insight

What Wheeler told me left a big impression on me, but I don’t think I’ll live to find out who is correct…. It was the first time heard something sensible…. A possibility would be a combination of his ideas and mine.

Albert Einstein

Calaprice, Alice, ed. The Quotable Einstein. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 1996

What bothered me was, I thought he must have done the calculation.  I only realized later that a man like Wheeler could immediately see all that stuff when you give him the problem.  I had to calculate, but he could see.

Richard Feynman

Feynman, Richard P. “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”: Adventures of a Curious Character. 1st ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 1997. Print.   See also Feynman’s Nobel Speech, where he mentions Wheeler at various times.

…Wheeler probed far beyond the frontiers of human knowledge, asking questions that later generations of physicists would take up and solve

Kip Thorne

http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S20/82/08G77/index.xml?section=topstories

There is no living scientist, to my knowledge — and no one in our lifetime since Einstein and Goedel — who has combined as well as you a mastery of the technical tools of the profession with the cultivation of broad and deep vision.

Abner Shimony

Letter received for the conference Science and Ultimate Reality held in Princeton, NJ March 15-18 2002. retrieved from the Wheeler archive at the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, PA

…very insightful…

Roger Penrose

Penrose, Roger. Cycles of Time: An Extraordinary New View of the Universe. London: Bodley Head, 2010. Print.

A mind of unique power, sublety, insight, judgement and creativity;

A scientist of integrity, rationality and breadth, who combines extraordinary flexibility with extraordinary stubbornness, who challenges, improves, inspires, sometimes revolutionises, the deepest knowledge in every branch of physics and beyond;

David Deutsch

Letter received for the conference Science and Ultimate Reality held in Princeton, NJ March 15-18 2002. retrieved from the Wheeler archive at the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, PA

Wheeler has given us permission to bring the really big questions back into the laboratory and the classroom , and he has done so not by exhortation, but by example.  His oracular pronouncements do not stand alone, but are embedded in painstaking technical contributions to conventional research.  His notable successes in answering how questions give him license to ask why.  Thus Wheeler the philosopher, deriving his authority from the reputation of Wheeler the physicist, inspires his colleagues and encourages them to follow in his footsteps.

Hans Christian Von Baeyer

Von Baeyer, Hans Christian. Information: The New Language of Science. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2003. Print.

Among the many qualities that make John Wheeler a great physicist is his ability to ask the right questions.

James York

Zurek, Wojciech Hubert, Alwyn Van der Merwe, and Warner Allen Miller, eds. Between Quantum and Cosmos: Studies and Essays in Honor of John Archibald Wheeler. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 1988. Print.

[A]t the University of Texas, I came across a beautiful idea.  It was something that intrigued me like no idea ever before – John Archibald Wheeler’s thought…”The only law is that there is no law.”

Christopher Fuchs

Fuchs, Christopher A. Coming of Age With Quantum Information: Notes on a Paulian Idea. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. Print.

Those who came in contact with him were impressed with the intensity of his dedication, the rigor of his analysis, and the depth of his questioning.

Steven Weinberg, Austin Gleeson, and J Craig Wheeler

http://www.utexas.edu/faculty/council/2010-2011/memorials/wheeler_j.html

For generations of physicists and astronomers, what Wheeler is interested in currently has defined the moving Frontier of Science.  By his own deep research and by his penetrating analyses of the work of colleagues, Wheeler has made fundamental contributions that span the range of interests of the physical sciences – from nuclear physics, to black holes, to the beginning of the universe.

John Bahcall

Wheeler, John Archibald. At Home in the Universe. New York, NY: American Institute of Physics, 1992. Print. (on the back of the hardcover edition)

A Physicist who dreams with open eyes

Maurice Goldhaber

book review for  May 1999 Physics Today p. 63
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/18/science/18goldhaber.html?_r=1

It is one of our great privileges as physicists that we not only have the opportunity to sail on one of the great adventures of the human mind in search of the fundamental laws and unifying principles of the physical world around us, but that we do so in the company of mentors  and colleagues such as John Wheeler.

Sidney Drell

Drell, Sidney. “John Wheeler: A Personal Tribute.” Foundations of Physics 16.7 (1986) : 681-683. Web. 30 Apr 2011.

If one wants to see how to focus on the essentials, concentrate on the central them of a picture and its basic implications for physics, then it is difficult to point to someone who is doing it better than John A. Wheeler.  This twentieth-century Leonardo da Vinci has inspired a whole generation of physicists working in the field.

Ulrich H. Gerlach

Zurek, Wojciech Hubert, Alwyn Van der Merwe, and Warner Allen Miller, eds. Between Quantum and Cosmos: Studies and Essays in Honor of John Archibald Wheeler. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 1988. Print.

Many scientists are convinced that Wheeler’s insights into the foundation of modern-day physics will spur a revolution in our perception of the universe.

Wojciech Hubert Zurek, Alwyn Van Der Merwe, Warner Allen Miller

Zurek, Wojciech Hubert, Alwyn Van der Merwe, and Warner Allen Miller, eds. Between Quantum and Cosmos: Studies and Essays in Honor of John Archibald Wheeler. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 1988. Print.

John Archibald Wheeler [was] one of the great visionaries of modern physics.

Leonard Susskind

Susskind, Leonard. The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics. 1st ed. New York: Little, Brown, 2008. Print.

John Wheeler [is a] visionary of American theoretical physics.

Heinz Pagels

Pagels, Heinz R. Perfect Symmetry: The Search for the Beginning of Time. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1985. Print….

…physics delphic oracle…

Philip Anderson

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storyCode=194672&sectioncode=1

We are fortunate to have unique thinkers among us like Wheeler, to lead us a little further in the ‘Here be Dragons’ badlands of modern physics than we might otherwise dare to enter.

Richard Dawkins

The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. Print.

I knew John Wheeler as a most gentle and cordial soul, polite and considerate to a fault, like a perfect southern gentleman….But when he talked about physics, he sudenly became bold and fearless….

Lawrence Krauss

Krauss, Lawrence Maxwell. Quantum Man: Richard Feynman’s Life in Science. 1st ed. New York: Atlas & Co, 2011. Print.

…behind that gentlemanly facade of john Wheeler there resided—a perfect gentleman.  A behind that facade there was—another perfect gentleman. He was a gentleman through and through…However, somewhere among those polite facades there was a tiger loose; a reckless buccaneer, a bold adventurer, a fearless and intrepid explorer, a man who had the courage to look at any crazy problem.  And somehow, after he had thought about that crazy problem, things were less crazy than when he started.  This adventuresome thinking was done in the context of a great amount of extremely solid work.

Robert R Wilson

Wheeler, John Archibald. Some Men and Moments in the History of Nuclear Physics: The Interplay of Colleagues and Motivations. [Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1979. Print.

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