Compare and contrast Bohr and Feynman?

  • #1
While doing research on Feynman and Bohr, I came across how Bohr never warmed up to Feynman even though he frequently sought him out for discussions in Los Alamos - which lead me to this question. Reasons were given for why he may not have, but that still leaves me wondering if there was anything more to it. Perhaps there was something fundamentally different about who they were? Bohr did get onto Feynman during the (I think) Shelter Island Conference for making jokes and explaining the topic in simpler terms for those in the audience (there were HS science teachers and historians) that weren't as technically inclined, so maybe he was more serious overall?

How were they really different? They seem to have similar principles across the board to me, but I just get a different feeling from each.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Borek
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First thing I would consider is that Bohr was over 30 years older.
 
  • #3
StatGuy2000
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I am speculating here, but I think whatever differences between Bohr and Feynman that existed between them has more to do with their fundamental personalities as well as their cultural backgrounds and upbringing, rather than any differences the two may have had with respect to physics. Bohr was Danish from an upper-class family while Feynman came from a middle-class Lithuanian Jewish immigrant family in the US.

Furthermore, Feynman was also always known for hating formality and having a keen sense of humour -- perhaps his humour may have rubbed Bohr the wrong way or perhaps he didn't understand it?
 
  • #4
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John Archibald Wheeler was "placed" between Bohr and Feynman, working with both, so there hardly was much opportunity for "direct Bohr-Feynman interaction".
 
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