One of the greatest physicists of the twentieth century, Richard Feynman possessed an unquenchable thirst for adventure and an unparalleled ability to tell the stories of his life. What Do You Care What Other People Think? is Feynman's last literary legacy, prepared with his friend and fellow drummer, Ralph Leighton. Among its many tales-some funny, others intensely moving-we meet Feynman's first wife, Arlene, who taught him of love's irreducible mystery as she lay dying in a hospital bed while he worked nearby on the atomic bomb at Los Alamos. We are also given a fascinating narrative of the investigation of the space shuttle Challenger's explosion in 1986, and we relive the moment when Feynman revealed the disaster's cause by an elegant experiment: dropping a ring of rubber into a glass of cold water and pulling it out, misshapen.
Richard P. Feynman was born in 1918 and grew up in Far Rockaway, New York. At the age of seventeen he entered MIT and in 1939 went to Princeton, then to Los Alamos, where he joined in the effort to build the atomic bomb. Following World War II he joined the physics faculty at Cornell, then went on to Caltech in 1951, where he taught until his death in 1988. He shared the Nobel Prize for physics in 1965, and served with distinction on the Shuttle Commission in 1986. A commemorative stamp in his name was issued by the U.S. Postal Service in 2005. Ralph Leighton, Richard Feynman's great friend and collaborator, now lives in northern California.