Danny Hillis on Richard Feynman

By Sean Carroll | March 11, 2011 4:36 pm

One more video from TEDxCaltech. Danny Hillis is the founder of Thinking Machines, the Long Now Foundation, and Applied Minds. Touching and inspirational.

See also Lenny Susskind’s reminiscences.

  • Thomas

    Sean, are you going to read Lawrence Krauss’ book on Feynman? Or do you keep distance from these “popular science” books?

  • rgb

    “Rubbed off on other people”. Nothing could be more right. Just through the lectures that made it
    into books, he has taught many of us to think about Physics setting the very attitude with which we approached a physics question, teaching us what is important to focus on. Obviously, that is way too little to make us really good, but I certainly believe that it made many of us much better than we would have been without that lecture series.

  • http://www.astro.multivax.de:8000/helbig/helbig.html Phillip Helbig

    Can you provide some information on Krauss’s book on Feynman?

  • Thomas

    To Phillip Helbig: The book will be published in 9 days, 23rd of March. But I’ve managed to get an Advance Reading Copy, so I’m almost done reading it. It’s a 330 pages book on Feynman’s science and how his work has branched off into the different fields of science. It takes the history of Feynman, the history of the “war-era” science and his co-workers – and weaves it together into a great story. Not as funny and captivating and “You’re surely joking, Mr. Feynan”, but not as boring as a science journal either, somewhere in between. I wouldn’t recommend it for the average reader, it has some complicated science woven into the stories, that you should have some knowledge about. Elementary particle physics (collaborations with Murray Gell-Mann), quantum electrodynamics, the Bose-Einstein condensate, alpha-beta decay, nuclear physics, Feynman diagrams, the “Space-Time approach” etc. But if you’re into science and want to go one step beyond the popular-science books printed to the masses, this science-Feynman woven story is a great read.

  • Thomas

    And by the way, people, it’s Einstein’s birthday today. Cheers!

  • http://www.astro.multivax.de:8000/helbig/helbig.html Phillip Helbig

    How does it compare to James Gleick’s biography?

  • Thomas

    I haven’t read James Gleick’s biography, but I will. It’s probably very different, because Krauss has read the biography and he wouldn’t copy it.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/sean/ Sean

    I’ve read Gleick’s biography, but wasn’t planning on reading any more. Too many other good things to read.

  • Thomas

    Sean, make a post of your top 10 favorite books. Including the classics!

  • http://www.astro.multivax.de:8000/helbig/helbig.html Phillip Helbig

    Gleick noted that he never met Feynman. I don’t know if Krauss did.

  • Thomas

    Krauss did meet Feynman, and he talks about it. It’s rather short though, and there’s not much detail in their meeting. But Krauss and his girlfriend took him out during a conference in Vancouver.


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Cosmic Variance

Random samplings from a universe of ideas.

About Sean Carroll

Sean Carroll is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. His research interests include theoretical aspects of cosmology, field theory, and gravitation. His most recent book is The Particle at the End of the Universe, about the Large Hadron Collider and the search for the Higgs boson. Here are some of his favorite blog posts, home page, and email: carroll [at] cosmicvariance.com .


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