There is a wonderful 157 part series of short 3 minute or so videos of a few hours of interviews of Freeman Dyson. Dyson talks about his interactions with the giants in physics and science.
You get a sense of the people who are involved in laying the foundations of physics. Freeman tells you about the nature of the geniuses involved.
Freeman Dyson was a genius. He tells you about the genius of Enrico Fermi. Fermi’s physics intuition and genius saved Freeman Dyson from wasting 5 years working on a physics theory that was wrong. Dyson and a team had already spent many months working on it.
There are interesting insights into high-level math and physics and how to think rigorously at a high level.
Fermi said, When one does a theoretical calculation there are two ways to do it. Either you should have a clear physical model in mind or you should have a rigorous mathematical basis.
Dyson: What do you think of the numerical agreement?
Fermi: How many parameters did you use for the fitting and how many free parameters were there in your method.
Dyson: There are four
Fermi: You know Johnny Von Neumann always used to say with four parameters I could a fit an elephant and with five I could make him wiggle his trunk. I do not find the numerical method very impressive either.
Ten years later quarks were invented. Pions had to be represented as a compound of quarks. All experimental agreement before quarks was illusory.
SOURCES- Freeman Dyson Interviews
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
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