No Ordinary Genius: The Illustrated Richard Feynman

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W. W. Norton & Company, 1995 - Biography & Autobiography - 272 pages
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If Richard Feynman had not existed it would not be possible to create him. The most extraordinary scientist of his time, a unique combination of dazzling intellect and touching simplicity, Feynman had a passion for physics that was merely the Nobel Prize-winning part of an immense love of life and everything it could offer. He was hugely irreverent and always completely honest - with himself, with his colleagues, and with nature. "People say to me, 'Are you looking for the ultimate laws of physics?' No, I'm not. I'm just looking to find out more about the world, and if it turns out there is a simple ultimate law that explains everything, so be it. That would be very nice to discover. If it turns out it's like an onion with millions of layers, and we're sick and tired of looking at layers, then that's the way it is....My interest in science is to simply find out more about the world, and the more I find out the better it is. I like to find out." This intimate, moving, and funny book traces Feynman's remarkable adventures inside and outside science, in words and in more than one hundred photographs, many of them supplied by his family and close friends. The words are often his own and those of family, friends, and colleagues such as his sister, Joan Feynman; his children, Carl and Michelle; Freeman Dyson, Hans Bethe, Daniel Hillis, Marvin Minsky, and John Archibald Wheeler. It gives vivid insight into the mind of a great creative scientist at work and at play, and it challenges the popular myth of the scientist as a cold reductionist dedicated to stripping romance and mystery from the natural world. Feynman's enthusiasm is wonderfully infectious. It shines forth in these photographs andin his tales - how he learned science from his father and the Encyclopedia Britannica, working at Los Alamos on the first atomic bomb, reflecting on the marvels of electromagnetism, unraveling the mysteries of liquid helium, probing the causes of the Challenger space shuttle disas

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - S.Krieger - LibraryThing

A mosaic portrait made up of impressions by and about this very human, deep-feeling man. Many personal photos and words show his qualities: Quirky, courageous, funny, compassionate and nobody's fool ... Read full review

NO ORDINARY GENIUS: The Illustrated Richard Feynman

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A chorus of adulatory voices sings the praises of the late Nobel Prize-winning physicist, but fortunately the voice that rings loudest and clearest is Feynman's. Popularizers of the scientist's life ... Read full review


A Note on Contributors
The Pleasure of Finding Things Out
Love and the Bomb
How to Win a Nobel Prize
Topless Bars and Other Ways to Have Fun
Doing the Physics
Tiny Writing and Huge Computers
The Quest for Tannu Tuva
A Feynman Bibliography
Illustration Credits

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About the author (1995)

Richard P. Feynman was born in 1918 and grew up in Far Rockaway, New York. At the age of seventeen he entered MIT and in 1939 went to Princeton, then to Los Alamos, where he joined in the effort to build the atomic bomb. Following World War II he joined the physics faculty at Cornell, then went on to Caltech in 1951, where he taught until his death in 1988. He shared the Nobel Prize for physics in 1965, and served with distinction on the Shuttle Commission in 1986. A commemorative stamp in his name was issued by the U.S. Postal Service in 2005.

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