Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Richard Feynman

Richard Feynman (pronounced fine-man) is the most approachable scientist of our century. He makes science approachable by using common terms that the layman can understand. No doubt he obtained this gift from his father. I found this interview on line: The Pleasure of Finding Things Out. He had a very intelligent but practical father.

You may remember that he was the one who solved the problem with the Space Shuttle Challenger. He was sitting around a huge table with a bunch of stuffed shirts (as he tells it) and asked for a cup of cold water. Then he dropped an o-ring similar to the ones used in the Challenger into the glass of ice water. When he fished it out, it crumbled in his hand. The Columbia's o-rings failed because of very low temperatures that weakened them.

You can read more about this curious guy. You can find out how he played blood hound to his friends by picking out the book each of them handled in the library. Or you can learn about his safe cracking shenanigans and involvement in the Mahattan Project. All these stories and more are in the book Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman. It's a great read.

[You can find more in a previous post here.]

Why can't I be as personable as I am in my head? - Paul Madonna