Friday 13 June 2014

Prof. Richard Feynman

Prof. Richard Feynman ( 1918-1988) was a brilliant American theoretical physicist, who made important contributions in quantum mechanics, superfluidity, etc. He assisted in the development of the atomic bomb in the Manhattan Project during World War 2. He introduced the concept of nanotechnology. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1965 (jointly with Dr. Schwinger and Dr. Tomonaga) for his contribution to the development of quantum electrodynamics.

Dr. Feynman wrote several books to popularize science, and I enjoy reading them. I suggest you, too, do the same. I have repeatedly said that knowledge of science is absolutely essential, and must be spread among the masses in India if we wish our country to progress. We must develop rational, logical and scientific minds, and give up superstitions and irrational beliefs. A scientific mind is a questioning mind, and we must question everything and not blindly accept anything.

If you too would like to read Feynman's popular science books, I suggest you begin with " Surely you're joking, Mr. Feynman". Thereafter you can read his other books, e.g. ' A Life in Science', etc.

Prof. Feynman had taught at Cornell University, Caltech, etc. He also spent an academic year teaching in Brazil. At the end of the year he was invited to give a talk about his experiences of teaching in Brazil. At the talk there would be not only students, but also Professors and government officials.
He said he would give the talk only on condition that he would be allowed to say whatever he wanted. To this the organizers agreed.

In the talk Prof. Feynman said : "The main purpose of my talk is to demonstrate to you that no science is being taught in Brazil."

The audience was shocked. This was crazy. After all there were numerous science classes and courses, and thousands of science books everywhere in Brazil.

Prof. Feynman explained that Brazilian students merely memorized from science books, without experimentation. People passed examinations, and taught others to pass examinations, but nobody knew anything. Experimentation is absolutely essential in science, but that was largely missing in science classes in Brazil.

Perhaps the situation in India, too, is somewhat similar to that in Brazil.


  1. I will read Mr. Feynman's book

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  3. Good article Sir. Our educational system will improve to accommodate experimentation only when the society at large becomes free from anxiety of securing jobs for mere survival. The ground, however, has to be prepared for the directional change in education system with ample forethought. The objective should be to take India where it belongs - Saare Jahaan Se Atchhaa.

  4. I think books by Stephen Hawking are much more interesting e.g: Brief history of Time.

  5. Right Sir, We are learning much from with us always, may God bless you.