Meeting at Princeton in the late 1930s, graduate student Richard Feynman and his young advisor, John Wheeler, would begin a working relationship that would bring forth some of the greatest ideas in modern physics, along with a friendship that would last a lifetime.
Over the course of their respective careers, Feynman and Wheeler brought forth some of the most incredible ideas modern physics has ever seen.
Feynman’s contributions to the development of quantum field theory, including his Nobel Prize-winning development of quantum electrodynamics and his intuitive Feynman diagrams, his contributions to teaching, the Manhattan project, gravitational wave physics, the Challenger disaster and much more are not only covered, they’re explained in gloriously in-depth and simultaneously comprehensible fashion.
The idea of a path integral, the essential tool used to calculate physical observables in quantum field theory, came about from Wheeler’s insistence on a sum over histories, but it was Feynman who worked out the details correctly, and applied them properly to our physical Universe.
On the surface, Feynman and Wheeler couldn’t have been more different. Feynman died relatively young after a decade-long battle with cancer; Wheeler lived almost to 100.
If you’re a fan of physics, history, and the development of quantum physics and astrophysics, you’ll definitely want a copy of The Quantum Labyrinth: How Richard Feynman and John Wheeler Revolutionized Time and Reality.