Our Writers' Gallery features short pieces about physics by authors who are both renowned physicists and prize-winning writers. Some of these are original contributions and others are excerpts from longer works. Many are linked to more information about the authors and their work.
Richard Feynman is one of the most brilliant and fascinating physicists of the twentieth century. He picked locks for fun at the Manhattan Project, reinvented quantum physics and investigated the space shuttle Challenger tragedy. Author Jim Ottaviani and artist Leland Myrick collaborated to create the graphic novel "Feynman" about his life. In this excerpt, Feynman shares the groundwork of quantum electrodynamics with students in New Zealand. Excerpted with permission from the publisher, First Second Books.
Can a book inspire you as a child to grow up and solve one of the most famous mysteries of mathematics? Come take a peek inside Physics for Entertainment to find out. Originally published over seventy years ago in Russia, this classic book answers many fascinating questions that one might not even think are physics questions. “Can an invisible man see? Why are all cats grey when the candles are out?” The excerpt below explains the habits or our beloved drinking bird toy.
If we are fortunate and wise enough to go on as a species for many millennia, I am tempted to think the twentieth century will be remembered as something special in science, the century in which many of the mysteries of Earth, life, and the cosmos were understood for the first time.
Would the world now be different if Albert Einstein had never lived? Could we ask the same question with regard to Claude Monet or Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart?
Is the scientific community really closed to ideas from the lonely genius? Do the historical stories of Galileo and Wegener really show that we are willing to listen only to our own?