John Archibald Wheeler Archive

by jawarchive

Wheeler’s poetic imagination – with its deep, almost philosophical questions such as How come the quantum?  and How come existence? – combined with his engineering common sense that brought many of his lofty ideas down to earth was his trademark way of doing physics.

~Charles Misner, Kip Thorne, & Wojciech Zurek (2009)

This is a site dedicated to the preservation of the writings of the late physicist John Archibald Wheeler.  Much of his work on Nuclear Physics is already well known.  His 1939 paper co-authored with Bohr, The Mechanism of Nuclear Fission is considered a classic.  Additionally, the vast majority of the corpus of his work on gravity can be found in the tome Gravitation co-authored with Charles Misner and Kip Thorne, which has been in print since 1973. However from the early 1970’s through the 2000’s Wheeler’s work shifted almost exclusively to the foundations of Quantum Theory.  Much of his work is found in conference proceedings, many of them out-of-print, his personal notes, and correspondences. Wheeler considered the search for the meaning of quantum theory paramount to the scientific enterprise – yet most of his writing on the subject is not easily accesible.   The goal of the website is to make these hard-to-find materials available online.

With the permission of Wheeler’s Estate, we are reproducing his copyrighted material, making it available, free of charge, to any scholar who wishes to study these works.

If you have any correspondences or notes from Wheeler you would like to add to the archive please contact: