Econstudentlog

Surely you’re joking Mr. Feynman!

If you watched this and liked it, there’s really no excuse for not reading this book.

The book was a Christmas present and I started reading it just before the exam-period started, though I didn’t get very far back then. Yesterday I read the rest. The book is based on conversations Feynman had with his friend Ralph Leighton, and they talk about a lot of stuff you’d most probably never think would come up in discussions with a Nobel Prize winning physicist: Stuff like his childhood experiments with ants; a late night bar fight; trips to Las Vegas and his interactions with the showgirls there; bongo drum playing; his experiences with safe-cracking; his experience as an artist trying to sell his work to local brothels; how he was deferred from the draft for psychiatric reasons; why he gave up learning Japanese and how he almost decided to learn Portuguese instead of Spanish because of a terrific-looking blonde girl; his first night as a professor at Cornell, where he almost ended up sleeping in a pile of leaves under a street light (no alcohol was involved).

There’s also, naturally, stuff included in the book which you’d sort of expect to be there: Stuff about Feynman’s interactions with other brilliant physicists; his college years; his experiences at Los Alamos; teaching and lecturing experiences he’d had, both in the US and abroad; and a little bit of stuff about the work he did. He was a very interesting man. It’s a quite funny and very interesting book.

January 20, 2013 - Posted by | books, Physics

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