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Richard Feynman And John Wheeler Revolutionized Time, Reality, And Our Quantum Universe

24 Nov 2017, 15:01 UTC
Richard Feynman And John Wheeler Revolutionized Time, Reality, And Our Quantum Universe
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A visualization of QCD illustrates how particle/antiparticle pairs pop out of the quantum vacuum for very small amounts of time as a consequence of Heisenberg uncertainty. Our understanding of the quantum Universe continues to evolve over time, and Feynman and Wheeler were two of the players who pushed the needle forward as never before. Image credit: Derek A. Leinweber.A new look at the intertwined lives of two of the 20th century’s greatest minds.In the years prior to World War II, physics was in an odd, post-revolutionary state. Quantum mechanics and Einstein’s General Relativity had turned our picture of a classical, deterministic Universe upside down. It was replaced with indeterminate states, wavefunctions instead of particles, and a fabric of spacetime that could be bent, distorted, and could even have holes poked in it. Yet there were many open questions that didn’t have sensible answers. Meeting at Princeton in the late 1930s, graduate student Richard Feynman and his young advisor, John Wheeler, would begin a working relationship that would bring forth some of the greatest ideas in modern physics, along with a friendship that would last a lifetime. In his new book, The Quantum Labyrinth, Paul Halpern brings the full story of ...

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