"What Do You Care What Other People Think?": Further Adventures of a Curious Character
Richard P. Feynman, Ralph Leighton
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The New York Times best-selling sequel to "Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!"
One of the greatest physicists of the twentieth century, Richard Feynman possessed an unquenchable thirst for adventure and an unparalleled ability to tell the stories of his life. "What Do You Care What Other People Think?" is Feynman’s last literary legacy, prepared with his friend and fellow drummer, Ralph Leighton. Among its many tales―some funny, others intensely moving―we meet Feynman’s first wife, Arlene, who taught him of love’s irreducible mystery as she lay dying in a hospital bed while he worked nearby on the atomic bomb at Los Alamos. We are also given a fascinating narrative of the investigation of the space shuttle Challenger’s explosion in 1986, and we relive the moment when Feynman revealed the disaster’s cause by an elegant experiment: dropping a ring of rubber into a glass of cold water and pulling it out, misshapen.
and popular lecturer. Richard Feynman died in 1988 after a long illness. Freeman Dyson, of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, called him ‘the most original mind of his generation’, while in its obiturary The New York Times described him as ‘arguably the most brilliant, iconoclastic and influential of the postwar generation of theoretical physicists’. A number of collections and adaptations of his lectures have been published, including The Feynman Lectures on Physics,
what you can do about it”—which is a completely different atmosphere. If you try once or twice to communicate and get pushed back, pretty soon you decide, “To hell with it.” So that’s my theory: because of the exaggeration at the top being inconsistent with the reality at the bottom, communication got slowed up and ultimately jammed. That’s how it’s possible that the higher-ups didn’t know. The other possibility is that the higher-ups did know, and they just said they didn’t know. I looked up
cetera, are so well understood. There is a very good chance that the modifications to get around final difficulties in the engine are not very hard to make, for most of the serious problems have already been discovered and dealt with in the earlier, less expensive stages of the process. The space shuttle main engine was handled in a different manner—top down, we might say. The engine was designed and put together all at once with relatively little detailed preliminary study of the materials and
Jews suffered, we made up the story of Ruth. It wasn’t a real individual.” That was too much for me. I felt terribly deceived: I wanted the straight story—not fixed up by somebody else—so I could decide for myself what it meant. But it was difficult for me to argue with adults. All I could do was get tears in my eyes. I started to cry, I was so upset. He said, “What’s the matter?” I tried to explain. “I’ve been listening to all these stories, and now I don’t know, of all the things you told
engine specifications, 227–29 failure, probability of, 179–80 flame from, 142f–43 launch information, 161–62 reliability of, 220–37 responsibility for engines, 186 reworking components for reuse, 166–67 smoke from, 145f, 159–61, 160f Shuttle Transportation System Safety Advisory Panel, 199–200 simulator, computer checking on, 190 social responsibility and ignorance, 248 and scientific exploration, 240 software bottom-up design, 234 for shuttle computers, 192–94, 232–33