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Fireworks and explosions, age 10


Calculus and cousin Archibald
John Wheeler Scientist
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I had a cousin who was on my mother's side of the family, Archibald Blake was his name. And he gave me a little insight into calculus. And he sent me a book of calculus formulas, which I found myself using yesterday to look up a formula. And here it was, given to me at the age of sixteen or seventeen, with his dedication at the front. Merry Christmas to John, from Archie, and wishes for easier calculus problems.

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: 47 seconds

Date story recorded: December 1996

Date story went live: 24 January 2008