69
69

PROPERTY FROM THE FAMILY OF RICHARD P. FEYNMAN

FEYNMAN, RICHARD P.
"CR17179A... TOTAL IONIZATION 2.25 BEV. / CM2 SEC...", CA. 1944 & 1947. 
Estimate
10,00015,000
LOT SOLD. 20,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
69

PROPERTY FROM THE FAMILY OF RICHARD P. FEYNMAN

FEYNMAN, RICHARD P.
"CR17179A... TOTAL IONIZATION 2.25 BEV. / CM2 SEC...", CA. 1944 & 1947. 
Estimate
10,00015,000
LOT SOLD. 20,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

History of Science & Technology, Including the Nobel Prize and Papers of Richard P. Feynman

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New York

FEYNMAN, RICHARD P.
"CR17179A... TOTAL IONIZATION 2.25 BEV. / CM2 SEC...", CA. 1944 & 1947. 
Autograph manuscripts, 4 pp, in blue ink on plain white paper (8 x 10 1/2 in) and pencil on lightly toned plain white paper (8 1/2 x 11 in), treating Cosmic Rays and the Lamb shift, ca 1944 & 1947. Creases where previously folded.

WITH: HEISENBERG, W. ed. Cosmic Radiation. Fifteen Lectures Edited by W. Heisenberg. New York: Dover Publications, 1946. 8vo. 192 pp. Green publisher's cloth, lightly worn, gilt to spine rubbed off. FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH, SIGNED "R.P. FEYNMAN" ON FRONT FLY-LEAF.


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Literature

see Genius, p. 251

Catalogue Note

THE LAST WORD IN COSMIC RAYS. 

Feynman's first paper, "The Scattering of Cosmic Rays from the Stars of the Galaxy" was published as a letter to the Physical Review on March 1st, 1939, the spring before his graduation from MIT, and was co-written with M.S. Vallarta, one of his professors who was the lead author. In 1946, a year after Feynman had joined the faculty at Cornell, Werner Heisenberg published an English-edition collection of lectures on cosmic radiation honoring Arnold Sommerfeld, his renowned mentor.  This book concludes with a rather specific and historically-loaded mention of Vallarta & Feynman's paper, becoming the source of a classic Feynman anecdote as Gleick recounts:

"Vallarta let his student in on a secret of mentor-protegé publishing: the senior scientist's names comes first. Feynman had his revenge a few years later, when Heisenberg concluded an entire book on cosmic rays with the phrase, 'such an effect is not to be expected according to Vallarta and Feynman.' When they next met, Feynman asked gleefully whether Vallarta had seen Heisenberg's book. Vallarta knew why Feynman was grinning. 'Yes,' he replied. You're the last word in cosmic rays.'" (Genius p. 82)

Indeed he was; quite the coup for a scientist's very first paper.

The present manuscripts consist of first: 2 pages, labeled at upper right "CR17179A" (the CR perhaps standing for Cosmic Rays), possibly investigating the effects of cosmic rays as a source of pre-detonation of the Bomb whilst at Los Alamos. Feynman notes the work of Millikan, Schein, Carmichael & Dymond, and Bethe, all being on the subject of cosmic rays, and all being published prior to the start of WWII, when Allied physicists abruptly terminated publication of sensitive scientific research.

The second manuscript revisits the topic of cosmic rays, and looks in particular at normal (i.e., pi & mu), as well as mysterious "abnormal" mesons, unknown exotic particles of heavier mass. Written post-1947, as it mentions the Lamb shift (earning Lamb the 1955 Nobel Prize in Physics); this was possibly penned after Feynman attended Hans Bethe's 1947 lecture transcending the Dirac equation to pin down Lamb's elusive, but foundational QED experiment. Feynman cites many of the same people as above, with the addition of Le Prince-Ringuet, Fermi & Rabi, Greisen, and Street & William. 

History of Science & Technology, Including the Nobel Prize and Papers of Richard P. Feynman

|
New York