Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman


  • Author: Richard P Feynman
  • Publisher: Random House
  • ISBN-13: 9780099173311
  • Pages: 350
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Year of Pub / Reprint Year: 1992


About The Book

Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman: Adventures Of A Curious Character is a compilation of the conversations that author and Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist, Richard P. Feynman, had with his friend, Ralph Leighton.

Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman: Adventures Of A Curious Character is an almost autobiographical take on the life of the eccentric author, Richard P. Feynman. The book itself is a simple transcription of the many conversations that the author had with Ralph Leighton. The fact that the text hasn’t been fully edited points to the honesty of the book and the bare, candid account of the various hilarious events that took place in the life of this Nobel Prize-winning physicist.
Many incidents in Richard P. Feynman’s life are light-hearted and talk about his fascination with cracking safes, learning new languages, incidents like the time he painted a naked toreador and even playing on the drums to accompany a ballet.
There are other, more serious anecdotes, however, that detail incidents such as the author’s work on The Manhattan Project, during which time his wife died of Tuberculosis. Another chapter details the time he presented the Wheeler-Feynman absorber theory to renowned physicists Albert Einstein and Wolfgang Pauli.
The title of the book is directly derived from a time the author visited Princeton University. A woman at the university asked the author whether he would like to have cream or lemon in his tea, to which he naively responded that he’d like both, earning the titular response from the woman.
Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman: Adventures Of A Curious Character delves deep into the personality of one of the world’s foremost scientist. In a few instances, Richard P. Feynman describes oddities such as his lucid dreams that had him speaking to his foreign colleagues and perfectly imitating their accents. This was something that the author was unable to do whilst he was awake. The book was first published in 1985 and sold 500,000 copies.

About The Author

Richard P. Feynman was a world renowned theoretical physicist and a Nobel Prize-winner who played a pivotal role in the foundations of quantum mechanics and nanotechnology.
His other books include The Feynman Lectures on Physics and What Do You Care What Other People Think?
Richard P. Feynman was best known for his work on the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the quantum electrodynamics theory and the parton model of particle physics, which he proposed. He died at the age of 69 in the February of 1988 of two rare forms of cancer and his last words were reportedly that he wouldn’t want to die twice as he found it boring.