slides

When physics meets biology: a less known Feynman

Abstract

We discuss a less known aspect of Feynman's multifaceted scientific work, centered about his interest in molecular biology, which came out around 1959 and lasted for several years. After a quick historical reconstruction about the birth of molecular biology, we focus on Feynman's work on genetics with Robert S. Edgar in the laboratory of Max Delbruck, which was later quoted by Francis Crick and others in relevant papers, as well as in Feynman's lectures given at the Hughes Aircraft Company on biology, organic chemistry and microbiology, whose notes taken by the attendee John Neer are available. An intriguing perspective comes out about one of the most interesting scientists of the XX century.Comment: On the centenary of the birth of Richard P. Feynman (May 11, 1918 - February 15, 1988

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