JF Ptak Science Books Post 2333
Perhaps the only bigger five put-together lines than Feynman diagrams may be home plate; otherwise I’m hard pressed to come up with a better thing that can be drawn in this way with this many lines.
The impossibly smart Richard Feynman (1918-1988, Nobel in 1955 for the development of quantum electrodynamics; physics of superfluidity; path integral formulation of QM, etc.) worked on a schematic that would visualize quantum electrodynamical interactions, the scattering calculations in QFT describing interactions between particles The result is known by nearly everyone on earth as Feynman diagrams. (Murray Gell-Mann, another Nobelist and ueber diligent partner and competitor of Feynman’s, and perhaps as influential a physicist (with the Eightfold Way and etc.), refers to the diagrams as (Ernst) Stuckelberg diagrams, named for a once-obscure physicist who, among others, came up with an early schemata closely resembling Feynman diagrams.) They are an elegant and powerful redistribution of complex arrangements that are more easily calculated when visualized.
The images here are the first time the diagrams were published, and are found in the 15 September 1949 issue of the Physical Review after having been introduced in conference and class work (at Cornell int eh 1948/1949 QED course that Feynman taught there). They are among the top-10 prettiest pictures in physics of the 20th century.
Their descriptive power is matched only by their crystalline simplicity—few diagrams have ever been constructed with a greater claim.