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John Archibald Wheeler: A Biographical Memoir (arxiv.org)
45 points by ArtWomb on May 1, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 11 comments



One of my favorite ideas of his is the Geon [1]

[1] - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geon_(physics)


john wheeler is one of my favorite physicists. one thing i have wondered is: where and who are the john wheeler's of today? that is, who are the people who are well suited to advising and mentoring students and generating a lot of active, comprehensive research in a field. i feel john wheeler is completely underrated and underappreciated in his ability to advise and mentor and lead research programs. just look at his wikipedia page that lists all the post-docs, phd students, master's students, and undergraduates. it's insane! he seemed to have been a real treasure. just look at how many of his students went on to become famous or notable in their own right.


> where and who are the john wheeler's of today

Kip Thorne, who was a Wheeler student.


i asked:

> of today

i am aware of kip thorne and his relationship to john wheeler, and while certainly awesome, he is retired and hasn't advised a ph.d. student in over a decade.


I had the privilege of getting to know John Wheeler late in his career. He was a wonderful man with a wonderful joker's sense of humor, in addition to having a wonderful sort of OCD for an academic (a significant portion of the library in the Physics department at Princeton was dedicated to holding a copy of every book and article and proceeding referenced anywhere in the mighty book that is Misner Thorne and Wheeler, all carefully filed and categorized and organized by John Wheeler).


> Misner Thorne and Wheeler

I always got a wee chuckle out of the fact that, probably the most massive book in the entire library, was entitled, "Gravitation".


I've heard it described as if the pages of the longest and best organized book on the subject had been tossed in the air and sorted randomly moments before publication (I loved reading the book, but it's definitely weird to see little ones or twos in the bottom corners of every page of a book of that thickness, telling you whether to read the page on your first reading of the book or your second)


I read his autobiography back when it came out and remember it being quite good.

https://www.amazon.com/Geons-Black-Holes-Quantum-Foam/dp/039...



Great! A book length biography of Wheeler is long overdue.


he has an autobiography: geons, black holes, and quantum foam: a life in physics

https://www.amazon.com/Geons-Black-Holes-Quantum-Foam/dp/039...




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