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Historic individuals in science: Bernoulli, Leibniz and Voltaire


Thoughts on speculation
John Wheeler Scientist
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I hate to think of what I do as speculation. But maybe all I'm doing is giving an elaborate definition of what speculation is, looking at all the conceivable ways to understand a situation, sizing them up, comparing one with another and looking for a concrete way to knock down this, that or the other, so one's left with a battle-tested scenario at the end of what's going on.

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