**Richard Feynman: The Physicist Who Helped Develop the Atomic Bomb**

**Richard Feynman was one of the greatest physicists of the 20th century. He was a professor at both Cornell University and the California Institute of Technology. He is best known for his work to develop the atomic bomb, for which he was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1965. His life was an inspiring example of how perseverance, creative thinking, and hard work can lead to scientific greatness. **

**Early Life: The Making of a Physicist **

The son of Melville and Lucille Feynman, Richard Feynman was born on May 11, 1918 in Queens, New York. His family was Jewish and Feynman’s parents encouraged his academic pursuits. At only 16 years old, Feynman entered Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as an undergraduate, graduating in 1939. In 1940, Feynman earned a PhD in mathematical physics from Princeton University.

**Feynman and the Manhattan Project**

The Manhattan Project was the United States’ top-secret effort to develop the atomic bomb during the Second World War. After finishing his PhD, Feynman was offered a place at the University of Wisconsin’s accelerated physics program for their research on the top-secret project. He accepted and moved to Los Alamos in 1943, where he eventually became a member of the prestigious Los Alamos Project.

During his time at Los Alamos, Feynman was appointed as the group leader for “Fissionable Materials and Weapon Design”. He was in charge of calculations for the design and development of the bomb. Through his work on the Manhattan Project, Feynman played a major role in the development of the atomic bomb.

**Feynman’s Other Scientific Achievements **

Feynman is best known for his work on the Manhattan Project, but he was an accomplished scientist in other areas as well. He developed the first successful calculation of electron-positron interactions using the principle of least action, now known as Feynman diagrams. He accurately calculated the behavior of superfluid helium, and led the development of the first atomic-level computer. In 1965, Feynman and Sin-Itiro Tomonaga shared the Nobel Prize in Physics for their development of quantum electrodynamics.

**Feynman’s Contributions to Science Education**

Feynman’s work in physics was revolutionary, but he is also remembered for his impact on science education. Feynman’s lectures, lectures at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and two volumes of published lectures were extremely influential in educating and inspiring young scientists. He also wrote a highly successful book designed to make science more accessible to the layperson, named Six Easy Pieces.

**Feynman’s Legacy **

Feynman died on February 15, 1988 after suffering from two rare forms of cancer. Throughout his life he left a lasting impression on the scientific community and on the world. His contributions to the field of physics revolutionized the way physicists thought about quantum mechanics. His contributions to science education have inspired countless students to pursue degrees in the sciences and reshaped the way science is taught to students of all ages.

No matter what the field, science or otherwise, Richard Feynman’s legacy will never be forgotten.

**Key Takeaways**

• Richard Feynman was a professor at both Cornell University and the California Institute of Technology.

• Feynman was awarded a Nobel Prize for his work to develop the atomic bomb.

• Feynman developed the first successful calculation of electron-positron interactions using the principle of least action, now known as Feynman diagrams.

• Feynman’s lectures, lectures at Caltech, and his two volumes of published lectures were extremely influential in educating and inspiring young scientists.

• Feynman’s contributions to science education have inspired countless students to pursue degrees in the sciences and reshaped the way science is taught to students of all ages.