AUTHOR: FEYNMAN, Richard P.
TITLE: QED: The strange theory of light and matter.
PUBLISHER: Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985.
DESCRIPTION: FIRST EDITION FIRST PRINTING PRESENTATION COPY INSCRIBED BY FEYNMAN & LEIGHTON. 1 vol., preface by Ralph Leighton, hardbound, with a later issue DJ, inscribed on the front blank endleaf "To Jim Campeau With gratitude and best wishes Ralph / Richard".
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Feynman's last book, a vivid exposition of quantum electrodynamics by its greatest master. This was the heart of Feynman's work, and precisely the field in which he'd won his Nobel Prize - that is, for his "fundamental work in quantum electrodynamics, with deep-ploughing consequences for the physics of elementary particles". Distilled from a series of lectures at UCLA in 1983, this book was Feynman’s only non-technical account of the subject: Gleick calls it a model of science writing. This is the true first printing (November 1985), with laid endpapers and the spine lettered in violet.
Inscribed by Leighton to his friend and colleague Jim Compeau and signed familiarly "Ralph" and "Richard" - that is, Ralph Leighton and Richard Feynman. First-name signatures of Feynman are excessively rare, this being the only one seen on the market in twenty years or more. The recipient was James Lee Compeau (b. 1937), the brilliant and original teacher to whom Feynman had entrusted his own son.
For Jim Compeau was the leading light and "folk hero" of Pasadena’s Alternative School - and not unlike Feynman himself, Compeau too was celebrated for "his antagonism toward bureaucracy, his disregard for genteel language, his . . . irreverent political pronouncements, his . . . ridicule of most schooling practice, his tolerance of any behavior from others, his . . . subversiveness within an institutional framework, and his utter unconventionality".
Very rare: This is one of only two signed copies of a proper scientific book by Feynman - that is, not his reminiscences - seen on the market since 1999 or before. (The other was The character of physical law 1965, not really science but philosophy of science, sold August 2013 to a Canadian collector.)
By way of comparison, a signed First Edition of Feynman's reminiscences made $43,750 at Sotheby's on 12 December 2017, lot 51. Another is offered now on the Continent at $45,000.