Genius: Richard Feynman and Modern Physics Hardcover – 5 Nov 1992
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the book is a moving, beautifully written literate and perceptive account of Feynman's life. (NATURE)
I came away from Genius feeling that I knew a lot more about Feynman and his play in 20th century science. (SUNDAY TIMES)
Gleick's narrative, consistently measured and elegant is a formidable work of scientific biography. (NEW STATESMEN)
thoughtful and fascinating. (THE LITERARY REVIEW) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The life of Richard Feynman and the story of modern physics itself. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Richard Feynman was a talented physicist, winner of the Nobel Prize and major contributor to our understanding of particle physics. The term `genius' is often used cheaply, and although Feynman would have declined the description, having read this account it is difficult to argue that he was not fully deserving of the title.
I first became aware of Richard Feynman through quotations credited to him, and was intrigued to find out more about the man behind the ideas. This book deals with his life and achievements and as much of this was directed at the hidden and mysterious world and mathematics that define the inner working of atoms, you might expect a difficult read. Have no fear. James Gleick has done a brilliant job of avoiding the mathematics whilst successfully conveying the ideas that Feynman spent a lifetime working on, without belittling them through oversimplification. Instead he succeeds in graphically illuminating the world of quantum physics as a truly remarkable one where particles exist for fractions of a billionth of a second, appear capable of travelling back in time, and provide the key to unlock our understanding of the universe, gravity and time itself.
`I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there.'
That James Gleick is able to graphically convey the work of a genius operating in this field is truly fitting since the hallmark of Feynman's work was a single minded focus on creating and sharing understanding, to create penny dropping moments of revelation, no matter how complex the underlying concepts.Read more ›
Feynman may or may not have been a genius (the description is so difficult). Michael Berry (as of Berry's phase in quantum mechanics) once wrote in a review in Physics World that Feynman was not a physicist of the first rank - which Berry reserved for figures like Einstien and Dirac. That may well be true in a more dispassionate assessment of Feynman. However, what is impossible to deny is that he was one of the most innovative and creative scientists of his age, with a lightning quick mind who left his peers in no doubt that he was a genius. He certainly had the ability of genius - to see patterns and simplicity where others saw just complexity. It takes a deeply creative mind to ascribe pattern and simplicity to nature. Nature does not reveal her secrets easily to lesser mortals (now is that a Feynman quote?).
Feynman the genius needed a genius of a biographer - one who could truly understand the complex melody that was the entirety of the man. Richard Feynman may have marched to the beat of a different drum, as Julian Schwinger so eleganly put it, but it needed another genius to explain and critique the beats, rythms and melodies the great scientist heard. Gleick has made this beat and rythm, the entire symphony if you will, available to the rest of us. This must be one of the most incisive biographies ever written.
Not only was Feynman a genius - I suspect Gleick is as well.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very readable story of Feynman's life and quirky traits. Brings the great man to life in a moving, human description.Published 1 month ago by kevin a.
Fabulous read about a remarkable man - his life, personality, and career. All written against a backdrop of scientific development. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Lancastrian
So interesting to see how real genius operates amongst us. Very entertaining story and very enlightening.Published 9 months ago by Grandma Judy
I am aware that everyone considers Feynman to be a genius. I was hoping that this book would explain why this is so. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Wooders
Fascinating story and well research but the writing style makes reading hard work at times.Published 13 months ago by Badger
Not finished reading this yet, enjoyable but a bit heavy technically so it's read some, have a break!Published 15 months ago by Mr David Gould
This is not necessarily a book full of the theories which made Richard Feynman's name, but it is certainly a comprehensive description of a man who is genuinely a great of... Read morePublished 16 months ago by The Snucist
This book is very readable and makes some of the physics understandable - well enough to move on to the next chapter. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Amazon Customer