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This is a book about John Wheeler and his apprentice and equally extraordinary physicist Richard Feynman. I story of friendship, escapades, and truly world changing discoveries in physics that span over half a century.
Always a Richard Feynman fan for his extravagance and crazy ideas, little did I know that his mentor John Archibald Wheeler was the crazy one when it came to ideas. His students mentioned throughout the book list a who's who in the particle physics world.
Although this book focuses on the two. It is a snippet of history post Niels Bohr, and Albert Einstein and the discovery of the quantum world. The new comers can be considered the second generation of particle physicists and the discovery of QED, the relevance of the Arrow of Time, the theories they developed trying to understand particle physics beyond the observable, and the barriers to the unknown.
The is mostly a story of people, not maths and equations, something I always liked. I'm sure books will continue to be written about them for a long time to go. Extraordinary people that where only human, enjoyable especially for a non scientist.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
This disappointing work has an odd premise, that simultaneous biographies of an important physicist (Wheeler) and his even more important graduate student (Feynman), whose professional lives largely diverged after their relatively brief collaboration, would provide an effective framework for telling the story of 20th century physics. The result falls flat, at least for me. It is neither a convincing biography of Wheeler or Feynman alone, nor a terribly interesting account of their relationship (which seems not to have been of paramount importance for either man). Neither is it an effective account of the relevant developments in physics, which has been told better by a number of other authors. If there is a labyrinth here, it is the one the author got stuck in writing this book.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful