The Quantum Labyrinth: How Richard Feynman and John Wheeler Revolutionized Time and Reality
In 1939, Richard Feynman, a brilliant graduate of MIT, arrived in John Wheeler's Princeton office to report for duty as his teaching assistant. A lifelong friendship and enormously productive collaboration was born, despite sharp differences in personality ...more
Turbocharged minds: “The Quantum Labyrinth” by Paul Halpern
“It’s worth a lot of miles to talk with you about anything and everything.”
John Wheeler referring to Richard P. Feynman, November 28, 1978 (Caltech Archives) in “The Quantum Labyrinth” by Paul Halpern
“His ideas are strange; I don’t believe them at all. But it is surprising how often we realize later that he was right.”
Richard P. Feynman referring to John A. Wheeler, in “Inside ...more
Picasso’s words seem to have been uttered specifically for these two unique personalities. John Wheeler and Richard Feynman gave new meaning to creativity and contribution in physics.
According to Thorne, Feynman turned to him and offered some sage advice about Wheeler: “This guy sounds crazy. What people of your generation don’t know is that he has always sounded crazy. But when I was his student I discovered that if you take one of his crazy ideas and you un ...more
Blue and green kitchen.
Orange and gold kitchen.
White sofa with a regal trapunto.
Then they reached a point where the constant changes were just too much, too absurd, and everything stopped. It’s disconcerting but comforting to me: Disconcerting in that one could misconstrue their steady state as surrender rather than peace; comfor ...more
A good book.
This is somewhat a strange book, hovering between a biography and physics book, through the lives of Richard Feynman and John Wheeler, and it seems to me it has both the good sides and shortcomings of both. Shortcomings, as in, it can’t go really in depth in the lives of the two scientists, and at the same time, the physics aspect is sometimes too complex, and sometimes too simple, which makes for an unbalanced ...more
There are hundreds of books discussing the initial phase of QM starting from the birth of Einsteinian quanta to the explosions created by the theories of ...more
But science is ...more
Also, since it covers the lives of two very productive scientists in complex fields, it's inevitably short on details. That said, it does give a good overview of the development of key elements of quantum theory and relativity in the mid-twentieth century, and the use of Wheeler's and Feyman's parallel but contrasting lives well done.
It may ju ...more
I really like these kinds of books that are an biography of both and idea and the people around it. It is incredible how much technological progress we have made since their time, yet how much ...more
Always a good sign when a book begins with an epigraph from a Borges' story, "The Garden of forking Paths," in this case, a perfectly appropriate choice when talking about the many worlds and multiversal ramifications of quantum theory, especially after Hugh Everett III's 1957 doctoral dissertation.
Halpern is up to the task of making the esoteric and abstruse as accessible to the non-physicist, non-mathematician as possible. His description of the way Wheeler's "Twenty Questions: The Surprise Ve...more
However, I found myself disappointed in the science writing. It felt disjointed. Sometimes the author delved too deeply into a subject and lost me. In these cases, graphs or illustrations would have been illusory. Other times, he glossed over the science. I found myself ...more
1) I’m into science. The book gives a high-level, but detailed overview of cutting edge ideas of the previous century. A reader follows both individual path of a couple of legendary scientists, watching the grow of personal research interests as well ad huge collaborative contribution such as CERN and Manhattan. However it isn’t a textbook with exercises, instead ideas are described in abstract manner.
2) I’m in a constant search for “attractive person ...more
This is science history. If you've read Feynman biograph ...more
I found this book to be really good. I love reading about science and the history of the subject, so this book was right up my alley. Halpern is a great author, and wrote a very good book. His analogies are good, though I do wish there would have been more diagrams. I enjoyed all of the historical tidbits, particularly the one's about John Wheeler. Some of the stories about Feynman were already covered in other books (like his own autobiography/antics boo ...more
A deeply personal look at the lives of a number of scientists that introduced its to the quantum world. We need to see each graduate student, each college student, each child we meet as a potential portal to the future.
Going into this book, I knew next to nothing about John Wheeler, Richard Feynman's friend and advisor during his years at Princeton. I have read ...more