Y. S. Kim's Feynman Page
Feynman in 1986, from the |
AIP Emilio Segre Visual Archives
- I like his physics.
According to R. P. Feynman, the adventure of our science of
physics is a perpetual attempt to recognize that the different
aspects of nature are really different aspects of the same thing.
I studied this aspect of physics extensively starting from the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, which influenced Einstein in his formulation of relativity.
In high-energy hadronic physics, Gell-Mann's quark model works well for hadrons at rest or moving slowly. However, Feynman observed that hadrons moving with velocity close to that of light appear like collections of partons whose properties appear to be quite different from those of the quarks. Quarks and Partons! Are they different aspects of the same thing?
Portrait at the entrance of the Feynman Computing Center of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.
- Many people wrote about Richard Feynman. Among them was Yuval Ne'eman. He said Feynman was the Elvis Presley of Science. Elvis and I were born in the same year, and he was drafted to the army when I was an undergraduate student at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He was regarded as a crazy mixed-up boy. We all thought the army would straighten him up, but he changed the world. I love Elvis. I have the same kind of feeling toward Feynman, although he was born much earlier than I was.
According to Yuval Ne'eman, Feynman's two great contributions are Feynman diagrams and his parton picture of fast-moving hadrons. They solve many problems in physics. At the same time, he left us some homework problems.
- Can Feynman diagrams deal with bound-state problems? Here, Feynman
suggested a different approach: use harmonic oscillators. Then, can
the oscillators be made Lorentz-covariant? In order to approach this
problem, I needed Wigner. This is the reason why I was and still am
so enthusiastic about Eugene Wigner.
My grandson wants to become a physicist.
- Feynman's parton picture accurately describes hadrons moving with speed close to that of light. On the other hand, the same hadrons are like quantum bound states with excitations and degeneracies, in accordance with Gell-Mann's quark model. Then the question is whether the parton model and the quark model are two different manifestations of the same covariant entity, as Einstein's energy-momentum relation can be used for both slow and fast moving particles in their respective limits. Click here for the resolution of this problem.