During the Middle Ages there were all kinds of crazy ideas, such as that a piece of rhinoceros horn would increase potency. Then a method was discovered for separating the ideas - which was to try one to see if it worked, and if it didn't work, to eliminate it. This method became organized, of course, into science.
My friends and I had taken dancing lessons, although none of us would ever admit it. In those depression days, a friend of my mother was trying to make a living by teaching dancing in the evening, in an upstairs dance studio. There was a back door to the place, and she arranged it so the young men could come up through the back way without being seen.
It requires a much higher degree of imagination to understand the electromagnetic field than to understand invisible angels. ... I speak of the E and B fields and wave my arms and you may imagine that I can see them ... [but] I cannot really make a picture that is even nearly like the true waves.
We are very lucky to be living in an age in which we are still making discoveries. It is like the discovery of America-you only discover it once. The age in which we live is the age in which we are discovering the fundamental laws of nature, and that day will never come again. It is very exciting, it is marvelous, but this excitement will have to go.
To do any important work in physics a very good mathematical ability and aptitude are required. Some work in applications can be done without this, but it will not be very inspired. If you must satisfy your "personal curiosity concerning the mysteries of nature" what will happen if these mysteries turn out to be laws expressed in mathematical terms (as they do turn out to be)? You cannot understand the physical world in any deep or satisfying way without using mathematical reasoning with facility.
I do believe that there is a conflict between science and religion ... the spirit or attitude toward the facts is different in religion from what it is in science. The uncertainty that is necessary in order to appreciate nature is not easily correlated with the feeling of certainty in faith.
It is in the admission of ignorance and the admission of uncertainty that there is a hope for the continuous motion of human beings in some direction that doesn't get confined, permanently blocked, as it has so many times before in various periods in the history of man.
I am going to tell you what nature behaves like. If you will simply admit that maybe she does behave like this, you will find her a delightful, entrancing thing. Do not keep saying to yourself, if you can possibly avoid it, 'But how can it be like that?' ...Nobody knows how it can be like that.
I have a friend who's an artist, and he sometimes takes a view which I don't agree with. He'll hold up a flower and say, "Look how beautiful it is," and I'll agree. But then he'll say, "I, as an artist, can see how beautiful a flower is. But you, as a scientist, take it all apart and it becomes dull." I think he's kind of nutty. [...] There are all kinds of interesting questions that come from a knowledge of science, which only adds to the excitement and mystery and awe of a flower. It only adds. I don't... Read more »
What do I advise? Forget it all. Don't be afraid. Do what you get the most pleasure from. Is it to build a cloud chamber? Then go on doing things like that. Develop your talents wherever they may lead. Damn the torpedoes - full speed ahead!If you have any talent,or any occupation that delights you,do it, and do it to the hilt
When you are thinking about something you don't understand you have a terrible, uncomfortable feeling called confusion. The confusion is, because we are all some kind of apes that are kind of stupid trying to figure out how to put two sticks together to reach the banana, and we can't quite make it. So I always feel stupid. Once in a while, I put the two sticks together, and I reach the banana.
It is to be emphasized that no matter how many [amplitude] arrows we draw, add, or multiply, our objective is to calculate a single final arrow for the event . Mistakes are often made by physics students at first because they do not keep this important point in mind. They work for so long analyzing events involving a single photon that they begin to think that the arrow is somehow associated with the photon [rather than with the event].