Talk - Richard Feynman

If all scientists were like Richard Feynman, physics would be the new rock and roll. He assisted in the development of the atomic bomb, expanded the understanding of quantum mechanics, translated Mayan hieroglyphics and worked out why Challenger blew up. He also played the bongos in a drum trio. Here is an anecdote about Feynman that shows something about his personality. In 1986 an Indian PhD student called Bharath Srnivarsan decided the only way to resolve an argument about physics he was having with another student was to call Feynman, then one of the foremost scientists in the world, on the phone. Miraculously he got put through to the great man. “Is time a vector or a scalar quality?’ asked the student. “That’s a very interesting question,” said Feynman, and spoke at some length on the subject. He then asked the student about his Indian origins, and they chewed the fat over a number of topics for about two hours, getting on famously, before Feynman finally apologised and said he had to go. “Thanks for talking to me, you’ve been so kind,” said Srnivarsan. “May I call you again some time?” “No,” answered Feynman, and hung up.

Feynman wrote a number of anecdote-filled books, in which he described his experiments with hypnotism, his fondness for topless bars and his fascination of the art of safe-cracking, among many other things. He died in 1988. Tonight at the Grange there will be a talk about Feynman and his theory of quantum gravity. AL

Richard Feynman – ‘What I cannot create, I do not understand’
Southover Grange, Lewes
When? 8pm
How Much? £2.50
Lewes Astronomers:
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