Description: As a close friend and collaborator of John Wheeler's, Bryce S. DeWitt was one of the first people to see a draft of the short version of Hugh Everett's thesis (he did not read the longer version until much later, as is evidenced by some of the complaints in this letter). In May 1957, DeWitt wrote a long and thoughtful letter to Wheeler about how Everett's theory had conceptual parallels with Einstein's theory of general relativity. Wheeler promptly forwarded a copy of the letter to Everett. DeWitt was unhappy with both wave function collapse and the Copenhagen Interpretation. He wrote that Everett's formalistic argument for pure wave mechanics was `"beautifully consistent''. But he could not accept the ontological ramifications of the theory because, `"I simply do not branch.'' This document is Everett's copy of the letter, as reproduced by Wheeler's secretary. It differs from Wheeler's own copy by several sentences at the bottom of page 4, cut off during the reproduction process. It is likely that Everett never saw these missing sentences.
Rights: This material is provided for private study, scholarship, or research. Transmission or reproduction of any material protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners and Professor Jeffrey A. Barrett. The author(s) of the material or their heirs retain copyright to this material.
Used with the permission of the copyright holder and the estate of Hugh Everett, III.
Provenance: This document was found in the basement of Mark Everett in 2007 by Mark Everett and Peter Byrne.
Publisher: University of California, Irvine Libraries. Irvine, California 92623-9557. http://www.lib.uci.edu.