Richard Feynman On Understanding Versus Understanding –


Richard Feyman QuoteRichard Feyman Quote

Richard Feynman On Understanding Versus Understanding

by TeachThought Workers

Who’s Richard Feynman?

Richard Feynman, born in 1918, was a theoretical physicist whose work in quantum mechanics earned him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965.

In keeping with nobelprize.org, Feynman obtained his B.Sc. in 1939 on the Massachusetts Institute of Expertise and studied “at Princeton College, the place he obtained his Ph.D. in 1942. “He was Analysis Assistant at Princeton (1940-1941), Professor of Theoretical Physics at Cornell College (1945-1950), Visiting Professor and thereafter appointed Professor of Theoretical Physics on the California Institute of Expertise (1950-1959).”

Feynman’s legendary intelligence–usually talked about alongside Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein–extends past concept and follow in science. Feynman was additionally famend for his skill to elucidate advanced ideas with readability and humor. His modern educating strategies, characterised by wit and a deep understanding of elementary rules, encourage educators globally. Feynman’s legacy emphasizes the significance of curiosity, creativeness, and significant pondering.

The next is an excerpt from a lecture titled, ‘The Worth of Science,’ delivered in New York Metropolis in 1955 on the Nationwide Science Academics Affiliation assembly.

See additionally What Is The Feynman Approach?

“Newton’s concepts about house and time agreed with experiment very properly, however in an effort to get the right movement of the orbit of Mercury, which was a tiny, tiny distinction, the distinction within the character of the idea wanted was monumental. The reason being that Newton’s legal guidelines have been so easy and so excellent, they usually produced particular outcomes. With a view to get one thing that will produce a barely totally different outcome it needed to be utterly totally different. In stating a brand new legislation you can’t make imperfections on an ideal factor; it’s a must to have one other excellent factor. So the variations in philosophical concepts between Newton’s and Einstein’s theories of gravitation are monumental.

What are these philosophies? They’re actually tough methods to compute penalties shortly. A philosophy, which is typically referred to as an understanding of the legislation, is just a method that an individual holds the legal guidelines in his thoughts in an effort to guess shortly at penalties. Some folks have mentioned, and it’s true in circumstances like Maxwell’s equations, ‘By no means thoughts the philosophy, by no means thoughts something of this type, simply guess the equations. The issue is barely to compute the solutions in order that they agree with experiment, and it isn’t essential to have a philosophy, or argument, or phrases, concerning the equation’.

That’s good within the sense that in the event you solely guess the equation you aren’t prejudicing your self, and you’ll guess higher. Alternatively, possibly the philosophy lets you guess. It is extremely arduous to say. For these individuals who insist that the one factor that’s vital is that the idea agrees with experiment, I want to think about a dialogue between a Mayan astronomer and his pupil. The Mayans have been capable of calculate with nice precision predictions, for instance, for eclipses and for the place of the moon within the sky, the place of Venus, and so on. It was all carried out by arithmetic. They counted a sure quantity and subtracted some numbers, and so forth. There was no dialogue of what the moon was. There was no dialogue even of the concept it went round. They simply calculated the time when there can be an eclipse, or when the moon would rise on the full, and so forth.

That’s good within the sense that in the event you solely guess the equation you aren’t prejudicing your self, and you’ll guess higher. Alternatively, possibly the philosophy lets you guess. It is extremely arduous to say.

Feynman

Suppose {that a} younger man went to the astronomer and mentioned, ‘I’ve an concept. Possibly these issues are going round, and there are balls of one thing like rocks on the market, and we may calculate how they transfer in a totally totally different method from simply calculating what time they seem within the sky’. ‘Sure’, says the astronomer, ‘and the way precisely can you are expecting eclipses?’ He says, ‘I haven’t developed the factor very far but’. Then says the astronomer, ‘Effectively, we are able to calculate eclipses extra precisely than you may together with your mannequin, so you need to not pay any consideration to your concept as a result of clearly the mathematical scheme is best’.

There’s a very robust tendency, when somebody comes up with an concept and says, ‘Let’s suppose that the world is this manner’, for folks to say to him, ‘What would you get for the reply to such and such an issue?’ And he says, ‘I haven’t developed it far sufficient’. They usually say, ‘Effectively, we’ve already developed it a lot additional, and we are able to get the solutions very precisely’.

So it’s a drawback whether or not or to not fear about philosophies behind concepts. One other method of working, after all, is to guess new rules. In Einstein’s concept of gravitation he guessed, on high of all the opposite rules, the precept that corresponded to the concept the forces are at all times proportional to the plenty. He guessed the precept that in case you are in an accelerating automobile you can’t distinguish that from being in a gravitational area, and by including that precept to all the opposite rules, he was capable of deduce the right legal guidelines of gravitation.

Probably the most vital issues on this ‘guess – compute penalties – examine with experiment’ enterprise is to know when you find yourself proper. It’s potential to know when you find yourself proper method forward of checking all the implications. You may acknowledge fact by its magnificence and ease. It’s at all times simple when you might have made a guess, and carried out two or three little calculations to make it possible for it isn’t clearly fallacious, to know that it’s proper. Whenever you get it proper, it’s apparent that it’s proper – at the very least when you have any expertise – as a result of normally what occurs is that extra comes out than goes in. Your guess is, in reality, that one thing could be very easy. In the event you can not see instantly that it’s fallacious, and it’s less complicated than it was earlier than, then it’s proper.

The inexperienced, and crackpots, and folks like that, make guesses which are easy, however you may instantly see that they’re fallacious, so that doesn’t depend. Others, the inexperienced college students, make guesses which are very sophisticated, and it type of appears to be like as if it’s all proper, however I do know it isn’t true as a result of the reality at all times seems to be less complicated than you thought. What we want is creativeness, however creativeness in a horrible strait-jacket. We’ve got to discover a new view of the world that has to agree with all the things that’s identified, however disagree in its predictions someplace, in any other case it isn’t fascinating. And in that disagreement it should agree with nature.

Others, the inexperienced college students, make guesses which are very sophisticated, and it type of appears to be like as if it’s all proper, however I do know it isn’t true as a result of the reality at all times seems to be less complicated than you thought.

Feyman

If you will discover another view of the world which agrees over the complete vary the place issues have already been noticed, however disagrees some other place, you might have made a terrific discovery. It is extremely practically unattainable, however not fairly, to search out any concept which agrees with experiments over the complete vary during which all theories have been checked, and but provides totally different penalties in another vary, even a concept whose totally different penalties don’t prove to agree with nature. A brand new concept is extraordinarily tough to think about. It takes a implausible creativeness…”

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