Born: May 11, 1918, NewYork, USA

Died: February 15, 1988, Los Angeles, USA

Richard Feynman was one of the greatest theoretical physicists of his generation. He developed pictorial representations of space-time behavioural probabilities of particle interactions, now known as Feynman diagrams and worked out how to combine quantum ideas with electromagnetic theory. More about the other Space People here.

Feynman also worked on the Manhattan Project at Princeton (1941-1942) and Los Alamos (1942-1945), while continuing to pursue his interest in quantum electrodynamics. He joined Cornell University in 1945, and moved to the California Institute of Technology in 1951, where he continued to apply his quantum electrodynamic theories to the ‘superfluidity’ of liquid helium. Feynman shared the 1965 Nobel Prize with Schwinger and Tomonaga for fundamental developments in quantum electrodynamics. He once said that nobody understands quantum theory. Feynman played bongo drums professionally and wrote the best selling book Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman (1984).