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Climbing the MountainThe Scientific Biography of Julian Schwinger$
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Jagdish Mehra and Kimball Milton

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780198527459

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198527459.001.0001

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The diversions of a gentle genius

The diversions of a gentle genius

(p.567) 16 The diversions of a gentle genius
Climbing the Mountain



Oxford University Press

In November 1973 the UCLA Monthly, a periodical for faculty and students of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), published an interview with Julian Schwinger. Since the interview reveals many of Schwinger's views about science and society, which he seldom shared with the public, this final chapter begins by quoting the interview, conducted by Mark Davidson. Among the topics he addressed were whether he thinks scientists are sufficiently concerned about the moral implications of their work, Albert Einstein's contention that man's way of thinking must change, whether scientists he met in various countries tend to think like citizens of the world, and his reputation as a public crusader. This chapter also looks at Schwinger's interest in music and composition, sports, reading, cats, and travel. Schwinger's tributes to fellow physicists Sin-itiro Tomonaga, who died in 1979, and Richard Feynman, who died in 1988, are also presented. Tomonaga and Feynman were his co-recipients of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1965 for their formulation of renormalised quantum electrodynamics.

Keywords:   Richard Feynman, Sin-itiro Tomonaga, interview, music, sports, quantum electrodynamics

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