In my school library, I came across a red-black paperback. On the rim of the book, white bold letters spelt out Genius. Reading this biography, I got to know a great person who once lived among us.
My first encounter with Feynman’s real genius was through Feynman Lectures on Physics. I quickly realized that this person understood physics like no one else. His writing style was casual, yet clear and unambiguous. When he wrote about the electric bulb, it was as if he could actually see the photons of light. Given the fact that Physics is the first love of my life, I was super impressed.
Reading his biography, lectures, and then Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman – an account of his curious experiences, I found out that besides being a Nobel laureate physicist, he was also a bongo player, an expert puzzle solver and a good man. However, what made a deep impact on me was that each of his stories and accounts carried an interesting message to be learnt.
Physics is understanding the real world independent of time. Feynman has helped me understand Physics. He’s been a good role model. Whenever I am troubled by any topic in Physics or any other subject for that matter, his words flash by:
What I cannot create, I do not understand.
I then set to derive each result myself from the basic axioms. Or dive deep into a programming library. Suddenly, each piece of information fits in like pieces of an invisible jigsaw puzzle. What I could not understand earlier then becomes crystal clear.
Feynman has radically influenced my thinking. His sayings have found their places both on my bedroom walls as well as in my mind and heart. His words have guided me throughout my life. For me, the greatest theoretical physicist who ever lived would always be an inspiration, a limitless motivating force, and a Genius.