This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

← The Feynman Variations - Brian Cox presents a tribute to Richard Feynman

The Feynman Variations - Brian Cox presents a tribute to Richard Feynman - Comments

RMIV's Avatar Comment 1 by RMIV

Luckily we have Brian Cox to carry on the traditions of Feynman and Sagan.

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 00:19:22 UTC | #532730

Zelig's Avatar Comment 2 by Zelig

Comment 1 by RMIV :

Luckily we have Brian Cox to carry on the traditions of Feynman and Sagan.

I assume you're being sarcastic here? I certainly hope so. . .

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 00:36:06 UTC | #532738

RMIV's Avatar Comment 3 by RMIV

I assume you're being sarcastic here? I certainly hope so. . .

Why would I be sarcastic? Didn't Brian Cox narrate a physic series that was view in the UK by over 5 million people weekly? He is a member of the High Energy Physics group at the University of Manchester, and works on the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider, CERN, near Geneva, Switzerland. He is also working on the R&D project of the FP420 experiment in an international collaboration to upgrade the ATLAS and the CMS experiment by installing additional, smaller detectors at a distance of 420 metres (1,380 ft) from the interaction points of the main experiments.

He hasn't won the Nobel prize, but I would certainly say he has done his part to popularise science.

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 00:42:23 UTC | #532743

wetbread's Avatar Comment 4 by wetbread

Cox is no Sagan, but he's definitely not bad. The look on my 10-year-old son's face watching Wonders of the Solar System was a pretty close match to the look on mine when I was his age watching Cosmos (for the first time). I certainly prefer him to Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

Now, if we could just get that Beeb iPlayer in the US...

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 01:29:26 UTC | #532761

wetbread's Avatar Comment 5 by wetbread

Natch! I plays! I am all warm and fuzzy now. Most BBC stuff tells me I can't play it. Must be a World Service/UK thing.

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 01:31:56 UTC | #532762

helena!'s Avatar Comment 6 by helena!

Comment 1 by RMIV Luckily we have Brian Cox to carry on the traditions of Feynman and Sagan.

I'm in total agreement with you on this. Brian Cox is this generation's Carl Sagan no doubt. Brian has the same enthusiasm and passion for science. He is very inspiring and his show's are very worthwhile to watch.

What a shame no video. Brian is very easy on the eyes!

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 01:53:40 UTC | #532768

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 7 by Neodarwinian

" Just a regular guy. "

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 02:47:24 UTC | #532780

njwong's Avatar Comment 8 by njwong

Most of BBC's World Service radio programmes are available as MP3 podcasts. "The Feynman Variations" is currently listed here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/discovery

In the slate of programmes listed is also one called "The Alien Equation" about the Drake Equation. This should be interesting for the Sagan fans.

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 03:24:25 UTC | #532785

William T. Dawkins's Avatar Comment 9 by William T. Dawkins

Feynman and Brian Cox both make learning about physics fun! Feynman's father should also recieve an award for his teaching methods. I believe Richard Feynman's natural ability for observation and critical thinking may have been greatly enhanced by his father's guidance. Richard Dawkins seems to have a similar approach to this type of teaching. As for physics! At this time, my inexpert view of our universe is an observationally inverse dipolar arrangement where E=M. With a bit of tunneling going on. Just figure out what happened to the C squared. :)

William

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 04:07:36 UTC | #532794

huzonfurst's Avatar Comment 10 by huzonfurst

I was fortunate enough to have The Feynman Lectures on Physics as a college text in the hardest course I ever took, but it was worth the effort. His brilliance shone throughout the books even if few of us understood all of it.

"Surely You're Joking, Mr Feynman" and "What Do You Care What Other People Think?" are two of the most hilarious collections of anecdotes anywhere, and the movie about Ralph Leyton's, et al trip to Tuva not long after Feynman's untimely death is a treasure. Called "Genghis Blues," it features an American musician who taught himself throat singing and actually won some of the competitions over there. It was delightful, although I may be biased because I saw it on my birthday with a blonde on each arm ;>).

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 04:28:25 UTC | #532799

Alternative Carpark's Avatar Comment 11 by Alternative Carpark

Comment 2 by david1111 :

Comment 1 by RMIV :

Luckily we have Brian Cox to carry on the traditions of Feynman and Sagan.

I assume you're being sarcastic here? I certainly hope so. . .

No pleasing some people. I watched Cosmos as a boy, and I hope that my son grows up watching the likes of excellent Dr. Cox.

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 05:13:35 UTC | #532811

Roedy's Avatar Comment 12 by Roedy

It is sad that someone that good at physics would be so morally dense as to use those talents to create nuclear weapons which will inevitably lead to a mass extinction event.

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 07:05:45 UTC | #532827

Southpaw's Avatar Comment 13 by Southpaw

Brian Cox's explanation of why Mars appears to turn around and go back on itself when viewed from Earth, using nothing but rocks, is perhaps this year's TV highlight. The whole Wonders of the Solar System series was excellent.

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 08:39:28 UTC | #532847

loqueelviento's Avatar Comment 14 by loqueelviento

Comment 12 by Roedy :

It is sad that someone that good at physics would be so morally dense as to use those talents to create nuclear weapons which will inevitably lead to a mass extinction event.

It was a "we or they" situation. I would have supported the building of the atom bomb in that time. Without any kind of doubt. And guess what, if Stalin alone had had the bomb alone?

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 08:58:51 UTC | #532858

mmurray's Avatar Comment 15 by mmurray

Comment 12 by Roedy :

It is sad that someone that good at physics would be so morally dense as to use those talents to create nuclear weapons which will inevitably lead to a mass extinction event.

So what would you have done faced with the fact that the German physicists were quite capable of creating an atomic bomb?

Michael

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 09:06:00 UTC | #532862

Ivan The Not So Bad's Avatar Comment 16 by Ivan The Not So Bad

The cult BBC Horizon documentary mentioned is available here on You Tube (it's in five parts, just keep clicking through):

The Pleasure of Finding Things Out

And clips from "Fun to Imagine" are available here:

BBC Feynman Archive

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 09:45:29 UTC | #532880

Alex_Redsky's Avatar Comment 17 by Alex_Redsky

[from Comment 14 by loqueelviento] It was a "we or they" situation. I would have supported the building of the atom bomb in that time. Without any kind of doubt. And guess what, if Stalin alone had had the bomb alone?

Well... on the same token, from the Russian perspective: "Why should we leave the Americans alone with nuclear weapons ? After all, they had already demonstrated their willingness to use them on the Japan civil population twice."

The Cold War arms race in the aftermath of the WWII was sheer madness. Or should I say MAD-ness ? The fact that eminent scientists were instrumental on that developments is just another sad reminder to the level on insanity running on those days. Fear, uncertainty and doubt were everywhere.

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 09:45:33 UTC | #532881

Atropa's Avatar Comment 18 by Atropa

Helping to create nuclear weapons is no more morally dense than helping to create nuclear power staions. The physics is the same. Do try to grow up, Roedy

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 10:11:01 UTC | #532888

Reckless Monkey's Avatar Comment 19 by Reckless Monkey

I'm very pleased to listen and I acknowledge their copyright but but I can't help wishing BBC would just podcast all this stuff. In a few years it will be sitting in some archive and eventually deleted or just plain lost. My father has some old audio cassettes of scientists talking including a series with Jacob Brownowski "Journey into the human mind" it was pretty degraded before I found them but luckily managed to recover them and clean them up somewhat with software. I searched BBC for another copy of the whole series even though it was old but you can't find it. , I can't find it they probably have it somewhere but they aren't interested in marketing this stuff. Don't get me wrong I can listen to this on the net and I give them credit for this but really, just give it to the world or at least have a schedule to do so after 5 years or so.

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 10:43:35 UTC | #532900

gos's Avatar Comment 20 by gos

Comment 12 by Roedy:

Although I agree with many sentiments you post here, I find your judgmental, black-and-white view of the world morally dense, to use your own words.

From wikipedia.

Feynman alludes to his thoughts on the justification for getting involved in the Manhattan project in The Pleasure of Finding Things Out. As mentioned earlier, he felt the possibility of Nazi Germany developing the bomb before the Allies was a compelling reason to help with its development for the US. However, he goes on to say that it was an error on his part not to reconsider the situation when Germany was defeated. In the same publication, Feynman also talks about his worries in the atomic bomb age, feeling for some considerable time that there was a high risk that the bomb would be used again soon so that it was pointless to build for the future. Later he describes this period as a "depression."

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 11:03:34 UTC | #532911

bluebird's Avatar Comment 21 by bluebird

'Quantum Man', a biography about RF, is due next year (link text).

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 12:36:24 UTC | #532941

RichardofYork's Avatar Comment 22 by RichardofYork

Richard Feynman was brilliant Ive read a few of his books and watched his lectures , I remember him being on horizon and piquing my interest in physics . Having read about his depression and the way he felt "everything being built or done now was a waste of time " I'd imagine that depression from such a man so in love with life would be a serious ailment . A very lovable character . When things arent going my way I always try to think "what would feynman do" so I pick up my bongos .

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 12:43:26 UTC | #532942

some asshole's Avatar Comment 23 by some asshole

Brian Cox was pretty good in "The Outsiders", but I really liked his work on "Deadwood".

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 12:54:58 UTC | #532946

Ivan The Not So Bad's Avatar Comment 24 by Ivan The Not So Bad

Comment 19 by Reckless Monkey

See comments 8 and 16.

Rights are a problem but the BBC Archive is expanding all the time and they are grateful for suggestions if you want to contact them.

Also, anything put on the Archive Player (as opposed to the iPlayer) is available worldwide.

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 13:04:37 UTC | #532950

phodopus's Avatar Comment 25 by phodopus

Of course Cox is great. You can't leave all the science popularizing to people from Long Island... Hearing it all in this droll Manchester accent opens up a new perspective for me.

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 13:14:51 UTC | #532954

SomersetJohn's Avatar Comment 26 by SomersetJohn

I don't know offhand how good a physicist Brian Cox is, though the list of projects he is associated with suggests a fine one. He is most definitely an excellent communicator, knowlegeable and enthusiastic with no hint of talking down to his audience. We need many more like him.

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 15:35:41 UTC | #532998

wetbread's Avatar Comment 27 by wetbread

Comment 12 by Roedy :

It is sad that someone that good at physics would be so morally dense as to use those talents to create nuclear weapons which will inevitably lead to a mass extinction event.

Roedy,

Surely that's a radical oversimplification of the issue. Feynman wrote about his involvement with the Manhattan Project a few times, such as the essay in "The Pleasure of Finding Things Out." Perhaps you should read that, as well as a little (or a lot) more historical context before you drop such a broad judgment. The best book I know about the MP is Kai Bird's biography of Oppenheimer, "American Prometheus."

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 16:45:40 UTC | #533023

xmaseveeve's Avatar Comment 28 by xmaseveeve

Incredible snobbery towards the acting profession. Shakespeare was a (gay) actor. Brian Cox is brilliant.

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 18:01:30 UTC | #533051

Roedy's Avatar Comment 29 by Roedy

mmurray: "So what would you have done faced with the fact that the German physicists were quite capable of creating an atomic bomb?"

Then you focus on derailing them. You don't commit the evil yourself, which just encourages them further. We are talking about extinction of man. That is a much bigger issue that who won WW II.

This is almost as insane as raping a child because if you don't your neighbour might do it first.

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 18:45:09 UTC | #533062

Roedy's Avatar Comment 30 by Roedy

loqueelviento: It was a "we or they" situation. I would have supported the building of the atom bomb in that time. Without any kind of doubt. And guess what, if Stalin alone had had the bomb alone?

"If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith."

~ Albert Einstein (born: 1879-03-14 died: 1955-04-18 at age: 76)

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 18:52:28 UTC | #533066