Celebrating Richard Feynman

Are you the next big thinker?

Dr. Richard FeynmanDr. Richard Feynman Dr. Richard Feynman inspired a generation of physicists and researchers through his work and his words. He invented a now-familiar technique of parallel computing—before computers were invented. He won the Nobel Prize for his work on quantum electrodynamics in 1965.

Feynman also was a popular lecturer who made theoretical physics accessible to the public. In 1965, he presented his Messenger Series lectures at Cornell University, during which he discussed seven topics on theoretical physics with humor and clarity.  

“I think someone who can make science interesting is magical. And the person who did that better than anybody was Richard Feynman,” says Bill Gates, chairman, Microsoft Corporation. “He took the mystery of science, the importance of science, the strangeness of science, and made it fun and interesting and approachable. And I think these Messenger Series lectures he gives are the best science lectures I’ve ever seen.”

Through the technology of the Microsoft Research Project Tuva enhanced video player, you can view these historic lectures with searchable video, speaker transcripts, user notes, and interactive extras that provide related information.

Provoking Thought Among Scientists

I think someone who can make science interesting is magical. And the person who did that better than anybody was Richard Feynman.

— Bill Gates, chairman, Microsoft Corporation

Microsoft Research encourages and supports researchers who are willing to take on big challenges and strive to come up with new ways of thinking and solving problems. We present these historic videos so that the next generation can learn and take inspiration from Feynman.

“One of the responsibilities for us as researchers is to have the courage to challenge accepted ‘truths’ and to seek out new insights,” remarks Tony Hey, corporate vice president, Microsoft Research Connections. “Richard Feynman was a physicist who not only epitomized both these qualities in his research but also took enormous pleasure in communicating the ideas of physics to his students.”

Challenging Accepted Truths

One of the responsibilities for us as researchers is to have the courage to challenge accepted ‘truths’ and to seek out new insights.”

— Tony Hey, corporate vice president, Microsoft Research Connections

In January 2011, TEDxCaltech honored Feynman with the conference, “Feynman’s Vision: The Next 50 Years.” The event was organized in recognition of the 50-year anniversary of Feynman’s visionary talk, “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom,” in which he set out a vision for nanoscience that is only now beginning to be realized. “By striving to think differently, he truly changed the world,” Heys asserts.

Tony Hey spoke about Feynman’s contributions to computing, including his days at Los Alamos during WWII, his Nobel Prize-winning computational toolkit (Feynman Diagrams), and his invention of quantum computing.

Feynman's Lectures with Interactive Extras Through Project Tuva

When Bill Gates initially viewed films of the Feynman Messenger Series lectures, he was impressed with how Feynman made theoretical physics approachable and fun. The series inspired him to make these videos available to everyone, in hopes to encourage more people to learn about science.

Project Tuva presents Richard Feynman’s 1964 Messenger Series lectures within an enhanced video player.Project Tuva presents Richard Feynman’s 1964 Messenger Series lectures within an enhanced video player.

Gates worked with the Microsoft Research team to establish Project Tuva, which presents Richard Feynman’s Messenger Series lectures within a an interactive video player.

We hope that by enabling you to interact with these timeless videos, Project Tuva will motivate you to explore core scientific concepts—and perhaps even inspire the next big thinkers.