Updated: Jul 25, 2020
From the Nobel speech by Feynman to the general public. In the Nobel lecture, Feynman included details of anecdotes that are of no value either scientifically but to understand the development of ideas. They were included only to make the talk more entertaining, but you can derive some motivations. Let's see how interesting were those...
Before heading towards the fun part, have a look behind his inspirational sequences,
Feynman worked on the development of the Space-Time View of Quantum Electrodynamics problem about eight years until the final publication in 1947. The beginning of the thing was at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology when he was an undergraduate student reading about the known physics. And learning slowly about all these things that people were worried about. Finally, he realized that the day's fundamental problem was that the quantum theory of electricity and magnetism was not wholly satisfactory. This he gathered from books by Heitler and Dirac. He was inspired by these books, not by the parts in which everything was proved and demonstrated carefully and calculated. Still, because he couldn't understand those very well. He quoted from the last sentence of Dirac's book, which he can always remember, "It seems that some essentially new physical ideas are here needed." So, he had this as a challenge and an inspiration. He also had a personal feeling that since they didn't get a satisfactory answer to the problem. So that he wanted to solve it, he doesn't have to pay a lot of attention to what they did do. This is how he formulated his own life. Here you might be confused about how this can be his life, though. Yes, it can, because he did not take it as a problem but enjoyed it in the process, and in general, he lived it. No wonder you will also learn to live your work with the time. Just keep working on your aspirations.
Once he figures out the gap between theories and found a way to solve it, he explained it in a very known manner. Quoting the same here again from his autobiography, "I fell deeply in love with it. Like falling in love with a woman, it is only possible if you do not know much about her, so you cannot see her faults. The faults will become apparent later, but after the love is strong enough to hold you to her." So, he was attached to this theory, despite all difficulties, by his youthful enthusiasm. You must have noticed the correlation between life love and professional love. This is not just a correlation, but it is key to enjoying your journey and keeping self-motivation.
After he went to graduate school, he learned in the interim glaringly obvious fault of his theory. But, he was still in love with the original approach. He always thought that it lay the solution to the difficulties of quantum electrodynamics. During the eight years long hard work, he always kept his motivation high enough. Solving a single problem takes long enough time for a man like Feynman even. So what makes him different? That is nothing but the expense of his time with full allegiance and self-motivation.
To summarize, as a physicist, he had earned two things when he was done with this. One, he knew many distinct ways of formulating classical electrodynamics, with many various mathematical forms. He got to know how to express the subject every which way. Second, he had a point of view about the overall space-time and disrespect for the Hamiltonian method of describing physics and learned many life lessons. So there is not even a single process exist which left you with nothing. Once you start working on something, you always in a position to gain.
Furthermore, in the search for new laws, one always has the psychological excitement of feeling that possible nobody has yet thought of the crazy possibility you are looking at. The same thing happened with Feynman when he was a student. So no matter what you were thinking of in the past, it always becomes older with the time, and you start loving the new one. See how Feynman said about his former love, here I am quoting the same, "we can say the best we can for any old woman, that she has been a perfect mother and has given birth to some excellent children." Here the children refer to the well-established theory of Quantum electrodynamics and others; he thanks the Swedish Academy of Sciences for complimenting one of them by awarding him with Nobel prize.
Here I have pointed out only a few motivational things to begin your journey. You may also love to read the whole process of formulating a new theory for the same you may refer to autobiography and lecture notes.
Facts about Prof Richard Feynman,
The Nobel Prize in Physics 1965.
Born: 11 May 1918, New York, NY, USA.
Died: 15 Feb 1988, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
Affiliation at the time of the award: California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Pasadena, CA, USA.
Nobel Prize awarded for their fundamental work in quantum electrodynamics.
Prize share: 1/3.
Richard P. Feynman – Facts, Nobel Media.
Nobel lectures, Physics 1963-1970, Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1972.
Autobiography by written by Feynman himself, "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!"
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