Book 180: What Do You Care What Other People Think? by Richard P. Feynman

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What Do You Care What Other People Think? by Richard P. Feynman

Finished reading on June 28th, 2015

Rating: 7/10

This is a collection of Feynman stories that mostly weren’t quite as humorous as in “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”, they’re rather more sad especially as it was first published a little after Feynman died, so there’s this feeling of gloom in there (or at least that’s what I felt).

In this one you get more stories about Arlene and the Challenger. For a while I felt like I’ve read it all before – if you’ve read “Don’t You Have Time To Think?” then you get basically most of Feynman stories in letter-form, but there were some exceptions in case of Challenger. In other books I haven’t seen it in such detail, and the details here make it really interesting – for example when Feynman’s almost ranting about bullet points that NASA uses ๐Ÿ™‚ and you get more of what was going on with the Challenger investigation, and see a different side to the people involved and you’ll actually find out about more problems than just the O-rings getting stiff at low temperatures..

So again – it’s short, and interesting if you haven’t just read the same thing in a slightly different form (the first stories in this book are the same ones that Ottaviani’s “Feynman” starts with).

Book 179: Feynman by Ottaviani & Myrick

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Feynman by Ottaviani & Myrick

Finished reading on June 24th, 2015

Rating: 7/10

If you’re interested in reading a scientists biography in a graphic novel format, then this might be a good choice, although it’s not exactly a biography as such – you just get scenes from Richard Feynman’s life, that you could also find in his stories, but here you get them in a shorter graphic format.

If you already know who Richard Feynman was and have read books by/about him, then it might be a bit boring if you’ve read something just recently, but if it’s been a while since you’ve read about Feynman, then it’s a good reminder.

I like the choice of scenes (There are the essential safe-cracking at Los Alamos, Arlene and Nobel prize etc), the art is nice too, I would have given it a higher rating if I wouldn’t have read so much about Feynman recently.

So in general, if you’ve no idea who Feynman is, pick this book up! It’s a quick read and fun. And it reads almost the same as Feynman stories do, but you get them in a concentrated form.

ATTENTION! – there’s some physics at the end! ๐Ÿ™‚

Book 172: Genius by James Gleick

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Genius by James Gleick

Finished reading on May 21st, 2015

Rating: 9/10

Richard Feynman is a name that you might most likely have heard if you’re a fan of The Big Bang Theory or if you’ve taken a course in particle physics. I can make checks in both ๐Ÿ™‚
“Genius” is one of several biographies of Feynman, who seems to me as the best example of a misunderstood genius, despite being highly acclaimed and having gotten a Nobel prize in physics.

I picked this book up quite soon after reading his correspondence, and as I’ve read “Surely You’re Joking, Mr Feynman” last year, most of it didn’t seem new, but it was still interesting and it gave a better idea of Richard Feynman as a person, and it was the first time I could actually read about his contributions to physics.

The thing that strikes me the most about Feynman, was the way he worked – not reading the new paper in physics fully, but only until he got an idea of the problem and then trying to solve it himself and spending a lot of time on questions that he never published anything about, although many others would have. That’s just curious. The first explains his great grasp of physics, the second is just a mystery to me, as in my imagination you’d try to publish any significant results. Maybe that’s just it though- he probably didn’t see it as significant enough or as not a big enough contribution?

The book did change my opinion of Feynman in some ways, as previously I had seen him as an ingenious joker, and now I’m not so sure, as it all seems quite tragic.

I did like that you do see quite a lot of his contemporary physicists, so you won’t get the idea that he was the only one working on it, but you see itย as everyone contributing something – some more, some less, and find out about their relationships, and you see Murray Gell-Mann, Julian Schwinger and Freeman Dyson appear in the story – it brings Feynman out of vacuum and gives a broader view of everything.

I feel like there’s no reason for me to actually do a short overview of Feynman’s life, as that’s what Wikipedia is for. Rather I’d just say that if you’ve enjoyed stories about Feynman, this biography might be enjoyable, and if you’re studying physics, it’s also quite motivational. I dare you to start reading this and not want to pick up a physics textbook!

Also, I’d really recommend reading “Surely You’re Joking, Mr Feynman” before this one.

Book 170: Don’t You Have Time to Think? by Richard P. Feynman

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Don’t You Have Time to Think? by Richard P. Feynman
Finished reading on May 3rd, 2015
Rating: 9/10

If you’ve ever thought what could a famous scientist possibly communicate about with other people, then this collection of Richard Feynman’s letters is a great one to read, as you can read his correspondence with other scientists, relatives and fans.

I quite liked it – you can see what Feynman’s attitudes were on different subjects, and I’d even say it’s inspirational .

I very much enjoyed the letters he wrote to students, who were asking for advice on what to study, and Feynman’s advice to always study what you’re interested in and do what you love, no matter where it might take you, but possibly still keeping your grades up ๐Ÿ™‚

I was thinking of reading this and then continuing straight with Gleick’s “Genius”, but now I feel like I’ve gotten quite a good idea about his life and work, so I might not get to “Genius” quite as soon.

Now I want to read Feynman’s Lectures On Physics instead….

Book 148: Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! by Richard P. Feynman

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Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! by Richard P. Feynman

Finished reading on August 1st, 2014

Rating: 10/10

I got this book on a hot summer’s day, right after which I had to read a whole chapter out loud in a cafรฉ, as it is really entertaining and quite funny right from the start.

This book is a bunch of stories from the life of Richard Feynman – a well-known physicist, who got a Nobel Prize, and after whom the Feynman diagrams in elementary particle physics get their name.

Although written by a physicist, one might expect all of the stories to have something to do with science, but that’s not so, some have a little bit of science, but mostly they’re just funny and quite unexpected stories (because even I wouldn’t expect a physicist to be that odd and fun at the same time).

However some of the stories do have quite strong points to make about science education, which is rather sad.

In general I’d really recommend reading this book to anyone who isn’t frightened to read popular science books, as some of the things that you can encounter in the book include: the map of a cat, playing bongos, drawing models in the nude and life at Los Alamos and working on the Manhattan project.

It’s a joy to read!