What Does a Genius Look Like?
If you’ve ever pondered this question, you might want to read a terrific article about Richard Feynman, perhaps the greatest physicist since Einstein and certainly one of the most colorful characters of the 20th century. The article, “What Impossible Meant to Feynman,” describes Feynman’s personality and unusual teaching approach, in which the word impossible had an alternate, unexpected meaning. Click here to see the article.
I’m a big fan of Richard Feynman, ever since including him as a character in my historical novel The Year of the Bomb. In the story, a group of young horror-movie fans in the 1950s witness the filming of the horror classic The Invasion of the Body Snatchers in their hometown. Picking up on the film’s paranoia, the boys learn that one of the inventors of the A-bomb lives nearby, and they become convinced he’s a spy. It’s Feynman, of course. The boys stalk him, Cold-War style, and finally confront him, with humorous and inspiring results. Here’s more information about The Year of the Bomb.
For more about Feynman, read James Gleick’s masterful biography Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman.