2. PHYSICS

Subsections

2.2 PHYSICS QUOTES

Index | Comments and Contributions | previous:2.1 physics poetry


physics
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March 11
May 11
p.austin#NoSpam.info.curtin.edu.au (Peter Austin)
"Very strange people, physicists - in my experience the ones who aren't
dead are in some way very ill"
-Mr Standish "The Long Dark Tea-Time Of The Soul" by Douglas Adams

physics engineering
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It is not uncommon for engineers to accept the reality of phenomena that
are not yet understood, as it is very common for physicists to disbelieve
the reality of phenomena that seem to contradict contemporary beliefs of
physics - H. Bauer

physics
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From: Ian Ellis <ian#NoSpam.iglou.com>
December 25
March 30
Special Category: Isaac Newton
Newton sat in an orchard, and an apple, plumping down on his head, started
a train of thought which opened the heavens to us. Had it been in
California, the size of the apples there would have saved him the trouble
of much thinking thereafter, perhaps, opening the heavens to him, and not
to us. [clipped from "TheCourier-Journal," Louisville, KY]
  --        Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887), American clergyman

mathematics physics
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Februari 8
March 17
 ...it would be better for the true physics if there were no mathematicians
on earth. - Daniel (no, not Daniel or Jakob) Bernoulli

physics
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Special Category: Niels Bohr
October 7
November 18
From: fcbaer#NoSpam.shentel.net (FRANK)

FRANK's Quotations for October 7 from Niels Bohr

Foraging Quote:
When it comes to atoms, language can be used only as in poetry.
The poet, too, is not nearly so concerned with describing facts
as with creating images.

Reflecting quote:
There are some things so serious you have to laugh at them.

Adopting quote:
It is wrong to think that the task of physics is to find out how
Nature is. Physics concerns what we say about Nature.

Nurturing Quote:
An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be
made in a very narrow field.

% Niels Bohr (1885-1962) born on October 7
Danish physicist; He was the major contributor for 50 years to
developing quantum physics and established the Bohr theory of the
atom.
(More from Bohr in the miscellany section)

physics
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Special Category: Max Born
Januari 5
December 11

No concealed parameters can be introduced with the help of which the
indeterministic description could be transformed into a deterministic one.
Hence if a future theory should be deterministic, it cannot be a
modification of the present one but must be essentially different.
-- M. Born (1949)

In 1952 the impossible was done.  -- John S. Bell, Referring to the Bohmian
mechanics(Speakable and unspeakable in quantum mechanics, 1987)

physics
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Special Category: Max Born
Januari 5
December 11

From: chollanamdo#NoSpam.mindspring.com (The Sanity Inspector)

	If God has made the world a perfect mechanism, He has at least
conceded so much to our imperfect intellects that in order to predict
little parts of it, we need not solve innumberable differential
equations, but can use dice with fair success.
	-- Max Born

physics
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Special Category: William Lawrence Bragg
March 31
July 1
The electron is not as simple as it looks.
-- (William) Lawrence Bragg, British Physicist(1890-1971)

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From: Susan K <texdove#NoSpam.onr.com>
I know that this defies the law of gravity, but, you see, I never studied
law.          -Bugs Bunny

physics
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From: moloch#NoSpam.starbase.neosoft.com (Anne Voelkel)

The rules of clockwork might apply to familiar objects such as
snookerballs, but when it comes to atoms, the rules are those of roulette.
---Paul Davies _God and the New Physics_

physics
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From: chollanamdo#NoSpam.mindspring.com (The Sanity Inspector)

...physicists, like theologians, are wont to deny that any
system is in principle beyond the scope of their subject.
	-- Paul Charles William Davies, _Superstrings: A Theory of
Everything_

physics
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July 20
From: eclayton#NoSpam.trincoll.edu (Edward Clayton)
Man will never reach the moon regardless of all future scientific advances.
  --     Dr. Lee De Forest, inventor of the vacuum tube and father of
      television.

physics
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From: "David R. Palmer" <mrmacro#NoSpam.starband.net>
Most sweeping understatement of all time...

Plutonium keeps better in small pieces.
-- Lester Del Rey,  Day of the Giants (1964), paraphrased.

physics
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From: kriman#NoSpam.acsu.buffalo.edu (Alfred M. Kriman)

@A: Dyson, Freeman J.
@Q:     We have learned that matter is weird stuff.  It is weird enough,
    so that it does not limit God's freedom to make it do what he pleases.
@R: Ch. 1, p. 8, _Infinite in All Directions: Gifford lectures given at
Aberdeen, Scotland, April-November 1985_; edited by the author (Harper &
Row, New York, 1988).

mathematics physics
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August 8
October 20
December 15
Special Category: Paul Dirac
From: chollanamdo#NoSpam.mindspring.com (The Sanity Inspector)

On being asked what he meant by the beauty of a mathematical
theory of physics, Dirac replied that if the questioner was a
mathematician then he did not need to be told, but were he not a
mathematician then nothing would be able to convince him of it.
	--Freeman Dyson

physics
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December 28
November 22
Special Category: Arthur Eddington
Schr५dinger's wave-mechanics is not a physical theory, but a dodge -- and a
very good dodge too.
Sir Arthur Eddington in Nature of the Physical World (Cambridge 1928)

mathematics physics
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December 15
Dyson, Freeman:
The bottom line for mathematicians is that the architecture has to be
right. In all the mathematics that I did, the essential point was to find
the right architecture. It's like building a bridge. Once the main lines of
the structure are right, then the details miraculously fit. The problem is
the overall design.
"Freeman Dyson: Mathematician, Physicist, and Writer". Interview with
Donald J. Albers, The College Mathematics Journal, vol 25, no. 1, January
1994.

physics
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"One thing they don't tell you about doing experimental physics is that
sometimes you must work under adverse conditions ... like a state of
sheer terror." -- W. K. Hartmann

physics
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Special Category: Arthur Eddington
December 28
November 22
"I am afraid the knockabout comedy of modern atomic physics is not
very tender towards our aesthetic ideals. The stately drama of
stellar evolution turns out to be more like the hair-breadth
escapades in the films. The music of the spheres has a painful
suggestion of -- jazz."

-- Arthur S. Eddington, Stars and Atoms, 1926.

physics
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December 28
November 22
Special Category: Arthur Eddington
From: "michaelprice" <michaelprice#NoSpam.ntlworld.com>

"The second law of thermodynamics holds, I think, the supreme position among
the laws of nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the
Universe is in disagreement with Maxwell's equations - then so much the worse
for Maxwell's equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation -
well, those experimentalists do bungle things up sometimes. but if your theory
is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope;
there is nothing to do but to collapse in deepest humiliation."

-- Arthur S. Eddington (British Astrophysicist, 1882-1944) in The nature
of the Physical World (1928)

physics
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Special Category: Arthur Eddington
December 28
November 22
I am standing on the treshold about to enter a room.  It is a complicated
business.  In the first place I must shove against an atmosphere pressing
with a force of fourteen pounds on every square inch of my body.  I must
make sure of landing on a plank travelling at twenty miles a second round
the sun - a fraction of a second too early or too late, the plank would be
miles away.  I must do this whilst hanging from a round planet, head
outward in space, and with a wind of aether blowing at no one knows how
many miles a second through every instice of my body.
-- Arthur S. Eddington (British Astrophysicist, 1882-1944) in The nature
of the Physical World (1928)

physics
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Special Category: Arthur Eddington
December 28
November 22
Eddington, Sir Arthur (1882-1944, British Astrophysicist)
I believe there are
15,747,724,136,275,002,577,605,653,961,181,555,468,044,717,914,527,116,709,366,231,425,076,185,631,031,296
protons in the universe and the same number of electrons.
The Philosophy of Physical Science. Cambridge, 1939.

physics
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Special Category: Paul Ehrenfest
Januari 18
September 25

Einstein,  my upset stomach hates your theory [Of general relativity] - it
almost hates you yourself!  How am I to provide for my students? What am I
to answer to the philosophers?!!  
   -- Paul Ehrenfest, Letter to Albert Einstein, 20 November 1919

physics
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From: Graham Weeks weeks-g#NoSpam.dircon.co.uk
Special Category: Albert Einstein
March 14
April 18
There is not the slightest indication that energy will ever be obtainable
from the atom.
Albert Einstein (1879--1955) in Robert Youngson, Scientific Blunders: A
brief history of how wrong scientists can sometimes be, Robinson,1998

physics
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Special Category: Albert Einstein
March 14
April 18
The more success the quantum theory has, the sillier it looks.
         -Albert Einstein  to Heinrich Zangger (May 20, 1912)

physics
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Special Category: Albert Einstein
March 14
April 18
May 29
The Doctoral student Ilse Rosenthal-Schneider asked Einstein in 1919 how he
would have reacted if his general theory of relativity had not been
confirmed experimentally that year by Arthur Eddington and Frank Dyson.

His answer was: "Then I would feel sorry for the good Lord.  The theory is
correct anyway."

physics
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Special Category: Albert Einstein
March 14
April 18
Two quotes from Albert Einstein:

The Lord God is subtle, but malicious he is not  [May 1922 to Oscar Veblen]

I have second thoughts.  Maybe God *is* malicious [To Valentine Bergman,
quoted in Sayen, Einstein in America]

physics
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Special Category: Albert Einstein
March 14
April 18
From : tomas_thefox2003#NoSpam.yahoo.ie (Tomेs Fuchsbauer)
As spotted on a post-card in Germany depicting Einstein in old age -
English translation : (the 'vice versa is my personal addition - after
all the ladies have a similar complaint about the men !)'

"Some men spend a lifetime in an attempt to comprehend the complexities of
women (or vice versa).  Others pre-occupy themselves with somewhat simpler
tasks, such as understanding the theory of relativity !"

physics
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Special Category: Enrico Fermi
September 29
November 28

From: Joe Fineman <joe_f#NoSpam.verizon.net>

If it's all right with Dirac, it's all right with me.

-- Enrico Fermi, on being told that there was direct experimental
   evidence that helium-3 nuclei obey Fermi-Dirac statistics.

physics
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Special Category: Enrico Fermi
September 29
November 28
Fermi was asked what characteristics physics Nobelists had in common.
He answered, "I cannot think of a single one, not even intelligence."
Enrico Fermi, Italian physicist, 1901-1954 (Phys Today, Oct 1994, pg70)

physics
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Special Category: Richard Feynman
May 11
Februari 15
From: cdhiv#NoSpam.aol.com (CDH IV = C. Dodd Harris IV)

"The next question was - what makes planets go around the sun? At the time
of Kepler some people answered this problem by saying that there were
angels behind them beating their wings and pushing the planets around an
orbit. As you will see, the answer is not very far from the truth. The
only difference is that the angels sit in a different direction and their
wings push inward."
                     -Richard Feynman _Character Of Physical Law_, p. 8

physics
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Special Category: Richard Feynman
May 11
Februari 15
From: "David C. Kifer" <dkifer#NoSpam.sky-access.com>
One does not, by knowing all the physical laws as we know them
today, immediately obtain an understanding of anything much.
- Richard Feynman (1918-1988)

physics
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Special Category: Richard Feynman
May 11
Februari 15
From: kriman#NoSpam.acsu.buffalo.edu (Alfred M. Kriman)

@A: Feynman, Richard P. (1918-1988)
@Q:Physicists like to think that all you have to do is say, these are
   the conditions, now what happens next?

physics
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Special Category: Richard Feynman
May 11
Februari 15
What I am going to tell you about is what we teach our physics students in
the third or fourth year of graduate school... It is my task to convince
you not to turn away because you don't understand it. You see my physics
students don't understand it... That is because I don't understand it.
Nobody does.

Feynman, Richard P. (1918-1988) b. Far Rockaway, New York
Richard P. Feynman, QED, The Strange Theory of Light and Matter, Penguin
Books, London, 1990, p 9. (1) \ Nobel Lecture, 1966

physics
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Special Category: Richard Feynman
May 11
Februari 15
Physics is like sex: sure, it may give some practical results, but that's
not why we do it. --Richard Feynman.

physics
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Special Category: Richard Feynman
May 11
Februari 15
From: chollanamdo#NoSpam.mindspring.com (The Sanity Inspector)

For those who want some proof that physicists are human, the
proof is in the idiocy of all the different units which they use for
measuring energy.
	-- Richard P. Feynman, _ The Character of Physical Law_

mathematics physics
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From: chollanamdo#NoSpam.mindspring.com (The Sanity Inspector)

A mathematician may say anything he pleases, but a physicists
must be at least partially sane.
	-- J. Willard Gibbs, quoted _The Scientific Monthly_,
December, 1944

physics
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Special Category: Niels Bohr
October 7
November 18
Special Category: Murray Gell-Mann
@A: Murray Gell-Mann
@Q: Niels Bohr brainwashed a whole generation of physicists into
believing that the problem [of the interpretation of quantum mechanics]
had been solved fifty years ago.
@R: Acceptance speech Noble Price (1976)

physics
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Januari 8
Special Category: Stephen Hawking
"My goal is simple. It is complete understanding of the universe, why it as
it is and why it exists at all."
Stephen Hawking

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Januari 8
Special Category: Stephen Hawking
Scientific discovery may not be better than sex, but the satisfaction lasts
longer  -- Stephen Hawking (BBC News, January 16, 2002)

physics
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Januari 8
Special Category: Stephen Hawking
Each equation ... in the book would halve the sales.
 -- Stephen Hawking (1942-..; English theoretical Physicist) in A Brief
history of time (1988)

physics
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From: David Metacarpa <dmetacarpa#NoSpam.veeco.com>

                  100 Dr. Hewitt quotes and terminology:

During the 1994-1995 year, I took theoretical physics I and II, under
Dr. C. Hewitt. Some classmates started to compile a list of his
quotes. Read and Enjoy!

* note - it may help to remember the derivation of something
* like Bessel's equation(spherical) to enjoy this to it's fullest!


1) And we can say shazam!, that's what we were hoping for.
2) recipes
3) sexy arithmetic
4) when the smoke clears
5) always plan ahead
6) Can I go home now, my brain is full?
7) zigs and zags
8) I'm going to have to massage them.
9) get your jollies
10) willy nilly
11) blips
12) Look at the rabbit in the hall.
13) Bessel's inequality is cool.
14) What's that got to do with the price of beans.
15) playing fast and loose with differentials
16) The particle can stick it's foot through the door and say "It's pretty
    murky in there." and back off.
17) mathematical trickery
18) You can amaze your friends at the next party you go to.
19) one of a plethora of conditions
20) Thank God for tender mercies.
21) circular membrane, that's French for drumhead
22) Let's everyone get some hairshirts and weat them because it's fun.
23) suppose I get cute with them
24) let's sneak up on them
25) it's a bootstrap proposition
26) If you think I'm way out in left field, I believe I made a note of that
    here somewhere.
27) Suppose the guy who built this was not a very good carpenter.
28) Analytic is French for the derivative will exist.
29) The world is run by right handed bigots.
30) Did I answer the question or just dodge it.
31) that has the unfortunate tendency to explode
32) At the next party you go to say "Give me a complex function." and
    lickety-split I can tell you if it's analytic or not.
33) I've got chalk up my nose.
34) Sympathy is in the dictionary between a crude model of defecation and a
    social disease.
35) looks apparently marvelous
36) a really neat suture or gash
37) and if there is a God in heaven
38) which I've very cleverly erased here
39) you have to diddle
40) You have to pick the right transform tools, you open the drawer and say
    do I want this W or this W.
41) I put a love note in your mail folder.
42) It goes to hell in a handbasket.
43) Lock the door and pull the shades.
44) It goes on past Canada.
45) An entirely different kettle of fish
46) If someone throws this at you and says, "Is this a conservative
    force?", you've got to be eating just the right box of Wheaties to say
    "Ah, yes!"
47) Now even tourists can study Fourier series.
48) Unless you enjoy wearing hairshirts and beating yourself with birch
    switches...
49) You're the one with the egg on your face.
50) pickle shaped with growth pimples
51) live in a world without pimples
52) cigar-shaped coordinates
53) Call it your Grandmother... I don't care.
54) You can integrate until the cows come home.
55) If you have nothing pressing to do over the weekend... there's no point
    in watching the Bills anymore.
56) What kind of barbarian are you the you worry about numbers.
57) Massage this!
58) I'm sure as hell not going to play poker with you people.
59) Now.... if that offends you.
60) For those who like to go to a cafeteria, a little of this, a little of
    that.
61) massage it gently
62) pick your brains
63) act of faith
64) and I can put it in a celluloid and put it in my shirt pocket
65) If you're looking for beauty in these things, you're a little strange.
66) It's the difference between putting a quarter in a jukebox and
    conducting a symphony.
67) Unless you've had a tortured childhood, you haven't looked at Legendre
    functions.
68) I did not think, I investigated.
69) e to the blah, blah, blah....
70) Wait.... I lied!
71) The mathematicians immediately went into the next room and were
    violently ill.
72) The druns will get very nervous.
73) In the complex plane there is only one zit where it is not analytic
74) Not if you eat your Wheaties and get a good nights sleep.
75) a quick and dirty number
76) Evaluate this if you are so smart with your methods.
77) Analytic is French for Cauchy-Riemann conditions.
78) Mathematicians are right-handed bigots too.
79) In terms of differential equations we've seen no more than a decent
    person ought to see.
80) d to the 0/dz to the 0, is just French for don't take any derivatives.
81) nonanalyiticity
82) I'm not burning all my bridges, I'm jumping off the side streams.
83) which looks apparently marvelous
84) You can cut them apart and sew the edges together if that upsets you.
85) A nice printed pat on the head and a thank-you for your attention
86) The sexier I make the strings of powers of x...
87) If we're living in the real world...
88) You're going to go completely drunk because you're nuts with power.
89) I've left myself a paradox here.
90) Let's say you have Casper the Ghost, with a bedsheet and a helium-
    loaded basketball underneath.
91) I'm not really enamored of the illumination provided.
92) What if it only looks like formica, but it's really pancake batter?
93) For what value of x will it give you something other than KABOOM!
94) You should be fairly exhausted by watching me go through these
    gyrations here.
95) Oh God, there must be gazillions of 'em.
96) You can start salivating already.
97) If my brain were functioning...
98) My brain has to be soaked with caffeine to work
99) ...and you can say "that's nice, but who cares?"
100) If you said Legendre to him he would go ape and dance around the room.
101) The value of sine of theta hasn't been greater than one since World War II
102) It's pure mathematics. It isn't dirty from having those barbarians
from engineering and physics playing with it.
103) you wang it and watch it vibrate
104) Nobody's looking, close the door so the mathematicians don't hear.
105) You're going to see this again, no matter how much you hope it will go
     away when I go away.
106) What would posses anyone to do this when they could be out sitting in
     the grass.
107) KFC isn't Kentucky Fried Chicken, it's roasted.
108) If you're not with me, I may as well be talking in Swahili.


physics
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From: chollanamdo#NoSpam.mindspring.com (The Sanity Inspector)

They could but make the best of it, and went around with
woebegone faces sadly complaining that on Mondays, Wednesdays, and
Fridays they must lool on light as a wave; on Tuesdays, Thursdays and
Saturdays, as a particle.  On Sundays they simply prayed.
	-- Banesh Hoffmann, _The Strange Story of the Quantum_

physics
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Physics is not difficult, it is just weird - Vincent Icke "The Force of
symmetry" (1994)

physics
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Special Category: Richard Feynman
May 11
Februari 15
From: "Keith E. Sullivan" <KSullivan#NoSpam.worldnet.att.net>
INCOMPREHENSIBLE NATURE

"This is the third of four lectures on a rather difficult subject -- the
theory of quantum electrodynamics -- and since there are obviously more
people here tonight than there were before, some of you haven't heard the
other two lectures and will find this lecture almost incomprehensible.
Those of you who *have* heard the other two lectures will also find this
lecture incomprehensible, but you know that that's all right: as I
explained in the first lecture, the way we have to describe Nature is
generally incomprehensible to us."  --Richard Feynman, from a lecture
published in the book QED

Ofer Inbar <cos#NoSpam.cs.brandeis.edu>
Quote of the Day <qotd-request#NoSpam.ensu.ucalgary.ca>

physics
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Special Category: Richard Feynman
May 11
Februari 15
From: mmcirvin#NoSpam.world.std.com (Matt McIrvin)

Near the end of "QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter.", Feynman is
demonstrating how all of the other interactions in the Standard Model are
analogous to the QED interaction (both QCD and weak interactions), and he
jokes that it's because:

"physicists can only think the same damn thing over and over."

(Of course, really, they thought some pretty remarkably different things
for a while, before the evidence for the astounding parallels started
coming in. 1960s literature on strong interactions is a baffling swamp
of bizarre theories.)

Incidentally, "QED" is an *excellent* popular book on modern physics,
one of the very best ever written. Also, it's short.

physics
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Special Category: David Hilbert
Januari 23
Februari 14
Physics is becoming too difficult for the physicists.
David Hilbert, Quoted in C Reid, Hilbert (London 1970)

physics
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June 26
December 17
Special Category: Lord Kelvin/William Thomson
From: eclayton#NoSpam.trincoll.edu (Edward Clayton)

 "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible."
       Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.

physics
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June 26
December 17
Special Category: Lord Kelvin/William Thomson
X-rays will prove to be a hoax.
       Lord Kelvin, while president of the Royal Society

physics
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June 26
December 17
Special Category: Lord Kelvin/William Thomson
From: Graham Weeks <weeks-g#NoSpam.dircon.co.uk>

Lord Kelvin (1824-1907) in Robert Youngson, Scientific Blunders: A brief
history of how wrong scientists can sometimes be, Robinson,1998

I have not the smallest molecule of faith in aerial navigation other
than ballooning, or of the expectation of good results from any of the
trials we hear of.'' Lord Kelvin (1824-1907), writing to Baden-Powell in
1896 in Robert Youngson, Scientific Blunders: A brief history of how
wrong scientists can sometimes be, Robinson,1998

Radio has no future. -- Lord Kelvin, 1897, on Marconi's experiments.

Trust you will avoid the gigantic mistake of alternating current.- Lord
Kelvin (1824-1907), writing to Niagara Falls Power Company.

physics
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June 26
December 17
Special Category: Lord Kelvin/William Thomson

From: Graham Weeks <weeks-g#NoSpam.dircon.co.uk>

At what point does the dissipation of energy begin?
 - Lord Kelvin's response to his wife's suggestion of an afternoon walk.

physics
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From: chollanamdo#NoSpam.mindspring.com (The Sanity Inspector)

Somehow, the energy is extracted from the vacuum and turned into
particles...Don't try it in your basement, but you can do it.
	-- University of Chicago cosmologist Rocky Kolb

physics
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From: Dennis Parker <dparker#NoSpam.onr.com>
Probability has turned modern science into a truth casino.
 --Bart Kosko in Fuzzy Thinking (The New Science of Fuzzy Logic)

physics
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From: c1prasad#NoSpam.watson.ibm.com (prasad)

What is mind?  No matter.
What is matter?  Never mind.  - Thomas Hewitt Key, 1799-1875
Punch Vol 29, 19 (1855)

physics
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From: aephraim@physics5 (Aephraim M. Steinberg)

To this day, lab directors keep a physics lecture on hand [to disperse
rabble-rousers]. Let us pray we never need to use it." -- Lederman

physics
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From: sichase#NoSpam.csa5.lbl.gov (SCOTT I CHASE)

Physics is not a religion.  If it were, we'd have a much easier time
raising money. - Leon Lederman

physics
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From: eclayton#NoSpam.trincoll.edu (Edward Clayton)
October 5
August 10

"Professor Goddard does not know the relation between action and reaction
and the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react.
He seems to lack the basic knowledge ladled out daily in high schools."
  --       1921 New York Times editorial about Robert Goddard's revolutionary
       rocket work.

From: John Beaderstadt <beady#NoSpam.together.org> Date: 1999/04/13
"Correction: It is now definitely established that a rocket can function
in a vaccuum. The 'Times' regrets the error." NY times, July 1969.

physics
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June 13
November 5
Special Category: James Clerk Maxwell

... that, in a few years, all great physical constants will have been
approximately estimated, and that the only occupation which will be left to
men of science will be to carry these measurements to another place of
decimals.
  -- James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879) [Scottish physicist]
Scientific Papers 2, 244, October 1871.

physics
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Special Category: Max Planck
April 23
October 4
Max Planck (1858 - 1947):
If anybody says he can think about quantum problems without getting giddy,
that only shows he has not understood the first thing about them. 

physics
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Special Category: Jules Henry Poincar़
April 29
July 17
Carlyle has somewhere said something like this: " Nothing but facts are
of importance. John Lackland passed by here. Here is something that is
admirable. Here is a reality for which I would give all the theories in the
world." Carlyle was a fellow countryman of Bacon; but Bacon would not have
said that. That is the language of the historian. The physicist would say
rather: "John Lackland passed by here; that makes no difference to me, for
he will never pass this way again." -- Henri Poincare

physics
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April 25
December 15
Special Category: Wolfgang Pauli

On a paper submitted by a physicist colleague:
"This isn't right.  This isn't even wrong."
-- Wolfgang Pauli, Austrian physicist (1900-1958)

physics
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Special Category: Ernest Rutherford
August 30
October 19
All science is either physics or stamp collecting.
-- Ernest Rutherford, New Zealand physicist (1871-1937)
Winner Nobel prize chemistry!! (1908)
Source given is JB Birks "Rutherford at Manchester," 1962.
More Rutherford in Miscellany section

physics
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Special Category: Ernest Rutherford
August 30
October 19
"It was as if you fired a 15-inch shell at a sheet of tissue paper and it
came back to hit you."
-- Ernest Rutherford, about the scattering of alpha particles from gold
foil, which resulted in the discovery of the atom nucleus.

physics
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November 9
December 20
Special Category: Carl Sagan
From: creator#NoSpam.islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)

"If you wish to make an apple pie truly from scratch, you must first invent
the universe." -- Carl Sagan (US physicist and astronomer,1934-1999)

physics
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From the remark of Sherlock Holmes "It's a capital mistake to theorize
before you have all the evidence" if follows that astronomers are bad
detectives.  -- Nick Schutgens, Phd thesis

mathematics physics
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December 5
April 26
If you want to be a physicist, you must do three thing -- First, study
mathematics, second, study more mathematics, and third, do the same.
  -- Arnold Sommerfeld (German Physicist, 1868-1951) in an interview with
  Paul Kirkpatrick, in "The physicsts" (1978) by Daniel J. Kevles.

physics
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Special Category: Definitions and terms
November 18
April 12
A physicist is an atom's way of knowing about atoms. - George Wald

physics
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April 25
December 15
Special Category: Wolfgang Pauli
It was absolutely marvelous working for Pauli. You could ask him anything.
There was no worry that he would think a particular question was stupid,
since he thought all questions were stupid.
 -- Victor Frederick Weisskopf

physics
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April 25
December 15
Special Category: Wolfgang Pauli
Special Category: Albert Einstein
March 14
April 18

What Einstein said wasn't all that stupid.

     -- Wolfgang Pauli as a student, after hearing Einstein, 20 years his
     senior give a lecture.

physics
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Who ordered that?
  - Isidor I. Rabi, on the discovery of the muon

physics
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Special Category: Norbert Wiener
November 26
March 18
The modern physicist is a quantum theorist on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
and a student of gravitational relativity theory on Tuesday, Thursday, and
Saturday. On Sunday he is neither, but is praying to his God that someone,
preferably himself, will find the reconciliation between the two views.
-- Norbert Wiener

physics
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November 17
Januari 1
Special Category: Eugene Wigner
From: aephraim@physics5 (Aephraim M. Steinberg)

WHY must I treat the measuring device classically??  What will happen
to me if I don't?? - Wigner, Eugene Paul. Hungarian/US physicist (1902-1995)

physics
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November 17
Januari 1
Special Category: Eugene Wigner
Physics is becoming so unbelievably complex that it is taking longer and
longer to train a physicist. It is taking so long, in fact, to train a
physicist to the place where he understands the nature of physical problems
that he is already too old to solve them.
 -- Eugene Wigner

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