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Feynman seemed to possess a frightening ease with the substance behind the equations, like Albert Einstein at the same age, like the Soviet physicist Lev Landau—but few others.One of the conditions of Feynman's scholarship to Princeton was that he could not be married; but he continued to see his high school sweetheart, Arline Greenbaum, and was determined to marry her once he had been awarded his Ph. despite the knowledge that she was seriously ill with tuberculosis.He assisted in the development of the atomic bomb during World War II and became known to a wide public in the 1980s as a member of the Rogers Commission, the panel that investigated the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.Along with his work in theoretical physics, Feynman has been credited with pioneering the field of quantum computing and introducing the concept of nanotechnology. Tolman professorship in theoretical physics at the California Institute of Technology. by Ralph Leighton and Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman by James Gleick.His habit of direct characterization sometimes rattled more conventional thinkers; for example, one of his questions, when learning feline anatomy, was "Do you have a map of the cat? Although he originally majored in mathematics, he later switched to electrical engineering, as he considered mathematics to be too abstract. Attendees at Feynman's first seminar, which was on the classical version of the Wheeler-Feynman absorber theory, included Albert Einstein, Wolfgang Pauli, and John von Neumann.
In a 1999 poll of 130 leading physicists worldwide by the British journal Physics World he was ranked as one of the ten greatest physicists of all time.I suspect that this test emphasized verbal, as opposed to mathematical, ability.Feynman received the highest score in the United States by a large margin on the notoriously difficult Putnam mathematics competition exam...Feynman was a keen popularizer of physics through both books and lectures including a 1959 talk on top-down nanotechnology called There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom and the three-volume publication of his undergraduate lectures, The Feynman Lectures on Physics. Many years later, in a letter to Tina Levitan, declining a request for information for her book on Jewish Nobel Prize winners, he stated, "To select, for approbation the peculiar elements that come from some supposedly Jewish heredity is to open the door to all kinds of nonsense on racial theory", adding, "at thirteen I was not only converted to other religious views, but I also stopped believing that the Jewish people are in any way 'the chosen people'".Feynman also became known through his semi-autobiographical books Surely You're Joking, Mr. Later in his life, during a visit to the Jewish Theological Seminary, he encountered the Talmud for the first time and remarked that it contained a medieval kind of reasoning and was a wonderful book.