Talk:Hugh Everett III

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How the Hell??[edit]

Can a bio have 1 stinking referrence?? This ENTIRE article should be NUKED and started from scratch...Paging Michael D. Wolok!! --Tom 21:59, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

That's not a very constructive attitude; why not add the missing references? I am going to revert your changes since the one reference provided does support the deleted text. BTW I'll add some more references as well  :-) --Michael C Price 22:12, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

I changed the date for the manuscript and the title of it. It was written in 1955, since it refers to Einstein as still alive. And indeed it wasn´t a thesis, but a manuscript that was (very) modified and later became a thesis. I'm finishing my M.A. and soon will post the reference for those.

I will begin making some minor changes about incorrects historical references. I, together with my advisors, wrote some articles concerning his interpretation, including my master thesis (in portuguese. I'll add it in the references, if it's allowed in others languages), and an article which will be published on Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics. As soons as its published, I'll also add the reference in here.--Fabiofreitas (talk) 00:10, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

I have made some minor changes, being the most importants: Niels Bohr was not considered THE father of quantum mechanics, but one of its founding fathers, therefore I changed the text so it could keep it's meaning while being correct. I also changed that Everett believed in quantum immortality. There's no evidence of this, not written not spoken. Somes supporters of his interpretation today, like Deustch and Tegmark, claim that it would be possible some kind of quantum immortality, but such ideas only appeared after Everett's death. Any questions outside the scope of this article, please send me a message.--Fabiofreitas (talk) 00:27, 7 July 2008 (UTC) Ps. If the reference is not in the style of Wikipedia, please do correct it, since I don't know how.

There is evidence that Everett believed in quantum immortality and a reference will be supplied supporting this. --Michael C. Price talk 08:03, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
Dear Price, now I'm doing my Ph.D. studies in history of Physics. Right now, I'm at Max Planck Institute for History of Science, in Berlin, Germany, preparing my talk to HQ2 conference on history of Quantum Mechanics ( I've been working with Everett's writings since 2004 and I can say I've ready everything he has ever written on QM I can certainly, with no doubt, say that he has NEVER written a single word about it. You might say that this is a consequence of his interpretation, but it's just MISLEADING to say that HE himself believed in quantum immortality. I do understand that you have much more experience in Wikipedia than I do (I'm just a begginer in this), but unless you do provide some evidence that he indeed believed in Quantum Immortality, you should redo the changes that I've made. --Fabiofreitas (talk) 12:36, 7 July 2008 (UTC) Update: I just read the reference you gave on the article. This cannot be taken as a historical evidence. It's a recollection of a third person, written 19 years after the death of Everett. As I have argued before, the idea itself of quantum imortality didn't even existed back in the 70's. I'm leaving the decision upon you, but as a historian, this evidence wouldn't fit in any scientific article, therefore I believe that although the language of wikipedia should be for a broader audience, we should not, by any means, loosen the requisites of rigor in writing here. If it's not suitable, as evidence, in a scientific paper, then it should not also be in here. --Fabiofreitas (talk) 12:51, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
I agree that Everett probably wrote nothing about quantum immortality. And it's also true that this is a recollection after the event by a work colleague (Keith Lynch) -- but so are many other sayings attributed to scientists (e.g. Schrodinger's distaste for quantum jumps is attributed to him from Heisenberg years later, but people accept that as a reliable source). But Keith Lynch was also a physicist (perhaps the only one that Everett discussed MWI with after Princeton, apart from DeWitt) who would have understood the concepts at the time - which makes him a reliable witness, in my opinion, but I can understand that others can reasonably take a different view. I consider quite likely that Everett did think about quantum immortality even before the term was coined; in my opinion it is quite an obvious concept -- in fact I'd be amazed if the idea hadn't occurred to Everett in the 23+ years after 1957 available to him before his death.
I've just read the link to your talk -- very interesting. I'd never heard of Everett's involvement in the 1962 Xavier conference. Looks like some new material is entering the public domain; excellent! --Michael C. Price talk 13:15, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

the section of the article where it says that everett believed in quantum immortality, however he never admitted it is not clear to me. How can we say that he believed in it if he never admitted it? Unfortunately, I do not feel I know enough about the subject to change it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:02, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 09:54, 10 November 2007 (UTC)


The intro strikes me as problematic... We're using an unpublished book? That violates at least 2 guidelines: WP:V and WP:SNOW, and likely others. Also, even if we accept that Everett died in penury, that doesn't seem to contradict the idea that he made millions off his math acumen. It's perfectly possible to become a multimillionaire and die poor (eg. the man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo). -- (talk) 18:57, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

About to be published, I believe. But I agree with your point, that he might have made million(s) and then lost it.--Michael C. Price talk 00:18, 6 May 2009 (UTC)


the description of his education is unclear. it describes him defending his dissertation, but never mentions princeton conferring the doctorate. this is compounded by the image of the (later) cerificate, on which he is listed as 'mr.' hugh everett. did he get the ph.d.? Toyokuni3 (talk) 17:03, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

sorry, i see it now in the second paragraph. perhaps that should be moved to where it fits chronologically?Toyokuni3 (talk) 17:06, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
It's difficult to decide what's best -- Everett switched back and forth for a few years between academia and the military. The article tries to talk about these two activities separately; perhaps it should just describe everything chronologically. --Michael C. Price talk 19:39, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

Info in Later Recognition possibly not accurate[edit]

Claims denoted with "citation required" in the second paragraph of this section contain weasel words and are not verifiable in the references given at the end of paragraph. Specifically: it is not clear from the cited references that the talk was quite well received and who the number of physicists in the audience were who were influenced (and how?) by this talk. Similarly, David Deutsch was a graduate student at the time and not yet a physicist at the time. --Methylene Blue 14:19, 28 August 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Methylene Blue (talkcontribs)

I guess that depends on whether a grad student can be a physicist. I would have thought so, since they can and do publish papers. But the text is explicit that Deutsch was a grad student at the time.
Re "well received" Everett is recorded as being in high spirits after the talk (this is currently unreferenced, I'll grant you).
I believe, from a photograph I saw but which I can't now locate, that Paul C W Davies attended the talk, but I have no reference for this. --Michael C. Price talk 10:18, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

Quantum Immortality[edit]

It seems irrelevant and irreverent to mention that Everett believed in quantum immortality in the same sentence as his death. There is no evidence that he believed that he would live forever in this universe, just in at least one, so it is a belief related to his physics theories, not relevant to his death "in this universe". Lucifer-oxy (talk) 03:50, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

No irreverence intended by association. It just seemed a natural segue.--Michael C. Price talk 10:07, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

Obesity, chain-smoking and drinking[edit]

“Everett's obesity, constant chain-smoking and heavy drinking almost certainly contributed to [his untimely death].” — from the current article. This is lacking citations; I googled up his photographs, and found not a single one were he would look obese. I am adding a citation request; please feel free to remove if unappropriate. — Fregimus (talk) 11:27, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Have a look at Everett on wikiquotes, his son describes him as such. (I agree the photos don't really make him look so bad.) --Michael C. Price talk 19:06, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, Michael, for locating the citation. Fregimus (talk) 00:23, 1 February 2010 (UTC)