For me, as for so many others, Richard Feynman is a special hero. He became so while I was learning quantum electrodynamics in graduate school at Stanford. The course happened to be organized historically, and for several months it was taught in the 1930s style out of Heitler's classic text, using old‐fashioned perturbation theory and Dirac matrices α and β (but not γ). After this trial by fire came a seemingly endless, gloomy, turgid mass of field‐quantization formalism. When Feynman diagrams arrived, it was the sun breaking through the clouds, complete with rainbow and pot of gold. Brilliant! Physical and profound! It was instant conversion to discipleship.
‘I am more sure of the conclusions [of the parton model] than of any single argument which suggested them to me for they have an internal consistency which surprises me and exceeds the consistency of my deductive arguments which hinted at their existence.’