Is Feynman the "wise guy" in Zee's QFT book?

In summary: There is also a diagram that is similar to the diagram in Zee's YouTube video at time 49:40 in the video.
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Zee, in his QFT in a nutshell, tells that beautiful story about a "wise guy" who, through his annoying questions to the professor, actually describes a fundamental principle of quantum mechanics, essential to Feynman's approach to quantum phenomena (pp. 9 in Zee's). Now, Zee appears to imply that the "wise guy" is Feynman himself.

Just like most of you here, I have gone through various stories about Feynman, but I cannot recollect any passage referring to Feynman actually having said that. Is there anyone here in this forum that can clarify that point?
 
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apostolosdt said:
Zee, in his QFT in a nutshell, tells that beautiful story about a "wise guy" who, through his annoying questions to the professor, actually describes a fundamental principle of quantum mechanics, essential to Feynman's approach to quantum phenomena (pp. 9 in Zee's). Now, Zee appears to imply that the "wise guy" is Feynman himself.

I get the impression that this is a fictional story concocted by Zee for pedagogical purposes. On page 8, Zee starts the story with "Suddenly, a very bright student, let us call him Feynman, asked ..."
 
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George Jones said:
I get the impression that this is a fictional story concocted by Zee for pedagogical purposes. On page 8, Zee starts the story with "Suddenly, a very bright student, let us call him Feynman, asked ..."
Well, yes, sure it's a fictional story told by Zee, I get that. But what bothers me is this. Did Feynman ever actually either write, or teach, or say, or simply imply such a colorful example of his "sum over histories" concept? And Zee only borrowed it and made it into a fictional story?
 
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It was Feynman's doctoral thesis. Or am I missing something?
 
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I should have been more precise---apologies!

In Zee's story, the professor is explaining the double-slit experiment when the `wise guy' starts repeatedly asking about the cases with more than two holes on the screen and more than two screens, etc. until the student throws his `bomb': an infinite number of holes on the screens so that there are no screens anymore!

That remark sounds very much like real Feynman's. So, in my original post, I asked whether Zee invented the entire story, or Feynman himself somewhere mentioned that `infinite number, thus no screen' thing, and Zee turned it into a good story.

Does anyone know anything about it?
 
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Check this out. Nice review,might help

 
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Thank you very much hutchphd! That resolves the issue! It was after all Zee's idea. Thanks again.
 
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apostolosdt said:
So, in my original post, I asked whether Zee invented the entire story, or Feynman himself somewhere mentioned that `infinite number, thus no screen' thing, and Zee turned it into a good story.
apostolosdt said:
Thank you very much hutchphd! That resolves the issue! It was after all Zee's idea. Thanks again.

There's a book titled Quantum Mechanics and Path Integrals by Feynman and Hibbs which was published in 1965. In the first chapter on pages 20 and 21, the authors discuss extending the double slit apparatus by adding more screens and more holes in the screens. I will quote a few sentences:

"Next, suppose we continue to drill holes in the screens D and E until there is nothing left of the screens."

After discussing this, they go on to say:

"Clearly, the next thing to do is to place more and more screens...and in each screen drill so many holes that there is nothing left. Throughout this process we continue to refine the definition of the path of the electron, until finally we arrive at the sensible idea that a path is merely height (x) as a particular function of distance (y), or x(y). We also continue to apply the principle of superposition, until we arrive at the integral over all paths of the amplitude for each path."

Also, on page 20 there is a diagram that is similar to the diagram in Zee's YouTube video at time 49:40 in the video.
 
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TSny said:
There's a book titled Quantum Mechanics and Path Integrals by Feynman and Hibbs which was published in 1965. In the first chapter on pages 20 and 21, the authors discuss extending the double slit apparatus by adding more screens and more holes in the screens. I will quote a few sentences:

"Next, suppose we continue to drill holes in the screens D and E until there is nothing left of the screens."

After discussing this, they go on to say:

"Clearly, the next thing to do is to place more and more screens...and in each screen drill so many holes that there is nothing left. Throughout this process we continue to refine the definition of the path of the electron, until finally we arrive at the sensible idea that a path is merely height (x) as a particular function of distance (y), or x(y). We also continue to apply the principle of superposition, until we arrive at the integral over all paths of the amplitude for each path."

Also, on page 20 there is a diagram that is similar to the diagram in Zee's YouTube video at time 49:40 in the video.
TSny, thank you so much! Although now the mystery deepens! (LOL) Was or wasn’t Zee aware of that passage? Feynman & Hobbs is a well known book, too well known to ignore. And my sarcasm extends to myself as well!
 

1. Who is Feynman and what is his role in Zee's QFT book?

Richard Feynman was a renowned American physicist who made significant contributions to the field of quantum mechanics. In Zee's QFT book, Feynman is often referred to as the "wise guy" because of his unique and insightful perspectives on the subject.

2. Is Feynman the only source of information in Zee's QFT book?

No, Zee's QFT book incorporates various perspectives and approaches from different scientists, including Feynman. While Feynman's ideas are highlighted, the book also includes contributions from other prominent physicists.

3. What makes Feynman's perspective unique in Zee's QFT book?

Feynman's perspective on QFT is unique because he developed his own diagrams and notation to explain complex concepts in a simpler and more intuitive manner. He also had a knack for explaining difficult concepts in a way that was easy to understand.

4. How does Zee's QFT book benefit from Feynman's contributions?

Zee's QFT book is greatly enriched by Feynman's contributions as his insights and explanations provide a deeper understanding of the subject. His diagrams and notation are still widely used today and have become an integral part of studying QFT.

5. Can one understand QFT without knowing about Feynman's work?

While it is possible to understand QFT without knowing about Feynman's work, his contributions have greatly influenced the field and have become a fundamental part of studying QFT. Knowing about Feynman's work can greatly enhance one's understanding of the subject.

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