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"A worthy addition to the Feynman shelf and a welcome follow-up to the standard-bearer, James Gleick's Genius." —Kirkus ReviewsPerhaps the greatest physicist of the second half of the twentieth century, Richard Feynman changed the way we think about quantum mechanics, the most perplexing of all physical theories. Here Lawrence M. Krauss, himself a theoretical physicist and"A worthy addition to the Feynman shelf and a welcome follow-up to the standard-bearer, James Gleick's Genius." —Kirkus ReviewsPerhaps the greatest physicist of the second half of the twentieth century, Richard Feynman changed the way we think about quantum mechanics, the most perplexing of all physical theories. Here Lawrence M. Krauss, himself a theoretical physicist and a best-selling author, offers a unique scientific biography: a rollicking narrative coupled with clear and novel expositions of science at the limits. From the death of Feynman’s childhood sweetheart during the Manhattan Project to his reluctant rise as a scientific icon, we see Feynman’s life through his science, providing a new understanding of the legacy of a man who has fascinated millions....

Title : quantum man richard feynman s life in science
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quantum man richard feynman s life in science Reviews

  • Michael
    2019-03-10 05:46

    I found this book very good at explaining Feynman’s contributions to physics from the context of the history of the science and ideas. It was a great complement to Glieck’s wonderful “Genius”, a biography which focused on the special qualities of his mind and personality. Krauss is a physicist himself, so the advantage here is his ability to convey the science as much as possible (without resorting to equations), and in the process he elucidates the paradoxical blend of individual genius, collaboration, and competition that drives progress. I came away with a deep respect for how Feymann’s ideas fueled not only his own successes with a theory of the electromagenetic force but seminal influences on work of others on all the other fundamental forces (strong and weak nuclear forces and gravity). Also, I understand better his pioneering work on superfluidity (which led to big advances by others in superconducters), foundational thinking about nanotechnology, and advances in computations science and prospects for quantum computing. Like many ordinary citizens of the world, there is only so far I can get toward truly understanding the science of quantum physics. I was a biology major required to take physics in college in the 70’s, and I struggled through with a C in a standard intro course. But for a make-up class, I wrangled permission to take an intro to quantum mechanics and somehow took to it enough to garner an ”A”. I succeeded in imbibing the basics accepted at that time for accounting for the electromagnetic force and the yawning gap in attaining Einstein’s dream of a unified theory encompassing the other forces with a coherent scheme. I admired the innovation of “Feynmann diagram” which allowed one to visualize an interaction between particles in collision with tracking of exchange of photons to mediate the forces leading to changes in trajectories before and after. His diagrams combined with his path integral approach was seen by Feynmann as mathematical tricks that served to bypass (“normalize”) a lot of infinities that Dirac discovered as spoiling the success of the Copenhagen school model when one applies probability wave descriptions to situations beyond a simple hydrogen atom hanging out (in my dim understanding). But Krauss seems to favor the school of thought that the tools themselves, once found to be essential for the theories of the weak and strong nuclear forces, somehow represent a fundamental theoretical capturing of how reality works. Simplest Feynmann diagram showing a collision between two particles, p, with exchange of momentum k mediated by a photon indicated with a dotted lineThe picture that Krauss paints reveals Feynmann as quite collegial in many ways and driven more by the common enterprise of finding principles than in seeking selfish glory and ownership of original ideas. Yet he was also quite a loner and driven by a form of hubris that didn’t trust the work of others unless he could derive their advances in his own way. He often neglected advances with other approaches that might have helped his own progress. By the time he was 15 he had taught himself most branches of mathematics and his own ways of deriving proofs. He is famous for applying so-called path integrals as a mathematical approach to handling all the probability wave dynamics between one point and another, which proved essential for a Nobel-winning breakthrough in the quantum model for the electromagnetic force known as quantum electrodynamics. Krauss cites an early kernel of his methods in his high school fascination with the calculus innovations of Lagrange and Hamilton for describing pathways of motion based on accounting for continual interplay of potential and kinetic energy. Where I fail in confidence is in my understanding of the status of virtual particles and the energy inherent in a vacuum. Feynmann’s modeling made use of brief creation of particle pairs such as a photon and anti-photon, which could then annihilate each other with no violation of conservation laws. The virtual particles can have negative energy, and mathematically an antimatter particle can sometimes be described as like its counterpart running backward in time. What I can grasp is like Dirac’s prediction of antimatter and its confirmation by experiment, the application of quantum probability treatment to the nuclear forces by Feynmann’s Caltech colleague Gell-Mann predicted a host of particles similarly confirmed in high-energy collider studies. There were a couple of decades where there was a zoo of particles being predicted and discovered, and it all seemed mad. The solution of multiple quarks with properties of charm, color, and spin I now just shake my head over in dumb amazement. The final count I read in Wiki is 61, all elegantly systematized. The take home message I can manage is all forces are conceived as mediation by the quantized energy packets/particles, photons for the electromagnetic force, gluons for the strong nuclear force, and quarks for the weak force now integrated with electromagnetic as a unified electroweak force. Feynmann had his own scheme called partons, but he ultimately acknowledged Gell-Mann’s conception of quarks as more comprehensive. He dabbled with parallel quantum field representations of gravity mediated by gravitrons, but no clue to how to experimentally prove of their existence has been developed yet. The book integrates coverage of his personal development, including his wives, his womanizing, his affinity for drumming, his humor, and his dedication to teaching. But such delving is not a strength of this book. The Glieck biography and his own memoirs (e.g. “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynmann”) are more satisfying in that regard. If you feel ready to be walked through a lot of physics without the challenge of equations (and thus without hope of attaining a deep appreciation of the subject), or have any interest in how science evolves from individual and collaborative achievements, then I bet you can gain more from this read than you might expect.

  • Will
    2019-03-08 07:49

    This is a really good book but I can see why it got so many relatively poor reviews. Krauss explains Feynmann's work very well, and provides an arresting and insightful account of how his thinking developed over the decades. But it is about physics, not just the man and those aspects of Feynmann's life that made him an internationally-recognized name. I heard Feynmann lecture a couple of times myself and it's true, he was as dynamic and awe-inspiring as Krauss makes clear; on the other hand I have to admit I didn't fully understand the lectures either. But it is such a joy to read a biography that isn't written by a popularizer who doesn't understand the subject matter enough to be other than an uncritical booster, that it really is worth the effort to read this bio.

  • Carl Rollyson
    2019-03-03 05:33

    Nearly anyone writing about Richard Feynman is bound to seem staid compared with the man himself. The physicist, who won a Nobel Prize for explaining the interaction between electrons and protons in terms of quantum mechanics, was among the century's most celebrated popularizers of scientific thinking. His public talks were transformed into entertaining books like "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!" (1985), and he was known for stunningly simple explanations, such as when he explained the disintegration of the space shuttle Challenger using a glass of ice water and one of the rocket booster's defective carbon o-rings. He was also famous for his quirky interests outside of physics—dancing, drawing, bongo playing, a devotion to strip clubs.Lawrence M. Krauss is a physicist, and "Quantum Man" is part of a series dedicated to lives in science, meaning that much of the book consists of technical explanations that will be challenging for general readers. Mr. Krauss often seems to be addressing physics students. While it is undoubtedly important for readers to grasp Feynman's scientific work, Mr. Krauss rarely uses the sort of crystal-clear language with which Feynman himself used to enlighten listeners. Here, for example, is Feynman's introduction to physics for undergraduate students as recorded in the "The Feynman Lectures on Physics: The New Millennium Edition" (2010):"If, in some cataclysm, all of scientific knowledge were to be destroyed, and only one sentence passed on to the next generations of creatures, what statement would contain the most information in the fewest words? I believe it is the atomic hypothesis (or the atomic fact, or whatever you wish to call it) that all things are made of atoms—little particles that move around in perpetual motion, attracting each other when they are a little distance apart, but repelling upon being squeezed into one another.It would be misleading to imply that Feynman's lectures are always as lucid as his one-sentence definition of the atomic hypothesis. But in many cases Mr. Krauss could have simply availed himself of his subject's own words.Furthermore, even in a biography devoted to a man of science, the man has to emerge in situ, and such is rarely the case in Mr. Krauss's book. Perhaps because so much has already been written by and about Feynman, Mr. Krauss takes his subject's personality for granted. As Feynman himself liked to counsel young scientists: Never rely on the experiments of others. A biographer of Feynman should approach this most unusual genius by doing something fresh.Mr. Krauss certainly finds room to discuss Feynman's offbeat personality, but he refuses to speculate on how it might have influenced his science. To be sure, Feynman disparaged the notion that his interests outside of science had anything to do with his physics. But such denial should serve to challenge the biographer: Feynman never worried about looking like a fool—as he said countless times to anyone who would listen—and neither should his biographer.Take Feynman's desire to understand how electrons can behave as particles, as waves and as both, all at the same time—and can even be in two different places at once. Such behavior is not possible according to classical physics, but quantum mechanics suggest that it is. Feynman may have understood such logic—at least in part—because he retained a child-like quality, a sense of play, throughout his life. In a child's world you can be here and elsewhere at the same time—in Kansas and with the Wizard of Oz.Linkages of these sorts can in fact be forged by reading Mr. Krauss alongside Feynman's own posthumous publications, such as "The Meaning of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen Scientist" (1998) and "The Pleasure of Finding Things Out" (1999), in which Feynman discourses about himself and his intellectual adventures. Usually the biographer serves as a kind of check on a subject like Feynman, who, it is presumed, mythologized himself as most autobiographers do. But in this curious case, Feynman has to be consulted to make sense of his biographer's narrative.James Gleick's "Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman" (1992) is a more supple treatment of the same basic material. To pick just one example, Mr. Krauss does not mention until page 210 that Feynman's sister, Joan, was also a physicist, while from Mr. Gleick we learn that she served as his lab assistant early in his career. Even so, neither volume quite gives readers the sense that they have penetrated beneath the flamboyant physicist's public pose—if that's what it was. Could Feynman really have been as genial and entertaining a fellow as he seemed? After all, Mr. Gleick notes that many of the justly famous Feynman sayings that seemed so spontaneous in his lectures and interviews were in fact labored over in private.Yet consulting his selected letters, "Perfectly Reasonable Deviations From the Beaten Track" (2005), reveals the same amusing, shrewd character, evident on every page. This correspondence demonstrates that Feynman was not only a great monologist but a good teacher and interlocutor. One of the best letters is Feynman's reply to a publisher complaining that physics professors were selling complimentary copies of textbooks sent to them. Feynman argues that the very sending of the books accomplishes the publisher's purpose: advertising his wares. If the re-selling of promotional copies prevented the publisher from making a decent profit, Feynman advised, he should stop sending them. As for himself, Feynman concluded, he returned unsolicited books—but now, come to think of it, the publisher had given him a new idea about what to do with them.Besides entertaining himself, why would Feynman spend so much time on such trivial correspondence? (The letter to the publisher is by no means atypical.) This question Mr. Krauss, for one, never asks. When he observes behavior in Feynman that he does not understand, he simply calls it "paradoxical." Perhaps the point about Feynman's character that this reveals is that nothing—at least potentially—was beneath his notice. Just as Feynman wanted to explore the constituents of the atom, he wanted to fathom other minds and would happily engage, say, a member of the John Birch Society in a discussion of the U. S. Constitution rather than simply dismiss extremist views—or even ridiculous ones. There is a lesson there about curiosity that his biographers would do well to heed.

  • Louise Silk
    2019-03-14 07:54

    I was not at all familiar with Richard Feynman until reading this very down-to-earth understandable biography that brings out the essence of a true scientific genius in the league of Einstein.Krauss details Feynman's scientific contributions, their relevance, importance and uniqueness in fairly easy to understand layman's terms. He also delves into Feynman's more publicly known activities, including his bongo playing, nude painting and his famous demonstration of the failure of the O-rings in the Challenger space shuttle disaster.Feynman's great influence on physics was not just the direct impact of his original ideas but also his compulsive need to work out everything from first principles, understanding it inside out, backwards and forwards and from as many different angles as possible-to think outside the box. He insisted on honesty and truth in science, reporting the negative as well as the positive results.Richard Feynman was a scientist with striking intellectual originality that allowed him to look at the physical world in wholly unanticipated new ways. The biography does a good job of demonstrating that true success needs fearless determination and an unwavering belief in truth.

  • Vlad
    2019-03-04 01:41

    Excellent scientific biography of Feynman. Going thru the Los Alamos years, improvement on Dirac's interpretation of QED, the rise of anti-particles, the Theory of Positrion 1949, the work on quantum field theory.Creation of Feynman diagrams.Vacuum polarization.Radiation is photons.Friendship and work with Hans Bethe.Lamb shift calculations approach to QEDFeynman on Scientific Method: on Dirac: how quantum mechanics can be expressed in terms of a LangrangianProbability amplitudes for paths, weight for probability is expressed in total action; add up all weights for the separate pathsrelativity and QM require a theory than can handle a posibility of infinite virtual particles at a given instant1963 Roger Penrose: past the event horizon falls into a singularity (infinity)Julian Schwinger approach to QED at the Dyson's first papers in 1949 using Feynman diagrams: unfies Schqinger, Feynman and TakanaThe Slotnick incidentremoving infinities from QEDthe emergence of masons, condensed physics (low temperatures)Feynman interested in Bose-Einstein condensation transitionsMurray Gell-Mann: new symmetries, quarksAlan Guth: originator of inflation"The game I play is a very interesting one. It's imagination in a tight straigtjacket".Scanning tunneling microscopes and atomic force microscopesTsung-Dao Lee (born November 24, 1926) is a Chinese-born American physicist, well known for his work on parity violation, the Lee Model, particle physics, relativistic heavy ion (RHIC) physics, nontopological solitons and soliton stars. interaction violates parity, beta decay chair of Rochester ConferenceIn 1957, he and George Sudarshan proposed a V-A ("vector" minus "axial vector") Lagrangian for weak interactions, which was later independently discovered by Richard Feynman and Murray Gell-Mann. The Feynman Gell-Mann paper on V-AFeynman and Gell-Mann interrupting young Steven Weinberg who later unified weak interactions with electromagentismFeynman lectures in 50s at CaltechThe Feynman Lectures on Physics is a 1964 physics textbook by Richard P. Feynman, Robert B. Leighton and Matthew SandsThe NBC interviewThe Character of Physical Law book based on the 6 Messengers LecturesA quantum world and a classical world can never be equivalent.1985 paper: no quantum computation can be done without loss of heat/energyGroup theory, Gell-Mann, 1961, polyhedra, SU3, rotations, change particles into each other, "8 fold way", Buddha's 8 way, decouplet => new particle called "omega-minus", "nuclear democracy"Feynman at partons real?gauge symmetry ensures that the photon is masslessquantum chromodynamics, YangMillsDavid Gross and Frank Wilcheck -> QCD can explain strong interactions?=> asymptotic freedomconfinement not fully proved to datepath integral formulation is the only formulation now

  • Bob Nichols
    2019-02-26 07:46

    As in other accounts, Feynman as a person is interesting. In this account of Feynman's life, Krauss does a good job. Krauss lost me quickly, however, in his discussion of Feynman's quantum physics. Acknowledging that particle physics is a tough nut to crack, this is not a book, perhaps, for the general reader. The best part of this book was toward the end when Krauss describes Feynman's attempt to seam particle physics with gravitation and general relativity, which Feynman called a quantum theory of gravitation. Krauss notes that while general relativity had become “an entirely self-contained field that could be understood apart from almost all of the rest of physics,” Feynman “rightly believed such a separation was artificial.” With gravitational waves, Feynman believed that “general relativity is not that different from the theories describing the other forces of nature. It can be described by the exchange of fundamental particles just like the rest.” The discussion of Feynman's “quantum cosmology” where the universe is viewed as operating via quantum mechanics was difficult to follow, but was tantalizing, as was the discussion and statement that “the total energy of the entire universe might be precisely zero.” Boiled down, is the cosmos about energy differentials and balance?

  • Richard
    2019-03-14 23:27

    A very good book about Feynman that complements other biographies of him by focusing almost completely on the actual science. Krauss is skilled at explaining that science for the lay reader, but I suspect this book works much better as a reading experience. I was trying it as an audio book, and I think that was a mistake. I found myself having to go back a lot as I kept missing details and losing the thread.This is definitely a book I'll revisit as a print/e-book, though. I would recommend others try it that way, and give the audio book a pass.

  • Ibrahim Majed
    2019-03-14 01:37

    كتاب جميل ورائع .. تعيش فيه قصة عالم فيزيائي ساعدنا على ان نغير نظرتنا للعالم دون ان نعرف .. جعل حياتنا اسهل من خلال افكاره الثورية في عالم التقنية .. الكتاب يتطرق للمواضيع والمشكلات الفيزيائية التي تعرض لها فاينمان بشيء من التفصيل .. لذا من الجيد ان تكون ملما ببعض اسياسيات الفيزياء الحديثة قبل قراءته

  • Bryan Higgs
    2019-03-02 07:47

    I enjoyed reading this book. I had already read the very good biography of Feynman, Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman, but some time ago. This book goes into Feynman's physics in more detail, and with more context, than "Genius", which, from my perspective as a Ph.D. in Physics and one who has read fairly widely about Physics since retiring from a job that took me away from Physics for more than 30 years, is a good thing. However, I can understand how some others with less of a physics background might have found this a little tough going (although I don't think the book contains a single equation).When I was an undergraduate in Physics, one of the recommended books was Feynman's classic The Feynman Lectures on Physics, which I found quite readable. Interestingly, it was never an assigned book in any of our courses. The more I learned about Feynman, the more interesting a character he became in my mind. In fact, when I applied to graduate schools, I wrote to him in the hope that I could become one of his graduate students (ah, the innocence of a callow youth!). Therein lies another story that I won't bore you with in this review. Suffice it to say that Feynman was then, and still is, a hero of mine.In the intervening years I have learned more about Feynman, and have come to the conclusion that I probably would not have enjoyed being one of his graduate students, because I would not have been of sufficient caliber, and because he was not known for his support of graduate students.This book gave a little more insight to his non-conformist genius, and made me aware of how influential he was in so many areas other than those for which he was awarded his Nobel Prize. I knew he had been in at the very beginning of nanotechnology, and this book filled in some of those details.Overall, I highly recommend this book, as long as you are prepared to read and try to understand the physics parts.

  • Ahmed Fawzy
    2019-03-26 04:54

    بدأت قراءة كتاب "ريتشارد فاينمان .. حياته فى العلم" فقد كنت أطمح لمعرفة جوانب حياتية مر بها فاينمان، ولكن الكتاب صدمنى..سبب اختيارى لهذا الكتاب هو سعيى لمعرفة كيفية نشأ ريتشارد فاينمان ومالسببب فى شغفه وعشقه للعلم والمعرفة رغم كون أبواه شخصان بسيطان غير أن أبيه كان يُجْلسه فى حضنه -وهو صغيرا- ليقرأ له من الموسوعة البريطانية وكان يُترج له ما يقرأه بقدر ما يستطيع بشكل يستوعبه الطفل ويحبه ويستمتع بهولكن أحبطت عندما توغلت فى الكتاب أكثر وأكثر لأنى لم أجد ما أتمناه سوى فى كلمات بسيطة جدا نسبتها لا تقدر شيئا، فالكتاب علمى بشكل كبير حيث يتناول إسهامات فاينمان العلمية وكيف ساهم فيها ومن شارك معه فى ذلك، فالكتاب تناول الحياة العلمية لريتشارد فاينمان وأهمل -إلا فى مواضع بسيطة جدا- الحديث عن كيفية نشأة شغفه العلمى ونموه لكى تنتج تلك الشخصية العبقرية بإسهاماتها العظيمةأنصح المهتمين بفيزياء الكم والجسيمات وميكانيكا الكم بقراءة هذا الكتاب فسيفيدهم فى التعرف على إسهامات هذا الرجل فى تلك المجالات.هذا رابط فيديو لريتشارد فاينمان يتحدث فيه عن نفسه وعن متعة المعرفة

  • Jason
    2019-03-07 03:40

    This book is an interesting combination of biography and introductory physics. The life of Richard Feynman is intertwined with discussions of physics. While it might make for slow going for some, I quickly came to see that, to understand Feynman's life and work, one needs to have even a minor grasp upon and understanding of the questions with which he grappled throughout his life. Krauss does a fairly good job of keeping the physics at the level of the general reader, though I thought there were times where the discussion became bogged down in details and asides.I have not read other biographies of Feynman, so I cannot comment on how this compares to them. As a basic introduction to Feynman and the physics questions of the twentieth century, it's pretty decent.

  • Nick
    2019-03-22 05:29

    This is not a full biography, but rather one that attempts to explain, for non-physicists, just why Richard Feynman was and is one of the most important scientists of the twentieth century. Krauss succeeds admirably in assessing Feynman's importance and his outsize influence on physical science which has endured for several decades after his death. Krauss argues convincingly that Feynman's importance will continue to grow as our knowledge of physics grows.

  • M
    2019-03-03 23:26

    This book is about theoretical physicist Richard Feynman and is written by Lawrence Krauss, who is also a theoretical physicist. Krauss says his book is "accessible," but I strongly disagree. To me accessible means that the content could be read by a lot of different people and still be appreciated. I think that even people who are knowledgeable in physics would have trouble following this book. I listened as a an audio book, which probably made it even harder to follow. The central focus of the book is Feynman's major scientific achievements and the processes by which he arrived at his conclusions (or lack thereof). It also talks a little bit about his personal life, his work on the Manhattan Project and his interactions with others in the scientific community. But mostly the book returns again and again (I think) to Feynman's attempt to remove the infinities from an equation that describes the number of possible pathways that an electron can take between point A and B. This is called the sum-over-paths equation (or the path-integral formulation of quantum mechanics). If you don't know what this is, this book might not be too fun for you. Despite some training in physics, much of the book was incomprehensible to me. But what I did find interesting was Feynman's admirable tenacity to chase down an idea. You learn a lot about the scientific process, competition, politics and drama in academia. But what might be most important is just to remember that there are many ways to go from point A to B, we just don't know if that number is infinite or finite, yet. Or maybe we do know. I don't know. If you are interested in a book about Richard Feynman that is accessible, I would suggest, "Surely you're joking Mr. Feynman" that Feynman wrote himself and is highly accessible.

  • Ulla Al-Najjar
    2019-03-06 04:30

    ميكانيكا الكم, تكامل المسارات, تقنية النانو, وحتى في الجاذبية والفضاء والحاسوب. وغيرها الكثير مما اسهم في احداث تغيير عظيم في العلم ستجد لفاينمان مشاركة في اكتشافه او اكتشافه كاملاً ريتشارد فاينمان ذاك الذي جعلنا نفكر خارج الصندوق ونرى العالم كما لم نرهُ من قبل ..الكتاب سرديٌ بامتياز يسرد فيما يشبه سيرة ذاتية تتناول حياة فاينمان العلمية .لا اظنه يعد مرجعا كاملاً لما اكتشفه فاينمان فهو لم يسلط الضوء بشكل كافٍ على اهم اكتشافات فاينمان في تقنية النانو وانما اكتفى بذكرها في بضع صفحات, يذكر الكتاب ايضاً كوكبة من علماء الفيزياء بشتى مجالاتها ممن واكبوا فاينمان وكذلك يذكر احداثاً طفيفة فيما يتعلق بمشاركة فاينمان في مشروع مانهاتن في صناعة القنبلة النووية ..

  • Christina Wiseman
    2019-03-13 03:49

    Heavy yet light, worth the readAlthough the science would go far over my head sometimes, the author tied it back to basic human principles we can all understand.The humanizing effect of not just one great scientist, but of the entire community, made this a must-read!

  • Courtney Johnston
    2019-03-02 02:52

    I really really wanted to like this book, as I've been wanting to get back into the swing of science reading. But Lawrence Krauss lost me on two counts.First, the physics easily makes up 60% of the book, and dives in pretty deep. I appreciate that the Krauss is trying to give equal focus to Feynman's science and his larger-than-life personality, but I got lost pretty quick, and gave up 60 pages in when I realised that I was skimming the science searching for the next bit of bio. It certainly understood more than I would have two years ago, but it wasn't what I was reading for and I got a bit thrown by that. Second, Krauss overdoes the exclamation mark. Your average biography, to my mind, shouldn't use exclamation marks outside of quoted dialogue, and your average science book should also employ them warily. And sentences like this are simply not improved through their inclusion:But unlike conventional repairmen, Feynman would delight in solving radio problems not merely by tinkering, but by thinking!Needless to say, when the experimenters involved in the claimed discovery went back to their device and looked at it there was the bolt!Those two examples were on pages 4 and 5. I don't know why it grates on me so badly, but it does.If you physics is stronger and your aversion to !!! weaker than mine, you might get a lot more out of 'Quantum Man' than I did. But I'm going back to James Gleick's canonical biography myself.

  • SoManyBooks SoLittleTime (Aven Shore)
    2019-03-03 06:37

    Hard for me to rate this because I don't have many comparatives in the Physics Biography genre, but this is not just a Feynman biography. It's an overview of Quantum theory, the last 100 years of Physics, and the major players in the field. Writing for the layperson, Krauss has the expressed intention of helping the reader understand why Richard Feynman was so important and revered in science. In order to do that, he goes fairly deep into the last century of Physics and the dive the science took into Quantum theory. I struggled with this, even while knowing he was giving the most accessible overview he could (and I knew a little about most of it already). Quantum theory is rough going, since practically all the laws are in direct contradiction to how we observe our daily reality, and it's dizzying to imagine the quantum rules - they are very strange, even while they underpin our entire physical world.Besides that difficulty with the details, this book is an excellent play by play of the developments and major discoveries in Physics, and well-drawn sketches of the major players in the field, woven into Feynman's career and his many contributions during his life, as he collaborated, co-discovered, and influenced many other scientists throughout his life.

  • Tom Richards
    2019-03-13 04:37

    'Genius' by James Gleick is probably the more comprehensive picture of Feynman the man, giving more colour about his childhood and his motivations, as well as more stories showing Feynman the iconoclast and practical joker. 'Quantum man' is nevertheless a valuable complement to the other Feynman literature, because it tells us more about Feynman the physicist. Going through Feynman's original papers, Krauss puts them in their historical context, showing what was novel about his approach. He often shows how ideas that Feynman introduced radically changed the fields he introduced them to, even if he didn't take them all the way to their often nobel-prize-winning conclusions. It was almost as if he was giving the other physicists a chance by not keeping up with the current literature, preferring to figure things out by himself. Apparently, he even nearly missed his own Nobel by being lackadaisical about publishing, and only the efforts of Freeman Dyson in evangelising his work and forcing him to write a paper allowed the world to recognise the value of his 'sum-over-histories' approach. But for him, it wasn't about the accolades or getting priority for his discoveries. As the title of yet another book about Feynman implies, for him it was 'the pleasure of finding things out'.

  • Mohamed al-Jamri
    2019-03-01 03:50

    عنوان الكتاب: رجل الكوانتم - حياة ريتشارد فاينمان في العلمالمؤلف: لورنس كراسعدد الصفحات: 368 - عشر ساعات ككتاب مسموعسنة النشر: 2011التقييم: ثلاث نجوم ونصفهذا الكتاب عبارة عن كتاب علمي وسيرة ذاتية في نفس الوقت حيث أنه يتناول حياة وإنجازات عالم الفيزياء الشهير ريتشارد فاينمان والذي حاز على جائزة نوبل. يركز الكتاب بشكل أساسي على حياته العلمية. تبدأ القصة منذ طفولة فاينمان ومن ثم دوره في مشروع مانهانتن وهو المشروع الذي أدى إلى صنع القنبلة النووية ومن ثم لاسهاماته في توحيد الميكانيكا الكمية مع الطاقة الكهرومغناطيسية. يتطرق الكتاب بشكل بسيط لحياة فاينمان الشخصية وزواجه إلا أن عامل التشويق غائب وبعض الأمور في العلمية غير واضحة ويصعب فهمها على القارئ غير المتخصص حيث أنه لا يعطي خلفيات كافية حول المواضيع التي يذكرها.النصف الثاني من الكاتب أفضل بكثير من ناحية التشويق وإعطاء مساحة أكبر لحياة فاينمان، كما أن المواضيع العملية التي تطرق لها مثل الثقوب السوداء نظرية الأوتار سهلة الفهم، على عكس تعقيدات الميكانيكا الكمية.فاينمان شخص رائع ومميز على المستويين العلمي والشخصي وقراءة سيرته الذاتية كان أمرًا رائغًا بحق.

  • Bettie☯
    2019-03-20 23:41

    From the opening: 'Feynmann won a nobel prize because he explained how an anti-particle is a particle going backwards in time.'Lots of this will go straight over the top of the noddle, however I will soak up some, I'm sure.:O)Wish I could be 'there' as well as 'here' simultaneously - does this mean that the 'beam me up' could actually be viable in practice later on?Susanna once remarked (as a comment on Pickwick Papers):My step-father's dad, a physicist, once said he believed in steady-state and the Big Bang on alternate days. And multiple universes on Leap Days!Priceless.[image error]

  • Iain
    2019-03-21 00:34

    Richard P. Feynman was an interesting guy. I really loved "What Do You Care What Other People Think?" and Krauss's biography of him from the point of view of his research in physics is especially interesting reading if you like popular science.Although the concepts are sometimes hard to grasp, they are explained very well. Quantum theory is, in itself, very hard to grasp, after all. Krauss's use of Feynman's analogies really helps, though, and where necessary Krauss uses his own.The interspersal of Feynman's scientific work with anecdotes and information about his personal life adds a human dimension to the story. I had heard he was a genius. This book taught me about his influences and his vices. The story of Feynman and his first wife, Arline, is particularly touching.

  • Jesus
    2019-03-16 05:42

    This is a "science biography", that explains what Feynman studied along his life. So requires some interest in particle physics to read it. I was amazed to discover how he had started so many new fields, then continued and completed by others. Also surprising is his lack of credit-greed, his will to help others in their researches (even while facing cancer), and above all his unquenching curiosity. This curiosity made him go to all seminars (what amazed students) and even to use in his walks always a different path to see new things... WAIT!, so he was also using the "sum over all possible paths" while walking to work . :-) Amazing man.

  • Lemar
    2019-03-17 23:49

    Krauss proves that being well versed in the profession of one's bio subject makes a big difference. He was able to explain the nuances as he offered a history of quantum mechanics while tying it to the life and work of Richard Feynman. Krauss emphasized how and also why Feynman loved to arrive at a scientific conclusion on his own and preferably via his own path. A book like this presents the author with the challenge of how much detail to present and for me Krauss went with better to present too much than not enough and I'm glad he did.

  • Fredrik
    2019-03-25 03:27

    Interessant og bra om *fysikeren* Feynman. Den uutdannede leseren lærer en del fysikk underveis - samtidig som en lærer om hvordan Feynman likte å forske (finne ut alt selv, forske på ting andre ikke forsket på, forstå grundig). Veldig lærerikt - og artig å lese om en fascinerende person.(men hadde kanskje vært enda mer interessant om han hadde vært matematiker - da hadde jeg forstått hva han forsket på...)

  • Mugizi Rwebangira
    2019-03-22 06:47

    I think this book both succeeded and failed.Let's start with the failure first. This book either doesn't know exactly what it wants to be: (1) a readable story about Feynman the person OR (2) An understandable explanation of Feynman the scientists workAs it is, it does somewhat poorly in both areas. Specifically the explanation of the physics is so vague that it does not enlighten very much.Where it succeeds is in giving a 40,000 foot view of how Feynman's research evolved from the mid 1950s to the mid 1980s and what he was like to work with and how he picked his research projects. It works as a history of how particle physics and quantum gravity research developed over that time and Feynman's role in those areas.So if you're looking to learn a lot about Feynman in his personal life you won't learn too much new and if you're looking to get a better understanding of any of the physics this probably won't be the best book but if you just want a historical overview of Feynman's research then this might be OK.

  • Cyrus
    2019-03-23 00:26

    Another year, another Feynman biography. This one's titled "Quantum Man", by Lawrence Krauss. Unlike most other books on Feynman, this one focuses more on his work, theories, thought processes, etc, rather than his character/personality. It skims over the ideas, giving just enough of a sense of the brilliance of the man, without actually writing down a single equation. Unfortunately, Krauss has a tendency to be somewhat fawning in his writing, piling on praises on Feynman without any apparent discomfort. Case in point: Feynman's great ambition was to discover some fundamental truth about nature, which some might argue (Feynman certainly did) that he did not achieve. Krauss, on the other hand, proceeds to frame some of the techniques Feynman developed as being, in essence, the Truth, simply because we are not able to perform consistent calculations at different length scales. On the whole, I'd say this is worth reading, but about 3/4 through the book it starts to go downhill. Fast.

  • Ross
    2019-03-11 00:26

    Very good book about a man who was not just a genius: he was a super genius. He was also a very appealing human being.I especially liked this book because it was 2/3 about the physics that Feynman dealt with and 1/3 about his life. A warning to would be readers is that the author's discussion of the physics is at detailed technical level. The author is an eminent physicist in his own right and while very interested in Feynman as a person, he is more interested in his physics. So if you have not taken a number of courses in modern physics in undergraduate school, then more than half of this book would be meaningless to you. There remains, however, a lot of material about a super genius that a general audience can understand.

  • Sid Sidner
    2019-03-08 07:39

    This could the syllabus for a graduate course in QEDI love Lawrence Krauss. I love Richard Feynman. This is a rare history of Feynman’s mind, of his thinking. It is serious, for physicists. I could follow about 5% of the physics. But Krauss is such a great explainer and Feynman is such a singularly unique individual that it was like watching a really good grandmaster chess match. Everybody in 20th century physics is in this book. I was constantly selecting some person or concept’s name and then linking out to Wikipedia. I re-read Lawrence Krauss’s books every couple of years. I’ll certainly add this one to the collection!

  • Mark Dhas
    2019-02-27 06:29

    It's a book I wanted to love, I'm a fan of Lawrence Krauss and sincerely wanted to know more about the man behind a lot of Quantum Electro-Dynamics (QED) however, I just found myself learning more physics to keep up than I learnt about Feynman.

  • Muhamed Sewidan
    2019-03-04 04:37

    من المفارقة انى انهى كتاب قصة حياة ريتشارد فاينمان فى يوم ميلاده.الكتاب جيد ويستحق القراءة للى بيفضل الكتب العلمية وله باع فيها, لان اللى لسه بيبدأ فى الكتب العلمية هيقف فى الكتاب دا قدام بعض الاجزاء مع ان الكاتب متطرقش لمواضيع فيزيائية معقدة, لكن أسلوب الكاتب قد يصيب القارىء بالملل أحيانا