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.


Principle of mutability (Part 2)


Principle of mutability (Part 1)
John Wheeler Scientist
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments
A typical physical law like Conservation of Momentum, that is practically an absolute in today's view of physics, but if mutability is indeed a universal principle, then there will occur events in which articles collide and momentum is not conserved. One can very well say "Point out please such an event" and I can't, but if the Principle of Mutability makes sense, there must exist such processes --Extremes, as in the atmosphere of black hole, momentum conservation will take on a new character, momentum will be taken up somehow by the black hole. You can say it's not so much that the conservation of momentum is violated, as it's transcended, it goes into a new form, a new agency takes up momentum, the black hole itself. So it's in that sense that I regard the principle of mutability, the physical laws as a useful guide in recognizing the existence of the processes that might otherwise be overlooked.

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, 18 seconds

Date story recorded: December 1996

Date story went live: 24 January 2008