PROPERTY FROM THE FAMILY OF RICHARD P. FEYNMAN
WITH: Autograph manuscript, 2 pp (8 1/2 x 11 inches), in black ink on plain white wove paper watermarked "CBA Western College Bookstore Association," ca 1972. Creases where previously folded and tucked into the below.
AND: FEYNMAN, RICHARD. Statistical Mechanics. A Set of Lectures. Reading, MA: W.A. Benjamin Inc, 1972.
This densely written notepad contains notes on several topics, including a Feynman prime number problem; 4 pages on the 2-D Ising Model & Kramers-Wannier Duality beginning "Nature of the Duality in 2 dimensions" and 8 pages relating to Density Matrices, beginning "What does spin wave system look like in fts representation of the density matrix", both likely being lecture notes for a course taught by Feynman at Caltech on Statistical Mechanics ca 1972; 4 pages titled "Computer Conference", likely being notes taken at the Physics of Computing Conference at MIT in May of 1981. The bit on the Ising Model pertains to Feynman's wonderfully inspired random-walk riff, in the early 60's, on Lars Onsager's 1944 exact solution of this canonical toy model of two-dimensional magnetism. Feynman's solution, contemporaneous with a number of similarly streamlined combinatoric alternates to Onsager's formidable algebraic analysis, would eventually make for an elegant pedagogical set piece- see chapter 5: "Order-Disorder Theory," in his Statistical Mechanics. A Set of Lectures, this Lot. Kramers-Wannier Duality, perhaps one of the most glorious & seductive sleights of hand in the history of statistical physics, makes a natural appearance in both Lots- an homage from one magician to another. Lars Onsager, a Norwegian physical chemist who spent the bulk of his career at Yale, was the 1968 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry.
The sketches include a horse fitted with English saddle, showing the lower half of the rider, a sleeping baby, a portrait of a young woman or girl, a man's face, studies of hands, legs, knees, a small standing figure, and a pig.
In 1962, at the age of 44, Feynman began learning to draw, starting by taking weekly classes at the home of artist/scientist Tom Van Sant. He developed into a talented artist over the years, often working with live models in his home, or simply sketching the people around him, and eventually began signing his works under the pseudonym "Ofey." His artwork has been published in The Art of Richard P. Feynman. Images by a Curious Character." Feynman's famous "Ode to a Flower" was a response to he and his artist friend Jirayr Zorthian's friendly arguments about science vs art:
"I have a friend who's an artist and he's taken a view which I don't agree with very well. He'll hold up a flower and say 'Look how beautiful it is!' and I'll agree. And he says 'You see, I as an artist can see how beautiful this is, but you, as a scientist... oh you take this all apart and it becomes a dull thing.' And I think that he's kind of nutty! First of all, the beauty he sees is available to other people — and me too, I believe... I see much more about the flower than he sees... All kinds of interesting questions which a science knowledge only adds to the excitement and mystery and the awe of a flower. It only adds.... Does it make any less of a beautiful smell of violets to know that it's molecules?" (Sykes, No Ordinary Genius: The Illustrated Richard Feynman, p. 107)
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