Richard P. Feynman and the Feynman Diagrams

Feynman Honored · Resources with Additional Information

Richard P. Feynman
Courtesy AIP Emilio Segrè Visual
Archives, Weber Collection

'Feynman remade quantum electrodynamics—the theory of the interaction between light and matter—and thus altered the way science understands the nature of waves and particles. He was co-awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1965 for this work, which tied together in an experimentally perfect package all the varied phenomena at work in light, radio, electricity, and magnetism. ...  The problem-solving tools that he invented—including pictorial representations of particle interactions known as Feynman diagrams—permeated many areas of theoretical physics in the second half of the 20th century.'

Feynman 'studied physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where his undergraduate thesis (1939) proposed an original and enduring approach to calculating forces in molecules. Feynman received his doctorate at Princeton University in 1942. ... During World War II Feynman was recruited to serve as a staff member of the U.S. atomic bomb project at Princeton University (1941–42) and then at the new secret laboratory at Los Alamos, New Mexico (1943–45). At Los Alamos he became the youngest group leader in the theoretical division of the Manhattan Project. ...

At war's end Feynman became an associate professor at Cornell University (1945–50) and returned to studying the fundamental issues of quantum electrodynamics. In the years that followed, his vision of particle interaction kept returning to the forefront of physics as scientists explored esoteric new domains at the subatomic level. In 1950 he became professor of theoretical physics at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), where he remained the rest of his career. ...

Feynman's lectures at Caltech evolved into the books Quantum Electrodynamics (1961) and The Theory of Fundamental Processes (1961). In 1961 he began reorganizing and teaching the introductory physics course at Caltech; the result, published as The Feynman Lectures on Physics, 3 vol. (1963–65), became a classic textbook.'


Resources with Additional Information

Additional information about Richard Feynman and his research is available in full-text and on the Web.


A Theorem and Its Application to Finite Tampers, DOE Technical Report, August 15, 1946

Neutron Diffusion in a Space Lattice of Fissionable and Absorbing Materials, DOE Technical Report, August 27, 1946

Equations of State of Elements Based on the Generalized Fermi-Thomas Theory; DOE Technical Report, April 28, 1947

Mathematical Formulation of the Quantum Theory of Electromagnetic Interaction; Physical Review, Vol. 80, Issue 3: 440-457, November 1, 1950

Dispersion of the Neutron Emission in U235 Fission, DOE Technical Report

Quark Elastic Scattering as a Source of High-transverse-momentum Mesons; Physical Review D, Vol. 15, Issue 9: 2590-2616, May 1, 1977

Quantum-chromodynamic Approach for the Large-transverse-momentum Production of Particles and Jets; Physical Review D, Vol. 18, Issue 9: 3320-3343, November 1, 1978


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