Richard Feynman


The field of physics during the 20th century has had a large number of important and recognized scientists who have created theories of the utmost importance such as general relativity and quantum mechanics . However, one of the scientific icons that I can define physics as a science was Richard Feynman , an American who was in charge of analyzing and studying quantum electrodynamics and who also managed to revolutionize the entire panorama that existed about waves and elementary particles .


Personal information

  • When was he born: 05/11/1918
  • Where he was born: New York, United States
  • When he died: 02/15/1988
  • Where he died: Los Angeles, California, United States

Who was Richard Feynman?

Richard Feynman was an American physicist who pioneered the field of quantum electrodynamics and also helped to visually clarify how subatomic particles behave.

  • Richard Feynman Biography
  • Death
  • Personal life
  • Nobel Prize
  • Richard Feynman’s theories
  • Discoveries
  • Contributions
  • Importance
  • Books
  • Richard Feynman quotes
  • Other recognitions
  • Curiosities

Richard Feynman Biography

He was born on May 11, 1918 in New York, in a city known as Queens . Son of Lucille Phillips and Arthur Melville Feynman , they were originally from Russia and Poland and their parents descended from Jews, despite this, Richard Feynman declared himself an atheist a long time later. His father had a great influence on him as he was always challenging his thinking and teaching him new things. From a young age he was very interested in engineering and was able to create a burglar alarm for his home when he was just a child.

Richard Feynman attended Far Rockaway High School in Queens, and when he reached high school, his teachers noticed his high level of intelligence. He learned advanced algebra, trigonometry, calculus, and analytical geometry very easily. He studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from where he graduated. Later he entered the University of Princeton to study mathematics and physics . This period was one of the most important in his life as he managed, thanks to Robert Wilson , an important physicist to enter the Manhattan projectwith the aim of making an atomic bomb .


He died on Monday February 15 of the year 1988 . His death occurred at the University of California Medical Center located in Los Angeles after several years of fighting abdominal cancer . He also suffered from a blood disease known as Waldenström’s macro globulinemia.

Personal life

He married Arline Greenbaum for the first time , a marriage that was complicated because she suffered from tuberculosis , a disease that caused the death of his wife. Years later he met Mary Louise Bell , however, they divorced shortly after because they could not overcome their differences. He had a third marriage with Gweneth Howarth with whom he was able to share many tastes and his enthusiasm for life, they had a son named Carl and later decided to adopt a girl whom they named Michelle .

Nobel Prize

Richard Feynman received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965 for helping to solve a series of problems that arose with the theory of quantum electrodynamics . His great contribution with the introduction of Feynman Diagrams made it possible to make graphs in order to show the interactions that occurred between the particles.

Richard Feynman’s theories

  • One of his important theories was the integral of the Feynman path, which affirmed that quantum mechanics was based on the classic formulation of Lagrange theories but pondering the paths that exist between the points. This theory involved the formulation of theories of quantum mechanics.
  • Feynman diagrams with which it was possible to carry out calculations related to relativistic quantum mechanics , thanks to his theory, I can create an approximation technique that allowed the realization of the calculations that are maintained today.
  • The theory with which he demonstrated that quantum electrodynamics is also a relativistic theory that studies the interactions that occur in the electromagnetic field.
  • Feynman model of hadrons , a model that is still in operation today and by means of which he explained that the proton allowed calculations and predictions about the different sub-nuclear interactions of the same and established that they were independent particles.


Among his main discoveries we find the resolution of problems related to the theory of quantum electrodynamics , the formulation of a mathematical theory with which the phenomenon of super fluidity that helium had when it was in a liquid state could be studied . He managed to study the interactions considered weak and helped in the development of the theory of quarks thanks to the invention of his pattern of collision processes between protons .


Richard Feynman is considered one of the most important physicists in history thanks to his contributions in the field. He was one of the scientists who gave great contributions regarding the form and function of quantum electrodynamics . He invented the Feynman Diagram which managed to help visually clarify the behavior of subatomic particles that until that date had not been explained correctly. Thanks to his work and research, it was possible to have a clear idea about how the interaction of light and matter worked and acted.and work areas greatly influenced current importance as nanotechnology , the quantum computing and physical particles.


Richard Feynman was of great importance for the field of physics and science in general as he contributed all his knowledge and managed to discover and open new scientific paths related to quantum mechanics , electrodynamics , the way in which elementary particles interact with each other. , condensed matter and quantum computing . His contributions managed to establish the concepts of nonlinear physics and he was one of the main pioneers in the subject of quantum gravity.. Thanks to his knowledge, today the world enjoys nanotechnology and in addition, he managed to teach everything he knew thanks to his ability to communicate his ideas clearly and easily.


Some of his most relevant books are mentioned below:

  • Quantum electrodynamics
  • The character of physical law
  • Conferences on computing
  • The character of physical law
  • Six Easy Pieces: Physics Explained by a Genius
  • The Feynman Lectures on Physics

Richard Feynman quotes

Among his most recognized phrases we find:

  • Not even nature itself knows which path an electron will take.
  • In the field of physics, words and formulas are connected to the real world.
  • You should be open-minded but not so open that your brain falls to the ground.
  • Antimatter has a behavior the same as that of matter.
  • The same equations have the same solutions.
  • Common sense must be abandoned in order to perceive what is happening at the atomic level.

Other recognitions

In addition to the Nobel Prize, Richard Feynman received various awards in his career, including the Albert Einstein Prize in 1954 and the Lawrence Prize in 1962. He was offered a position as a member of the American Physical Society thanks to his efforts and discoveries in the science. The National Academy of Sciences also recognized him and he was appointed as a Fellow of the Royal Society in Great Britain , as a foreign member. Today he is recognized for being the scientist who normalizes and understands quantum electrodynamics.


Interestingly, Richard Feynman was declared mentally handicapped by a US Army medic during World War II . He had an inordinate taste for topless bars and left inspiring notes written on the napkins at these places. He managed to decipher one of the reasons why the Challenger shuttle exploded, his explanation said that the cold had caused the accident.

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