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Feynman Diagrams

People calculate too much and think too little.” Charlie Munger

Ironically, it was Feynman himself who was responsible for this deplorable state of affairs. What happened was that students easily learned the “funny little diagrams” (such as those on page 116) invented by Feynman. Julian Schwinger once said rather bitterly that “Feynman brought quantum field theory to the masses,” by which he meant that any dullard could memorize a few “Feynman rules”, call himself or herself a field theorist, and build a credible career. Generations learned Feynman diagrams without understanding field theory. Heavens to Betsy, there are still university professors like that walking around!A. Zee in his foreword to “Feynman's QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter”

I’ve had experts in quantum field theory – people who’ve spent years calculating path integrals of mind-boggling complexity – ask me to explain the Bell inequality to them, or other simple conceptual things like Grover’s algorithm. I felt as if Andrew Wiles had asked me to explain the Pythagorean Theorem. Scott Aaronson, Quantum Computing Since Democritus (2013), Ch. 9 : Quantum

Just as calculators can turn mathematics into button pushing, algebra can turn it into symbol pushing.Sanjoy Mahajan


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causes/feynman_diagrams.txt · Last modified: 2017/12/08 16:25 by marco