The book begins with the first documented formulations of laws of virtual work in the IV century BC in Greece and proceeds to the end of the XIX century AD in Europe. A significant space is devoted to Arabic and Latin mechanics of Middle Ages. With the Renaissance it began to appear slightly different wordings of the laws, which were often proposed as unique principles of statics. The process reached its apex with Bernoulli and Lagrange in the XVIII century. The book ends with some chapters dealing with the discussions that took place in the French school on the role of the Lagrangian version of the law of virtual work and its applications to continuum mechanics.
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.