Feynman's first wife, previously his local-high school-days darling. Feynman was like an reversed Stephen Hawking: he married his wife knowing that she had a serious illness, while Hawking's wife married him knowing that as well. Except that in Feynman's case, the disease outcome (tuberculosis) was much more uncertain, and she tragically died in 1945 much earlier while Feynman was at Los Alamos Laboratory, while Hawking, despite his decline, lived much longer.
Feynman first noticed Arline on the beaches on the region of his home in Far Rockaway, in the Queens, New York, near Long Beach. She lived a bit further inland in Cedarhurst. Arline was beautiful and boys competed for her, but Richard persisted, stalking her at an after-school social league sponsored by the local Synagogue and joining an art class she went to, until he eventually won it out. The region was highly Jewish, and both were from Jewish families, as also suggested by their family names.
Reading about her death e.g. at Genius: Richard Feynman and Modern Physics by James Gleick (1994) is a major tearjerker, it's just too horrible. The book mentions on chapter "The Last Springtime" that at last, during the last months of her life, after much hesitation, they did fuck in the sanatorium Arline where was staying at in Albuquerque, the nearest major city to Los Alamos (154 km), despite the risk of Feynman being infected, which would be particularly serious given that Feynman would be in constant contact with students and possibly infect others as part of his career as a researcher/teacher. Feynman would visit her on weekends by bus, and stay in Los Alamos during the week.
Arline finally died on June 16th 1945, exactly one month before the Trinity nuclear test was carried out. The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were a little later on 6 and 9 of August 1945.
On one of his last trips to Oak Ridge town late 1945, after her death, Feynman walked past a shop window and saw a pretty dress. He thought to himself, "Arline would have liked that", and the reminder made him cry for the first time after Arline's death.
It is even sadder to think that the first antibiotics for tuberculosis, streptomycin, finished its first major clinical trial at around 1948, not long after her death.
Ciro Santilli considers this tragedy a cause of Feynman was a huge womanizer during a certain period of his life.
Good film, it feels quite realistic.
It is a shame that they tried to include some particularly interesting stories but didn't have the time to develop them, e.g. Feynman explaining to the high school interns what they were actually doing. These are referred to only in passing, and likely won't mean anything to someone who hasn't read the book.
The film settings are particularly good, and give what feels like an authentic view of the times. Particularly memorable are the Indian caves shown the film. TODO name? Possibly Puye Cliff Dwellings. Puye apparently appears prominently up on another film about Los Alamos: The Atomic city (1952). It is relatively close to Los Alamos, about 30 km away.
The title is presumably a reference to infinities in quantum field theory? Or just to the infinity of love etc.? But anyways, the infinities in quantum field theory theory come to mind if you are into this kind of stuff and is sad because that work started after the war.
Feynman became a terrible womanizer after his first wife Arline Greenbaum died, involving himself with several married women, and leading to at least two abortions according to Genius: Richard Feynman and Modern Physics by James Gleick (1994).
Ciro Santilli likes to think that he is quite liberal and not a strict follower of Christian morals, but this one shocked him slightly even. Feynman could be a God, but he could also be a dick sometimes.
One particular case that stuck to Ciro Santilli's mind, partly because he is Brazilian, is when Feynman was in Brazil, he had a girlfriend called Clotilde that called him "Ricardinho", which means "Little Richard"; -inho is a diminutive suffix in Portuguese, and also indicates affection. At some point he even promised to take her back to the United States, but didn't in the end, and instead came back and married his second wife in marriage that soon failed.
Richard's third and final wife, Gweneth Howarth, seemed a good match for him though. When they started courting, she made it very clear that Feynman should decide if he wanted her or not soon, because she had other options available and being actively tested. Fight fire with fire.
From Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman chapter O Americano, Outra Vez!:
The people from the airlines were somewhat bored with their lives, strangely enough, and at night they would often go to bars to drink. I liked them all, and in order to be sociable, I would go with them to the bar to have a few drinks, several nights a week.One day, about 3:30 in the afternoon, I was walking along the sidewalk opposite the beach at Copacabana past a bar. I suddenly got this treMENdous, strong feeling: "That's just what I want; that'll fit just right. I'd just love to have a drink right now!"I started to walk into the bar, and I suddenly thought to myself, "Wait a minute! It's the middle of the afternoon. There's nobody here, There's no social reason to drink. Why do you have such a terribly strong feeling that you have to have a drink?" - and I got scared.I never drank ever again, since then. I suppose I really wasn't in any danger, because I found it very easy to stop. But that strong feeling that I didn't understand frightened me. You see, I get such fun out of thinking that I don't want to destroy this most pleasant machine that makes life such a big kick. It's the same reason that, later on, I was reluctant to try experiments with LSD in spite of my curiosity about hallucinations.