On This Day in IUPUI History: February 18, 1971

February 18, 1971. 

On this day the IUPUI Department of Physics commenced a filmed lecture series shown weekly in the Krannert Building on IUPUI's 38th Street Campus. The films were of Professor Richard P. Feynman, a theoretical physicist at Caltech and the 1965 winner of the Nobel Prize in physics, lecturing on general physics. The first lecture was on "The Law of Gravitation," followed by "Relation of Mathematics to Physics," then "Great Conservation Principles," and others. The series of eight filmed lectures was shown in Krannert room 118 on Thursday afternoons at 4pm.

Feynman (1918-1988), a brilliant scientist with a popular touch, intended to make science attractive to students. His lectures were popular events among students. At the time, film series were the means of sharing scholarly subjects with mass audiences. Millions of viewers around the world gained knowledge and access to new ideas by sitting in darkened theaters or auditoriums. In that year in Indianapolis a thirteen-part film series on art history produced by the BBC called "Civilization" featuring Kenneth Clark was screened across town at Marian College. At least one young boy sat in rapt attention and was inspired by great works of art. Feynman's physics lectures no doubt had a similar impact on IUPUI students.

Krannert Building, ca 1970 UA24-003893 

Are you seeking inspiration? Find it through research in the IUPUI Special Collections and Archives. Contact us at speccoll@iupui.edu.

Updated Feb 18, 2019 by Editor Name Missing