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Work with Richard Feynman


Regrets, thoughts on war
John Wheeler Scientist
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One of the greatest mistakes of my life, not to have plunged in immediately, pushing this business of uranium and making a weapon and so on. But I was convinced that Europe would never be at peace until it was governed by one country or had one government, and this would never happen from any other source than the biggest of them, Germany. And terrible as Hitler was, I couldn't think of any other outcome that would ensure the future of Europe. So I was set to go on with understanding physics.

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