Read Genius: Richard Feynman And Modern Physics by James Gleick Free Online
Book Title: Genius: Richard Feynman And Modern Physics|
The author of the book: James Gleick
Date of issue: 1994
ISBN 13: 9780349104706
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 721 KB
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Reader ratings: 3.3
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"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool."
- Richard Feynman
"Physics is like sex: sure, it may give some practical results, but that's not why we do it."
- Richard Feynman
Feynman was lucky in three ways. First, the guy was born with a brain that somehow gave him access to problems with a speed and a dexterity that seemed magical to his peers, and his peers are people that already often stretched the capacity for knowledge and intelligence. Second, Feynman was lucky to be born at the right time. He came into his abilities at the right moment for Physics. He was there when physicists (post Einstein's relativity) seemed to grab a larger piece of global attention. Third, Feynman was lucky to have participated in WWII's war of the magicians (Los Alamos and the Atomic Bomb). All of these things combined with Feynman's iconoclastic nature, his perseverance and single-mindedness, his capacity to get to the root of problems, put Feynman second to Einstein in 20th century minds.
The book itself is a very good example of scientific biography. Gleick doesn't stray, however, too far from the anecdotal autobiography of Feynman in Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character. Gleick elaborates, provides more detail, adds interesting vignettes on other Physicists that fell into Feynman's orbit (Wilson, Oppenheimer, Dyson, Dirac, Bohr, Schwinger, Gell-Mann, etc). Those diversions and Gleick's occasional riffs on the idea of genius keep this from being just an average scientific biography. It also was a bit stronger and more robust than Gleick's earlier work: Chaos: Making a New Science.
All that said, it still wasn't an AMAZING biography. I appreciated the time spent on the details. The accuracy and notes associated with this book, but a lot of the magic of the book existed in Feynman himself and not in the telling of it.
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Read information about the authorJames Gleick (born August 1, 1954) is an American author, journalist, and biographer, whose books explore the cultural ramifications of science and technology. Three of these books have been Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalists, and they have been translated into more than twenty languages.
Born in New York City, USA, Gleick attended Harvard College, graduating in 1976 with a degree in English and linguistics. Having worked for the Harvard Crimson and freelanced in Boston, he moved to Minneapolis, where he helped found a short-lived weekly newspaper, Metropolis. After its demise, he returned to New York and joined as staff of the New York Times, where he worked for ten years as an editor and reporter.
He was the McGraw Distinguished Lecturer at Princeton University in 1989-90. Gleick collaborated with the photographer Eliot Porter on Nature's Chaos and with developers at Autodesk on Chaos: The Software. In 1993, he founded The Pipeline, an early Internet service. Gleick is active on the boards of the Authors Guild and the Key West Literary Seminar.
His first book, Chaos: Making a New Science, an international best-seller, chronicled the development of chaos theory and made the Butterfly Effect a household phrase.
Among the scientists Gleick profiled were Mitchell Feigenbaum, Stephen Jay Gould, Douglas Hofstadter, Richard Feynman and Benoit Mandelbrot. His early reporting on Microsoft anticipated the antitrust investigations by the U. S. Department of Justice and the European Commission. Gleick's essays charting the growth of the Internet included the "Fast Forward" column on technology in the New York Times Magazine from 1995 to 1999 and formed the basis of his book What Just Happened. His work has also appeared in The New Yorker, the Atlantic, Slate, and the Washington Post.
1987 Chaos: Making a New Science, Viking Penguin. (ISBN 0140092501)
1990 (with Eliot Porter) Nature's Chaos, Viking Penguin. (ISBN 0316609420)
1992 Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman, Pantheon. (ISBN 0679747044)
1999 Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything, Pantheon. (ISBN 067977548X)
2000 (editor) The Best American Science Writing 2000, HarperCollins. (ISBN 0060957360)
2002 What Just Happened: A Chronicle from the Electronic Frontier, Pantheon. (ISBN 0375713913)
2003 Isaac Newton, Pantheon. (ISBN 1400032954)
2011 The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood. New York: Pantheon Books. (ISBN 9780375423727 )
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