Genius : The Life and Science of Richard Feynman
by James Gleick
Editor: Random House USA Inc
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A genius, a great mathematician once said, does magic, does things that no one else could doTo his fellow scientists, Richard Feynman was a magician of high caliberArchitect of quantum theories, the terrible child of the atomic bomb project, caustic, critical of the commission’s space shuttle, Nobel Prize winner for the work that gave physicists a new way of describing and calculating interactions between subatomic particles, Richard Feynman has left his mark in virtually every field of modern physicsThe originality was his obsessionNever happy with what he knew or with what others knew, Feynman constantly questioned scientific truthsBut there was also another side to him, the one that made him a legendary figure among scientistsHis curiosity moved far beyond scientific things: he learns to play drums alone, to give massages, to write in Chinese, to break safesIn Genius, James Gleick, author of the famous bestseller Chaos, shows us one of Feynman’s few have seenHe penetrates beyond the joyful showman depicted in Feynman’s own memoirs and reveals a darker side of Feynman: his ambition, his periods of despair and uncertainty, his intense emotionFrom his childhood on the beaches and backlots of Far Rockaway and his first tinkering with radios and differential equations for machine shops at MIT and the beginning of theoretical work at Princeton – working which foreshadowed his famous notion of antiparticles travelling back in time – to the tragic death of his wife while working at Los Alamos, the Genius, shows how a vision scientist was trainedAs this vision crystallized in the work, which reinvented quantum mechanics, we see from Feynman’s impact on the elite of particle-physicscommunity, and how He grew up to be in contradiction with the community which idolized himFinally, Gleick, explores the genius nature, our obsession with it and why the very idea may belong to another timeEngineering recordings of the life of a scientist who forever changed science and cha
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