Synopses & Reviews
Perhaps the greatest physicist of the second half of the twentieth century, Richard Feynman changed the way we think about quantum mechanics, the most perplexing of all physical theories. Here Lawrence M. Krauss, himself a theoretical physicist and best-selling author, offers a unique scientific biography: a rollicking narrative coupled with clear and novel expositions of science at the limits. An immensely colorful persona in and out of the office, Feynman revolutionized our understanding of nature amid a turbulent life. Krauss presents that life--from the death of Feynman's childhood sweetheart during the Manhattan Project to his reluctant rise as a scientific icon--as seen through the science, providing a new understanding of the legacy of a man who has fascinated millions. An accessible reflection on the issues that drive physics today, captures the story of a man who was willing to break all the rules to tame a theory that broke all the rules.
"Physicist Richard Feynman has a reputation as a bongo-playing, hard-partying, flamboyant Nobel Prize laureate for his work on quantum electrodynamics theory, but this tends to obscure the fact that he was a brilliant thinker who continued making contributions to science until his death in 1988. He foresaw new directions in science that have begun to produce practical applications only in the last decade: nanotechnology, atomic-scale biology like the manipulation of DNA, lasers to move individual atoms, and quantum engineering. In the 1960s, Feynman entered the field of quantum gravity and created important tools and techniques for scientists studying black holes and gravity waves. Author Krauss (The Physics of Star Trek), an MIT-trained physicist, doesn't necessarily break new ground in this biography, but Krauss excels in his ability, like Feynman himself, to make complicated physics comprehensible. He incorporates Feynman's lectures and quotes several of the late physicist's colleagues to aid him in this process. This book is highly recommended for readers who want to get to know one of the preeminent scientists of the 20th century. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Engaging…. Krauss explains scientific material in a clear, lively style that would have earned Feynman’s approval…. A worthy addition to the Feynman shelf and a welcome follow-up to the standard-bearer, James Gleick’s Genius.Lawrence Krauss's wonderful biography manages to combine a rolling narrative with a crystal clear explanation of Richard Feynman's science. Its lively descriptions make both electromagnetism and quantum mechanics fun, while Krauss's personal reflections on his subject add a new level of insight into the man and his scientific legacy. Quantum Man is a masterpiece. --Walter Isaacson, author of Einstein: His Life and Universe
Such a charismatic figure deserves a charismatic, knowledgeable, and literate physicist as his warts-and-all biographer. Lawrence Krauss fits the bill admirably and rises to the challenge with style, panache, and deep understanding. --Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion and The Greatest Show on Earth
Seamlessly entwining colorful episodes of physics’ most ‘curious character’ with wonderfully clear descriptions of Feynman’s penetrating breakthroughs in quantum theory, Krauss’s account is both entertaining and masterly. A great read. --Brian Greene, author of The Hidden Reality and The Elegant Universe
A lively and engrossing biography of a lively and engrossing man. Krauss recounts the life and ideas of one of the century’s greatest scientist with a deep understanding of both the physics and the man, presented with great lucidity and charm. --Steven Pinker, Harvard College Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of How the Mind Works
A gripping new scientific biography of the revered Nobel Prize-winning physicist (and curious character).
About the Author
Lawrence M. Krauss is the director of the Origins Initiative at Arizona State University and has written more than three hundred scientific publications and seven books, including The Physics of Star Trek and A Universe from Nothing. He lives in Tempe, Arizona, and Shaker Heights, Ohio.