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Being in Europe


Unpublished paper with Milton Plesset
John Wheeler Scientist
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Milton Plesset and I were trying to knock down an idea which had been put forward to explaining some experimental results. When high frequency gamma radiation, high frequency X-rays, hit lead, they were scattered back in much greater strength than anybody had any reason to think was reasonable. And we wanted to show that no process that could happen in a single atomic nucleus could do that, so we wrote a paper to that effect. But, for some reason or other, Bohr sat on it and we never published it.

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, 5 seconds

Date story recorded: December 1996

Date story went live: 24 January 2008