Feynman's Rainbow: A Search for Beauty in Physics and in Life

by Leonard Mlodinow

Paperback, 2004




Grand Central Publishing (2004), Edition: 1st, 192 pages


For some, it was that special connection with a grandparent or a football coach, a boss, or a cleric. For a young physicist struggling to find his place in the world, the relationship that would most profoundly influence his life was with his mentor, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman. Shares Feynman's provocative answers to such questions as "What is the nature of creativity?" - and "How does a scientist think?" At once a moving portrait of a friendship and an affecting account of Feynman's final, creative years, celebrates the inspiring legacy of one of the greatest thinkers of our time. Annotation. Academic scientist turned Hollywood screen writer, Mlodinow recounts his first year on the faculty at California Technical Institute, beginning in winter 1981, and his interactions there with renowned physicist Richard Feynman during his last years.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member justine
A very inspiring and funny book about the pursuit od science and learning from Richard Feynman.
LibraryThing member fpagan
The author's experiences in Caltech's physics department towards the end of the life of Richard Feynman (1918-1988).
LibraryThing member dishdasha
An amusing light read with a glimpse into Feynman's personality from the eyes of a new post-doc.
LibraryThing member Othemts
From the library of Anthony De La Puente, a true story of a young scholar and his experiences with his hero Richard Feynman. At times hokey, this book is saved by being true-to-life to its characters. Feynman has no desire to be an inspiration, a mentor, or the person who figures things out for
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other people. He’s above such pop psychology, yet Mlodinow still manages to find a whole lot of the above from his encounters with Feynman. Or maybe it all comes from himself as Feynman says? All in all, a good book about the timeless (and tired) themes of appreciating beauty in everyday life and being true to yourself. This book would make a good movie.

“The creative mind has a vast attic. That homework problem you did in college, that intriguing but seemingly pointless paper you spent a week deciphering as a postdoc, that offhand remark from a colleague, all are stored in hope chests somewhere in the creative person’s brain, often to be picked through and applied to the subconscious at the most unexpected moments. It is part of the creative process that transcends physics.” (p. 82)

“I thought, you don’t need cancer to die. It could come just like that, from a moment of carelessness. You get into the car. You are terminally ill, but you don’t even know it until the last moment when you are slamming the brakes.” (p. 148)
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LibraryThing member ajlewis2
The book seems to be more about the author than it is about Feynman, though there is quite a bit about their interaction. I read 37% and lost interest.
LibraryThing member KittyCunningham
A little gossip, a little explanation of physics theory.


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