Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What is the purpose of the "Vitals" chapter?

In the "Vitals" chapter Feynman briefly outlines his life from birth to the time the book is published. He refers to it as "Some facts about my timing."

2. Why does Feynman fix radios for people as a child?

While still a child he is hired to fix the radio in a hotel (which turns out to be owned and operated by his aunt). After this point, he is hired by many other people around town to fix radios. He suspects his services were in demand because of the depression (since he was a kid, he worked cheaply). However, Feynman seems to believed that, since he was continually hired to take on more and more complicated radio repair jobs, his set of technical skills were greatly enhanced. One customer is so impressed with his talents that he decides young Feynman must be fixing radios by thinking.

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