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John Archibald Wheeler

Data de nascimento: 9. Julho 1911
Data de falecimento: 13. Abril 2008


John Archibald Wheeler foi um físico teórico estadunidense.

Um dos últimos colaboradores de Albert Einstein, tentou formular a concepção de Einstein de uma teoria do campo unificado.

Introduziu a Matriz S, fundamental na física de partículas. Foi um dos pioneiros na teoria de fissão nuclear.

Também é conhecido por cunhar o nome popular para o fenômeno espacial das estrelas colapsadas gravitacionalmente, a expressão buraco negro. Acadêmicos orientados por ele incluíram Richard Feynman e Kip Thorne.

Morreu em 13 de abril de 2008 de pneumonia, aos 96 anos de idade.

Citações John Archibald Wheeler


„Time is nature's way to keep everything from happening all at once.“

—  John Archibald Wheeler
Wheeler quoted this saying in Complexity, Entropy, and the Physics of Information (1990), p. 10, with a footnote attributing it to "graffiti in the men's room of the Pecan Street Cafe, Austin, Texas". Later publications, such as Paul Davies' 1995 book About Time (p. 236), credited Wheeler with variations of this saying, but the quip is actually much older. The earliest known source is Ray Cummings' 1922 science fiction novel The Girl in the Golden Atom, Ch. V: " 'Time,' he said, 'is what keeps everything from happening at once.' " It also appears in his 1929 novel The Man Who Mastered Time. The earliest known occurrence other than Cummings is from 1962 in Film Facts: Volume 5, p. 48

„… we can afford many mistakes in the search. The main thing is to make as fast as possible.“

—  John Archibald Wheeler
As quoted by Charles W. Misner, Kip S. Thorne, and Wojciech H. Zurek. "John Wheeler, relativity, and quantum information." Physics Today 62, no. 4 (April 2009): 40–46 (quote from p. 44) [10.1063/1.3120895]

„We are participators in bringing into being not only the near and here but the far away and long ago. We are in this sense, participators in bringing about something of the universe in the distant past and if we have one explanation for what's happening in the distant past why should we need more?“

—  John Archibald Wheeler
"The Anthropic Universe" (Feb 18, 2006) Australia's Science Show, with Martin Redfern moderating excerpts from several scientists, including Wheeler. Audio recording and transcript available. See also same show at WayBack Machine, Internet

„Of all obstacles to a thoroughly penetrating account of existence, none looms up more dismayingly than “time.” Explain time? Not without explaining existence. Explain existence? Not without explaining time. To uncover the deep and hidden connection between time and existence, to close on itself our quartet of questions, is a task for the future.“

—  John Archibald Wheeler
"Hermann Weyl and the Unity of Knowledge", American Scientist (July-August 1986) Vol. 74, pp. 366-375. Reprinted in At Home in the Universe (1993), p. 171.

„Spacetime tells matter how to move; matter tells spacetime how to curve.“

—  John Archibald Wheeler
Wheeler's succinct summary of Einstein's theory of general relativity, in Geons, Black Holes, and Quantum Foam (2000), p. 235.

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