Monday, April 14, 2008

John Archibald Wheeler RIP

Sad news yesterday that John Wheeler had past away at the age of 96. I would suggest going to Cosmic Variance to read the extremely moving words from a man who knew John very well - the obituary by Daniel Holz, one of John's former PhD students - one in a line of many greats, including Feynman and Bekenstein.

John Wheeler was, as has been said on many many blogs a true giant in the field of theoretical physics, making great leaps in many areas, from Cosmology to Quantum field theory and information theory.

The closest I got to him was while reading his spacetime bending book Gravitation, which was coauthored with two of his students Kip Thorne (author of Black holes and time warps - The book which at the age of 13 first sparked my interest in such topics) and Charles Misner. While an undergraduate at Bristol university I spent the afternoons for several very enjoyable months in the library working my way through this splendid tome.

For more information about this inspiring man, read Dennis Overbye's obituary in the NYTimes.


Anonymous said...

He will be sadly missed. I bet there are many that would love to live to the ripe old age of 96 or even more have his intelligence.

Anonymous said...

My family name is Lumbroso which means enlightened or luminous. The quest for knowledge and truth is something I search for and Wheeler's brilliance and dedication is something which serves as model to yearn for.