Sunday, June 5, 2011

What motivated Feynman?

There is nice book of essays by Richard Feynman, The Pleasure of Finding Things Out, that is worth reading. The title piece is the transcript of an interview with the BBC in 1981. Here is an extract:
 I won't have anything to do with the Nobel Prize... it's a pain in the... I don't like honours. I appreciate it for the work that I did, and for people who appreciate it, and I know there's a lot of physicists who use my work, I don't need anything else. I don't see that it makes any point that someone in the Swedish Academy decides that this work is noble enough to receive a prize - I've already got the prize. The prize is the pleasure of finding the thing out, the kick in the discovery, the observation that other people use it - those are the real things, the honours are unreal to me. I don't believe in honours, it bothers me, honours bother, honours is epaulettes, honours is uniforms, my papa brought me up this way. I can't stand it, it hurts me.

No comments:

Post a Comment