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The Quantum Labyrinth

The Quantum Labyrinth

How Richard Feynman and John Wheeler Revolutionized Time and Reality

The story of the unlikely friendship between the two physicists who fundamentally recast the notion of time and history
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. The soft-spoken Wheeler, though conservative in appearance, was a raging nonconformist full of wild ideas about the universe. The boisterous Feynman was a cautious physicist who believed only what could be tested. Yet they were complementary spirits. Their collaboration led to a complete rethinking of the nature of time and reality. It enabled Feynman to show how quantum reality is a combination of alternative, contradictory possibilities, and inspired Wheeler to develop his landmark concept of wormholes, portals to the future and past. Together, Feynman and Wheeler made sure that quantum physics would never be the same again.
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Genre: Nonfiction / Science / Physics

On Sale: October 17th 2017

Price: $18.99

Page Count: 336

ISBN-13: 9780465097593

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Praise

"Readers soon see that Feynman achieved his breakthroughs in physics by collaborating with his mentor, John Wheeler...With the same clarity that has attracted readers to Einstein's Dice and Schrödinger's Cat and his other books of popular science, Halpern retraces the way this unlikely pair smashed traditional understandings of time...A compelling reminder that even the most triumphant science comes from vulnerable humans."—Booklist (starred review)
"[Halpern] paints an evocative picture of the tension between cooperation and competition felt by researchers at the cutting edge."
Library Journal
"Go to any physics meeting and ask each person there for their list of the top ten most influential physicists of the 20th century. Lots of different names will appear, but everybody will name Einstein (of course!). Nearly all will mention Feynman and Wheeler, too. After reading Halpern's thought-provoking book, you'll understand why."
--- Paul J. Nahin, Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering at University of New Hampshire and author of In Praise of Simple Physics
"In this exciting new book, Paul Halpern explores the strange counter-balance between two remarkable scientists. Everyone knows of Richard Feynman as a showman, but Halpern brings out Feynman's true depth as a careful researcher of meticulous integrity and the perfect artisan to carry out John Wheeler's revolutionary ideas. The result is a fascinating story."
--- Frank Close, author of Half-Life and The Infinity Puzzle
"The Quantum Labyrinth is the thoughtful and moving story of two great physicists and their entangled lives. Feynman and Wheeler's exuberant creativity allowed them to explore the extremes of reality, finding the cracks and fissures of contemporary physics. Yet at the same time, they were instrumental in setting the foundations of our modern understanding of physical law."
--- Pedro G. Ferreira, Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Oxford