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Can the laws of physics be violated?


The certainty of quantum mechanics: correct predictions
John Wheeler Scientist
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I'm afraid I think the theory is so firmly established that I can't see any case where firm predictions are not possible. Firm predictions about the nature of the outcome. The outcome may be either this or that. It may not necessarily be one of the two, but whatever one sees, I think one can predict. Does that mean that you would say the doubtful part of quantum mechanics is not what it predicts but what it rests on? Yes, where does it come from, what deeper principle does it arise from. That, to me, is the real puzzle.

John Wheeler, one of the world's most influential physicists, is best known for coining the term 'black holes', for his seminal contributions to the theories of quantum gravity and nuclear fission, as well as for his mind-stretching theories and writings on time, space and gravity.

Listeners: Ken Ford

Ken Ford took his Ph.D. at Princeton in 1953 and worked with Wheeler on a number of research projects, including research for the Hydrogen bomb. He was Professor of Physics at the University of California and Director of the American Institute of Physicists. He collaborated with John Wheeler in the writing of Wheeler's autobiography, 'Geons, Black Holes and Quantum Foam: A Life in Physics' (1998).

Duration: 54 seconds

Date story recorded: December 1996

Date story went live: 24 January 2008