This afternoon I went to a fascinating and informative seminar by Peter Byrne
on the life of Hugh Everett III
, the originator of the Many Worlds interpretation. The story is based on a seemingly exhaustive search of papers, notes and letters, some discovered only recently in LA. A long sequence of these documents, along with photographs, were flung briefly onto the projector during a lightening fast hour and a half summary of Everett's life. Amongst the gems was a short personal reply that Everett received as a child, to a lost letter, in which Einstein states that there is no irresistable force and no immovable object.
There was a transcript from a conference involving Wheeler
(Everett's advisor), deWitt
and others, which concluded with Feynman's criticism of the concept of universal wave function. As history shows, this criticism was largely ignored by the relativists, and others. There was a brief account of the interactions between Wheeler and Bohr
, and Everett's friendship with Misner
. Everett himself, the proud son of a military man and a brilliant (but forgotten) mother, was destined for an illustrious career at the Pentagon during the cold war.