Surely You're Joking, Mr Feynman!


I’m currently reading "Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!" written by the physicist Richard Feynman. Feynman was involved in the development of the nuclear bomb at Los Alamos and also did a load of other physics work which led him to earn the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965.

This book is really interesting and is a collection of anecdotes and personal experiences. It does read a little bit like an autobiography; it certainly isn’t technical or scientific, or for that matter, boring. 

According to Wikipedia:

It expounds upon his human side with a number of personal and mostly humorous anecdotes, detailing everything from his forays into hypnotism to his fascination with safe-cracking and his fondness for topless bars, as well as more serious topics such as the development of the atomic bomb and the death from tuberculosis of Feynman’s first wife, Arline Greenbaum. 

Notable stories in the book which come to mind include pranks he played on waitresses, how he managed to break into safes at Los Alamos and how he managed to fail a US Army test for psychiatric reasons.

Reading the book helps you appreciate how much of a genius the guy was. You pick up a bit of Feynman’s philosophy on understanding and persisting with solving problems. 

Recommended read!

4 thoughts on “Surely You're Joking, Mr Feynman!

  1. Been there read that got both `6′ lecture books and the iTunes downloads and the Gleick biography as well. Feynman was a great chap. Seconded on all counts.

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