All Possible Paths: Richard Feynman’s Curious Life

20 October 2018 till 3 March 2019
Be inspired by the curiosity that drove Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman to explore all possible paths in life, leading to many extraordinary discoveries that could impact our future.

The brilliant and multi-faceted life of Nobel Prize winning physicist Richard Feynman will be showcased in a brand new exhibition, curated and produced by ArtScience Museum, in collaboration with Nanyang Technological University and Nobel Museum.

All Possible Paths is designed to intrigue and stir curiosity about the basic mechanisms of reality. It transports visitors into the world of one of the greatest scientists of modern times. The exhibition shows how Richard Feynman transformed our understanding of the mechanisms of the universe, through his pioneering work on quantum mechanics.  He received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965 for his pictorial representations describing the behaviour of elementary particles that would later be called Feynman diagrams, changing the way physicists think forever.

Driven by a passion to understand nature, Richard Feynman's work led to many extraordinary discoveries and may well open the door to our future.  His work forms the basis of modern physics, the foundation of some of the most important technological advances that are now integral to our daily lives. His work also signals how science and technology might revolutionize our world in the near future, through new developments such as quantum computing.

All Possible Paths shows how Feynman's curious nature and unconventional thinking drove him to explore many possibilities in life, including art and music. Far from being a traditional biographical exhibition, the exhibition uses both art and science, as well as striking contemporary design, to convey the importance and relevance of Feynman’s work today. In the centre of the show, installations, sculptures and immersive environments created by contemporary artists will take you deeper into Feynman's science through the medium of art. Get a rare glimpse of personal letters, family photos, Feynman’s famous bongo drums, and his paintings, which are being exhibited outside of the United States for the first time.

All Possible Paths marks Richard Feynman’s centenary, which is being celebrated around the world this year, with conferences and festivities, including a major scientific conference at NTU called, Richard Feynman at 100 (22-24 October).

Explore Richard Feynman’s Curious Life
Richard Feynman
Richard Feynman with bongo drums, 1956, Courtesy of Caltech Archives

A Curious Life

Feynman led an unusual life. Apart from being a scientist, he was an artist, a musician, a teacher and a storyteller. He started drawing at the age of 44, after a series of amicable arguments about art versus science with his artist-friend Jirayr Zorthian. He was also an enthusiastic amateur player of the bongo drums and often played as part of an orchestra in musicals.

At the secret laboratory where he worked on the atomic bomb, Feynman was often found cracking safes as a form of entertainment!

In this first section, discover his life through personal letters and family photographs, his bongos, paintings, a recreation of the quirky van he used to drive, and a number of his paintings, which are being exhibited outside of the United States for the first time.

Richard Feynman
Richard Feynman giving a lecture, 1963, Courtesy of Caltech Archives

The Great Explainer

Feynman was a great communicator. Perhaps his greatest achievement was as a teacher, conveying the fun of science. For Feynman, science was an adventure.

Experience Feynman's infectious passion for thinking and learning through his lectures in this section, the Messenger Lectures from Cornell University and the Douglas Robb Memorial Lectures at the University of Auckland.

wave is my nature Richard Feynman
::vtol::, wave is my nature, 2015, Mixed media installation, Courtesy of the artist

The Pleasure of Finding Things Out

Encounter the abstract world of quantum mechanics in a visually engaging and creative way in this section with regional and international artists as they articulate the essence of Feynman’s most important scientific achievements in the form of artworks and installations.

Artists include, British digital artist, Markos R. Kay, Belgian artist Frederik de Wilde, Thailand-based Japanese media artist, Eiji Sumi, Russian media artist, ::vtol::,  American data visualisation pioneer, Edward Tufte, various German artists from the nano+art competition and Malaysian artist, Jun Ong, who was co-commissioned by ArtScience Museum and the Centre for Quantum Technologies especially for this exhibition. He is creating an artwork that allows us to visualize how quantum computers work.

This part of the show explores six scientific topics core to Feynman’s work:

  • Parton Theory
  • Weak Force
  • Quantum Electrodynamics
  • Feynman Diagrams
  • Nanotechnology
  • Quantum Computers
Portrait illustration of Richard Feynman
Portrait illustration of Richard Feynman 

A Million More Discoveries

The last section of the exhibition explores how Feynman’s science as well as his personality influenced a wide variety of people — from his fellow scientists, to everyday people, to the throat singers of a region called Tuva near Siberia.

Feynman diagrams helped re-interpret physics and will remain in history as a visual dictionary for every process that takes place in the microscopic world supporting the research of scientists all over the world. Presented for the first time, see new animations of physical phenomena, based on Nobel Laureate Frank Wilczek’s hand-drawn versions of Feynman diagrams.

Watch a rare video from the celebration of Feynman in Tuva, who dreamt of going there but was never able to. The ceremony shows shamans blessing a sculpture in the form of one of Feynman’s diagrams, while performers chant and sing — often producing two notes at once — a technique known as ‘overtone singing’ or throat singing.

Partners
Nanyang Technological University

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU) has around 33,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences and its Interdisciplinary Graduate School. It also has a medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.

NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI) and Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N).

Ranked 12th in the world, NTU has been placed as the world’s top young university for the past five years. The University’s main campus is frequently listed among the top 15 most beautiful university campuses in the world.



Nobel Museum

The courage, creativity and persistence of the Nobel Laureates inspires and gives us hope for the future. Based on the Nobel Prize’s unique combination of fields – natural sciences, literature and peace – the Nobel Center c/o organizes exhibitions, school programmes, lectures and dialogues about the great issues of our time.

Over the past 20 years, the Nobel Center c/o’s travelling exhibitions have toured all over the world. The center have worked together with teachers and met thousands of curious school children. With the exhibitions, international meetings, digital channels and activities in Stockholm and Oslo, the center aims to create encounters between people – people who dare to challenge the status quo, who want to ask new questions and think new thoughts, who want to contribute to a better world.




The Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT)

The Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT) is a National Research Centre of Excellence in Singapore. It brings together physicists, computer scientists and engineers to carry out basic research on quantum physics and to build devices based on quantum phenomena. Experts in this new discipline of quantum technologies are applying their discoveries in the fields of computing, communications and sensing.

CQT was established in December 2007 with support from Singapore’s National Research Foundation and Ministry of Education. It is hosted by the National University of Singapore and also has staff based at Nanyang Technological University and Singapore University of Technology and Design.

Lenders
Caltech

Caltech is a world-renowned science and engineering Institute that marshals some of the world's brightest minds and most innovative tools to address fundamental scientific questions and pressing societal challenges. Caltech's extraordinary faculty and students are expanding our understanding of the universe and inventing the technologies of the future, with research interests from quantum science and engineering to bioinformatics and the nature of life itself, from human behavior and economics to energy and sustainability.

Caltech is small but prizes excellence and ambition. The contributions of Caltech's faculty and alumni have earned national and international recognition, including 38 Nobel Prizes. The Institute manages the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for NASA, sending probes to explore the planets of our solar system and quantify changes on our home planet; owns and operates large-scale research facilities such as the Seismological Laboratory and a global network of astronomical observatories, including the Palomar and W. M. Keck Observatories; and cofounded and comanages LIGO, which, in 2016, observed gravitational waves for the first time.


Michelle Feynman, Richard Feynman’s daughter has played an integral part in creating this exhibition. She has kindly loaned many of her father’s personal items like personal letters and family photographs, his bongos and a number of his paintings.