Influence of Nobel Laureates


Richard P. Feynman to Madan Mohan Pant, November 24, 1965

Mr. Pant had recently read The Feynman Lectures on Physics (Volume III) and commented on how much he enjoyed Feynman's direct approach. He started to think of Feynman as his "pen teacher". He said he danced with joy when he saw Feynman's name in the paper as a Nobel Laureate and wrote to congratulate him.


He was also concerned about the first lines of the epilogue in Volume III, in which Feynman said he was going to quit teaching elementary physics, and wanted to know what Feynman was presently working on.


Mr. Madan Mohan Pant
Allahabad, India.


Dear "Pen student" :


Thank you for your very kind letter of congratulations. It is a pleasure to hear that as far away as India there are some students who are inspired by some things that I might have done. I appreciate very much your interest in my work. At the moment I am not working very well. Idea do not come so easily any more. So I suppose that it will be young men like you who solve the problems, but I am working on the problem of understanding the strongly interacting particles, i.e., protons, neutrons and mesons. I think that we have almost enough information now from experiment that a very clever man would be able to guess the laws which relate these particles.


May I thank you again for your very kind and flattering letter. I am taking the liberty of sending you a short biography and a picture which I have signed. I wish you the greatest success in you studies and in your life.


Sincerely yours,

Richard P. Feynman

[Source: Richard P. Feynman, "Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track", (2009) page 195-196.]