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Richard P. Feynman quotes (showing 31-60 of 216)

“Philosophy of science is about as useful to scientists as ornithology is to birds.”
Richard P. Feynman
“When it came time for me to give my talk on the subject, I started off by drawing an outline of the cat and began to name the various muscles.

The other students in the class interrupt me: "We *know* all that!"

"Oh," I say, "you *do*? Then no *wonder* I can catch up with you so fast after you've had four years of biology." They had wasted all their time memorizing stuff like that, when it could be looked up in fifteen minutes.”
Richard P. Feynman, Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character
“No government has the right to decide on the truth of scientific principles, nor to prescribe in any way the character of the questions investigated. Neither may a government determine the aesthetic value of artistic creations, nor limit the forms of literacy or artistic expression. Nor should it pronounce on the validity of economic, historic, religious, or philosophical doctrines. Instead it has a duty to its citizens to maintain the freedom, to let those citizens contribute to the further adventure and the development of the human race.”
Richard P. Feynman
“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!”
Richard P. Feynman
tags: humor
“So I have just one wish for you – the good luck to be somewhere where you are free to maintain the kind of integrity I have described, and where you do not feel forced by a need to maintain your position in the organization, or financial support, or so on, to lose your integrity. May you have that freedom.”
Richard P. Feynman, Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character
“What I cannot create, I do not understand.”
Richard P. Feynman
“I couldn't claim that I was smarter than sixty-five other guys--but the average of sixty-five other guys, certainly!”
Richard P. Feynman, Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character
“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.”
Richard P. Feynman
“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.”
Richard P. Feynman, Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character
“You say you are a nameless man. You are not to your wife and to your child. You will not long remain so to your immediate colleagues if you can answer their simple questions when they come into your office. You are not nameless to me. Do not remain nameless to yourself — it is too sad a way to be. Know your place in the world and evaluate yourself fairly, not in terms of the naïve ideals of your own youth, nor in terms of what you erroneously imagine your teacher's ideals are.”
Richard P. Feynman
“Mathematics is a language plus reasoning; it is like a language plus logic. Mathematics is a tool for reasoning.”
Richard P. Feynman, The Character of Physical Law
“Well, Mr. Frankel, who started this program, began to suffer from the computer disease that anybody who works with computers now knows about. It's a very serious disease and it interferes completely with the work. The trouble with computers is you *play* with them. They are so wonderful. You have these switches - if it's an even number you do this, if it's an odd number you do that - and pretty soon you can do more and more elaborate things if you are clever enough, on one machine.

After a while the whole system broke down. Frankel wasn't paying any attention; he wasn't supervising anybody. The system was going very, very slowly - while he was sitting in a room figuring out how to make one tabulator automatically print arc-tangent X, and then it would start and it would print columns and then bitsi, bitsi, bitsi, and calculate the arc-tangent automatically by integrating as it went along and make a whole table in one operation.

Absolutely useless. We *had* tables of arc-tangents. But if you've ever worked with computers, you understand the disease - the *delight* in being able to see how much you can do. But he got the disease for the first time, the poor fellow who invented the thing.”
Richard P. Feynman, Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character
“Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry.”
Richard P. Feynman
“So my antagonist said, "Is it impossible that there are flying saucers? Can you prove that it's impossible?" "No", I said, "I can't prove it's impossible. It's just very unlikely". At that he said, "You are very unscientific. If you can't prove it impossible then how can you say that it's unlikely?" But that is the way that is scientific. It is scientific only to say what is more likely and what less likely, and not to be proving all the time the possible and impossible.”
Richard P. Feynman
“There were lot of fools at the conference – pompous fools – and pompous fools drive me up the wall. Ordinary fools are alright; you can talk to them and try to help them out. But pompous fools – guys who are fools and covering it all over and impressing people as to how wonderful they are with all this hocus pocus – THAT, I CANNOT STAND! An ordinary fool isn’t a faker; an honest fool is alright. But a dishonest fool is terrible!”
Richard P. Feynman, Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character
tags: humor
“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.”
Richard P. Feynman
“Words can be meaningless. If they are used in such a way that no sharp conclusions can be drawn.”
Richard P. Feynman, The Meaning of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist
“There is no authority who decides what is a good idea.”
Richard P. Feynman
“(Joan,1941) She wrote me a letter asking,"How can I read it?,Its so hard." I told her to start at the beginning and read as far as you can get until you're lost. Then start again at the beginning and keep working through until you can understand the whole book. And thats what she did”
Richard P. Feynman
“Ordinary fools are all right; you can talk to them, and try to help them out. But pompous fools-guys who are fools and are covering it all over and impressing people as to how wonderful they are with all this hocus pocus-THAT, I CANNOT STAND! An ordinary fool isn't a faker; an honest fool is all right. But a dishonest fool is terrible!”
Richard P. Feynman
“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.”
Richard P. Feynman
“[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.”
Richard P. Feynman
“I think nature's imagination Is so much greater than man's, she's never going to let us relax”
Richard P. Feynman
“I learned from her that every woman is worried
about her looks, no matter how beautiful she is.”
Richard P. Feynman, Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character
“I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy.”
Richard P. Feynman
“We are lucky to live in an age in which we are still making discoveries. ”
Richard P. Feynman
“Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain.”
Richard P. Feynman
“I'd hate to die twice. It's so boring.”
Richard P. Feynman
“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”
Richard P. Feynman


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