# Feynman, Richard Phillips

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

## Feynman, Richard Phillips

(fīn`mən), 1918–88, American physicist, b. New York City, B.S. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1939, Ph.D. Princeton, 1942. From 1942 to 1945 he worked on the development of the atomic bomb. He taught (1945–50) at Cornell and became professor of theoretical physics at the California Institute of Technology in 1950. The Feynman diagram, proposed by him in 1949, shows the track of a particle in space and time and provides a clear means of describing particle interactions. Feynman also made significant contributions to the theories of superfluidity**superfluidity,**

tendency of liquid helium below a temperature of 2.19°K; to flow freely, even upward, with little apparent friction. Helium becomes a liquid when it is cooled to 4.2°K;.

**.....**Click the link for more information. and quarks. In 1957 he and Murray Gell-Mann

**Gell-Mann, Murray**

, 1929–, American theoretical physicist, b. New York City, grad. Yale 1948, Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1951. In 1953, he and the Japanese team of T.

**.....**Click the link for more information. proposed the theory of weak nuclear force

**force,**

commonly, a "push" or "pull," more properly defined in physics as a quantity that changes the motion, size, or shape of a body. Force is a vector quantity, having both magnitude and direction.

**.....**Click the link for more information. . Feynman shared the 1965 Nobel Prize in Physics with Shinichiro Tomonaga and J. S. Schwinger for work leading to the establishment of the modern theory of quantum electrodynamics

**quantum electrodynamics**

(QED), quantum field theory that describes the properties of electromagnetic radiation and its interaction with electrically charged matter in the framework of quantum theory.

**.....**Click the link for more information. . He wrote the influential

*Feynman Lectures on Physics*(commemorative issue, 3 vol., 1990),

*Feynman Lectures on Gravitation*(1994), and

*Feynman Lectures on Computation*(1996).

### Bibliography

See his *Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!* (1985), *What Do You Care What Other People Think?* (1988), *QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter* (1988, repr. 2006), and *The Meaning of It All* (1998); *Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track: The Letters of Richard P. Feynman* (2005), ed. by M. Feynman; biographies by J. Gleick (1993), J. Mehra (1994), and L. M. Krauss (2011); C. Sykes, *No Ordinary Genius: The Illustrated Richard Feynman* (1996); D. L. Goodstein and J. R. Goodstein, *Feynman's Lost Lecture* (1996); J. Gribbin and M. Gribbin, *Richard Feynman* (1997); G. J. Milburn, *The Feynman Processor* (1999).

## Feynman, Richard Phillips

Born May 11, 1918, in New York City. American physicist.

Feynman graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1939 and received a Ph .D. in theoretical physics at Princeton University in 1942. He later joined the staff of the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory and the faculty of Cornell University. In 1950 he became a professor at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

Feynman’s main works deal with quantum electrodynamics, quantum mechanics, and statistical mechanics. Feynman devised a mathematical technique (*see*) that played an important part in the development of quantum field theory; for this achievement, he received a Nobel Prize in 1965. In statistical mechanics, he proposed the polaron theory for the case of intermediate coupling and explained the occurrence of vortices, called Feynman vortices, in superfluid helium. In quantum mechanics, he developed the method of path integration.

Together with R. Leighton and M. Sands, Feynman wrote a course of lectures for higher educational institutions, which substantially modernized the traditional account of physics (in Russian translation, *Feinmanovskie lektsii po fizike*, vols. 1–9, Moscow, 1965–67).

### WORKS

*In Russian translation:*

“Teoriia pozitronov.” In the collection

*Noveishee razvitie kvantovoi elektrodinamiki*. Moscow, 1954.

“Prostranstvenno-vremennaia traktovka kvantovoi elektrodinamiki.”

*Ibid*., pp. 161–204.

*Kvantovaia elektrodinamika*. Moscow, 1964.

*Kvantovaia mekhanika i integraly po traektoriiam*. Moscow, 1968. (With A. Hibbs.)

*Statisticheskaia mekhanika*. Moscow, 1975.

D. N. ZUBAREV