Thursday, May 11, 2006

Yet another great has a birthday today - Richard Feynman

Richard Phillips Feynman was born at Far Rockaway, Queens, New York on this day in 1918. He studied at MIT and received a doctorate for original work on quantum mechanics at Princeton in 1942. After working on atomic bomb development during the war he held the chair in theoretical physics at Cornell, and the same position at Caltech from 1951 through the rest of his career. His lectures were extremely well regarded both in and outside the opaque realm of physics, and became the basis for several books. Unlike most physicists, I could read Feynman for hours. For good reason he was called "The Great Explainer".
From Quotes of the Day:

All theoretical chemistry is really physics; and all theoretical chemists know it.

If you thought that science was certain - well, that is just an error on your part.

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool.

The vastness of the heavens stretches my imagination - stuck on this carousel my eye can catch one-million-year-old light. It does no harm to the mystery to know a little about it.

We have a habit in writing articles published in scientific journals to make the work as finished as possible, to cover up all the tracks, to not worry about the blind alleys or describe how you had the wrong idea first, and so on. So there isn't any place to publish, in a dignified manner, what you actually did in order to get to do the work.

Physics is like sex: sure, it may give some practical results, but that's not why we do it.
- All from Richard Feynman, 1918 - 1988

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