# Thread: the derivation no longer matched

1. ## the derivation no longer matched

Richard Feynman was a famous Nobel Prize winner in physics who had a reputation during the 1950s and '60s as an amazing genius. He later explained his method: He attached the problem at hand to a real-life scenarios, creating a mental image, while others got caught in the math. When someone would show him a long derivation that had gone wrong, for example, he'd think of some physical phenomenon that the derivation was supposed to explain. As he followed along, he'd get to the point where he suddenly realized the derivation no longer matched what happened in the real world, and he'd say, "No, that's the problem." He was always right, which mystified people who, awestruck, took him for a supergenius. Want to be a supergenius? Do the same thing: Don't let the math scare you.

What does this "derivation" mean? Is it a math one? Why did he say something was a problem?

2. ## Re: the derivation no longer matched

He said that the problem occurred at the point where the derivation no longer matched what happened in the real world.

3. ## Re: the derivation no longer matched

In the preceding sentence the writer talks about a 'derivation that had gone wrong'.

So, 'the derivation' refers to the derivation in the example. The 'problem' is the point in the derivation that doesn't correspond to observation.

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