Quotations about   physics

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Physics is, hopefully, simple. Physicists are not.

Edward Teller (1908-2003) Hungarian-American theoretical physicist
Conversations on the Dark Secrets of Physics, ch. 10 (1991) [with Wendy Teller and Wilson Talley]
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Added on 9-Mar-21 | Last updated 9-Mar-21
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If a man were to leap off the Eiffel Tower, mathematics could predict how long it would take him to hit the ground, but not why he chose to jump in the first place.

Ian Stewart b. 1945) English mathematician, author
Does God Play Dice? (1989)
Added on 20-Jan-21 | Last updated 20-Jan-21
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Science is like sex: sometimes something useful comes out, but that is not the reason we are doing it.

Richard Feynman (1918-1988) American physicist
(Attributed)

Many variations can be found for this quotation (none of them with citation); the word "Science" and "Physics" are often interchanged:
  • "Science is like sex, it has its practical purposes, but that's not why we do it."
  • "Science is like sex. Sometimes something useful comes out, but that is not why we are doing it."
  • Physics is like sex. Sure, it may give some practical results, but that's not why we do it."
As noted here, Frank Oppenheimer (a colleague of Feynman's) was quoted saying, "There's a lot of practical fruits to understanding, but it's like sex. There are practical fruits to sex, but nobody would say that's why you do it, normally." Feynman and Oppenheimer may well have collaborated on the general phrasing, or taken it from one another.
Added on 30-May-12 | Last updated 10-Jan-20
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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 Feynman (1918-1988) American physicist
The Character of Physical Laws ch. 3 “The Great Conservation Principles” (1965)
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Added on 9-Apr-08 | Last updated 10-Jan-20
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We cannot define anything precisely! If we attempt to, we get into that paralysis of thought that comes to philosophers who sit opposite each other, one saying to the other, “You don’t know what you are talking about!”. The second one says, “What do you mean by know? What do you mean by talking? What do you mean by you?” and so on.

Richard Feynman (1918-1988) American physicist
The Feynman Lectures on Physics, Volume I, 8-2 “Motion” (20 Oct 1961)
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Added on 25-Mar-08 | Last updated 10-Jan-20
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