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Genius: the Life and Science of Richard Feynman

James Gleick

Genius: the Life and Science of Richard Feynman

by James Gleick

Genius: the Life and Science of Richard Feynman

James Gleick

5 min
3 key insights
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Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman tells the story of one the greatest minds in the history of science, all the way from his humble beginnings to changing physics as we know it.

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Genius: the Life and Science of Richard Feynman

by James Gleick

Genius: the Life and Science of Richard Feynman

James Gleick

Overview

Imagine it's 3:45 AM when suddenly there's a knock on your door. You wake up and of course, you try to ignore it at first. But there it is again. It's so persistent that you eventually get up and open the door. Outside, an army of reporters awaits, shining bright lights into your eyes. As the cameras are flashing, one of them says: "Congrats! You've just won the Nobel prize in physics! How do you feel?"

That's exactly what happened to Richard Feynman, the genius this book by James Gleick is about, and his answer says a lot about his character.

He said, "Well, I could've found out later this morning." Pressing on, the reporters tried to elicit a one minute description of his work in quantum electrodynamics and explanations of subatomic particles. Richard replied, "If I could explain it in one minute, it wouldn't be worth the Nobel prize!"

Speaking of explaining, Feynman's nickname was "the great explainer," for he was one of few physicists who could convey complex ideas in simple terms.

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Favorite Quote

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool."

Richard Feynman

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Genius: the Life and Science of Richard Feynman

James Gleick

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