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Winging Wheeler

  1. Apr 24, 2004 #1
    Paper in white the floor of the room, and rule it off in one-foot squares. Down on
    one's hands and knees, write in the first square a set of equations conceived as able
    to govern the physics of the universe. Think more overnight. Next day put a better
    set of equations into square two. Invite one's most respected colleagues to contribute
    to other squares. At the end of these labors, one has worked oneself out into the doorway.
    Stand up, look back on all those equations, some perhaps more hopeful than others,
    raise one's finger commandingly, and give the order "Fly!" Not one of those equations
    will put on wings, take off, or fly. Yet the universe "flies".

    (This quote is from John A. Wheeler on page 1208 of Gravitation.)

    Yet why does the universe fly, even though equations intimately related do not?
  2. jcsd
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