• Title English : “Light and matter – A strange story”
• Author : Richard Feynman
• Pages : 206 Sheet
• Publisher : Seuil [Threshold] (November 19, 1992)
• Collection : Points Sciences
• ISBN-10: 2020147580
• ISBN-13: 978-2020147583
• Product Dimensions : 18 x 10,8 x 1 cm
• Format Kindle : ePUB, eBook and PDF
• Price : €
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• Rating : ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 7/10
♦Description : “Light and matter” And now, fasten your seatbelts, not that it’s particularly difficult to understand, but simply because it’s going to make you look ridiculous, think of it: we draw small arrows on a sheet of paper! all.
Quantum electrodynamics, which describes the interactions between light and matter, the prototype of theories of modern physics, becomes child’s play when it is explained by one of its creators. Richard Feynman shows that the most difficult notions are explicable without mathematical formalism and that their deep meaning is accessible to all.
A summit of popular science.
Richard Feynman (1918-1988)
He has contributed to the development of many fields of modern physics. Renowned for the depth of his views and the originality of his style, he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965.
Translated from English (United States) by Françoise Balibar and Alain Laverne
“And now, be careful: hold on tight, fasten your seatbelts, not that what I’m going to tell you is particularly difficult to understand, but simply because it’s going to make you look ridiculous. little arrows on a sheet of paper! That’s all. “Quantum electrodynamics, the prototype of modern physics theories, becomes child’s play when it is explained by one of its authors, Richard Feynman. By analyzing “with small arrows” how light is reflected on mirrors and why soap bubbles present iridescence, it shows that the most difficult notions are explicable without any mathematical formalism and that their deep meaning is within reach of all. A summit of popular science.”.
“Richard P. Feynman (1918-1988) is undoubtedly one of the most outstanding and dazzling scientists of this century. His physical achievements include the alternative formulation of quantum mechanics using path integrals, contributions to the theory of superfluidity, a new theory (the so-called VA theory) of the weak interaction (together with Murray Gell-Mann), the Parton model and especially the completion of quantum electrodynamics for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1965 together with Shinichiro Tomonaga (1906-1979) and Julian Schwinger (1917-1994). In all of these works, Feynman’s ability to intuitively expose the physical core of a class of complex phenomena and capture the essence in simple laws, a model, or a picture. The diagrams of elementary particle reactions that bear his name today are just one example. Feynman himself abhorred all his life inflated mathematical formalisms; He always saw himself as a boy from the countryside who, with naïve impartiality, resolutely – and successfully – tackles problems.
With this attitude, he succeeded as a young group leader at the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos to crack the safes of his colleagues, primarily – but not exclusively – in recent years, many women at bars for himself and shortly before his death Enlightening the Challenger disaster (at the tenth launch on January 28, 1986, the space shuttle exploded with seven astronauts aboard). The American science journalist James Gleick therefore had enough material for an equally entertaining and instructive biography available. Connoisseurs of the works of Feynman (compare the reviews in Spektrum der Wissenschaft, June 1988, page 128, October 1989, page 148, and August 1991, page 128) will be familiar to many; but Gleick explicitly did not want to resort too much to this material.
Because, as he proves carefully, Feynman exaggerated here and there, presented himself too one-sided (mostly as a cross driver or simpleton) and deliberately omitted meaningful, so that his innermost convictions and the features of his extraordinary talent as behind a mask disappeared. Like any mask, it reveals a lot about its wearer. In order to get to the bottom of the extraordinary talent of his hero (the American original title is “Genius”), Gleick has conducted numerous interviews with friends, colleagues and family members of Feynmans and taken into account informative material, which was partly only posthumously accessible.
He has remarkably succeeded not in letting his protagonist appear as a “bloodless intellectual or as a bongo-playing clown” (p. 597), but to show how he was able to combine both moments of his character. According to the mathematician Mark Kac, there are two types of geniuses, “ordinary ones”, whose accomplishments each person could, in principle, provide himself, if only he were many times better, and “magical” ones, whose pathways of knowledge are hardly comprehensible in retrospect. Feynman was, as Gleick Kac cites, a magician of the highest order (page 22). In addition, Feynman – like all successful geniuses – had the ability to quickly critically review his many ideas.
As far as the concept of genius is concerned, there are many interesting and historically interesting comments throughout the book. A defining element of Feynman’s thinking was his pictorial intuition. He was able to quickly discover the relevant degrees of freedom; these are generally not identical to those dictated by a supposedly fundamental theory. However, Gleick draws from this the false conclusion that Feynman was not convinced of the existence of fundamental entities and laws in the sense of reductionism. This contradicts his need to uncover simple laws for complex phenomena (pages 312 below).
Here, Gleick seems to project an anti-reductionist attitude articulated in Feynman, already articulated in his bestseller “Chaos” (Droemer Knaur, Munich 1989). It is also somewhat annoying that some remarks by Gleick on quantum mechanics suggest a subjectivist interpretation (p. 352), which is certainly not universally accepted and, in addition, further encourages a bad but popular mystification of modern science.
His most outstanding contributions are in the field of quantum electrodynamics, which will earn him the 1965 Nobel Prize with Tomonaga and Schwinger. American born on May 11, 1918 and deceased on February 15, 1988, Richard Feynman is considered one of the most influential and remarkable physicists of the 20 th century.
Outstanding personality, his most outstanding contributions are in the field of quantum electrodynamics that will earn him the award of the Nobel Prize in 1965 with Tomonaga and Schwinger. His diagrams technique and his integral of paths revolutionized the quantum theory of fields and elementary particles.
There is probably no field of physics that Feynman has left his mark on, quantum gravity, relativistic astrophysics, quantum chemistry, superfluid helium theory, and the model of weak interactions are just a few examples, not to mention his precursors in nanotechnology and quantum computing. A great pedagogue, his physics classes are world famous as well as his talents as a Bongo player and draftsman.”