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Richard Feynman: Think on your own

Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)


Source: TH

Physicists once doubted the existence of gravitational waves until Richard Feynman (an American theoretical physicist) settled the debate with a thought experiment.

Albert Einstein had discovered the theory of general relativity in 1915, including the existence of gravitational waves, but he was sceptical. The debate continued for decades until Feynman (in 1957) proposed a simple thought experiment that demonstrated how gravitational waves could transfer energy, resolving the confusion. Feynman’s argument convinced many physicists, inspiring further research on gravitational waves. In 2016, scientists finally announced the first direct detection of gravitational waves, a significant achievement made possible in part by Feynman’s influential contribution.


Usage: The story can be used in an Essay to illustrate the importance of Independent thinking, Simplicity, Persistence and inspiration etc.