Feynman on appreciating things and other stories

By Grant Jacobs 27/03/2011

I did say that I would be unlikely to write over the next little while, but let me share with you this video, partly because it relates to the cartoon in my last post.

In it Richard Feynman’s daughter, Michelle, introduces British documentarian Richard Sykes who recorded three documentaries of Richard Feynman. Sykes, in turn, introduces a short series of clips of Richard Feynman from his documentaries.

If the introductions and background don’t appeal–you’re in a hurry and want to skip straight to hearing the man speak–skip to about 6:30 into the video. In his first clip Feynman talks about how an artist friend objects to him analysing everything, the very point made in the cartoon I showed in my last post.

There’s more to hear from him in this video. These might particularly appeal to non-scientists,* hence why I’m showing it. Anyway, here! –

* There are a few other clips I like myself, that can be found by hunting around YouTube. One of them is The Rules of Chess. It’s great analogy of research, with the catch that I suspect you appreciate best if you happen to know the actual rules of chess:

0 Responses to “Feynman on appreciating things and other stories”

  • The University of Auckland, Physics Department has made the Feynman lecture series on QED (quantum electro-dynamic) available online, during Feynman’s scholarly visit to Auckland in 1979, which I guess will be of interest to both students & scientists.


  • Humor. A commenter on the following youtube short clip showing Feynman playing the bongos suggested that if Einstein & Hawking should have teamed up with Feynman for a 3 piece band. Feynman playing the bongos, Einstein playing the violin and Hawking doing the singing.


  • I’ve just being curious since this morning to find out if the Feynman model (from his QED theory – Path Integral) is applied outside of physics & economics/finance and I came across the followings.

    #1) “Path integral formulation and Feynman rules for phylogenetic branching models”

    #2) “Environment Dependent Coherence of a Short DNA Charge Transfer System”

    I believe that there may be more.

  • Just to briefly add to Falafulu Fisi comment: mathematics, including application of physics, has been used in molecular biology from the very beginnings of molecular biology. In fact, many of the early (proto-) molecular biologists were by training physicists. Biophysics is an umbrella term that covers these applications these days and I believe it is an area that will play an increasing role in the near future,* something I have hoped to elaborate upon for some time – maybe after I’ve finished my current contract and taken a break I’ll finally get around to doing that!

    (* In a different way/scale than the articles FF points to do, though. I’ve only looked at the title of the articles in FF’s comment – haven’t time to investigate them right now.)

  • Feynman lectures are here…


    I was lucky enough to see Feynman live for the first of the lectures, and I bought the DVDs of lectures a couple of years ago. I found them gripping, but I could imagine that modern attention-deficient students might struggle to maintain an interest. They are a fantastic example of deductive thinking about the behaviour of light.