November 26, 2017

Nice article on Richard Feynnman and John Wheeler - some of the greatest minds

Image result for feynman diagram
...Feynman and Wheeler brought forth some of the most incredible ideas modern physics has ever seen. Feynman’s contributions to the development of quantum field theory, including his Nobel Prize-winning development of quantum electrodynamics (Q.E.D.) and his intuitive Feynman diagrams, his contributions to teaching, the Manhattan project, gravitational wave physics, the Challenger disaster and much more are not only covered, they’re explained in gloriously in-depth and simultaneously comprehensible fashion.

Wheeler, although less renowned among the general public, brought about contributions to General Relativity, from black holes and parallel Universes to quantum gravity, wormholes, and information theory. While Halpern has a gift for breaking down these complex concepts to make them accessible to a non-specialist, perhaps the most spectacular and unique part of this book is his ability to get inside their minds. Feynman was insecure, conservative in his ideas, careful in his calculations, and skeptical of any notion that was too far afield. Wheeler, to the contrary, was full of wild ideas, from there only being one electron in the Universe to viewing antimatter as normal matter traveling backwards in time to the idea that there were no particles, only information.


Feynman’s ability to connect the wild ideas to the physical Universe, never far afield from what could be measured, was the perfect complement to Wheeler’s imagination. Together and separately, they took on gravitation, the quantum nature of reality, and even space and time itself. And as much as any physicist ever did, they not only took these ideas on; they won.

Their personal lives are also recounted as never before, not even by Feynman himself in his autobiographical writings. On the surface, Feynman and Wheeler couldn’t have been more different. Feynman was outrageous, extroverted, casual, loud, and seemed willing to try absolutely anything, just to know what the experience was like. Wheeler was the opposite...


No comments:

Post a Comment