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'QED' performance Thursday

Award-winning actor Jeremiah Kissel will portray Nobel laureate Richard Feynman (S.B. 1939) in a staged reading of "QED," a play inspired by Feynman's writings, in Room 10-250 on Thursday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. Admission is free.

The reading will be followed by a panel discussion featuring friends and collaborators of Feynman. The panelists are author Ralph Leighton, bongo drummer Tom Rutishauser, Professor Marvin Minsky of the Program in Media Arts and Sciences, and MIT science historian David Kaiser, an assistant professor in the Program in Science, Technology and Society.

Feynman (1928-1988), who shared the 1965 Nobel Prize in physics for his work in quantum electrodynamics (QED), is known for his work on the atomic bomb and his simple solution to the puzzle of the Challenger explosion. He also was a practical joker and eccentric who played the bongo drums and was fascinated by Tuva, a mountain country adjacent to Mongolia.

Leighton--co-author of "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!" and "What Do You Care What Other People Think?"--will do a book signing after the event.

Toscanini's will serve free scoops of a parfait of Earl Grey Tea ice cream with lemon sorbet and sweet creme. According to Tosci's owner, Gus Rancatore, the flavor was inspired by the following anecdote from "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!"

"I go through the door, and there are some ladies, and some girls, too. It's all very formal and I'm thinking about where to sit down and should I sit next to this girl, or not, and how should I behave, when I hear a voice behind me.

"'Would you like cream or lemon in your tea, Mr Feynman?' It's Mrs. Eisenhart, pouring tea. 'I'll have both, thank you,' I say, still looking for where I'm going to sit, when suddenly I hear 'Heh-heh-heh-heh-heh. Surely you're joking, Mr Feynman!'"

For additional information, call 253-2341.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on January 29, 2003.

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