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"What Do You Care What Other People Think?": Further Adventures of a Curious Character (1988) is a book written by Ralph Leighton with the authorization of Richard Feynman. It is the second of two books consisting of transcribed and edited oral reminiscences from Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman. It follows Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!


The book, prepared as Feynman struggled with Liposarcoma, a rare form of cancer, was the last of his autobiographical works.

The first section presents a series of humorous stories from different periods of his life, while the second chronicles his involvement on the Rogers Commission investigating the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. In one chapter, he describes an impromptu experiment in which he showed how the O-rings in the shuttle's rocket boosters could have failed due to cold temperatures on the morning of the launch. This failure was later determined to be the primary cause of the shuttle's destruction. This part of the book was dramatized on the screen as The Challenger Disaster, a TV movie by BBC/Science Channel.

The book is much more loosely organized than the earlier Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! It contains short stories, letters, photographs, and a few of the sketches that Feynman created in later life when he had learned to draw from an artist friend, Jirayr Zorthian.

Of note is the story of his first wife, Arline, who was diagnosed with tuberculosis. She died while Feynman was working on the Manhattan Project; the book's title is taken from a question she often put to him when he seemed preoccupied with his colleagues' opinions about his work, which echoed his earlier words to her.

The book concludes with "The Value of Science", an address he gave at the 1955 autumn meeting of the National Academy of Sciences.

Feynman, Richard P., What Do You Care What Other People Think?, 1988, W. W. Norton, ISBN 0-393-02659-0, 2001 paperback: ISBN 0-393-32092-8

See also

Richard Feynman; § Challenger disaster

Physics Encyclopedia



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