Feynman as an Artist
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From all those paintings, we can clearly see Feynman was a talented artist, but we should be able to say more than that.
The Physics Today pictures were chosen by Michelle Feynman, Feynman's daughter, and their captions are quotations from Feynman's writings. From those figures and captions, we can gather easily that Feynman was a physicist and was addressing the issue of "resonance" in transmitting abstract concept. Each individual has different emotions. Feynman puts his own emotions to his pictures. He believes those with the same set of emotions can appreciate his paintings.
- Among the nine items shown in the Physics Today, six of them are paintings
of woman. I do not know how to draw pictures, but I have many photos
accumulated over the years.
I went through them in order to find some photos giving me the same
kind of feeling as I could get from Feynman's pictures.
- I found many photos including those I took when I was in Rio de Janeiro.
It is not difficult to see that Feynman was inspired by what he saw in
Brazil, trees on the mountains and scenes on the Cocabacana beach. But
my collection is not limited to those from Brazil. When I was attending
a conference in Kharkov (Ukraine), I noticed this street scene which
gave me the same kind of feeling as those from Feynman's paintings.
It then is not difficult to establish the resonance between this photo with the statue of Venus, and therefore the resonance between Feynman's paintings and the beauty of Venus.
- I would love to follow Feynman's lead on this subject, but I cannot draw
pictures. The best thing I can do is to take photos. I attempted to take
photos of one woman from various directions
to see whether I can extend Feynman's work along this line, but
Feynman was learning art from his artist friends. Thus, he was influenced by established professionalism in art. There women play important roles, and their images are derived from the ultimate lady named Venus. If Feynman's ladies give an impression of Venus, it is only natural.
- I then asked myself what Feynman had in mind. From those drawings, I
became convinced that Feynman was telling himself God created one woman for him,
by pulling out a rib from him, as He did to Adam. Before the first edition
of the Old Testament was completed in the 6th Century, many people had the
same idea as Feynman did.
Did God do the same thing for me? When I was a small boy, my grandmother told me I have one less rib on my left chest, because God pulled out one of them. Until recently, I took this story serious enough to count the ribs from my chest x-ray photo. Alas, I have the same number of ribs on both sides. Then did God pull out two ribs, one from each side?
- Likewise, I should try two women in every photo in order to be consistent
with my chest x-ray, while Feynman was using only one in his drawings. I have
many photos with many different people in the world, including many famous
physicists. From them, I decided to choose my photos with two women. I indeed
look happier in those photos. God must have pulled out two ribs from my body!
Let us look at some of those photos.
- Brazilian Mother and Daughter
at Rio's Copacavana Beach (2000). I am enjoying a coconut drink not available in
the United States.
- Two Brazilian Friends at the top of the Jesus mountain.
- One Brazilian Lady and my Wife at the top of the Sugarload Mountain in Rio.
- Two Interior Decorators in Iguassu Falls. They were working on a Japanese room at the Mabu Thermas Resort Hotel.
- Two Flower Artists working for the Mabu Thermas Hotel in Iguassu Falls.
- Two Brazilian Students on a bus from the Sao Paulo airport to the city.
- Brazilian Ladies in front
of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art (2002)
- Two Brazilian Sisters in Athens (July 2008).
- Two Brazilian Friends I met at one of London's subway stations (2009).
- Two Russian Sisters.
When I was attending a conference at the Volga beach near Kazan in 2000,
they always stayed close to me. I asked them why they like a man as old
as their grandfather. They said I am like their elder brother. They knew
what I like to hear. They seem to be interested in how I made out
in the United States after coming from Korea when I was as young as
they are now.
- with two Russian Friends on the Copacabana Beach in Rio (2011). They came from Moscow.
- Russian mother and Daughter from Khabarovsk. I met them in the Cathedral of Resurrection in St. Petersburg (2014).
- Two Russian Ladies I met on a narrow street of Venice (2014).
- New Opera Dress Code.
During the intermission in the Frankfurt Opera House,
I noticed many black-tied gentlemen, and ladies were also formally
dressed. There were some informally dressed like myself, and I was
looking for the ladies with appropriately dressed. I found them and
we agreed that we are more in tune with the real world. There are
two ladies in this photo. One of them lives in Frankfurt, and the
other is from Vienna. Both of them are opera lovers (2001).
- Italian and Russian Physicists in Boston (2001). All three in this photo are respected physicists, and they know how to express themselves.
- Two Swedish Students ready to go to their Prom party (Vaxjo, Sweden, 2006).
- Mongolian Friends.
Mongolians are ethnically different from Chinese, as Koreans are. I met
these ladies at the Chatley metro interchange in Paris. This photo shows
that Koreans came to Korea from Mongolia some years ago. These ladies
knew that I am a Korean from my appearance. We exchanged pleasant
talks until their metro train came (July 2000).
- Two English Ladies in Windsor,
after afternoon tea (March 2004). Windsor is about 60 kilometers from London,
and the Windsor Castle is the residence of the Queen.
I posted here more than enough photos to prove the point that God created two women for me by pulling out one rib from my left chest and then another from the right chest. I have more photos, but you may be interested in the cameras I used to take my photos. Click here for those cameras.
I wrote to one of my friends saying "I like to do physics like Feynman, but I also like to live like Feynman. How else can you live?" His reply was "I think there are as many ways to live and to do physics as there are people who live and do physics." You would agree that we are saying the same thing: develop and extend your own imagination!
What was Feynman's Real Job? Physics!Based on what we know about him, we can safely assume that Feynman was insisting on his own creativity in what he was drawing. Creativity should be accompanied by continuity, since otherwise it cannot survive in history. Click here for more stories.
Don't Forget. Feynman was a Physicist. He was a creative physicist. Here also Feynman's creativity was always accompanied by continuity. His Feynman diagrams respect all known principles of relativity and quantum mechanics.
In his Parton Picture, Feynman appears to have pulled out this
idea from the blue sky. He formulates the abstract concept of partons
from high-energy experimental data. But, is his concept consistent with
the existing laws of quantum mechanics and relativity?
- Bjorken and Paschos. Many people had difficulties in comprehending what Feynman was saying. Indeed, these two gentlemen started decoding what Feynman was saying in his short PRL article. For some period, this Phys. Rev. was the most-frequently quoted paper in the physics literature. I am happy to show you my photo with them taken in 1999.
- Consistency with Einstein. I have written many papers on this subject mostly in collaboration with Marylin Noz. Here are my photos with her taken in 1975 and in 2003.
- Chew-Frautchi Plot. See also how the Regge poles appeared to Feynman.
According to Feynman,
The artists of the Renaissance said man's main concern should be for men, and yet there are other things of interest in the world.Even the artists appreciate sunsets, and the ocean waves, and the march of the stars across the heavens. There is then some reason to talk of other things sometimes. As we look into these things we get an aesthetic pleasure from them directly on observation. There is also a rhythms and a pattern between the phenomena of nature which is not apparent to the eye, but only to the eye of analysis; and it is these rhythms and patterns which we call Physical Laws.
I picked up a transparency containing this paragraph from a waste basket. If you know the exact reference, please let me know at email@example.com.
According to Feynman, abstract ideas are generated from our observation of visible and audible objects in this world. Let us concentrate on visual effects in this website. We can talk about audible effects later. Physicists like music.
First, let us see how abstract concepts can be formulated from visible objects. Thanks to internet technologies, we can collect many photographs into one webpage, and you can see them all. From these photos, it may be possible to derive abstract concepts.
- Good is an abstract concept.
Ancient Chinese wanted to express this concept by combination of two
pictures. One is their character for woman, and the other is for
her son. They combined these two characters to express the abstract
concept of Good.
Chinese are not the only ones with this kind of feeling from the combination of a lady with her son. Indeed, a picture of this combination plays a very important role in the Western religion called Christianity. Let us see some photos of mother and son.
- Arianna Dagnino is an established Italian journalist in Milan. I met her in 1987 at a restaurant called "Swiss Chalet" located near Harvard Square in Cambridge, Mass. She was studying at Harvard. In 2000, she sent me a photo of herself with her son. She felt good, and I also felt good.
- My wife with her Son (1994). I have one wife and one son, and I have many photos of her with her son. Can you tell where this photo was taken? She worked hard for her son's education starting from here. They should look OK even to you.
- Grandmother is added to a mother- son combination. They look better. There are no Chinese characters describing this photo. What is the abstract concept coming from this? This photo was taken in Krakow (Poland) in 2002.
- Campus. This word is
very important to us. Do you know what it means? University? Collection
of buildings? Libraries and computers? Place to meet students?
It was John Witherspoon who produced this word. Witherspoon was the
sixth president of the College of New Jersey (now called Princeton
University), but was effectively the founding president and served for
25 years. He was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
Before him, the college consisted of one building called
but many new buildings were added during his presidency. After seeing
those buildings springing up, he came with the word "Campus." Princeton
University is known to have a beautiful campus. Thanks to internet
technology, you can make a virtual tour of the campus. You can
then formulate your own concept of Campus.
- Concept of Affluence.
Right after the Civil War, the College of New Jersey had another influential
president. His name was James McCosh. He felt his college needed
money and decided to admit boys from rich families. In so doing, he
transformed the campus into an affluent society. If you like to have
a visible description of American affluence, you may visit the
yearly alumni event of Princeton University called "P-rade."
Isabella McCosh was the first lady of the College during James McCosh's presidency. Her father was a very wealthy and influential medical doctor. She thought everybody on campus should be healthy and invested much of her family fortune to improve the environment of the College. These days, Princeton's infirmary is called "Isabella McCosh Health Center." I spent three nights there when I was exhausted while completing my PhD thesis in 1961.
- Woodrow Wilson became the
president of Princeton University in 1902. This cover page of the alumni
magazine tells us he is still talked about. He thought his university
should be a place for graduate study and research. He wanted to add
a graduate school buildings right next to the main campus, but he rebuffed
by the board of trustees controlled by alumni. His plan would interfere
with the social clubs, called eating
clubs these days, located at Wilson's proposed site. He thus had to
Graduate College about 1.5 kilometers away from the campus.
He was so bitter that he decided to look for another job.
Wilson became the governor of New Jersey and then the president of the United States in 1913. He led isolationist Americans to the war in Europe. After the war, he formulated the idea of the League of Nations, but his idea was voted down in the U.S. Congress, as he was defeated by Princeton's Alumni ten years before. In today's campus scale, 1.5 kilo is a trivial distance. His League of Nations continues these days as the United Nations. Wilson was a man with foresights. It could be a very lonely experience to have foresights.
Yes, we are very fortunate to have internet webages to formulate abstract concepts from the pictures. What is then the campus? Campus is campus. It is an abstract concept with its own meaning.
- Concept of Affluence. Right after the Civil War, the College of New Jersey had another influential president. His name was James McCosh. He felt his college needed money and decided to admit boys from rich families. In so doing, he transformed the campus into an affluent society. If you like to have a visible description of American affluence, you may visit the yearly alumni event of Princeton University called "P-rade."
Sergei Eisenstein was a creative Soviet-era film producer. We would normally think movies are produced from written books, such as "Gone with the Wind" from Margaret Mitchel's book. Eisenstein had a different idea. Take pictures first. Then construct stories from those pictures. Indeed, using webapages, we can construct abstract concepts and study what Feynman had in mind. According to Feynman and Eisenstein, I should be able to show you something abstract from a set of photos from my collection.
- These days, we are constantly worrying about global warming effects.
Equally worrisome, in my opinion, is the evaporation of beautiful minds.
Yes, it is easy to draw pictures of beautifucl women, and it is even easier
to photograph them these days. But is it possible to photograph beautiful
minds? I am different from Feynman and other traditional artists. I am
not drawing, but am using photos. Unlike those traditionalists, I use more
than one woman in one picture. Let us then see whether we can photograph
- Protvino (1999). I was talking with Russian secretaries while attending a conference at the Institute of High Energy Physics in Protvino (Russia). The Institute's photographer was able to see their brautiful minds, and took this photo.
- Two Russian Sisters. When I was attending a conference at the Volga beach near Kazan in 2000, they always stayed close to me. I asked them why they like a man as old as their grandfather. They said I am like their old brother. They knew what I like to hear. They seem to be interested in how I made out in the United States after coming from Korea when I was as young as they are now.
- Two Sweet Ukrainian Girls. While in Kharkov (July 2000), I invited these two girls to a photo with my colleague. They were just walking by. In November of 2001, they came to me while I was attending the Akhiezer memorial conference held in Kharkov. It was a total surprise to me. They asked me whether I brought their photos. I apologized to them and promised to put the pictures on my website, and I invited them to join me in the conference banquet. However, the conference organizers rejected my idea. Their reasoning was that these girls are too young. We were thoroughly disappointed. I could partially heal their wounds by posting these photos.
- Americans in Stockholm. While I was having a dinner at a small table in a Stockholm restaurant called Martentrotzig (Sweden, June 2005), these three ladies came in and sat down at a big table next to mine. I asked where they came from, they said very proudly "United States." They thought I came from China or Japan. When I asked where in the United States, they said "Washington, DC." I then asked which area in Washington, they became somewhat annoyed, and asked me why I am asking so many questions. I told them I also came from the same area. They did not believe me, but they asked some questions about the area. I answered them all. I said I am a professor at the University of Maryland. They said they are office workers at the headquarters of one of medical associations and came to Stockholm to provide secretarial services for the association members attending a conference. We talked about many things like a brother and sisters.
- Two Medical Doctors from Dnepropetrovsk staying at the President Hotel Kievsky in Kiev (2006). They appeared to have beautiful minds. I asked them whether I could photograph them. They invited me to sit down with them, and I had a photo with them. There are many medical doctors in my family. In order to be a successful doctor, he/she must have a beautiful mind and must always be ready to help others.
- Time variable is very important to us. First of all, we know we are
constantly getting old. Yet, we cannot photograph this variable. These
days, we photograph indirectly using motion pictures. Is this enough?
- Galileo was the first one to include the time variable for moving objects in a two-dimensional map. Newton came up with the abstract concept of acceleration.
- Time variable in Einstein's World. To most of use, it is a hyperbola. Do you know it can also be an ellipse?
- Optical Instruments. Like you, I like instruments. The physics of still camera is very simple, but its technology is a different matter. This webpage contains cameras from 1959 till now (more than 50 years of time interval). From the many photos, you will note that my personality is about the same as yours: vanity, competitiveness, cost consciousness, technology above all.
- Rest of the Universe.
In his book on statistical mechanics, Feynman says
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. To motivate the use of density matrices, let us see what happens when we include the part of the universe outside the system.
We can approach this problem using Feynman's concpet of the rest of the universe and mathematical techniques of coupled harmonic osicllators. You may look at this paper.