John G. Cramer

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For the Australian politician, see John Cramer (Australian politician). For the television announcer, see John Cramer (entertainer).
John G. Cramer
John G. Cramer, 2012.jpg
Born John Gleason Cramer, Jr.
(1934-10-24) 24 October 1934 (age 82)
Houston, Texas, United States
Residence Seattle, Washington and Westport, New York, United States
Citizenship United States
Nationality American
Fields Nuclear physicist, Quantum physics, Ultra-relativistic heavy ion physics, HBT interferometry, novelist, popular science writer
Institutions University of Washington
Alma mater Rice University
Doctoral advisor Calvin M. Class
Known for Transactional Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, the novels Twistor and Einstein's Bridge, Member, External Council of NIAC/NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Activity
Spouse Pauline Cramer
Children Kathryn Cramer
John Cramer's Home Page

John Gleason Cramer, Jr. (born October 24, 1934) is a Professor Emeritus of Physics at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. He has been an active participant with the STAR (Solenoidal Tracker At RHIC) Experiment at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the particle accelerator at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland.

Early years[edit]

John Cramer was born in Houston, Texas. He attended Mirabeau B Lamar High School in Houston, and graduated with a BA in Physics from Rice University in 1957. He continued his studies, graduating with a MA in Physics from Rice University in 1959 and a Ph.D. in Physics from Rice University in 1961.[1]


Cramer served as a post doctoral fellow at Indiana University from 1961–63, and worked as an assistant professor at the same university from 1963-64. He served an assistant professor at University of Washington from 1964–68, as an associate professor from 1968–74 and was appointed as a full professor in 1974.[1]

From 2007 to 2014, Cramer investigated the possibility that quantum nonlocality might be used for communication between observers through the use of switchable interference patterns. In the course of this work, he gained new understanding of the "show stopper" within the quantum formalism that prevents such nonlocal signaling. For each interference pattern, Nature also provides and superimposes an "anti-interference pattern". These are always combined in a way that "erases" potential nonlocal signals. The two interference patterns complement each other, resulting in no perceptible interference pattern. Measurement changes can dramatically modify the individual interference patterns, but always so that this erasure occurs. In this way, Nature is protected from the possibility of retrocausal signaling and its consequences and paradoxes.[2][3]

Cramer makes regular appearances on the The Science Channel and on NPR Science Friday.[4]

Published works[edit]

In addition to his approximately 300 scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals,[5] John Cramer writes a regular column, "The Alternate View", appearing in every second issue, for Analog Science Fiction and Fact magazine. He also originated and published a paper on "The Transactional Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics" (TIQM) in July 1986,[6] which is inspired from the Wheeler–Feynman Time-symmetric theory.

His book on quantum mechanics, The Quantum Handshake: Entanglement, Nonlocality and Transactions (2015), published by Springer Verlag, is a comprehensive introduction to the transactional interpretation.

Cramer's simulation of the sound of the Big Bang, created using Mathematica, attracted some mainstream press attention in late 2003 and again in 2013. The simulation originated with an "Alternate View" article, "BOOMERanG and the Sound of the Big Bang" (January 2001).[7] Cramer describes the sound as "rather like a large jet plane 100 feet off the ground flying over your house in the middle of the night."

Cramer has published two novels, Twistor (1989) and Einstein's Bridge (1997), both within the hard science fiction genre. He also writes as a columnist for Analog. Cramer was the 2010 Science Guest of Honor at Norwescon, a large science fiction and fantasy convention in the Seattle area.

Alternate View columns in Analog[edit]

See also AV Columns Online

Title Volume / Part Date Pages Subject(s)
All about teleportation 128 / 07&08 July/August 2008 128-131 Teleportation
Tracking Adolf 128 / 10 October 2008 71-73 Genetic genealogy
Humans and estimating probability 129 / 03 March 2009 59-53 Inability of most to understand probability
Radioactive decay and the Earth-Sun distance 129 / 05 May 2009 61-63 Is there a correlation?
Connecting gravity with electricity 129 / 10 October 2009 59-61 Fundamental forces
Opus 150 : dark forces in the universe 129 / 12 December 2009 35-37 Dark matter
The nice way to make a solar system 130 / 03 March 2010 60-62 Evolution of the Solar System according to the Nice model
The ice man cometh : the icy reservoirs of the Solar System 130 / 05 May 2010 59-61 Icy bodies in the Oort cloud, Kuiper belt etc.
The deficiency of black holes at the LHC 131 / 07&08 July/August 2011 84-86 Could the CERN Large Hadron Collider produce black holes?
How Al Gore and I invented the Internet 133 / 03 March 2013 67-69 'Prehistory' of the Internet (1980s)
High-Z helium : is QED failing? 133 / 05 May 2013 44-46 Quantum electrodynamics and the Standard Model
Is our world just a computer simulation? 133 / 07&08 July/August 2013 132-134 Nick Bostrom's postulation
Planck : "Big Bang" sound in high fidelity 133 / 10 October 2013 51-53 Planck satellite mission

Awards and recognition[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Cramer married Pauline Ruth Bond in June, 1961. The couple have three children: Kathryn Cramer (born April, 1962), John G. Cramer III (born January 1964), and Karen Cramer (born April 1967).[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "CV J. Cramer" (PDF). Retrieved 21 Jan 2016. 
  2. ^ The Quantum Handshake: Entanglement, Nonlocality and Transactions by John G. Cramer, Springer Verlag in 2015, chapter 7.
  3. ^ arXiv paper (1409.5098 [quant-ph])
  4. ^ "J Cramer". Retrieved 21 Jan 2016. 
  5. ^ Scientific Publications of John G. Cramer, Professor of Physics, University of Washington (Current to February 2015).
  6. ^ The Transactional Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics - John Cramer's original paper
  7. ^ BOOMERanG and the Sound of the Big Bang at the University of Washington

External links[edit]