Grand Central Pub
The story of the unlikely friendship between the two physicists who fundamentally recast the notion of time and history
In 1939, Richard Feynman, a brilliant graduate of MIT, arrived in John Wheeler's Princeton office to report for duty as his teaching assistant. A lifelong friendship and enormously productive collaboration was born, despite sharp differences in personality. The soft-spoken Wheeler, though conservative in appearance, was a raging nonconformist full of wild ideas about the universe. The boisterous Feynman was a cautious physicist who believed only what could be tested. Yet they were complementary spirits. Their collaboration led to a complete rethinking of the nature of time and reality. It enabled Feynman to show how quantum reality is a combination of alternative, contradictory possibilities, and inspired Wheeler to develop his landmark concept of wormholes, portals to the future and past. Together, Feynman and Wheeler made sure that quantum physics would never be the same again.
Baker & Taylor
Explores the friendship between Richard Feynman and John Wheeler and explains how each man encouraged the other to fundamentally rethink the nature of time and reality.Baker
"In Fall 1939, Richard Feynman, a brash and brilliant recent graduate of MIT, arrived in John Wheeler's Princeton office to report for duty as his teaching assistant. The prim and proper Wheeler timed their interaction with a watch placed on the table. Feynman caught on, and for the next meeting brought his own cheap watch, set it on the table next to Wheeler's, and also began timing the chat. The two had a hearty laugh and a lifelong friendship was born. At first glance, they would seem an unlikely pair. Feynman was rough on the exterior, spoke in a working class Queens accent, and loved playing bongo drums, picking up hitchhikers, and exploring out-of-the way places. Wheeler was a family man, spoke softly and politely, dressed in suits, and had the manners of a minister. Yet intellectually, their roles were reversed. Wheeler was a raging nonconformist, full of wild ideas about space, time, and the universe. Feynman was very cautious in his research, wanting to prove and confirm everything himself. Yet when Feynman saw merit in one of Wheeler's crazy ideas and found that it matched experimental data, their joint efforts paid off phenomenally"--
Describes the collaboration between two Princeton physicists that led to the total rethinking of time and reality, theorizing that quantum reality, which combines alternative, and often contradictory, possibilities could lead to the existence of portals to the past and future. 25,000 first printing.