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John Wheeler special issue of Physics Today April 14, 2009

Posted by Will Thomas in Uncategorized.
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For those interested in the history of recent physics, the April issue of Physics Today is dedicated to the career of John Wheeler (1911-2008), a major figure in the last 2/3 of 20th-century American physics.  He worked on problems of the nucleus and in the design of thermonuclear weapons, and at the troublesome border between quantum physics and general relativity.  The issue includes:

Ken Ford’s “John Wheeler’s work on ion particles, nuclei, and weapons” (available for free at the Physics Today website).

Charles Misner, Kip Thorne, and Wojciech Zurek’s “John Wheeler, relativity, and quantum information”.

Oregon State history of science graduate student (and former Merchant Marine captain) Terry Christensen’s, “John Wheeler’s mentorship: An enduring legacy”.

There are also two articles by Wheeler himself drawn from the archives: “Mechanism of fission” (1967), a retrospective on early fission research; and “Introducing the Black Hole” (1971, with Remo Ruffini), a semi-technical introduction to the physics of black holes.

The Niels Bohr Library and Archives, incidentally, has two transcripts of interviews with Wheeler online, one from 1967, and one from 1993, which served as notes for Wheeler’s autobiography (co-written with interviewer Ford).

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