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Hitler and depression era Germany


Being in Europe
John Wheeler Scientist
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In those days, there were no air mail across the Atlantic, mail went by ship, and a typical letter would take two weeks from the time I wrote it until Janette got it, or two weeks from the time she wrote one till I got it. So this made life complicated. I recall my inexperience with life in another country, in going to the meeting in London, in the fall of 1934. I stopped at the shop I'd heard of, called Liberty's, and there was a beautiful vase, and I bought a pair and sent them to Janette. I hadn't realized there would be a duty when she got it the other end, and she was rather upset when the postman appeared and said "Here's a package for you, the duty is $35.00." In time, I learned better.

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, 25 seconds

Date story recorded: December 1996

Date story went live: 24 January 2008