About the Author
Richard P. Feynman was born in 1918 in Brooklyn and received his Ph.D. from Princeton in 1942. Despite his youth, he played an important part in the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos during World War II. Subsequently, he taught at Cornell and at the California Institute of Technology. In 1965 he received the Nobel Prize in Physics, along with Sin-Itero Tomanaga and Julian Schwinger, for his work in quantum electrodynamics.
Dr. Feynman won his Nobel Prize for successfully resolving problems with the theory of quantum electrodynamics. He also created a mathematical theory that accounts for the phenomenon of superfluidity in liquid helium. Thereafter, with Murray Gell-Mann, he did fundamental work in the area of weak interactions such as beta decay. In later years Feynman played a key role in the development of quark theory by putting forward his parton model of high energy proton collision processes.
Beyond these achievements, Dr. Feynman introduced basic computational techniques and notations into physics, above all, the ubiquitous Feynman diagrams that, perhaps more than any other formalism in recent scientific history, have changed the way in which basic physical processes are conceptualized and calculated.
Feynman was a remarkable effective educator. Of all his numerous awards, he was especially proud of the Oersted Medal for Teaching which he won in 1972. The Feynman Lectures on Physics, originally published in 1963, were described by a reviewer in Scientific American as "tough, but nourishing and full of flavor. After 25 years it is the guide for teachers and for the best of beginning students." In order to increase the understanding of physics among the lay public, Dr. Feynman wrote The Character of Physical Law and Q.E.D.: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter. He also authored a number of advanced publications that have become classic references and textbooks for researchers and students.