Not many Nobel laureates in physics amuse themselves by playing the bongo drums and cracking safes. But the capricious personality of Richard Feynman contained more than a few surprises. And it is the sheer unpredictability of this high-spirited genius--partial to the company of Las Vegas showgirls when not in the Caltech lecture hall--that has attracted so many readers to his disarmingly candid memoirs, Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!
and What Do You Care What Other People Think?
Now chronologically collated into one omnibus volume (packaged with a CD of one of Feynman's signature lectures), these memoirs display perhaps the most flamboyant personality in modern science. So colorful are some of the episodes here gathered that readers might forget (as Freeman Dyson remarks in his perceptive foreword) the careful and painstaking theorist who probed the atom with rare insight. Still, this collection does include Feynman's account of how--in quite casual circumstances--he spontaneously devised scientific experiments to determine the characteristics of ants' feet and humans' noses. Though the essays are available elsewhere, the autobiographical structure adds interest for the author's many fans. Bryce ChristensenCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
About the Author
Richard P. Feynman was born in 1918 and grew up in Far Rockaway, New York. At the age of seventeen he entered MIT and in 1939 went to Princeton, then to Los Alamos, where he joined in the effort to build the atomic bomb. Following World War II he joined the physics faculty at Cornell, then went on to Caltech in 1951, where he taught until his death in 1988. He shared the Nobel Prize for physics in 1965, and served with distinction on the Shuttle Commission in 1986. A commemorative stamp in his name was issued by the U.S. Postal Service in 2005.
Ralph Leighton, Richard Feynman's great friend and collaborator, now lives in northern California.