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Niels Bohr: his idea of the open world concept


Wheeler's description of a bus to illustrate Everett's thesis
John Wheeler Scientist
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A bus comes up to a fork in the road, it can go to the right and the passenger in the bus sees it going to the right, or it can go to the left, and the passenger will see it going to the left. But what about the coexistence of these possibilities? Quantum mechanically, the idea of these coexisting, has negligible observational weight, although in theory, one can think of them as going on in parallel.

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: 57 seconds

Date story recorded: December 1996

Date story went live: 24 January 2008