Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Backwards Image of Yukawa and Feynman

The first episode of a series of my essays on Richard Feynman [1] is about the photo of Yukawa and Feynman that appeared backwards in Physics Today [2]. Last year I planned to make a book [3] by including the above series of essays, and wanted to use that photo by getting permission from AIP. So I searched it at AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives.

Bravo! The image was kept as printed previously [4], in spite of the fact that Peter Lee pointed out the backwards printing in a letter to the editor of Physics Today [5].

These days the normal image is simply gotten from the backwards one by a photo editing program, so that I was afraid that it might have been saved as the normal image. Permission to use the photo can be made easily at the Web site of Emilio Segrè Visual Archives. However, if the photo had been kept as the normal image, it should have been necessary for me to make special contact with them to get permission of the modified use of it, i.e., the use of horizontally flipped image as printed in [2] by describing the reason that my essay refers to . . .

By the way, you can also see the same photo printed backwards in the books [6] and [7] (in fact, the first mention of the photo in my essay is made of the one in [6]).

  1. T. Tabata, What Little I Can Talk about Feynman, The Web site of IDEA (1999) [improvements and corrections made in the version included in [3] are not yet made in the Web version].
  2. L. M. Brown and L. Hoddeson, Physics Today Vol. 35, No. 4, p. 36 (1982).
  3. T. Tabata, Passage through Spacetime: Random Writing of a Physicist (Jupiter, Tokyo, 2009) [not for sale].
  4. Catalog #: Hayakawa Satio D1, Emilio Segrè Visual Archives.
  5. P. H. Y. Lee, Physics Today, Vol. 35, No. 9, p. 13 (1982); for a minor correction, see T. Tabata and P. H. Y. Lee, ibid. Vol. 36 No. 4, p. 90 (1983).
  6. J. Gleick, Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman (Pantheon, New York, 1992; paperback edition, Vintage, 1993) p. 7 bottom of insert between pp. 118 and 119.
  7. J. Mehra, The Beat of a Different Drum: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman (Clarendon, Oxford, 1994) plate 7 between pp. 320 and 321.


  1. I've read your first essay on Feynman in Ref.1 and it has been a pleasure. Thank you for posting this. I plan to read the next ones, one "drop" at a time, to better enjoy your style and your attention to details.
    Chiara (@chiamai on twitter)

  2. To Chiara: Thanks for your visit and kind comment.