[GIF:R.F., from mid-70s?]
Photo © MALCOLM KIRK.  For further information contact:
Nobelist Physicist, teacher, storyteller, bongo player

the hero of physics geeks everywhere!

W. Beaty 1997

quirky stories!
billb recommends:

The Lost Art of Healing, by B. Lown

Best Science Writing 2003, Oliver Sacks

Best Science Writing 2004 D. Sobel

The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat, Oliver Sacks.

"An honest man, the outstanding intuitionist of our age, and a prime example of what may lie in store for anyone who dares to follow the beat of a different drum" - Dr. Julian Schwinger

Richard Feynman Articles Richard Feynman Books

"Physics is like sex. Sure, it may give some practical results, but that's not why we do it." - R. Feynman

Highly Recommended Feynman Books

More Feynman Books

"There are two kinds of geniuses: the 'ordinary' and the 'magicians'. An ordinary genius is a fellow whom you and I would be just as good as, if we were only many times better. There is no mystery as to how his mind works. Once we understand what they've done, we feel certain that we, too, could have done it. It is different with the magicians. Even after we understand what they have done it is completely dark. Richard Feynman is a magician of the highest calibre." - Mark Kac


Feynman Videos

"Are we giants of physics, business dwarfs?"
- RPF to Philip Morrison, over the fact that every bit of profit from "The Feynman Lectures" went to Caltech.

Books on tape/CD

Other Feynman Websites

Other Feynman Quotes

Physicists always have a habit of taking the simplest example of any phenomenon and calling it "physics," leaving the more complicated examples to become the concern of other fields...

"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts. "

"I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong."

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool."

"If we will only allow that, as we progress, we remain unsure, we will leave opportunities for alternatives. We will not become enthusiastic for the fact, the knowledge, the absolute truth of the day, but remain always uncertain... In order to make progress, one must leave the door to the unknown ajar."

You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird... So let's look at the bird and see what it's doing -- that's what counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.

"We cannot define anything precisely! If we attempt to, we get into that paralysis of thought that comes to philosophers, who sit opposite each other, one saying to the other, 'You don't know what you are talking about!' The second one says 'What do you mean by know? What do you mean by talking? What do you mean by you?', and so on."

"...far more marvelous is the truth than any artists of the past imagined it. Why do the poets of the present not speak of it? What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?"

(On pseudoscience) "...there is one feature I notice that is generally missing in 'cargo cult science'... It's a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty -- a kind of leaning over backwards... For example, if you're doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid--not only what you think is right about it... Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them."

"I'd hate to die twice. It's so boring." (last words)

Feynman's great secret: if you let Mrs. Eisenhart put both cream and lemon in your tea, guess what happens? Hint: it's a chemical effect as well as a social error! (Surely I'm just joking.)


The Feynman Webring

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