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The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard P.Feynman [Hardcover]

Freeman J. Dyson , Richard P. Feynman , Jeffrey Robbins
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

4 May 2000
"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".


Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Allen Lane (4 May 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0713994371
  • ISBN-13: 978-0713994377
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 13.8 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 771,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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'.

Product Description

Amazon Review

The iconoclastic American physicist Richard Feynman won a Nobel Prize for solving a sub-atomic puzzle using home-brewed methods once dismissed as ludicrous. But Feynman arguably did science an even bigger service through his iconoclastic persona, which gave the lie to the view that all scientists are gauche, boring and obsessive. As first revealed in his brilliantly entertaining autobiography Surely You're Joking Mr Feynman!, Feynman was a wise-cracking genius with a penchant for topless bars, bongo-drums and winding people up. And he was obsessive--not about one narrow question, but about the whole puzzle of how Nature works, from the spin of an electron to the spin of wobbling dinner-plates. Since his untimely death from cancer in 1988, many books based on articles by or about Feynman have appeared. So what does The Pleasure of Finding Things Out add ? It's touted as a "greatest hits" volume--and it's a fair description. This well-chosen collection allows newcomers to see what all the fuss surrounding Feynman is about, from his work on quantum theory to his safe-cracking exploits during the Manhattan Project. But newcomers and long-standing Feynman fans alike will enjoy the newly-reprinted material, especially a 1979 magazine interview which includes fascinating insights into how a brilliant mind tackles Nature's mysteries. For once, a science book that lives up to its name, giving much pleasure from finding out more about this genuine scientific hero. --Robert Matthews

About the Author

One of the world's greatest theoretical physicists and a Nobel laureate, Richard Feynman was also a man who fell, often jumped, into adventure. An artist, safe-cracker, practical joker and storyteller, his life was a series of combustible combinations made possible by his unique mixture of high intelligence, unquenchable curiosity and eternal scepticism. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
This is the edited transcript of an interview with Feynman made for the BBC television program Horizon in 1981, shown in the United States as an episode of Nova. Read the first page
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
If you have never read Feynman before, this book will astound you. If you are already aware of his wits, you must be sure this will be a great piece of reading.
Feynman's amazing personality is wonderfully depicted in this book through his own stories - speeches and interviews. You can see how physics is actually a way of living rather than just the conventional science we believe it is.
I find science amazing, but don't actually have the desire to go into deep studying of its concepts. I loved this book because it allowed me to have a great appreciation of physics without going into the nitty gritty details and formulas. I just couldn't put it down! From making of the atomic bomb to the details of the Challenger accident...It's here, explained in a very simplistic, but creative manner.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good book, but not his best 25 Dec 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
While this book does well in capturing Feynman's enthousiasm and love of science, it lacks a bit in depth. Because this is a collection of interviews and lectures, the book tends to repeat itself more and more towards the end.
Good, but not as good as "Surely you're joking, mister Feynman!".
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some interesting new material 17 Feb 2004
By Keith Appleyard VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
I've read numerous other works by Feynman, so I expected this to be a composite of previously published material. In parts it was, but there was some new material.
Given that some of the material was based upon recordings for TV Interviews & Speeches, there was new stuff.
I particularly found his musings on nanotechnology interesting, showing how much of a polymath the man was; also the analogy of observing a games of Chess, not knowing the rules, for progressively uncovering the Laws of Science.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By Andrew Kerr TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Has this man no end to his talents?
This short collection of Feynman's more philosophical writings (and he maintained he didn't much care for philosophy!) shows once again that he was probably the greatest genius of the 20th century.
Decades ahead of his time, he predicted nanotechnology with breaktaking imagination. And, of course, being Feynman, this wasn't a vague Nostradamus-esque prediction, but a fully-thought-through, detailed 'proof' that the technology was already with us to create minute engines.
Alongside this, he explores the questions of religion vs science (they've more in common than you might think!) and lots of other little subjects that'll keep your imagination on its toes...
My only gripe about this particular book is that the occasionally delves into more esoteric maths, which means some of this book is less accessible to 'ordinary' readers.
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