Richard Feynman, John and Mary Gribbin

 

Richard Feynman was the greatest physicist of his generation.  Few people have advanced science further than he.  Whether it was his work on the atomic bomb, his theory on quantum electrodynamics that would win him the Nobel Prize, or his work on the Challenger Disaster Board, Richard Feynman was at the forefront of his field for more than fifty years.  And he did it all while remaining decidedly “normal.”  He was about as far from the stereotypical scientist as you can imagine- a safe cracking, practical joking, radio repairing, bongo playing genius.  Even more surprising, he was just as good a teacher as he was a theorist.

            This book is part biography and part scientific explanation, and should probably be required reading for physics majors, as well as anyone who has an interest in Richard Feynman.  That being said, this isn’t where I would recommend starting if you really want to get an idea of what Feynman was all about.  This book certainly does a good job of it, but I fear that the pretty advanced scientific parts would leave the average reader behind.  Had I not taken chemistry and physics in college, this book would have been beyond my grasp- or I would have taken so long trying to figure the science out that whole Feynman aspect of the work would have been lost.

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