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Surely you're joking, Mr. Feynman! :…
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"Surely you're joking, Mr. Feynman!" : adventures of a curious character (1985)

by Richard Feynman

Other authors: Edward Hutchings, Ralph Leighton

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,70199558 (4.24)132
  1. 30
    What Do You Care What Other People Think? by Richard P. Feynman (qball56k)
    qball56k: If you liked Surely You're Joking, you'll probably like the sequel as well. It's in many ways a more personal look at one of the most famous physicists of the 20th century.
  2. 10
    Absolute Zero Gravity: Science Jokes, Quotes and Anecdotes by Betsy Devine (Musecologist)
  3. 21
    Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain (noise)
    noise: Both Tony Bourdain and Richard Feynman have (had) an incredible knack for writing highly informative and page turning memoirs. If you've read one but not the other, you're in for a treat.
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» See also 132 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 91 (next | show all)
I recently re-read the autobiography, 'Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!' I first read this book in high school, and was fascinated by his stories of his work on the atomic bomb. Since that time, I've achieved my Bachelor's degree in Physics, and it makes me laugh even more. Whether you're a theoretical physicist or a brick layer, or anything in between, this book is full of insightful humor, only some of which is caused by a Physicist's unique way of looking at the world and not understanding the social requirements of certain situations.

The title comes from the response of a very British woman asking if he would like milk or lemon in his tea. He asks for both. Anyone who has mixed milk and lemon juice knows it would ruin whatever tea it was added to. Who wants to drink curdled milk?

Feynman's insights in the book range from his experience cracking safes to cutting layers of red tape and why, as well as a passionate call for a return to pure science. This section at the end had a greater impact on me now than it did in High School, all the more because it hasn't been heeded in the intervening decades. I echo Feyman's call for true science to make a resurgence. When science is held at the mercy of the businesses who fund it, the businesses can pick and choose the results they want, thus destroying the validity of the study altogether. If you run an experiment 100 times, you will probably find one run that indicates the opposite of the other 99.

This is a fun and interesting read, no matter what level you have at understanding Physics. ( )
  Simon.Driscoll | Apr 11, 2016 |
Fantastic and inspirational. ( )
  ndpmcIntosh | Mar 21, 2016 |
Quite enjoyable anecdotes but Hey man is annoying. ( )
  Laurochka | Feb 6, 2016 |
Fascinating non-fiction book that details Feynman's involvement in creating the atomic bomb at Los Alamos, New Mexico. Explains a lot of physics theory in a clear, easy-to-understand way, AND he has a great sense of humor too (!). ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
It was more entertaining than I thought it would be for a book about a physicist. I was surprised when I realized that I think I only know who Feynman is because I watch The Big Bang Theory on television (though I did take physics in high school and college so I am not a total science loss). ( )
  JenniferRobb | Jan 17, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 91 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (69 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Feynman, Richardprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hutchings, Edwardsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Leighton, Ralphsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Balibar, FrançoiseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bou, LuisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cox, BrianIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hibbs, Albert R.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Klíma, JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
van Ryn, AudeIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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When I was about eleven or twelve I set up a lab in my house.
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Richard P. Feynman, premio Nobel per la fisica nel 1965, è stato uno dei maggiori fisici teorici del XX secolo. La sua vita, lungi dal rimanere confinata entro i limiti dell’impegno strettamente scientifico, ci si presenta in questo libro come un’esplosiva miscela di eventi incredibili resi possibili da quell’impasto del tutto unico di acuta intelligenza, curiosità irrefrenabile, costante scetticismo e radicato umorismo che è stato l’uomo Feynman. È davvero straordinario poter ritrovare nella stessa persona un tal numero di esperienze diverse e talora contraddittorie. 
Egli ha, di volta in volta, scassinato le più sicure casseforti di Los Alamos, dove si custodivano i segreti della bomba atomica, suonato la frigideira in una scuola di samba brasiliana, illustrato la fisica a “menti mostruose” come Einstein, von Neumann e Pauli, e lavorato come suonatore di bongo con una coreografa di successo, per tacere poi della sua attività di pittore, o di biologo, o di frequentatore di case da gioco. Per dare un’idea dell’unicità del personaggio, basta pensare che il futuro premio Nobel venne scartato dall’esercito americano perché “psichicamente deficiente”. Per anni le conversazione di Richard “Dick” Feynman con l’amico musicista Ralph Leighton sono state registrate e poi trascritte senza alterarne il tono confidenziale: un tributo a un grandissimo scienziato ma prima di tutto a un uomo per il quale la vita è davvero stata un instancabile susseguirsi di ricerca e scoperta.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0393316041, Paperback)

A series of anecdotes shouldn't by rights add up to an autobiography, but that's just one of the many pieces of received wisdom that Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman (1918-88) cheerfully ignores in his engagingly eccentric book, a bestseller ever since its initial publication in 1985. Fiercely independent (read the chapter entitled "Judging Books by Their Covers"), intolerant of stupidity even when it comes packaged as high intellectualism (check out "Is Electricity Fire?"), unafraid to offend (see "You Just Ask Them?"), Feynman informs by entertaining. It's possible to enjoy Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman simply as a bunch of hilarious yarns with the smart-alecky author as know-it-all hero. At some point, however, attentive readers realize that underneath all the merriment simmers a running commentary on what constitutes authentic knowledge: learning by understanding, not by rote; refusal to give up on seemingly insoluble problems; and total disrespect for fancy ideas that have no grounding in the real world. Feynman himself had all these qualities in spades, and they come through with vigor and verve in his no-bull prose. No wonder his students--and readers around the world--adored him. --Wendy Smith

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:16 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

In this phenomenal bestseller, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard P. Feynman recounts his adventures trading ideas on atomic physics with Einstein and Bohr and ideas on gambling with Nick the Greek, painting a naked female toreador, accompanying a ballet on his bongo drums--and much else of an eyebrow-raising and hilarious nature. Photos.… (more)

» see all 10 descriptions

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