PROPERTY FROM THE FAMILY OF RICHARD P. FEYNMAN
A wonderful early item, giving us great insight into Feynman's thought processes during a critical moment in the development of his new quantum electrodynamics, shortly after the famed Pocono Conference of late March 1948 when Julian Schwinger’s competing approach to QED held sway, and likely preceding Feynman’s legendary cross-country road-trip that June with Freeman Dyson, who later explained the equivalence of the two complementary approaches (Gleick, pp. 262-266). The diagrams drawn on the conference program represent the key physical processes constituting crucial experimental tests of QED: i) Compton effect; i.e., the inelastic scattering of electrons by hard x-rays, ii) Bremsstrahlung- “braking radiation,” emitted by rapidly decelerated electrons and, finally, iii) the production of electron-positron pairs by high-energy gamma rays. Feynman at the time was a professor of theoretical physics at Cornell University and it was this work that would lead to his being awarded the 1965 Nobel Prize in Physics.
The text begins: "[I] Would like to talk about what new Q.[uantum] Electr.[odynamics] predicts that might be looked for. Many problems have not yet been worked out. One is motion of electron in Coulomb field. First effect 13 volts. Accuracy vs. energy!... Typical high energy, Pairs, Bremsstrahlung, Compton effect, elect -elect. scatt..."
As with much of Feynman's oeuvre, we can locate no published version of this talk.
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