The Life and Science of Richard Feynman

Book - 1993
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To his colleagues, Richard Feynman was not so much a genius as he was a full-blown magician: someone who "does things that nobody else could do and that seem completely unexpected." The path he cleared for twentieth-century physics led from the making of the atomic bomb to a Nobel Prize-winning theory of quantam electrodynamics to his devastating exposé of the Challenger space shuttle disaster. At the same time, the ebullient Feynman established a reputation as an eccentric showman, a master safe cracker and bongo player, and a wizard of seduction.

Now James Gleick, author of the bestselling Chaos, unravels teh dense skein of Feynman's thought as well as the paradoxes of his character in a biography--which was nominated for a National Book Award--of outstanding lucidity and compassion.
Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 1993
Edition: 1st Vintage Books ed
ISBN: 9780679747048
Branch Call Number: 921 FEY
Characteristics: x, 531 p. :,ill. ;,21 cm


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Sep 18, 2016

An interesting read, but not well balanced. There is a great deal of emphasis on Feynman's early years as a student at MIT and Princeton, but a lack of detail from about 1962 to 1986. Perhaps this is a reflection of his career and when his major contributions to science took place. The chapters on the Manhattan Project were very engaging and I am now happily slogging my way through "The Feynman Lectures on Physics" (which I was not previously aware of, despite having previously read Feynman's own "auto-biography"). Overall, I would agree with the comments from a reviewer on Goodreads: "it was interesting, but most of the same information is available in more-engaging form elsewhere."

May 01, 2015

An excellent biography of a singular person. This biography includes (about 50%) the scientific questions that Feynman pursued in his career. This biography is very well written and entertaining. Some previous knowledge of physics will definitely help. Worth reading if you are interested.

Jun 21, 2013

James Gleick's prose, vocabulary and style is on par with great fiction writers. He uses his Harvard University training in English to show scientific topics and scientists, often shunned as boring, as extremely interesting. It is no wonder that his peers voted him as a Pulitzer Prize Finalist three times. He has won two National Book Awards. For those who want to learn about Feynman's brilliance, personality, life and science this is a great read. Gleick, apart from being a joy to read, just for his creative style, does not shy away from showing and explaining the quantum physics. At times the reader needs to put on some intellectual running shoes if they want to try to understand the subject, which is part of the genius of who Richard Feynman was. Kudos to Gleick as a great popularizer of science and its heroes.

Dec 06, 2007

Finalist of the 1993 Pulitzer prize for biography.

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