Richard Phillips Feynman was an American theoretical physicist known for his work in the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics, and the physics of the superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium, as well as in particle physics.
In high school, his IQ was determined to be 125—high, but “merely respectable” according to biographer James Gleick.In 1933, when he turned 15, he taught himself trigonometry, advanced algebra, infinite series, analytic geometry, and both differential and integral calculus. Before entering college, he was experimenting with and re-creating mathematical topics such as the half-derivative using his own notation. In high school he was developing the mathematical intuition behind his Taylor series of mathematical operators.
His habit of direct characterization sometimes rattled more conventional thinkers; for example, one of his questions, when learning feline anatomy, was “Do you have a map of the cat”. Ltaer he applied to Columbia University but was not accepted. Instead, he attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received a bachelor’s degree in 1939 and in the same year was named a Putnam Fellow.
He immersed himself in work on the project, and was present at the Trinity bomb test. Feynman claimed to be the only person to see the explosion without the very dark glasses or welder’s lenses provided, reasoning that it was safe to look through a truck windshield, as it would screen out the harmful ultraviolet radiation.
Feynman’s other work at Los Alamos included calculating neutron equations for the Los Alamos “Water Boiler”, a small nuclear reactor, to measure how close an assembly of fissile material was to criticality. On completing this work he was transferred to the Oak Ridge facility, where he aided engineers in devising safety procedures for material storage so that criticality accidents,feynman held an appointment at the University of Wisconsin–Madison as an assistant professor of physics. The appointment was spent on leave for his involvement in the Manhattan project. In 1945, he received a letter from Dean Mark Ingraham of the College of Letters and Science requesting his return to UW to teach in the coming academic year. His appointment was not extended when he did not commit to return.
While researching for his Ph.D., Feynman married his first wife, Arline Greenbaum. She was diagnosed with tuberculosis, but she and Feynman were careful, and he never contracted it. She died of the disease in 1945. In 1946, Feynman wrote a letter to her, but kept it sealed for the rest of his life. This portion of Feynman’s life was portrayed in the 1996 film Infinity, which featured Feynman’s daughter, Michelle, in a cameo role.
He married a second time in June 1952, to Mary Louise Bell of Neodesha, Kansas; this marriage was brief and unsuccessful:
He begins working calculus problems in his head as soon as he awakens. He did calculus while driving in his car, while sitting in the living room, and while lying in bed at night.
—Mary Louise Bell divorce complaint.
Feynman had two rare forms of cancer, liposarcoma and Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia, dying shortly after a final attempt at surgery for the former on February 15, 1988, aged 69. His last recorded words are noted as, “I’d hate to die twice. It’s so boring., 😦
Thank You sir…