"Everything is interesting if you go into it deeply enough" says Richard P. Feynman in "The Smartest Men in the World", one of the many pieces in this collection of Feynman's best short works. Here we see Feynman as he was - a brilliant physicist who consistently rejected authority, wholeheartedly embraced the value of doubt, and whose infectious sense of curiosity infused everything he did. This wide-ranging collection includes uproarious tales of Feynman's early student experiments (with himself, his socks, his typewriter, his fellow students); his youthful experiences on the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos during World War II; his famous report on the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster; two seminal lectures on the future of computers and nanotechnology; stories of safecracking and plaguing US censors with talcum powder; and tales of the physicist as a child - how his father delighted in showing him the world, and how he, the young boy, took great pleasure in "finding things out".
Richard Feynman was, until his death in 1988, the most famous physicist in the world. Only an infinitesimal part of the general population could understand his mathematical physics, but his outgoing and sunny personality, his gift for exposition, his habit of playing the bongo drums, and his testimony to the Presidential Commission on the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster turned him into a celebrity.
Freeman Dyson, of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, called him 'the most original mind of his generation', while in its obituary The New York Times described him as 'arguably the most brilliant, iconoclastic and influential of the postwar generation of theoretical physicists'.