Friday, February 18, 2005

Richard Feynman

Posted by Hello

"why should we be concerned with symmetry?.....

It is an interesting fact that nature often exhibits certain kinds of symmetry in the objects we find in the world around us. Perhaps the most symmetrical object imaginable is a sphere, and nature is full of spheres---stars, planets, water droplets in clouds. The crystals found in rocks exhibit many different kinds of symmetry, the study of which tells us some important things about the structure of solids. even the animal and vegetable worlds show some degree of symmetry, although the symmetry of a flower or of a bee is not as perfect or as fundamental as is that of a crystal." from "SIX NOT-SO-EASY PIECES"

Richard P. Feynman also concluded that the symmetrical o-rings in the rocket booster failed and caused the explosion which destroyed Challenger when he was on the commission charged with investigating that disaster. A Nobel laureate, he is generally acknowledged as one of the brightest and most influential physicists ever. He is also noted for a fine sense of humor and an ability to play the bongo drums.

Having listened to some of his recorded lectures, I can attest to his inspirational style. I can hardly read anything on physics now, by anyone, without hearing his voice with its New Jersey accent. His published books include, aside from technical works, "SURELY YOU'RE JOKING MR. FEYNMAN", "WHAT DO YOU CARE WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK" (partly about the Rogers Commission investigation of the Challenger disaster), and "TUVA OR BUST!" There is also a semi-biographical movie about him called "Infinity" with Matthew Broderick playing him, and Alan Alda did a one-man show about Feynman called QED.

A most interesting man. Check him out.

No comments:

Post a Comment