Author: Feynman, Richard P.; edited by Michelle Feynman

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691153032


What strikes one most clearly regarding the quotations in this book painstakingly compiled by this Nobel-winning physicist’s daughter, Michelle Feynman, from “his many published works, his personal papers that occupy 14 file drawers, and dozens of hours of recorded lectures,” is the accessibility of Richard P. Feynman’s thought, whether it be on a personal matter, such as youth, family and love, or the more intellectually challenging aspects of the quantum world and science and society.

The cogency of Feynman’s profound understanding of the fundamental rules that govern and underpin the universe, as encapsulated in his own writings and lectures, is laid open to the reader here in a way that crystallizes many of his most meaningful sayings and expressions about the tangibility of life, how he lived it, and how he proposed those who sought his advice on the matter lived theirs. Full of sage advice, the many quotations in this collection are a perfect way to start learning more about the man himself, and the surrounding natural environment about which he so deeply cared. That he was able to elicit the trust of his many students, as well as of his multiple readers, is proof that, to his very core, Feynman was a man of integrity, who could see through to the heart and soul of his fellow man. The Quotable Feynman ends with quotations about this “magician of the highest calibre” (Kac), from a range of experts in the field of physics and elsewhere that reveal the high status that Feynman held among his peers.

In addition to the approximately 500 quotations included in The Quotable Feynman, several of which have not previously appeared in print, a chronology is given of the highlights in Feynman’s life (1918−1988). Each chapter is headed by a black-and-white photograph of Feynman, from boyhood to his older years, just as he was, ever erect and dignified. Following on several pages of acknowledgements and sources, all of which are meticulously detailed, comes a nine-page index that is both illuminating and thorough.

The Quotable Feynman should not only appeal to the scholar, or to fellow physicists, but to all those who take a lively interest in the surrounding universe, and in its underlying laws and precepts.