FEYNMAN AND THE CHALLENGER EXPLOSION
love at not.war
Sun Jan 28 12:58:37 EST 1996
In article <4eg8i2$1725 at itssrv1.ucsf.edu>, bgold at itsa.ucsf.edu says...
>Richard Feynman knew, when he appeared on national television, in a
>conference disclosing the reasons for the Challenger explosion, that many
>people would not like him very much. He had already interviewed several
>engineers at Morton Thiokol, the prime contractor for the rocket engines,
>who had disclosed to him that they anticipated the explosion before it
>occurred. But what noone at the press conference expected was that
>Feynman would be brazen enough, in front of the national media,
>to carry out an experiment, which would implicate those who made the
>decision to launch, as the cause of the accident.
>Feynman was a smart, jewish guy from New York, whom the generals did
>like. This was a remnant of his days at Los Alamos, where Feynman
>had made a hobby of picking the locks on Top Secret files and taunting
>the General with their contents. You see, in our terms today, Feynman
>was just 'too' smart. He saw through the 'management' efforts of the
>General at Los Alamos as misbegotten and misdirected. He realized that
>the capital of politicians and soldiers, money and power, were not
>shared by his scientific brethren at Los Alamos who honored art,
>music, and elegant solution to difficult problems as their most sought
>So, when Feynman plopped a piece of rubber O-ring into a glass of
>ice water on national television, verifying his theory that the hardening
>of the otherwise viscoelastic properties of the rubber at low temperature
>was reponsible for the lack of separation of the rocket stages: Hence
>the Challenger explosion. Feynman upset many. Because he had told
>a great truth that America did not want to know.
>America is filled with delusion now; and the generals have now had
>their way, in that all the guys that are 'too smart' like Feynman
>was then, are either keeping quiet, (I believe the term is Shvai in
>Yiddish), have been silenced by intimidation, or have left this earth.
>I miss Richard Feynman on the tenth anniversary of the Challenger
>I think it would be a better world if his spirit could be kept alive today.
>Bert Gold, Ph.D.
gimme a break.
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