Feynman's Current Agenda

Yuval Ne'eman once said Richard Feynman was the Elvis Presley of Science, and more than 20% of Americans believe Elvis Presley is still alive. If so, it is very safe to assume that Richard Feynman is still alive. Then what are Feynman's current agenda?

Feynman made many provocative statements in physics. The question is whether we can construct mathematical models to examine physical contents of those statements. Let us provide a two-dimensional organization for his agenda.






Parton Picture Harmonic Oscillators Rest of the Universe

    Feynman said
If a hadron moves with a velocity close to that of light, Feynman observed that it is collection of an infinite number of partons which behave like independent massless particles with a wide-spread momentum distribution. Feynman's partons have properties quite different from those of the quarks. In 1970, Feynman stated that (1) hadronic spectra on Regge trajectories are manifestations the degeneracies of three-dimensional harmonic oscillators, (2) and we should try oscillator wave functions, instead of Feynman diagrams, for bound states in the relativistic world. When we solve a quantum-mechanical problem, what we really do is divide the universe into two parts - the system in which we are interested and the rest of the universe. We then usually act as if the system in which we are interested comprised the entire universe. Click here.

    Fundamental Questions
Is the parton model a Lorentz-boosted quark model? Click here. for the answer. Can Feynman's oscillator model be made Lorentz-covariant? What physics can we do with this concept? Entaglement and Decoherence!

    Mathematical Instruments
Dirac's light-cone coordinate system Wigner's O(3)-like little group for massive particles Dirac's coupled oscillators

    One Mathematics
Indeed, these three distinct approaches can be combined into one mathematical formalism. Click here for a written document. The idea is to exploit the fact that the mathematics of Lorentz boost is the same as that of two coupled harmonic oscillators.

    One 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. This means that Feynman was attempting to combine all of his papers into one paper. It is thus fun to combine some, if not all, into one paper. This job becomes easy if they share the same mathematical formalism.

    Photo of Feynman from the AIP Visual Archives.