"A worthy addition to the Feynman shelf and a welcome follow-up to the standard-bearer, James Gleick's Genius." —Kirkus Reviews
Perhaps the greatest physicist of the second half of the twentieth century, Richard Feynman changed the way we think about quantum mechanics, the most perplexing of all physical theories. Here Lawrence M. Krauss, himself a theoretical physicist and a best-selling author, offers a unique scientific biography: a rollicking narrative coupled with clear and novel expositions of science at the limits. From the death of Feynman’s childhood sweetheart during the Manhattan Project to his reluctant rise as a scientific icon, we see Feynman’s life through his science, providing a new understanding of the legacy of a man who has fascinated millions.
Physicist Richard Feynman has a reputation as a bongo-playing, hard-partying, flamboyant Nobel Prize laureate for his work on quantum electrodynamics theory, but this tends to obscure the fact that he was a brilliant thinker who continued making contributions to science until his death in 1988. He foresaw new directions in science that have begun to produce practical applications only in the last decade: nanotechnology, atomic-scale biology like the manipulation of DNA, lasers to move individual atoms, and quantum engineering. In the 1960s, Feynman entered the field of quantum gravity and created important tools and techniques for scientists studying black holes and gravity waves. Author Krauss (The Physics of Star Trek), an MIT-trained physicist, doesn't necessarily break new ground in this biography, but Krauss excels in his ability, like Feynman himself, to make complicated physics comprehensible. He incorporates Feynman's lectures and quotes several of the late physicist's colleagues to aid him in this process. This book is highly recommended for readers who want to get to know one of the preeminent scientists of the 20th century.
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A book for Feynman fans
His life and how he lived was so very fascinating, that the opportunity of a non-physicist like me to tap into Feynman's achievements in context with world at the time, was wonderful. This book is an easy read for the lay person but it doesn't shirk representing the physics. It nicely describes the extent, the newness, the quirkiness and sheer brilliance of Feynman's insights and one can see the effects of his ideas today, in examples such as minaturisation and quantum computing. Humanity has a hope that it produces the like of this person and can recognise and celebrate his existence. I thoroughly recommend this book for fans and others alike.
This is a wonderful book, as a future MIT student its first few pages have enlightened me in Physics (mind, I'm only in the 10th grade and taking Trigonometry thus far). Very inspiration and similar to my own life.