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Eugene Wigner, Michael Polanyi


John von Neumann (Part 2)
John Wheeler Scientist
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But John von Neumann had a marvelous interest in history. He had read the Cambridge Medieval History, [the] Cambridge Ancient History, and he had a phenomenal memory, so he could recite whole paragraphs from the Cambridge Ancient History and tell me about the Council of Nicea, for instance. But to become a member of the Atomic Energy Commission, I'm sure he was very useful, but it was so far removed from making use of this marvelous scientific imagination of his that I keep wondering if we made the best use of him.

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: 1 minute, 9 seconds

Date story recorded: December 1996

Date story went live: 24 January 2008