Danny Huang AP Physics
May 24, 2011 Mr. Maloney

richard_feynman.jpgRichard Feynman

Brief History of Life:
Richard Phillips Feynman was born on May 11, 1918 in Queens, NY. As a child, his father would want him to ask questions just so it gets him thinking. Also, at a young age Feynman had and knack for engineering and enjoyed fixing radios as a hobby.
For his high school years, he attended Far Rockaway High School, and it was determined that he had a high IQ. He had already learned differential and integral calculus by the age of 15. After high school he attended and received his bachelor’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. While at MIT, Feynman took every physics course that was offered. He would later go to Princeton University for his graduate school and this is where Feynman would get involved in the Manhattan Project.
After the Manhattan Project, Feynman focused on physics problems. Specifically he focused on the spinning of swaying disk as it moved through the air. Feynman used various equations of rotations to express various spinning speeds and this became significant to his Nobel Prize work. He won the Nobel Prize for his work in quantum mechanics, by helping to develop a functional integral formulation.
On February 15, 1988, Feynman died as he was battling two types of cancer. His last recorded words were “I’d hate to die twice. It’s so boring”.

Science Topics Well Known For:
Feynman wasa a physicist and he focused on problems regarding the extreme high energy of heavy particles. In 1969, he invented a theory of partons for analyzing high-energy hadron collisions. Feynman's theory still remains fundamental to the understanding of particle physics. His work contributed to the idea of Compton scattering, pair production, and quantum electrodynamics in general. As a result, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1965.
Furthermore, Feynman was one of twelve members appointed to investigate the 1986 explosion of the space shuttle Challenger, and Feynman's experiments showed that the tragedy was caused by a failure of the craft's rubber-like O-rings.

Relevance to the Atomic Bomb:
While at Princeton, Feynman was introduced and participated in the Manhattan Project. He joined because he wanted to help build an atomic bomb before the Nazis developed their own. Feynman worked in the theoretical division of the project, and Hans Bethe and he developed a formula for calculating the yield of a fission bomb. Since he was a junior physicist, he did not have that big of a role in the project. The greater part of his work involved administering the computation group of human computers in his division. Feynman also calculated neutron equations for a small nuclear reactor which measued how close an assembly of fissile material was to its critical point.