An American Physicist in Tuva

richard-feynmanRichard Feynman, famous American physicist, atom bomb maker, father of nanotechnology, and Tuva lover.  Feynman discovered the remote region and its nomadic people from stamp collecting during the dark days of the Cold War.  Feynman began a long correspondence with one of its residents.  Feynman wanted to visit Tuva, but never did.  The Cold War prevented him from getting a visa which he documented in the book Tuva or Bust.  In pure Soviet bureaucratic fashion, the his visa approval arrived the day after he died.

Feynman didn’t make it to Tuva, but his daughter Michelle did.  BBC Radio’s Ilona Vinogradova chronicled her incredibly emotional journey, Feynman’s fascination with Tuva, and the life, customs, and hospitality of the small province on the Mongolian border.  Never did Michelle think that she would be slaughtering goats in her father’s honor.