Wheeler and Feynman's idea of single electron universe says that all the electrons and positrons are in fact a single particle bouncing forward and backward in time.

I don't get the nature of bouncing phenomenon here. We observe multiple electrons simultaneously, so does this mean that the bouncing occur in infinite speed and no time? Is this possible? How should we understand that "bouncing"?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ "Bouncing" makes it sound like the electron is moving from one place to another as a function of time, but if the electron can switch directions through time, then for any particular slice of time, you can see that one electron in multiple places. $\endgroup$
    – DanielSank
    Jul 4, 2018 at 0:18

1 Answer 1


It was just a "what if" discussion, as this link shows;

Feynman was struck by Wheeler's insight that antiparticles could be represented by reversed world lines, and credits this to Wheeler, saying in his Nobel speech:

“ I did not take the idea that all the electrons were the same one from [Wheeler] as seriously as I took the observation that positrons could simply be represented as electrons going from the future to the past in a back section of their world lines. That, I stole!

It never was a complete model , as there is an asymmetry between electrons and positrons in numbers, and all those other pesky particles discovered since then. But it proved a useful idea of Wheeler with use in Feynman diagrams.

So understanding that "bouncing" , is understanding how to read Feynman diagrams and decide on the limits in the integrals they represent when a calculation is done.


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