Feynman mentions the Encyclopedia Britannica several times in "Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman!", and his biographer Gleick mentions it several times as well, noting that Feynman's father first bought him a copy when he was a small child and "Richard devoured it." (Genius, p. 25). Gleick notes again on page 38 of Genius that "Richard read and reread in the Feynman's Encyclopedia Britannica that...". It was not just a book that Feynman enjoyed as a child; it even figured into games played by him with his long time revel Julian Schwinger when they were old, as Gleick notes on p 49 of Genius "Long afterward, when they were old men, after they had shared a Nobel Prize for work done as rivals, they amazed a dinner party by competing to see who could most quickly recite from memory the alphabetical headings on the spines of their half-century-old edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica." Perhaps Feynman's most famous mention of the EB is in his famous talk, Plenty of Room at the Bottom in which he poses the challenge of printing the entire EB on the head of a pin, offering $1,000 to whomever could do it.
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