Did Richard Feynman ever work for (or with) Apple?
January 25, 2022 10:28 AM   Subscribe

I know that Apple featured Feynman in their "Think Different" campaign after his death, and that he's wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with one of Apple's supercomputer design logos in this photo -- but did he ever actually work with Apple during his lifetime?
posted by egeanin to Science & Nature (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Feynman is wearing the t-shirt from the Connection Machine project, which was not an Apple project.

I have not seen any evidence that he was employed by Apple other than agreeing to this promotional campaign and probably some visits or lectures on their campus.
posted by JoeZydeco at 11:20 AM on January 25, 2022 [4 favorites]

Best answer: He's wearing a CM-1 t-shirt, designed by Tamiko Thiel. Feynman worked for Thinking Machines, but as far as I know, that company doesn't have anything to do with Apple.
posted by zamboni at 11:23 AM on January 25, 2022 [5 favorites]

other than agreeing to this promotional campaign

Whoever gave permission, it wasn’t Feynman himself. The Think Different campaign began in 1997; Feynman died in 1988.
posted by Quinbus Flestrin at 12:22 PM on January 25, 2022 [7 favorites]

Best answer: I am going to say "No" - because any evidence of him doing so is not something that Apple would have kept quiet about. The early history of Apple - may be useful to give you an overview of what Jobs and Wozniak were interested in at that point. But, unlike the Connection Machine - Apple was unlikely to have had problems that Feynman would have been the right person to solve. Indirect meetings and connections, via places like MIT, Caltech or Xerox PARC - probably did happen - but Apple's research interests were more focussed on UI than on Physics.
posted by rongorongo at 10:40 PM on January 25, 2022

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