Feynman at | Not Even Wrong
But Helen Tuck, who was Feynman's secretary and still occasionally visits, Where is Murray Gell-Mann's office in relation to Feynman's?. problem arose in connection with "ID," a term we had not encountered of Steve Ellis, whose advice excitement of being around Feynman and Gell-Mann. As. Murray Gell-Mann, discoverer of the quark, winner of the Nobel Prize in MacArthur Foundation, member of the Council on Foreign Relations, adviser to Richard Feynman, would occasionally feign incomprehension when.
Even then it was clear to socially minded people that the openness of possibilities was an opportunity, and that doubt and discussion were essential to progress into the unknown. If we want to solve a problem that we have never solved before, we must leave the door to the unknown ajar. We are at the very beginning of time for the human race.
It is not unreasonable that we grapple with problems. But there are tens of thousands of years in the future. Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions, and pass them on. It is our responsibility to leave the people of the future a free hand.
In the impetuous youth of humanity, we can make grave errors that can stunt our growth for a long time. This we will do if we say we have the answers now, so young and ignorant as we are. If we suppress all discussion, all criticism, proclaiming "This is the answer, my friends; man is saved! It has been done so many times before. It is our responsibility as scientists, knowing the great progress which comes from a satisfactory philosophy of ignorance, the great progress which is the fruit of freedom of thought, to proclaim the value of this freedom; to teach how doubt is not to be feared but welcomed and discussed; and to demand this freedom as our duty to all coming generations.
The Feynman Lectures on Physics [ edit ] Stuck on this carousel my little eye can catch one-million-year-old light. A vast pattern — of which I am a part It does not do harm to the mystery to know a little more about it. Far more marvelous is the truth than any artists of the past imagined! Why do the poets of the present not speak of it?
There in wine is found the great generalization: It is important to realize that in physics today, we have no knowledge what energy is. Although we humans cut nature up in different ways, and we have different courses in different departments, such compartmentalization is really artificial. From a long view of the history of mankind — seen from, say, ten thousand years from now — there can be little doubt that the most significant event of the 19th century will be judged as Maxwell's discovery of the laws of electrodynamics.
In fact, everything we know is only some kind of approximation, because we know that we do not know all the laws as yet. Therefore, things must be learned only to be unlearned again or, more likely, to be corrected. I believe it is the atomic hypothesis or the atomic fact, or whatever you wish to call it that all things are made of atoms — little particles that move around in perpetual motion, attracting each other when they are a little distance apart, but repelling upon being squeezed into one another.
In that one sentence, you will see, there is an enormous amount of information about the world, if just a little imagination and thinking are applied. We do not know what the rules of the game are; all we are allowed to do is to watch the playing.
Behind the scenes at the physics lab with the odd couple of science - The Scotsman
Of course, if we watch long enough, we may eventually catch on to a few of the rules. The rules of the game are what we mean by fundamental physics. Even if we knew every rule, however, we might not be able to understand why a particular move is made in the game, merely because it is too complicated and our minds are limited. If you play chess you must know that it is easy to learn all the rules, and yet it is often very hard to select the best move or to understand why a player moves as he does.
So it is in nature, only much more so. I too can see the stars on a desert night, and feel them. But do I see less or more? The vastness of the heavens stretches my imagination — stuck on this carousel my little eye can catch one-million-year-old light. What is the pattern, or the meaningor the why?
It does not do harm to the mystery to know a little about it. For far more marvelous is the truth than any artists of the past imagined! What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?
The witch doctor has a theory that a disease like malaria is caused by a spirit which comes into the air; it is not cured by shaking a snake over it, but quinine does help malaria. So, if you are sick, I would advise that you go to the witch doctor because he is the man in the tribe who knows the most about the disease; on the other hand, his knowledge is not science.
Psychoanalysis has not been checked carefully by experiment. But it is true that if we look at a glass of wine closely enough we see the entire universe. There are the things of physics: The glass is a distillation of the Earth's rocks, and in its composition we see the secrets of the universe's age, and the evolution of stars.
What strange arrays of chemicals are in the wine? How did they come to be? There are the ferments, the enzymes, the substrates, and the products. Nobody can discover the chemistry of wine without discovering, as did Louis Pasteurthe cause of much disease.
How vivid is the claret, pressing its existence into the consciousness that watches it! If our small minds, for some convenience, divide this glass of wine, this universe, into parts — physics, biology, geology, astronomy, psychology, and so on — remember that nature does not know it! So let us put it all back together, not forgetting ultimately what it is for. Let it give us one more final pleasure: We do not have a picture that energy comes in little blobs of a definite amount. It is not that way.
If we attempt to, we get into that paralysis of thought that comes to philosophers, who sit opposite each other, one saying to the other, "You don't know what you are talking about! The second one says, "What do you mean by know? What do you mean by talking? What do you mean by you?
But the real reason is that the subject is enjoyable, and although we humans cut nature up in different ways, and we have different courses in different departments, such compartmentalization is really artificial, and we should take our intellectual pleasures where we find them. We make no apologies for making these excursions into other fields, because the separation of fields, as we have emphasized, is merely a human convenience, and an unnatural thing.
Who Got Feynman’s Office? | Sean Carroll
Nature is not interested in our separations, and many of the interesting phenomena bridge the gaps between fields. Another example that comes to mind is the more recent analysis of information theory by Claude Shannon. These two analyses, incidentally, turn out to be closely related.
The American Civil War will pale into provincial insignificance in comparison with this important scientific event of the same decade. The exact analysis of real physical problems is usually quite complicated, and any particular physical situation may be too complicated to analyze directly by solving the differential equation.
But one can still get a very good idea of the behavior of a system if one has some feel for the character of the solution in different circumstances. Ideas such as the field lines, capacitance, resistance, and inductance are, for such purposes, very useful. There is only one precise way of presenting the laws, and that is by means of differential equations.
They have the advantage of being fundamental and, so far as we know, precise. If you have learned the differential equations you can always go back to them. There is nothing to unlearn. There are usually a large number of implied assumptions that are far from obvious if you think about them sufficiently carefully.
Not I — I want to be reminded and delighted and surprised once again, through interplanetary exploration, with the infinite variety and novelty of phenomena that can be generated from such simple principles. The test of science is its ability to predict. Had you never visited the earth, could you predict the thunderstorms, the volcanoes, the ocean waves, the auroras, and the colorful sunset?
It was at Caltech that Gell-Mann helped to lay the foundations for our understanding of the components that make up matter.
He drafted a blueprint of subatomic physics that he called the Eightfold Way. At the time, physicists understood that atoms are constructed from protons and neutrons, but they had also found many other mysterious particles. The Eightfold Way made sense of this baffling menagerie, finding within it places for particles never even imagined.
The work was so important that it netted Gell-Mann a Nobel Prize in In Gell-Mann pursued his dream of working in other fields by cofounding the Santa Fe Institutea think tank where scientists are encouraged to cross disciplines. Located high on a hill in the New Mexico desert, surrounded by cottonwood trees and outcroppings of rose quartz, the institute is a place where an ornithologist can trade data over lunch with a political scientist while excitedly scrawling statistical equations on a window with a Sharpie for lack of paper and pen.
With its geometric design, brightly colored walls, abundant hiking trails in the vicinity, and generous supply of candy in the kitchen, the Santa Fe Institute seems a bit like a playground for scientists. Lots of people thought I was crazy. Quarks are permanently trapped inside other particles like neutrons and protons.
How should a nonphysicist visualize quarks? As tiny spheres trapped inside atoms? Well, in classical physics you could think of a quark as a point. Sometimes it behaves like a point, but it can be smeared out a little. Sometimes it behaves like a wave. When people picture particles smashing together in a particle collider, what should they be imagining? It depends on the circumstances. At very high energies, two particles that smash together do not bounce off each other but create a vast number of particles.
You would have all sorts of little chips flying off in all directions—that would be a little more like it. So it would be like smashing an apple and an orange together and getting bananas? Little bits of all kinds of things. Getting a whole bunch of little chips of apple and orange, but also chips of banana and antibanana, grapes How many types of elementary particles are there? We have a thing called the standard model, which is based on about 60 particles, but there may be many more.
These are just the ones that have a low energy, so we can detect them. The s and s could be considered a heyday of particle physics, when many subatomic particles—and not just elementary ones, it turns out—were being discovered. Could you talk a little bit about the events leading up to your discovery of the quark? That was very dramatic for me.
I had been working for years on the properties of particles that participated in the strong interaction. This is the interaction responsible for holding the nucleus of the atom together. The family of strongly interacting particles includes the neutrons and protons; those are the most familiar ones. But now tens, dozens, hundreds of other particles were being discovered in experiments in which protons collided with each other in particle accelerators.
There were lots and lots of energy states in which we saw relatives—cousins—of the neutrons and protons. They are produced in a particle collision in an accelerator, and they decay after a short time. After a tiny fraction of a second, they fall apart into other things. One particle that I predicted, the omega-minuscan decay into a neutral pion and xi-minus, and then the pion decays into photons, and the xi-minus decays into a negative pion and a lambda.
And then the lambda decays into a negative pion and a proton. The interior of the sun has a very high temperature, but even that very high temperature is not enough to make all of these things. Do all these exotic particles exist anywhere outside of physics experiments? They existed right after the Big Bang, when temperatures were incredibly high. And they occur in cosmic-ray events. Looking at the table of known particles and the experimental data, it was clear that the neutron and proton could be made up of three particles with fractional charges, which I called quarks.
The neutron and proton were no longer to be considered elementary. It was not a difficult thing to deduce. What was difficult was believing it, because nobody had ever heard of making the neutron and proton composite. Nobody had ever heard of these fractional charges.
Nobody had ever heard of particles being confined permanently inside observable things and not directly attainable. As time goes on, physicists seem to find more and more particles. Could there be an infinite number of them? All of us theorists believe in simplicity.
Simplicity has always been a reliable guide to theory in fundamental physics. But the simplicity may not lie in the number of named particles. It may be that the theory, expressed simply, gives rise to huge numbers of particle types. The particles might go on forever, but you detect only the ones that are light enough to play a role in your experiments.
Now researchers are pinning a lot of hope on finding yet another set of predicted particles in experiments at the Large Hadron Collider. Do you think this will bring some clarity? Well, there is another possibility, that they find some phenomenon that is utterly unexpected.
Who Got Feynman’s Office?
He had had a very substantial library, a huge library. And when the bad times struck—the Depression—he had to get rid of them when we moved to a tiny apartment.
He had to have the furniture taken away. He paid somebody five dollars to take away his library. But he had a few books left, 50 books or something like that. One of them was a book that gave etymologies of English words borrowed from Greek and Latin. So I learned all these Greek and Latin roots and how they went to make up English words. That started me on etymology, and I have loved etymology ever since. I was always OK in math. Actually I loved math, loved studying it, loved using it.
I was particularly in love with archaeology and linguistics.
And I could discuss anything with my brother—archaeology, etymology, anything at all. He never did anything with it, but he was very, very intelligent and very knowledgeable about all sorts of things. He was passionate about birds and other living things. Not so much the scientific principles of ornithology, but just seeing the birds and identifying them and knowing where they were, and what kind of nest they had, and what songs they sang.
Going with him on a bird trip was the best thing—the best thing—I did in those years. My brother taught me to read from a cracker box when I was 3. When you were going into college, you were interested in studying archaeology, natural history, or linguistics, but your father wanted you to make money as an engineer. If I designed something it would fall down. When I was admitted to Yale, I took an aptitude test, and when the counselor gave me the results of the exam, he said: General relativity, quantum mechanics, you will love it.
I never took his advice on anything else. He told me how beautiful physics would be if I stuck with it, and that notion of beauty impressed me.Murray Gell-Mann - Feynman's partons (131/200)
My father studied those things. He was a great admirer of Einstein. He would lock himself in his room and study general relativity.