Talk:Richard Feynman

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Purely apocryphal story from my grandfather[edit]

My grandfather grew up in Far Rockaway and his parents and Feynman's would often play bridge. My Grandfather was much younger than Feynman, but Feynman liked kids and would keep him entertained when they crossed paths. The story goes that during the war, not knowing better, and being in his early teens, my Grandfather asked Feynman what the army had him off doing (it was supposedly common knowledge at the time that he was doing something important and secret). Feynman said he was "building a better peashooter." I guess technically true if you know how the physics package in Little Boy worked... Can't add this to the article because of Wikipedia's rules about primary sources, but I thought this story deserved to be up on the interwebs somewhere. PS, I'm a physicist, but my Grandfather became a lawyer. Quodfui (talk) 23:48, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

Nice story, thanks.Anythingyouwant (talk) 03:16, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

Feynman = Genius?[edit]

There is a bit of accuracy disrupte on the Education section, a user, Vsmith insists that the quote on Feynman being a genius does not require specification. It is unknown if it represents a speculative point of view by removing the line "Some praised Richard Feynman as genius:". The quote there is ambiguous if it represents an objective point of view (is he so much a genius that we add a quote there?) or a speculative point of view (does some praised him that it is notable to be quoted?). By removing the line, "he is praised as.." accuracy is disrupted, thanks. -- (talk) 18:54, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

Simply, "some" be weasely. The quote is from a biography and the title kinda says it. Are there ref'd opinions disputing his status. And it seems the article doesn't call him a genius. Vsmith (talk) 19:06, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
Some is weasely? WP:SOFIXIT.
And it seems the article doesn't call him a genius.
I think you just slipped your tongue that what I said about ambiguity is correct. -- (talk) 19:13, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
Feynman would never have called himself a genius. Just some guy who was interested in stuff and just loved solving problems. At most he would admit he had fun doing so an maybe helped discover a bit. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:44, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Not that I really care, by Freeman Dyson did call him a genius in a tv interview. (talk) 00:37, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

Feynman as Atheist[edit]

I was surprised to see no mention of his atheism. That did come up in his book "surely you're joking" at least. If I have time I might add it, but I was wondering if there was a reason it's not there Nerfer (talk) 15:38, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

Oops, never mind. I had misspelled it as athiest and no matches were found... Nerfer (talk) 17:58, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

Feynman views on women[edit]

Worth noting or no? Here are sources:,, Maranjosie (talk) 20:03, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

As the Scientific American blog you cites notes, it is probably a mistake to cherry-pick incidents from Feynman's life to 'prove' one thing or another about his character, and there is actually little in his apparent attitude to women that marks him out as in any way atypical for a man of his generation. He was a man of his time, and behaved accordingly - though perhaps he was a little more honest about it than many. If this needs discussing at all, it needs to be done in a way that avoids judging him by standards to which it is entirely inappropriate to expect him to have ascribed to. AndyTheGrump (talk) 20:20, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
You could say the same about Rolf Harris. It's true that many things Feynman said and did in the 1950s and 1960s did not spark outrage at the time, but like John Kennedy, Feynman's attitudes towards women were noted as very bad by contemporaries even then. Of course, when the 1970s rolled around, it came back to really haunt him. This should be noted in the article, which is hardly neutral at the moment without it, and I think I can do so without holding him to anachronistic standards. Hawkeye7 (talk) 21:25, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

I don't think he "held views on women" - these are just examples of the way he behaved towards a few of them. Zambelo; talk 22:26, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Researching Feynman is like taking a trip down a sewer in a glass-bottomed boat. That's why he's the last of the Manhattan Project scientists to get the Hawkeye7 makeover. I was hoping against hope that someone else would fix up the article. Hawkeye7 (talk) 02:49, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
The sources don't support the inclusion of such a section, and as has been pointed out the Scientific American article itself describes how anecdotes are often cherry-picked to push a viewpoint. I doubt anyone is really qualified to discuss Feynman's views on women, only the way he behaved in various circumstances. This thing smells like someone has an axe to grind, whether the sewer is real of not. (talk) 00:29, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

It it disagrees...[edit]

RF has so many amazing quotations, and there are so few of them in this article. My favorite, found at 3:01 in Richard Feynman Biography,

If it disagrees with experiment, it is wrong. In that simple statement, is the key to science. It doesn't make a difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn't make a difference how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is—If it disagrees with experiment, it is wrong. Thats all there is to it.

—Richard Feynman, Cornell University, 1964

I think this quotation deserves inclusion in his article. -Kyle(talk) 04:50, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

It's on WikiQuote. Hawkeye7 (talk) 03:13, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

New external link[edit]

Hi, I seek advice and guidance. I'm involved in the development of a very well visited non-commercial "hobby-site", 'Richard Feynman' at (currently, 389,810 page hits). I'm quite proud of this site, and I think that it is at least as deserving of a place in the 'External links' as the only current item (which claims to be an "official site", but clearly isn't). However, I suspect that if I try to add the link, the wrath of Wikipedians will again descend upon me. Can I ask others to look at the site and decide whether it's worthy of inclusion? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Geoffw1948 (talkcontribs) 15:15, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

Sorry, but no. The Wikipedia:External links guideline explicitly excludes links to "Blogs, personal web pages and most fansites, except those written by a recognized authority", and furthermore, your website appears to be hosting videos etc without permission of the owners - we cannot link to sites violating copyright. AndyTheGrump (talk) 15:57, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

His IQ was 122 not 125.[edit]

Read his book 'What do you care what people think?' and in the beginning of the novel when he discusses his school years he said he had an IQ of 122, not 125. Unless he was re-tested later in life which would need a citation for - excluding the current one since it doesn't discuss a re-testing. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pentrazemine (talkcontribs) 20:59, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Some online sources say 122, others say 125, per my very hasty scan. Is the distinction important? Not really, sez I. I'm not even certain that it's worth mentioning at all, since after all these years, we still don't know precisely what IQ tests measure, if anything. DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 21:21, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Those sources have obfuscated channels of redundant information passed on by other varying sources - but if you read What do you Care? the man himself says when he took it he got a 122. Actually, the entire book can be heard as an audio-text online Youtube and hear it yourself.I'll take the man's word from it himself from his autobiography than another biographer who got a source from another watered down source.

I'll see if I can find the YT video and crunch down the part where he brings it up. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pentrazemine (talkcontribs) 23:23, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

My point was simply that the precise number is of questionable relevance to this article specifically, and to the great scheme of things in general. In the real world IQ scores are largely ignored. They're of no practical value for anything except gaining entry to Mensa, which -- trust me -- counts some spectacularly stupid people among its top-two-percentile members. Intelligence is far too nebulous and subjective to be measurable by any single parameter. My own score was 152, and beyond an all-too-brief interlude of bragging rights within the dork brigade at my middle school, it was of zero value to me or anyone else. Nobody in his right mind -- I, least of all -- would use that number to conclude that I was by any measure smarter than Richard Feynman, for example. I guess it would be fun to view that clip, though, if you can find it. DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 00:09, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Cite a specific source with a specific page number, and we can check it. I have the Gleick biography at hand and have already checked that. By the way, I've just been reading a very interesting source that describes the development of Feynman's thinking about mathematics and physics, which will help improve this article. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 02:07, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Would that be Krauss's book? Quantam Man? DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 03:18, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

Jewish categories[edit]

See Talk:Richard_Feynman/Archive_2#Categories_for_this_article for a discussion of whether we can use reliable sources to call him Jewish even if he himself asked not be called Jewish. Note, that he did not say is not, just he asked not be called so, and also note that he is deceased. Debresser (talk) 11:43, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

Casita Barranca[edit]