"Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!": Adventures of a Curious Character: Adventures of a Curious Character

W. W. Norton & Company
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A New York Times bestseller—the outrageous exploits of one of this century's greatest scientific minds and a legendary American original.

Richard Feynman, winner of the Nobel Prize in physics, thrived on outrageous adventures. Here he recounts in his inimitable voice his experience trading ideas on atomic physics with Einstein and Bohr and ideas on gambling with Nick the Greek; cracking the uncrackable safes guarding the most deeply held nuclear secrets; accompanying a ballet on his bongo drums; painting a naked female toreador. In short, here is Feynman's life in all its eccentric—a combustible mixture of high intelligence, unlimited curiosity, and raging chutzpah.

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An introduction to modern physics and to Richard Feynman at his witty and enthusiastic best, discussing gravitation, irreversibility, symmetry, and the nature of scientific discovery.

Richard Feynman was one of the most famous and important physicists of the second half of the twentieth century. Awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1965, celebrated for his spirited and engaging lectures, and briefly a star on the evening news for his presence on the commission investigating the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger, Feynman is best known for his contributions to the field of quantum electrodynamics. The Character of Physical Law, drawn from Feynman's famous 1964 series of Messenger Lectures at Cornell, offers an introduction to modern physics—and to Feynman at his witty and enthusiastic best.

In this classic book (originally published in 1967), Feynman offers an overview of selected physical laws and gathers their common features, arguing that the importance of a physical law is not “how clever we are to have found it out” but “how clever nature is to pay attention to it.” He discusses such topics as the interaction of mathematics and physics, the principle of conservation, the puzzle of symmetry, and the process of scientific discovery. A foreword by 2004 Physics Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek updates some of Feynman's observations—noting, however, “the need for these particular updates enhances rather than detracts from the book.” In The Character of Physical Law, Feynman chose to grapple with issues at the forefront of physics that seemed unresolved, important, and approachable.

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Additional Information

Publisher
W. W. Norton & Company
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Published on
Jun 28, 2010
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Pages
352
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ISBN
9780393339857
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Science & Technology
Science / Physics / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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A new edition of the New York Times bestseller—now a three-part Nova special: a fascinating and thought-provoking journey through the mysteries of space, time, and matter. Now with a new preface (not in any other edition) that will review the enormous public reception of the relatively obscure string theory—made possible by this book and an increased number of adherents amongst physicists—The Elegant Universe "sets a standard that will be hard to beat" (New York Times Book Review). Brian Greene, one of the world's leading string theorists, peels away the layers of mystery surrounding string theory to reveal a universe that consists of eleven dimensions, where the fabric of space tears and repairs itself, and all matter—from the smallest quarks to the most gargantuan supernovas—is generated by the vibrations of microscopically tiny loops of energy.

Today physicists and mathematicians throughout the world are feverishly working on one of the most ambitious theories ever proposed: superstring theory. String theory, as it is often called, is the key to the Unified Field Theory that eluded Einstein for more than thirty years. Finally, the century-old antagonism between the large and the small-General Relativity and Quantum Theory-is resolved. String theory proclaims that all of the wondrous happenings in the universe, from the frantic dancing of subatomic quarks to the majestic swirling of heavenly galaxies, are reflections of one grand physical principle and manifestations of one single entity: microscopically tiny vibrating loops of energy, a billionth of a billionth the size of an atom. In this brilliantly articulated and refreshingly clear book, Greene relates the scientific story and the human struggle behind twentieth-century physics' search for a theory of everything.

Through the masterful use of metaphor and analogy, The Elegant Universe makes some of the most sophisticated concepts ever contemplated viscerally accessible and thoroughly entertaining, bringing us closer than ever to understanding how the universe works.
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