a story lives forever
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Form submission failed!

Web of Stories Ltd would like to keep you informed about our products and services.

Please tick here if you would like us to keep you informed about our products and services.

I have read and accepted the Terms & Conditions.

Please note: Your email and any private information provided at registration will not be passed on to other individuals or organisations without your specific approval.

Video URL

You must be registered to use this feature. Sign in or register.


My favourite professors in English, French History and Mathematics


Far infrared research and the Depression
John Wheeler Scientist
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments
I'm trying to remember the name of the young colleague who was interested in studying Far Infra-red, and he made a device by winding wire around two spindles and off winding one piece of wire so that every other space was occupied, and then radiation could come in, come off this, and he could diagnose it that way. Well, this infra-red radiation that he was studying was something that was not then popular, nobody had found a good way to use it. But he realized that the patients in the Johns Hopkins hospital had temperature conditions which he could study in this way, without intervening or disturbing the patient. And in the depths of the Depression, he made this idea fly. He ended up as the director of a laboratory associated with the Yale University for the study of body conditions by physical means. But the Depression, that was something that's very hard to describe to people nowadays. There's a Depression day saying; I am a nobody, I come from nowhere, and I live on my nothing a day- part of the song. A neighbor next door killed himself because he didn't see how he was going to support his family.

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: 2 minutes, 17 seconds

Date story recorded: December 1996

Date story went live: 24 January 2008