Monday, June 07, 2010

More reading

See this guy?
He is one of my heroes (now sadly deceased). I was first introduced to his work back when I was a member of the astronomy society in college; the guys in the group revered Feynman, and one of them felt like he'd won the jackpot when he received the whole set of Feynman Lectures as a Christmas gift.

Not only was Richard Feynman a physicist extraordinaire, he was also a remarkable teacher. His careful, lucid explanations of complex concepts are often simple enough even for me, this math-incompetent humanities major who's so right-brained she leans to one side, to be able to follow along. And, bonus points, he figured out what caused the space shuttle Challenger to explode.

It doesn't hurt that he was also a great storyteller. If you haven't yet read his autobiography, Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!, you really should. (There's a follow-up autobiography, What Do You Care What Other People Think?, which is also quite good, though not as well put together as the first, IMO.)

This book is a collection of his shorter works -- interviews, lectures, personal letters and other intriguing ephemera that hadn't yet found a home in other books. So far it's a great read. But it's not all that surprising; the man's never let me down yet.


MarieC said...

Not only have I never read his writings, I'm very ashamed to say I have never even heard of him! Please still be my friend!

Soozcat said...

Hee! Well, consider this an invitation, then.