96
96

PROPERTY FROM THE FAMILY OF RICHARD P. FEYNMAN

FEYNMAN, RICHARD P.
"CODE FOR GROCERIES", CA 1978.
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96

PROPERTY FROM THE FAMILY OF RICHARD P. FEYNMAN

FEYNMAN, RICHARD P.
"CODE FOR GROCERIES", CA 1978.
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FEYNMAN, RICHARD P.
"CODE FOR GROCERIES", CA 1978.
Autograph manuscript, 2 pp (8 1/2 x 11 inches) recto in black ink and verso in blue ink, on plain white wove paper.
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"CODE FOR GROCERIES." On the recto in black ink is playful manuscript by Feynman done late in life beginning: "Code for Groceries. These numbers are successive width of bands of lines or spaces. 4 to a digit. Read forward: omit lsl, start 4 units. begin space. first digit is no. outside on left. Then 5 other digits folow. In center omit slsls...." On the verso, in blue ink, is a full page of equations.

Feynman had a lifelong love of puzzles and codes. He and his first wife Arline would exchange encoded letters while he was working on the Atom Bomb at Los Alamos and she was at a sanatorium in Albequerque, sick with tuberculosis. 

The present manuscript brings to mind the notorious "Feynman Challenge Ciphers," a series of three mysterious messages that according to Chris Cole, a graduate student of Feynman's at Caltech, were given to Feynman as a challenge by a fellow scientist at Los Alamos, and which Feynman had been unable to crack. The first of the three challenge ciphers was solved by Jack C. Morrison of JPL, after determining that it was written using a 5 x 76 transposition cipher. The other two challenges remain unsolved. 

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