Richard P. Feynman Quotes


 

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

“There’s a big difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.”

“Science is what we have learned about how to keep from fooling ourselves.”

“You have to have absolute confidence. Keep right on going, and nothing will happen.”

“Thank you very Much, I enjoyed myself”

“I don’t know anything, but I do know that everything is interesting if you go into it deeply enough.”

“The ‘paradox’ is only a conflict between reality and your feeling of what reality ‘ought to be’.”

“all ordinary phenomena can be explained by the actions and the motions of particles. For”

“The other great heritage is Christian ethics—the basis of action on love, the brotherhood of all men, the value of the individual, the humility of the spirit. These two heritages are logically, thoroughly consistent.”

“To every man is given the key to Heaven. The same key opens the gates of Hell.”

“Even a very small effect sometimes requires profound changes in our ideas”

“Science is a people-driven activity like all human endeavor, and just as subject to fashion and whim.”

“Science is a long history of learning how not to fool ourselves.”

“Hence, if you wish to evaporate water turn on the fan!”

“frogs are made of the same ‘goup’ as rocks, only in different arrangements. So”

“So when you try to squeeze light too much to make sure it’s going in only a straight line, it refuses to cooperate and begins to spread out.”

“For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.

“I believe that to solve any problem that has never been solved before, you have to leave the door to the unknown ajar.”

“I’m not responsible for what other people think I am able to do; I don’t have to be good because they think I’m going to be good.”

“I was born not knowing and have only had a little time to change that here and there.”

“Odiaría morir dos veces, sería tan aburrido!.”

 

“I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong.”

“I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there.”

“I learned how to look at life in a way that’s different from the way it is where I come from.”

“How you get to know is what I want to know.”

“I was born not knowing and have only had a little time to change that here and there.”

“Never confuse education with intelligence, you can have a PhD and still be an idiot.”

“Why nature is mathematical is, again, a mystery.”

“Everything is made of atoms.”

“I don’t know anything, but I do know that everything is interesting if you go into it deeply enough.”

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool.”

“the whole problem of discovering what was the matter, and figuring out what you have to do to fix it–that was interesting to me, like a puzzle”

“I have to keep going to find out ultimately what is the matter with it in the end.

“don’t know what’s the matter with people: they don’t learn by understanding; they learn by some other way—by rote,”

“To every man is given the key to Heaven. The same key opens the gates of Hell.”

 

“…the imagination of nature is far, far greater than the imagination of man.”

“the only thing that can be predicted is the probability of different events.”

“You can’t say A is made of B or vice versa. All mass is interaction.”

“Stop trying to fill your head with science – for to fill your heart with love is enough.”

“That was a very good way to get educated, working on the senior problems and learning how to pronounce things.”

“I learned from my father to translate: everything I read I try to figure out what it really means, what it’s really saying.”

“Science is the organized skepticism in the reliability of expert opinion.”

“I have no responsibility to live up to what others expect of me. That’s their mistake, not my failing.”

“I would rather have questions that can’t be answered than answers that can’t be questioned.”

“It doesn’t make a difference how beautiful your guess is. It doesn’t make a difference how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is. If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong.”

“Innovation is a very difficult thing in the real world”

“The things that mattered were honesty, independence, willingness to admit ignorance.”

“Things on a very small scale behave like nothing that you have any direct experience about.”

“There are thousands of years in the past, and there is an unknown amount of time in the future. There are all kinds of opportunities, and there are all kinds of dangers.”

 

“Philosophers say a great deal about what is absolutely necessary for science, and it is always, so far as one can see, rather naive, and probably wrong.”

“Physicists like to think that all you have to do is say, these are the conditions, now what happens next?”

“But there is nothing in biology yet found that indicates the inevitability of death.”

“I’d hate to die twice. It’s so boring.”

“Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.”

“Everything is interesting if you go into it deeply enough”

“That’s the trouble with not being in your own field: You don’t take it seriously.”

 

“What Do You Care What Other People Think?”

“Quantum mechanics describes nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And yet it fully agrees with experiment. So I hope you can accept nature as She is – absurd.”

“Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself. The principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.”

“If I could explain it to the average person, I wouldn’t have been worth the Nobel Prize.”

 

“There is no authority who decides what is a good idea.”

“I’m smart enough to know that I’m dumb.”

“In physics the truth is rarely perfectly clear, and that is certainly universally the case in human affairs. Hence, what is not surrounded by uncertainty cannot be the truth.”

“Tell your son to stop trying to fill your head with science — for to fill your heart with love is enough. ”

“We are lucky to live in an age in which we are still making discoveries. ”

“Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself. The principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.”

 

“It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.”

“Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry.”

“Words can be meaningless. If they are used in such a way that no sharp conclusions can be drawn.”

“Of course, you only live one life, and you make all your mistakes, and learn what not to do, and that’s the end of you.”

“Philosophy of science is about as useful to scientists as ornithology is to birds.”

“I… a universe of atoms, an atom in the universe.”

“People often think I’m a faker, but I’m usually honest, in a certain way–in such a way that often nobody believes me!”

“I think nature’s imagination Is so much greater than man’s, she’s never going to let us relax”

“Mathematics is a language plus reasoning; it is like a language plus logic. Mathematics is a tool for reasoning.”

“The first person you should be careful not to fool is yourself. Because you are the easiest person to fool”.”

“I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy.”

“I don’t know what’s the matter with people: they don’t learn by understanding; they learn by some other way—by rote, or something. Their knowledge is so fragile!”

 

“A poet once said, ‘The whole universe is in a glass of wine.’ We will probably never know in what sense he meant it, for poets do not write to be understood. But it is true that if we look at a glass of wine closely enough we see the entire universe. There are the things of physics: the twisting liquid which evaporates depending on the wind and weather, the reflection in the glass; and our imagination adds atoms. The glass is a distillation of the earth’s rocks, and in its composition we see the secrets of the universe’s age, and the evolution of stars. What strange array of chemicals are in the wine? How did they come to be? There are the ferments, the enzymes, the substrates, and the products. There in wine is found the great generalization; all life is fermentation. Nobody can discover the chemistry of wine without discovering, as did Louis Pasteur, the cause of much disease. How vivid is the claret, pressing its existence into the consciousness that watches it! If our small minds, for some convenience, divide this glass of wine, this universe, into parts — physics, biology, geology, astronomy, psychology, and so on — remember that nature does not know it! So let us put it all back together, not forgetting ultimately what it is for. Let it give us one more final pleasure; drink it and forget it all!”

“All the time you’re saying to yourself, ‘I could do that, but I won’t,’ — which is just another way of saying that you can’t.”

“Physics isn’t the most important thing. Love is.”

“I don’t know what’s the matter with people: they don’t learn by understanding, they learn by some other way — by rote or something. Their knowledge is so fragile!”

“What I cannot create, I do not understand.”

“I couldn’t claim that I was smarter than sixty-five other guys–but the average of sixty-five other guys, certainly!”

“To every man is given the key to the gates of heaven. The same key opens the gates of hell.

And so it is with science.”

“I learned from her that every woman is worried

about her looks, no matter how beautiful she is.”

“Learn what the rest of the world is like. The variety is worthwhile.”

“I always do that, get into something and see how far I can go.”

 

“If you thought that science was certain – well, that is just an error on your part.”

“We are at the very beginning of time for the human race. It is not unreasonable that we grapple with problems. But there are tens of thousands of years in the future. Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions, and pass them on.”

“The highest forms of understanding we can achieve are laughter and human compassion.”

“Poets say science takes away from the beauty of the stars – mere globs of gas atoms. I too can see the stars on a desert night, and feel them. But do I see less or more? The vastness of the heavens stretches my imagination – stuck on this carousel my little eye can catch one – million – year – old light. A vast pattern – of which I am a part… What is the pattern, or the meaning, or the why? It does not do harm to the mystery to know a little about it. For far more marvelous is the truth than any artists of the past imagined it. Why do the poets of the present not speak of it? What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?”

“I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong.”

“We are trying to prove ourselves wrong as quickly as possible, because only in that way can we find progress.”

“It doesn’t seem to me that this fantastically marvelous universe, this tremendous range of time and space and different kinds of animals, and all the different planets, and all these atoms with all their motions, and so on, all this complicated thing can merely be a stage so that God can watch human beings struggle for good and evil – which is the view that religion has. The stage is too big for the drama.”

“Nobody ever figures out what life is all about, and it doesn’t matter. Explore the world. Nearly everything is really interesting if you go into it deeply enough.”

“For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.”

“Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.”

“Physics is like s*x: sure, it may give some practical results, but that’s not why we do it.”

“I would rather have questions that can’t be answered than answers that can’t be questioned.”

“You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish. I have no responsibility to be like they expect me to be. It’s their mistake, not my failing.”

“Fall in love with some activity, and do it! Nobody ever figures out what life is all about, and it doesn’t matter. Explore the world. Nearly everything is really interesting if you go into it deeply enough. Work as hard and as much as you want to on the things you like to do the best. Don’t think about what you want to be, but what you want to do. Keep up some kind of a minimum with other things so that society doesn’t stop you from doing anything at all.”

“I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.”

“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.”

“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.”

 

“There are 10^11 stars in the galaxy. That used to be a huge number. But it’s only a hundred billion. It’s less than the national deficit! We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *