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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index W > John Wheeler Quotes > Universe

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John Wheeler
(9 Jul 1911 - 13 Apr 2008)

American physicist who helped develop the theory of nuclear fission. He coined the terms black hole and wormhole used in astronomy. His contributions to other subjects include fundamental work in nuclear structure, scattering theory, relativity and geometrodynamics. The Nobel prize-winning physicist, Richard Feynman, was one of his students.


John Wheeler Quotes on Universe (7 quotes)

>> Click for 31 Science Quotes by John Wheeler

>> Click for John Wheeler Quotes on | Black Hole | Law | Physics |

I think we are beginning to suspect that man is not a tiny cog that doesn’t really make much difference to the running of the huge machine but rather that there is a much more intimate tie between man and the universe than we heretofore suspected. … [Consider if] the particles and their properties are not somehow related to making man possible. Man, the start of the analysis, man, the end of the analysis—because the physical world is, in some deep sense, tied to the human being.
— John Wheeler
In The Intellectual Digest (Jun 1973), as quoted and cited in Mark Chandos, 'Philosophical Essay: Story Theory", Kosmoautikon: Exodus From Sapiens (2015).
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (124)  |  Cog (3)  |  Difference (214)  |  Human Being (61)  |  Intimate (11)  |  Machine (136)  |  Man (348)  |  Particle (91)  |  Physical (100)  |  Property (96)  |  Tie (21)  |  Universe (615)  |  World (746)

Is the very mechanism for the universe to come into being meaningless or unworkable or both unless the universe is guaranteed to produce life, consciousness and observership somewhere and for some little time in its history-to-be?
— John Wheeler
Quoted in P.C.W. Davies, God and the New Physics (1984), 39, from J.A. Wheeler, 'Genesis and observership', Foundational Problems in the Special Science (1977), 39.
Science quotes on:  |  Consciousness (73)  |  Existence (265)  |  Life (993)  |  Mechanism (45)  |  Universe (615)

No theory of physics that deals only with physics will ever explain physics. I believe that as we go on trying to understand the universe, we are at the same time trying to understand man.
— John Wheeler
In The Intellectual Digest (June 1973), as quoted and cited in Mark Chandos, 'Philosophical Essay: Story Theory", Kosmoautikon: Exodus From Sapiens (2015).
Science quotes on:  |  Explain (71)  |  Man (348)  |  Physics (304)  |  Theory (585)  |  Understand (223)  |  Universe (615)

The laws of physics must provide a mechanism for the universe to come into being.
— John Wheeler
As restated in Alan Lindsay Mackay, A Dictionary of Scientific Quotations (1991), 260. Compare with P.C.W. Davies, God and the New Physics (1984), 39, for quotation footnoted from J.A. Wheeler, 'Genesis and observership', Foundational Problems in the Special Science (1977), 39.
Science quotes on:  |  Creation (216)  |  Law (425)  |  Mechanism (45)  |  Physics (304)  |  Universe (615)

The universe came into being in a big bang, before which, Einstein’s theory instructs us, there was no before. Not only particles and fields of force had to come into being at the big bang, but the laws of physics themselves, and this by a process as higgledy-piggledy as genetic mutation or the second law of thermodynamics.
— John Wheeler
In 'The Computer and the Universe', International Journal of Theoretical Physics (1982), 21, 565.
Science quotes on:  |  Big Bang (38)  |  Albert Einstein (555)  |  Field (127)  |  Force (208)  |  Genetic (11)  |  Instruction (52)  |  Law (425)  |  Mutation (26)  |  Particle (91)  |  Physics (304)  |  Second Law Of Thermodynamics (13)  |  Theory (585)  |  Universe (615)

The universe does not exist “out there,” independent of us. We are inescapably involved in bringing about that which appears to be happening. We are not only observers. We are participators. In some strange sense, this is a participatory universe. Physics is no longer satisfied with insights only into particles, fields of force, into geometry, or even into time and space. Today we demand of physics some understanding of existence itself.
— John Wheeler
Quoted in Denis Brian, The Voice Of Genius: Conversations with Nobel Scientists and Other Luminaries, 127.
Science quotes on:  |  Observation (421)  |  Physics (304)  |  Understanding (322)  |  Universe (615)

There are many modes of thinking about the world around us and our place in it. I like to consider all the angles from which we might gain perspective on our amazing universe and the nature of existence.
— John Wheeler
With co-author Kenneth William Ford Geons, Black Holes, and Quantum Foam: A Life in Physics (1998, 2010), 153.
Science quotes on:  |  Amazing (18)  |  Angle (15)  |  Consider (52)  |  Existence (265)  |  Gain (53)  |  Mode (29)  |  Nature (1081)  |  Perspective (21)  |  Place (133)  |  Thinking (223)  |  Universe (615)  |  World (746)


See also:
  • 9 Jul - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Wheeler's birth.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
Quotations by: • Albert Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about: • Atomic  Bomb • Biology • Chemistry • Deforestation • Engineering • Anatomy • Astronomy • Bacteria • Biochemistry • Botany • Conservation • Dinosaur • Environment • Fractal • Genetics • Geology • History of Science • Invention • Jupiter • Knowledge • Love • Mathematics • Measurement • Medicine • Natural Resource • Organic Chemistry • Physics • Physician • Quantum Theory • Research • Science and Art • Teacher • Technology • Universe • Volcano • Virus • Wind Power • Women Scientists • X-Rays • Youth • Zoology  ... (more topics)
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- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton



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