FEYNMAN, RICHARD PHILLIPS (1918–1988), U.S. theoretical physicist. Born in New York City, Feynman was the son of an immigrant garment salesman and frustrated scientist whose curiosity and understanding of natural phenomena was a lifelong inspiration to his son. Educated at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (B.S. 1939; he had originally preferred Columbia but was apparently kept out by the Jewish quota) and Princeton (Ph.D. 1942), Feynman worked on the Manhattan (atomic bomb) Project from 1942 to 1946 in Princeton and at Los Alamos, New Mexico, where he was a computational group leader. He taught physics at Cornell University from 1946 to 1950 and at the California Institute of Technology from 1951 until his death. Feynman won the Nobel Prize for physics in 1965 (jointly, with Julian Schwinger and Shinichiro Tomonaga) for the fundamental theoretical work that led to the development of quantum electrodynamics (from the quantum mechanics of the 1920s and 1930s). In the course of this work he also developed "Feynman diagrams," a widely used visual analytical technique. He also did important work on superconductivity and, in collaboration with his Cal Tech colleague (and rival) murray gell-mann , on quarks and other subatomic particles. Near the end of his life Feynman served on the commission investigating the Challenger space shuttle disaster in 1986, creating a public sensation when he conducted, at a public hearing, a simple experiment that revealed the cause of the explosion. He also exposed the institutional management deficiencies that had made the disaster possible. Feynman was early recognized as one of the most brilliant physicists of his generation and was widely respected as a teacher as well. His published lectures on physics are regarded as classics. He also had a reputation as a "character" – he was famous for his bongo drumming, his womanizing, and his general unconventional demeanor – and for his extreme individualism (said Gell-Mann, "I found that he had difficulty thinking in terms of 'us'"). In addition to publications in journals, he was the author of several popular books. Among his published works, both professional (mainly transcribed and edited lectures) and popular, are The Theory of Fundamental Processes (1961), Quantum Electrodynamics (1961), The Feynman Lectures on Physics (3 vols., 1963–65, with Robert B. Leighton and Matthew Sands), The Character of Physical Law (1965), Quantum Mechanics and Path Integrals (1965, with A.R. Hibbs), Photon-Hadron Interactions (1972), QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter (1985), "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman\!": Adventures of a Curious Character (1985, with Ralph Leighton), Elementary Particles and the Laws of Physics: the 1986 Dirac Memorial Lecture (1987, with steven weinberg ), and "What Do You Care What Other People Think?": Further Adventures of a Curious Character (1988, with Ralph Leighton). A biography, Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman (1992, by James Gleick);Selected Papers of Richard Feynman, with Commentary (2000, edited by Laurie M. Brown); and a collection of letters, Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track (2005, edited by his daughter Michelle Feynman), have been published. Feynman's life has inspired countless memoirs, a film, and two plays. (Drew Silver (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Feynman,Richard Phillips — Feyn·man (fīnʹmən), Richard Phillips. 1918 1988. American physicist. He shared a 1965 Nobel Prize for research in quantum electrodynamics. * * * …   Universalium

  • Feynman , Richard Phillips — (1918–1988) American theoretical physicist The father of Feynman had been brought with his immigrant parents from Minsk, Byelorussia, in 1895. Feynman himself was born in New York and educated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and at… …   Scientists

  • Feynman, Richard Phillips — (1918–1987)    US physicist and Nobel laureate, 1965. Born in New York, Feynman was involved in the war time atom bomb project at Princeton and Los Alamos. After the war he became professor of theoretical physics at the California Institute of… …   Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament

  • Richard Phillips Feynman — Richard Feynman Richard Phillips Feynman Richard Feynman (au centre) avec Robert Oppenheimer (à sa gauche) à Los Alamos à l époque du projet Manhattan. Naissance …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Richard Phillips Feynman — Richard Feynman (Los Alamos Dienstausweis während des Zweiten Weltkriegs) Richard Phillips Feynman [ˈfaɪnmən] (* 11. Mai 1918 in New York; † 15. Februar 1988 in Los Angeles …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Feynman, Richard P. — ▪ American physicist in full  Richard Phillips Feynman   born May 11, 1918, New York, New York, U.S. died February 15, 1988, Los Angeles, California       American theoretical physicist who was widely regarded as the most brilliant, influential,… …   Universalium

  • Richard Phillips Feynman — noun United States physicist who contributed to the theory of the interaction of photons and electrons (1918 1988) • Syn: ↑Feynman, ↑Richard Feynman • Instance Hypernyms: ↑nuclear physicist …   Useful english dictionary

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