Richard Feynman, an American theoretical physicist, attended M.I.T. in 1936 where he graduated with a B.S. degree in 1939. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1942 and during this time he married the girl of his dreams, Arlene Greenbaum. She later died of tuberculosis in 1945. At the age of 24 he was brought in to work on the top-secret Manhattan Project at Los Alamos, New Mexico. From 1945 to 1950, he taught at Cornell University and became a professor of theoretical physics at the California Institute of Technology in 1950. In 1952, Feynman married Mary Louise Bell but their marriage ended in divorce in 1956. Four years later he married Gweneth Howarth and with her they had a son, Carl, and adopted a daughter, Michelle. During the early sixties he taught an introductory physics course at CalTech and recorded his lectures. From these lectures a series of three books were published, and were entitled "The Feynman Lectures on Physics", a standard in most undergraduate courses in physics. In 1965 he was one of the recipients of the Nobel Prize for physics. Throughout the 1970s Feynman spent most of his time working on high energy physics. The 1980s saw Richard Feynman as an outspoken public figure and after the 1982 Challenger space shuttle disaster, he openly criticized NASA for its failure to notice flaws in its design. He died in 1998 of stomach cancer.
From the Publisher
The Feynman Lectures on Gravitation are based on notes prepared during a course on gravitational physics that Richard Feynman taught at Caltech during the 1962-63 academic year. For several years prior to these lectures, Feynman thought long and hard about the fundamental problems in gravitational physics, yet he published very little. These lectures represent a useful record of his viewpoints and some of his insights into gravity and its application to cosmology, superstars, wormholes, and gravitational waves at that particular time. The lectures also contain a number of fascinating digressions and asides on the foundations of physics and other issues.Characteristically, Feynman took an untraditional non-geometric approach to gravitation and general relativity based on the underlying quantum aspects of gravity. Hence, these lectures contain a unique pedagogical account of the development of Einstein’s general theory of relativity as the inevitable result of the demand for a self-consistent theory of a massless spin-2 field (the graviton) coupled to the energy-momentum tensor of matter. This approach also demonstrates the intimate and fundamental connection between gauge invariance and the principle of equivalence.