Richard Feynman

Physicist, Academic

1918 – 1988


Who was Richard Feynman?

Richard Phillips Feynman was an American theoretical physicist known for his work in the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics, and the physics of the superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium, as well as in particle physics. For his contributions to the development of quantum electrodynamics, Feynman, jointly with Julian Schwinger and Sin-Itiro Tomonaga, received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965. He developed a widely used pictorial representation scheme for the mathematical expressions governing the behavior of subatomic particles, which later became known as Feynman diagrams. During his lifetime, Feynman became one of the best-known scientists in the world. In a 1999 poll of 130 leading physicists worldwide by the British journal Physics World he was ranked as one of the ten greatest physicists of all time.

He assisted in the development of the atomic bomb during World War II and became known to a wide public in the 1980s as a member of the Rogers Commission, the panel that investigated the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. In addition to his work in theoretical physics, Feynman has been credited with pioneering the field of quantum computing and introducing the concept of nanotechnology. He held the Richard Chace Tolman professorship in theoretical physics at the California Institute of Technology.

Famous Quotes:

  • Physics is like sex: sure, it may give some practical results, but that's not why we do it.
  • What I cannot create, I do not understand.


Use the citation below to add to a bibliography:


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May 11, 1918
Also known as
  • Richard Phillips Feynman
  • Richard P. Feynman
  • Feynman
  • Feynman, Richard
  • Atheism
  • Ashkenazi Jews
  • Jewish people
  • Poles
  • Russian
  • United States of America
  • Doctorate, Princeton University
    ( - 1942)
  • Bachelor's degree, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    ( - 1939)
  • Far Rockaway High School
  • Cornell University
  • California Institute of Technology
  • Summer Intern, Thinking Machines Corporation
    (1984 - 1988)
Lived in
  • Far Rockaway
    (1918 - 1935)
  • Altadena
  • Los Alamos
  • United States of America
  • Queens
Feb 15, 1988
Los Angeles

on July 23, 2013