhysRev.80.440 (with the previous two articles Feynman diagram formulation QED)
  • Atomic theory of lambda transition in helium . In: Physical Review . Volume 91, 1953, pp 1291-1301 doi: 10.1103 / PhysRev.91.1291 and Atomic theory of liquid helium near absolute zero , ibid, pp 1301-1308. Doi: 10.1103 / PhysRev.91.1301 (even from Landau postulated roton Excitations from liquid helium)
  • Slow electrons in a polar crystal . In: Physical Review . Volume 97, 1955, pp. 660–665 doi: 10.1103 / PhysRev.97.660 (elegant path integral treatment of polaron excitation in ion crystals, also dealt with in his lectures on statistical mechanics)
  • with Murray Gell-Mann : Theory of Fermi interaction . In: Physical Review . Volume 109, 1958, pp. 193–198 doi: 10.1103 / PhysRev.109.193 ( VA theory weak interaction)
  • There is plenty of room at the bottom . Engineering and Science 1960 (Caltech in-house magazine, considered the founding publication of nanotechnology, often online)
  • Quantum theory of gravitation . In: Acta physica polonica . Volume 24, 1963, p. 697 (Introduction of ghost degrees of freedom in calibration theories, carried out in the Wheeler Festschrift Klauder (ed.): Magic without Magic . 1972. All this work also in Selected Papers )
  • The development of the spacetime view of QED . Nobel lectures 1965
  • Very high energy collisions of hadrons . In: Physical Review Letters . Volume 23, 1969, pp. 1415-1417 doi: 10.1103 / PhysRevLett.23.1415 (Partonen)
  • Qualitative theory of Yang-Mills fields in 2 + 1 dimensions . In: Nuclear physics B . Volume 188, 1981, pp. 479-512 doi: 10.1016 / 0550-3213 (81) 90005-5 (access to the calculation of variations)
  • Quantum mechanical computers . In: Foundations of physics . Volume 16, 1986, pp. 507-531 doi: 10.1007 / BF01886518 (reversible computers, no theoretical prohibitions from the second main clause up to the quantum limit, reprinted in the Lectures on Computation and in Selected Papers )

Books by Feynman about Feynman

  • Surely you're joking, Mr. Feynman . 1985 (Eng. You can be joking, Mr. Feynman. Adventure of a curious physicist . ISBN 3-492-21347-2 ) (including cracking safes in Los Alamos, his time in Brazil, Las Vegas, John Lilly's “Think tanks ", Early jobs in an analog computer factory, experience with military psychiatrists)
  • What do you care what other people Think ?! , Norton 1988 (Eng. Do you care what other people think? New adventures of a curious physicist . ISBN 3-492-22166-1 ) (including about the Challenger disaster, his hobby drawing, his first wife Arlene, his father; with the lecture The value of science )

Feynman's books on other things

  • The Art of Richard P. Feynman. Images by a Curious Character . ISBN 2-88449-047-7
  • The Meaning of it all (Eng. What is it all about ?: Thoughts of a physicist . ISBN 3-492-23316-3 ) (three popular lectures at the University of Washington in the early 1960s, including value of science)
  • The Pleasure of Finding Things out. The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman . penguin 2001 (Eng. It's so simple. On the pleasure of discovering things . ISBN 3-492-04251-1 ) (including his essays There is plenty of room at the bottom , The value of science , Cargo cult science , Los Alamos from below )
  • Michelle Feynman (Ed.): Perfectly reasonable deviations from the beaten track . 2005 (German. Absolutely reasonable deviations from the beaten path . ISBN 3-492-04744-0 ) (collection of letters, edited by his daughter)

See also


  • Lawrence Krauss : Quantum man- Richard Feynman's life in science , Norton 2011
  • John Gribbin and Mary Gribbin: Richard Feynman - A Life in Science . 1997 (German Richard Feynman. Biography of a Genius , 2000. ISBN 3-492-04041-1 )
  • James Gleick : Genius. The Life and Science of Richard Feynman . 1992 (German Richard Feynman - the life and work of the brilliant physicist . ISBN 3-426-26679-2 )
  • Jagdish Mehra : The Beat of a Different Drum. The Life and Science of Richard Feynman . 1994, ISBN 0-19-851887-0 (emerged from conversations that Mehra had with Feynman until shortly before his death)
  • Jagdish Mehra: My last meeting with Richard Feynman. In: Physical sheets. Volume 44, 1988, pp. 146-148, doi: 10.1002 / phbl.19880440509 .
  • Christopher Sykes: No Ordinary Genius. The Illustrated Richard Feynman . ISBN 0-393-31393-X
  • Ralph Leighton: TUVA or BUST. Richard Feynman's Last Journey. ISBN 0-393-32069-3
  • Physics today, Feynman memorial issue . February 1989 (Bjorken to Partonen, Schwinger to QED, memories of Dyson, Gell-Mann and Wheeler, Goodstein to Feynman as a teacher, Hillis to Feynman and connection machine, Pines to Feynman and solid state physics, drawings by Feynman)
  • Freeman Dyson : Disturbing the Universe . 1979 (reports on the collaboration with Feynman in the late 1940s)
  • Jörg Resag: Feynman and Physics , Springer 2018
  • Silvan S. Schweber : Quantum Electrodynamics and the men who made it. Princeton University Press, 1994
  • Leonard Mlodinow : Feynman's Rainbow. A Search for Beauty in Physics and in Life . 2003 (Eng. Feynman's rainbow. The search for beauty in physics and in life . Reclam, 2005, ISBN 3-379-00826-5 ) - describes the author's time at Caltech in the early 1980s, where he worked with Feynman
  • Theodore Welton : Memories of Richard Feynman , Physics Today, February 2007
  • HD Zeh: Feynman's interpretation of quantum theory . In: The European Physical Journal H . tape 36 , no. 1 , 2011, p. 63-74 , doi : 10.1140 / epjh / e2011-10035-2 , arxiv : 0804.3348v6 .

In the movie


Web links

Commons : Richard Feynman  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Represented in David Kaiser, Drawing theories apart. The dispersion of Feynman diagrams in post-war physics, University of Chicago Press 2005.
  2. ^ Richard Feynman: The 1979 The Sir Douglas Robb Lectures Parts 1–4, University of Auckland, basis of the popular science book: QED: The strange theory of light and matter.
  3. ^ Richard P. Feynman: Cargo Cult Science: Some remarks on science, pseudoscience, and learning how to not fool yourself. Caltech's 1974 commencement address. In: Retrieved May 11, 2018 .
  4. Overview of Feynman's biography (Engl.) ( Memento of 19 March 2013, Internet Archive )
  5. ^ Richard P. Feynman: What Do You Care What Other People Think? Further Adventures of a Curious Character. Edited by Ralph Leighton. WW Norton & Co., 1988, ISBN 0-393-02659-0 .
  6. ^ Charles Hirshberg: My Mother, the Scientist . In: Popular Science . April 18, 2002 ( ).
  7. ^ RP Feynman: Forces in Molecules . In: Physical Review . tape 56 , no. 4 , 1939, pp. 340–343 , doi : 10.1103 / PhysRev.56.340 , bibcode : 1939PhRv ... 56..340F .
  8. ^ Richard Feynman in the Mathematics Genealogy Project (English) Template: MathGenealogyProject / Maintenance / id used.
  9. A Love for Infinity in the Internet Movie Database .
  10. this theory was developed independently by George Sudarshan and Robert Marshak around the same time.
  11. ^ Richard Feynman: RP Feynman: There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom . In: Engineering and Science . tape 23 , no. 5 , 1960, ISSN  0013-7812 , pp. 22–36 (English, [accessed February 27, 2018]).
  12. Interview in Davies, Brown ed. Superstrings 1988.
  13. Bjorken mentions examples in physics today , February 1989. Another example is his combinatorial treatment of the Ising model , which he presents in his “Lectures on statistical mechanics”, but which Mark Kac communicated long before .
  14. ^ RP Feynman: Appendix F - Personal observations on the reliability of the shuttle. Feynman's personal appendix to the report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Challenger disaster.
  15. FHC Crick, Leslie Barnett, S. Brenner, RJ Watts-Tobin: General Nature of the Genetic Code for Proteins . In: Nature . tape 192 , no. 4809 , 1961, pp. 1227-1232 , doi : 10.1038 / 1921227a0 ( [PDF]).
  16. RS Edgar, RP Feynman, S. Klein, I. Lielausis, CM Steinberg: Mapping experiments with r mutants of Bacteriophage T4D. In: Genetics. Volume 47, 1962, pp. 179-185 ( [PDF]).
  17. ^ Feynman: Reciprocal suppression of mutants within one cistron. Caltech Annual Report 1960.
  18. Mehra: Beating of a different drum, p. 438ff on Feynman genetic experiments, and Feynman in his autobiography Sie belieben zu joke , Piper, p. 99.
  19. Feynman reports on it in his autobiography Sie sie sie zu joking, Mr. Feynman , Piper 1987, p. 94ff, on the ribosome experiment p. 97f.
  20. ^ Obituary for Lamfrom by John Abelson 1984 . She was a German-Jewish emigrant who later became a student of Crick and worked temporarily in India. At the end of the 1950s she developed one of the first in-vitro systems for protein synthesis with Richard Schweet and, with studies on it, was one of those who recognized the role of m-RNA and polyribosomes.
  21. Feynman: You love to joke, p. 98
  22. ^ Help , Polley, Pottinger (Ed.): Variational principles in quantum field theory . World Scientific 1989, report in Physikalische Blätter . 1988, p. 282.
  23. You're probably joking, Mr. Feynman ( memento January 19, 2007 on the Internet Archive ).
  24. born 1949. Son of Robert Leighton. He recorded interviews with Feynman, which were the basis for his autobiographies, and was co-producer of the film Genghis Blues
  25. Ralph Leighton: Tuva or Bust! Richard Feynman's Last Journey. WW Norton, New York 2000, ISBN 978-0-393-32069-5 .
  26. Gleick Genius , p. 30
  27. ^ Gleick, p. 83, Putnam Fellows, list
  28. Mehra, Beat of a different drum, p. 578
  29. ^ Past Fellows. Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, accessed May 31, 2019 .
  30. Naming of the asteroid (7495) Feynman (English)
  31. Brian Greene: The Stuff the Cosmos is made of . Siedler, Munich 2004, ISBN 3-88680-738-X , p. 37 .
  32. Richard P. Feynman, Jeffrey Robbins: It's that simple . 7th edition. Pieper, Munich 2011, ISBN 3-492-23773-8 , p. 148 .
  33. ^ Speech to the National Science Teachers' Association; The Physics Teacher . Volume 7, No. 6, 1968, pp. 313-320 ( online )
  34. Original English: "[...] I think I can safely say nobody understands Quantummechanics" - The Character of Physical Law . MIT Press, 1967, Chapter 6, quoted from Anthony JG Hey et al. : The new Quantum Universe . Cambridge University Press, 2003, ISBN 0-521-56457-3 , p. 335.