John Wheeler talks about his thoughts on action-at-a-distance during his war work.

Oral history audio excerpt

John Wheeler talks about his thoughts on action-at-a-distance during his war work.

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BASIC RESEARCH DURING THE WAR

I didn't have the imagination to appreciate how decisive the fission work could be in the war. I felt that in the long haul what would count more was understanding the foundations of physics. To me, psychologically, action-at-a-distance as a way of describing the interaction between particles seemed more direct and more natural than field theory. That's how come I spent so much time with Feynman on action-at-a-distance as a way of understanding the coupling between charged particles, but we did not have time to finish up that work before we were separated by my having to go to Chicago. It was not until 1945 that we had a chance to finish up the work.