Feynman, Richard P. (Richard Phillips), 1918-1988

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Feynman (1918-1988). Physicist (quantum electrodynamics). Affiliations: Atomic Bomb Research Project, Princeton University and Los Alamos (1941-1945); on the physics faculty at Cornell University (1945-1951), and Richard Chace Tolman Professor of Theoretical Physics at California Institute of Technology from 1951 until his death. Awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965 for his work in quantum electrodynamics.

From the description of Papers, 1933-1988. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 80830903

Feynman (1918-1988). Physicist (quantum electrodynamics). Affiliations: Atomic Bomb Research Project, Princeton University and Los Alamos (1941-1945); on the physics faculty at Cornell University (1945-1951), and Richard Chace Tolman Professor of Theoretical Physics at California Institute of Technology from 1951 until his death. Awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965.

From the description of A new approach to quantum electrodynamics, 1949 Notes on the lectures of Dr. Richard P. Feynman, Cornell University. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 83660377

Physicist (quantum electrodynamics). Lifespan 1918-1988.

From the description of Oral history interview with Richard Phillips Feynman, 1966 March 4 to 4 February 1973. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 82862771

Feynman (1918-1988). Physicist (quantum electrodynamics). Affiliations: Atomic Energy Research Project, Princeton University and Los Alamos (1941-1945); on the physics faculty at Cornell University (1945-1951), and California Institute of Technology from 1951; and Nobel Prize in Physics (1965).

From the description of Videotapes. [videorecording] (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 81716240

From the description of Lectures on gravitation, 1962-1963 / R. P. Feynman. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 78291545

From the description of Lectures on quantum electrodynamics [videorecording] : The Sir Douglas Robb lectures, 1979. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 82395931

From the description of Audio recordings of course lectures, 1961-1964. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 82625924

From the description of Lectures and presentations, 1964-1992 (bulk 1979-1992) [videorecording] (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 78824355

Biography

Physicist Richard Feynman won his scientific renown through the development of quantum electrodynamics, or QED, a theory describing the interaction of particles and atoms in radiation fields. As a part of this work he invented what came to be known as "Feynman Diagrams," visual representations of space-time particle interactions. For this work he was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics, together with J. Schwinger and S. I. Tomonaga, in 1965. Later in his life Feynman became a prominent public figure through his association with the investigation of the space shuttle Challenger explosion and the publication of two best-selling books of personal recollections.

Feynman was born in the borough of Queens in New York City on May 11, 1918. He grew up and attended high school in Far Rockaway, New York. In 1939, he received his BS degree in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He then attended Princeton University as a Proctor Fellow from 1940 to 1942, where he began his investigation of quantum electrodynamics under the supervision of J. A. Wheeler. He was awarded his PhD in 1942 for his thesis on the least action principle.

While still at Princeton, Feynman was recruited for the atomic bomb project. He was transferred to Los Alamos in 1942, where he headed a team undertaking complicated calculations using very primitive computers. While at Los Alamos, Feynman became good friends with Hans Bethe, who at the end of the war secured a position for Feynman as an associate professor of physics at Cornell. Feynman remained at Cornell from 1945 to 1951. During this time he formalized his theory of quantum electrodynamics and began to publish his results. He also participated in the Shelter Island Conference of 1947, which helped to determine the course of American physics in the atomic age. At this conference he introduced his theory of QED to the leading American physicists.

In 1951, Feynman accepted an offer to become the Richard Chace Tolman Professor of Theoretical Physics at the California Institute of Technology, a position he filled until his death. While at Caltech Feynman continued his work at the leading edge of theoretical physics, making important contributions to the study of liquid helium, particle physics, and later quantum chromodynamics. He also began his distinguished career as a teacher and lecturer. In 1961 and 1962 he delivered to Caltech's freshmen the introductory lectures that were later published as The Feynman Lectures on Physics .

In 1986, Feynman was asked to serve on the Presidential Commission investigating the space shuttle Challenger accident. In a dramatic fashion, Feynman publicly demonstrated the inelasticity of the shuttle's O-rings at near freezing temperatures, a leading cause of the disaster. He also contributed an extended appendix to the Committee's report, highlighting the technical and administrative deficiencies of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's space program.

Feynman's many interests outside of science, such as his fondness for codes and safecracking, his bongo drums, his theatrical appearances, his artwork, plus his experiments in out-of-body experiences, are well documented in his autobiographies, as well as in his papers at Caltech.

Feynman continued his scientific work and his lecturing activities up until his death on February 15, 1988, after a long battle with a rare form of cancer.

From the guide to the Richard Phillips Feynman papers, 1933-1988, (California Institute of Technology. Archives.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Feynman, Richard P. (Richard Phillips), 1918-1988. Videotapes. [videorecording] American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Elmer and Joseph Heller Collection on Richard P. Feynman, 1935-1990 California Institute of Technology. Caltech Archives.
creatorOf Feynman, Richard P. (Richard Phillips), 1918-1988. Audio recordings of course lectures, 1961-1964. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf Feynman, Richard P. (Richard Phillips), 1918-1988. Papers, 1933-1988. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON THE SPACE SHUTTLE HEARING #4, (ABBEY, YOUNG, WEITZ, CRIPPEN, HARTSFIELD, TRULY, ALDRICH, CHARLESWORTH), 4/3/86: SPACE SHUTTLE ACCIDENT. Part 4 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON THE SPACE SHUTTLE HEARING #5E, 3/7/86 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON THE SPACE SHUTTLE HEARING #1A, 2/11/86 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON THE SPACE SHUTTLE HEARING #1B, 2/25/86 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
creatorOf American Physical Society. Annual Meeting (1972 : San Francisco, Calif.). Joint ceremonial session of the American Physical Society and the American Association of Physics Teachers [sound recording] / 1972 February 1. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf Feynman, Richard P. (Richard Phillips), 1918-1988. A new approach to quantum electrodynamics, 1949 Notes on the lectures of Dr. Richard P. Feynman, Cornell University. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON THE SPACE SHUTTLE HEARING #3, (ABBEY, YOUNG, WEITZ, CRIPPEN, HARTSFIELD), 4/3/86: SPACE SHUTTLE ACCIDENT. Part 3 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn Andreĭ Sakharov papers, 1852-2002 (inclusive), 1960-1990 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers, 1910-1994 (bulk 1922-1991) Oregon State University The Valley Library, Special Collections
contributorOf PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ACCIDENT ANALYSIS PANEL, 4/16/86 Reinsdorf, Walter D.
referencedIn PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON THE SPACE SHUTTLE HEARING #1C, 2/25/86 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn Hans Bethe papers, [ca. 1931]-1995 Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
referencedIn Bethe, Hans A. (Hans Albrecht), 1906-2005. Hans Bethe papers, [ca. 1931]-1992. Cornell University Library
referencedIn PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON THE SPACE SHUTTLE HEARING #4D, 2/6/86 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
creatorOf Hartman, Paul, 1913-. Paul Hartman papers, 1944-1995. Cornell University Library
creatorOf Perspectives in Modern Physics (1966 : Ithaca, N.Y.). A symposium in honor of Hans A. Bethe on the occasion of his 60th birthday [sound recording] / at Cornell University, 1966 October 21. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf Feynman, Richard P. (Richard Phillips), 1918-1988. Lectures and presentations, 1964-1992 (bulk 1979-1992) [videorecording] American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Branch, Garland Marion, 1922-. Garland Branch notebooks, 1947. Cornell University Library
creatorOf Feynman, Richard P. (Richard Phillips), 1918-1988. Oral history interview with Richard Phillips Feynman, 1966 March 4 to 4 February 1973. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Hibbs, Albert R. Papers of Albert R. Hibbs, 1884-2009. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON THE SPACE SHUTTLE HEARING #5E, 2/6/86 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON THE SPACE SHUTTLE HEARING #1E, 2/25/86 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
creatorOf Richard Phillips Feynman papers, 1933-1988 California Institute of Technology. Archives.
referencedIn PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON THE SPACE SHUTTLE HEARING #1A, 3/7/86 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
creatorOf Brode, Bernice. Reminiscences of Los Alamos [sound recording] : a lecture series at the University of California, Santa Barbara / 1975. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Lee A. DuBridge papers, 1932-1986 California Institute of Technology. Archives.
referencedIn Stanislaw M. Ulam Papers, 1916-1984 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON THE SPACE SHUTTLE HEARING #4D, 3/7/86 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
creatorOf Feynman, Richard P. (Richard Phillips), 1918-1988. Lectures on gravitation, 1962-1963 / R. P. Feynman. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf American Physical Society. Meeting (1966 : Washington, D.C.). Invited papers [sound recording] : American Physical Society Meeting, 1966 April 28. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON THE SPACE SHUTTLE HEARING #1, (ABBEY, YOUNG, WEITZ, CRIPPEN, HARTSFIELD), 4/3/86: SPACE SHUTTLE ACCIDENT. Part 1 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn Mehra, Jagdish. Jagdish Mehra collection, 1924-2001 University of Houston, M.D. Anderson Library
referencedIn PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON THE SPACE SHUTTLE HEARING #CD1, 2/25/86 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn John Archibald Wheeler Papers, 1880-2008, 1880-2008 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON THE SPACE SHUTTLE HEARING #1D, 2/25/86 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
editorOf PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON THE SPACE SHUTTLE HEARING #2B, 2/6/86 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON THE SPACE SHUTTLE HEARING #2B, 2/11/86 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn Welton, Theodore Allen, 1918-. Memories, ca. 1984. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON THE SPACE SHUTTLE HEARING #3C, 3/7/86 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON THE SPACE SHUTTLE HEARING #1A, 2/6/86 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
creatorOf Feynman, Richard P. (Richard Phillips), 1918-1988. Lectures on quantum electrodynamics [videorecording] : The Sir Douglas Robb lectures, 1979. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Webster, Harold Frank, 1919-. Harold F. Webster notes, 1945-1953. Cornell University Library
referencedIn PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON THE SPACE SHUTTLE HEARING #4D, 2/11/86 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith American Physical Society. Annual Meeting (1972 : San Francisco, Calif.) corporateBody
associatedWith American Physical Society. Meeting (1966 : Washington, D.C.) corporateBody
associatedWith Bacher, Robert F. (Robert Fox), 1905-2004 person
associatedWith Bethe, Hans A. (Hans Albrecht), 1906-2005. person
associatedWith Bohr, Niels, 1885-1962. person
associatedWith Branch, Garland Marion, 1922- person
employeeOf California Institute of Technology corporateBody
associatedWith Challenger (Spacecraft) corporateBody
associatedWith Clinton Engineer Works (Oak Ridge, Tenn.). corporateBody
employeeOf Cornell University. corporateBody
associatedWith DuBridge, Lee A., 1901-1994 person
associatedWith Fermi, Enrico, 1901-1954. person
associatedWith Feynman, Richard Phillips person
associatedWith Fuchs, Klaus Emil Julius, 1911-1988 person
associatedWith Gell-Mann, Murray. person
associatedWith Hartman, Paul, 1913- person
associatedWith Hawking, S. W. (Stephen W.) person
associatedWith Heisenberg, Werner, 1901-1976. person
associatedWith Heller, Elmer W. and Joseph person
associatedWith Hibbs, Albert R. person
associatedWith Jet Propulsion Laboratory (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Manhattan Project (U.S.) corporateBody
alumnusOrAlumnaOf Massachusetts Institute of Technology. corporateBody
associatedWith Mehra, Jagdish. person
associatedWith Metropolis, N. (Nicholas), 1915- person
associatedWith Morinigo, Fernando B. person
associatedWith Morse, Philip M. (Philip McCord), 1903-1985 person
associatedWith Oppenheimer, J. Robert, 1904-1967. person
associatedWith Pauling, Ava Helen person
associatedWith Pauling, Linus Carl, 1901- person
associatedWith Pauli, Wolfgang, 1900-1958 person
associatedWith Perspectives in Modern Physics (1966 : Ithaca, N.Y.) corporateBody
memberOf Pi Lambda Phi corporateBody
associatedWith Pocono Conference on Physics. corporateBody
alumnusOrAlumnaOf Princeton University. corporateBody
associatedWith Sakharov, Andreĭ, 1921-1989 person
associatedWith Sandoval Vallarta, Manuel, 1899-1977 person
associatedWith Schwinger, Julian, 1918-1994. person
associatedWith Shelter Island Conferences. corporateBody
associatedWith Smyth, Henry de Wolf 1898-1986 person
associatedWith Ulam, Stanislaw M. (Stanislaw Marcin), 1909-1985 person
associatedWith University of Auckland. Dept. of Physics. corporateBody
employeeOf University of Wisconsin--Madison corporateBody
associatedWith Wagner, William G. person
associatedWith Webster, Harold Frank, 1919- person
associatedWith Weiner, Charles, person
associatedWith Welton, Theodore Allen, 1918- person
associatedWith Wheeler, John Archibald, 1911-2008. person
honoredBy William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition corporateBody
associatedWith Wilson, Robert R., 1914-2000 person
associatedWith Yukawa, Hideki, 1907-1981. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
New York NY US
Los Angeles CA US
Subject
Physicists
Quantum theory
Quantum chromodynamics
Manhattan Project (U.S.)
Physics--Study and teaching
Quantum electrodynamics--Study and teaching
Gravitation--Research
Nuclear physics
Space shuttles--Accidents--Investigation
Computers
Challenger (Space shuttle)
Atomic bomb--Testing
Superfluidity
General relativity (Physics)
Particles (Nuclear physics)
Space shuttles--Accidents--Investigation--United States
Gravitation
Aircraft accidents--Investigation
Mathematical physics--Study and teaching
Nuclear fission--Technological innovations
Beta decay
Television in science education
Lectures and lecturing
World War, 1939-1945--War work
Quantum electrodynamics
Field theory (Physics)
Physics--History--20th century
Occupation
Physicists--United States
Physicists
College teachers
Function

Person

Birth 1918-05-11

Death 1988-02-15

Americans

English

Information

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