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550 Insightful Richard P. Feynman Quotes (2023)

1. “Science is like sex: sometimes something useful comes out, but that is not the reason we are doing it. ”


2. “atoms in the air scatter light from the sun and make the sky blue”


3. “ONE DAY at Princeton I was sitting in the lounge and overheard some mathematicians talking about the series for ex, which is 1 + x + x2/2! + x3/3!”


4. “We need to teach how doubt is not to be feared but welcomed. It’s OK to say, “I don’t know. ””


5. Nature is absurd: 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. 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


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


7. “Physics is to math what sex is to masturbation.”


8. “Investigating the forces that hold the nuclear particles together was a long task.” – Richard P. Feynman


9. “If science is to progress, what we need is the ability to experiment. ”


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


11. “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.”


12. “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!”


13. “Thank you very Much, I enjoyed myself”


14. “It is the facts that matter, not the proofs. Physics can progress without the proofs, but we can’t go on without the facts.” — Richard P. Feynman


15. “Learn concepts rather than merely facts.”


16. “If you thought you were trying to find out more about it because you're gonna get an answer to some deep philosophical question...you may be wrong! It may be that you can't get an answer to that particular question by finding out more about the character of nature. But my interest in science is to simply find out about the world.”


17. “How much do you value life?” “Sixty-four.”


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


19. “In general, we look for a new law by the following process: First we guess it; then we compute the consequences of the guess to see what would be implied if this law that we guessed is right; then we compare the result of the computation to nature, with experiment or experience, compare it directly with observation, to see if it works. If it disagrees with experiment, it is wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It does not make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it does not make any difference how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is — if it disagrees with experiment, it is wrong.”


20. “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?’ because you will get ‘down the drain’, into a blind alley from which nobody has yet escaped. Nobody knows how it can be like that.”


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


22. “Most likely anything that you think of that is possible isn’t true. In fact that’s a general principle in physics theories: no matter what a guy thinks of, it’s almost always false. ”


23. “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


24. “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.”


25. “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.”


26. “I don’t have to know an answer. I don’t feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in the mysterious universe without having any purpose – which is the way it really is, as far as I can tell.” — Richard P. Feynman


27. “I don’t feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without any purpose, which is the way it really is, as far as I can tell. Possibly. It doesn’t frighten me. ”


28. “I, a universe of atoms, an atom in the universe.” — Richard P. Feynman


29. “If you’re doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid—not only what you think is right about it: other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you’ve eliminated by some other experiment, and how they worked—to make sure the other fellow can tell they have been eliminated.”


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


31. “They were very upset when I said that the thing of greatest importance to mathematics in Europe was the discovery by Tartaglia that you can solve a cubic equation-which, altho it is very little used, must have been psychologically wonderful because it showed a modern man could do something no ancient Greek could do, and therefore helped in the renaissance which was the freeing of man from the intimidation of the ancients-what they are learning in school is to be intimidated into thinking they have fallen so far below their super ancestors.”


32. “I did that once when I was a student at MIT. I got sick and tired of having to decide what kind of dessert I was going to have at the restaurant, so I decided it would always be chocolate ice cream, and never worried about it again—I had the solution to that problem.”


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


34. “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. ”


35. “Gravitation is, so far, not understandable in terms of other phenomena.” – Richard P. Feynman


36. “We can't define anything precisely. If we attempt to, we get into the paralysis of thought that comes to philosophers... one saying to the other: you don't know what you are talking about! The second one says: what do you mean by talking? What do you mean by you? What do you mean by know?”


37. Teaching is an interruption, and so it’s the greatest pain in the neck in the world. And then there are the longer periods of time when not much is coming to you. You’re not getting any ideas, and if you’re doing nothing at all, it drives you nuts! You can’t even say “I’m teaching my class. ”


38. “Experiment is the sole judge of the validity of any idea. ”


39. “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.


40. “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool. So you have to be very careful about that. After you’ve not fooled yourself, it’s easy not to fool other scientists. You just have to be honest in a conventional way after that.”


41. “If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don’t understand quantum mechanics. ” — Richard Feynman


42. “Another most interesting change in the ideas and philosophy of science


43. “We’re always, by the way, in fundamental physics, always trying to investigate those things in which we don’t understand the conclusions. After we’ve checked them enough, we’re okay.” – Richard P. Feynman


44. “I was an ordinary person who studied hard. There's no miracle people!”


45. “Einstein was a giant. His head was in the clouds, but his feet were on the ground.” — Richard P. Feynman


46. “The worthwhile problems are the ones you can really solve or help solve, the ones you can really contribute something to.... No problem is too small or too trivial if we can really do something about it.”


47. “It is surprising that people do not believe that there is imagination in science. It is a very interesting kind of imagination, unlike that of the artist. The great difficulty is in trying to imagine something that you have never seen, that is consistent in every detail with what has already been seen, and that is different from what has been thought of; furthermore, it must be definite and not a vague proposition. That is indeed difficult.”


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


49. “Nature has a great simplicity and therefore a great beauty.”


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


51. “My father had the spirit and integrity of a scientist, but he was a salesman. I remember asking him the question "How can a man of integrity be a salesman?"


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


53. “I think for lesson number one, to learn a mystic formula for answering questions is very bad.”


54. “Take this neat little equation here. It tells me all the ways an electron can make itself comfortable in or around an atom. That's the logic of it. The poetry of it is that the equation tells me how shiny gold is, how come rocks are hard, what makes grass green, and why you can't see the wind. And a million other things besides, about the way nature works.”


55. “The game I play is a very interesting one. It's imagination, in a tight straightjacket.”


56. “I got a signed document from Bullock’s saying that they had such-and-such drawings on consignment. Of course, nobody bought any of them, but otherwise, I was a big success: I had my drawings on sale at Bullock’s!” – Richard P. Feynman


57. “Looking back at the worst times, it always seems that they were times in which there were people who believed with absolute faith and absolute dogmatism in something. And they were so serious in this matter that they insisted that the rest of the world agree with them. And then they would do things that were directly inconsistent with their own beliefs in order to maintain that what they said was true.”


58. “I think we should teach them [the people] wonders and that the purpose of knowledge is to appreciate wonders even more.”


59. “After the lecture, I talked to a student: “You take all those notes—what do you do with them?”


60. “First figure out why you want the students to learn the subject and what you want them to know, and the method will result more or less by common sense. ” — Richard Feynman


61. “anything can happen, in spite of what you’re pretty sure should happen.”


62. “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.”


63. “We are so used to looking at the world from the point of view of living things that we cannot understand what it means not to be alive, and yet most of the time the world had nothing alive on it. And in most places in the universe today there probably is nothing alive.”


64. I don’t know what the reason for this is. I think it is somehow a representation of the simplicity of nature. ”


65. “Of course, I am interested, but I would not dare to talk about them. In talking about the impact of ideas in one field on ideas in another field, one is always apt to make a fool of oneself. In these days of specialization there are too few people who have such a deep understanding of two departments of our knowledge that they do not make fools of themselves in one or the other.”


66. “If you take 1 divided by 243 you get .004115226337…It’s quite cute: It goes a little cockeyed after 559 when you’re carrying but it soon straightens itself out and repeats itself nicely. I thought it was kind of amusing.”


67. “Although my mother didn't know anything about science, she had a great influence on me as well. In particular, she had a wonderful sense of humor, and I learned from her that the highest form of understanding we can achieve are laughter and human compassion”


68. “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.”


69. “And then I thought to myself, "you know, what they think of you is so fantastic, it's impossible to live up to it. You have no responsibility to live up to it!"


70. “I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong.”


71. “The attempts to try to represent the electric field as the motion of some kind of gear wheels, or in terms of lines, or of stresses in some kind of material have used up more effort of physicists than it would have taken simply to get the right answers about electrodynamics. It is interesting that the correct equations for the behavior of light were worked out by MacCullagh in 1839. But people said to him: 'Yes, but there is no real material whose mechanical properties could possibly satisfy those equations, and since light is an oscillation that must vibrate in something, we cannot believe this abstract equation business'.”


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


73. “She wrote me a letter (Joan,1941) 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”


74. Never. ”


75. I, too, can see the stars on a desert night, and feel them. But do I see less or more?”


76. “I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy — and when he talks about a nonscientific matter, he will sound as naive as anyone untrained in the matter. ” — Richard Feynman


77. “Mathematics is not a science from our point of view, in the sense that it is not a natural science. The test of its validity is not experiment.”


78. “It was a kind of one-upmanship, where nobody knows what's going on, and they'd put the other one down as if they did know. They all fake that they know, and if one student admits for a moment that something is confusing by asking a question, the others take a high-handed attitude, acting as if it's not confusing at all, telling him that he's wasting their time... All the work they did, intelligent people, but they got themselves into this funny state of mind, this strange kind of self-propagating "education" which is meaningless, utterly meaningless.”


79. “Some people say, “How can you live without knowing?” I do not know what they mean. I always live without knowing. That is easy. How you get to know is what I want to know. ”


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


81. But, on the off-chance that it is in another direction – a direction obvious from an unfashionable view of field theory – who will find it? Only someone who has sacrificed himself by teaching himself quantum electrodynamics from a peculiar and unusual point of view; one that he may have to invent for himself. ”


82. “You see, I get so much fun out of thinking that I don’t want to destroy this pleasant machine that makes life such a big kick.”


83. “I mumbled something about how it was easy to calculate e to any power using that series (you just substitute the power for x). “Oh yeah?” they said, “Well, then, what’s e to the 3.3?” said some joker—I think it was Tukey. I say, “That’s easy. It’s 27.11.” Tukey knows it isn’t so easy to compute all that in your head. “Hey! How’d you do that?” Another guy says, “You know Feynman, he’s just faking it. It’s not really right.” They go to get a table, and while they’re doing that, I put on a few more figures: “27.1126,” I say. They find it in the table. “It’s right! But how’d you do it!” “I just summed the series.” “Nobody can sum the series that fast. You must just happen to know that one. How about e to the 3?” “Look,” I say. “It’s hard work! Only one a day!” “Hah! It’s a fake!” they say, happily. “All right,” I say, “It’s 20.085.”


84. “There was an interesting early relationship between physics and biology in which biology helped physics in the discovery of the conservation of energy, which was first demonstrated by Mayer in connection with the amount of heat taken in and given out by a living creature.”


85. “The idea is to try to give all the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another.” – Richard P. Feynman


86. “I don't mind not knowing. It doesn't scare me.”


87. “I must understand the world” he said.


88. “Religion gives inspiration to act well. Not only that, it gives inspiration to the arts and to many other activities of human beings.”


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


90. “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


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


92. “Do not read so much, look about you and think of what you see there. ”


93. “The first amazing fact about gravitation is that the ratio of inertial mass to gravitational mass is constant wherever we have checked it. The second amazing thing about gravitation is how weak it is.” – Richard P. Feynman


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


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


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


97. “I have a friend who's an artist and has sometimes taken a view which I don't agree with very well. He'll hold up a flower and say "look how beautiful it is," and I'll agree. Then he says "I as an artist can see how beautiful this is but you as a scientist take this all apart and it becomes a dull thing," and I think that he's kind of nutty. First of all, the beauty that he sees is available to other people and to me too, I believe. Although I may not be quite as refined aesthetically as he is ... I can appreciate the beauty of a flower. At the same time, I see much more about the flower than he sees. I could imagine the cells in there, the complicated actions inside, which also have a beauty. I mean it's not just beauty at this dimension, at one centimeter; there's also beauty at smaller dimensions, the inner structure, also the processes. The fact that the colors in the flower evolved in order to attract insects to pollinate it is interesting; it means that insects can see the color. It adds a question: does this aesthetic sense also exist in the lower forms? Why is it aesthetic? All kinds of interesting questions which the science knowledge only adds to the excitement, the mystery and the awe of a flower. It only adds. I don't understand how it subtracts.”


98. “Atoms are very special: they like certain particular partners, certain particular directions, and so on. It is the job of physics to analyze why each one wants what it wants.” – Richard P. Feynman, Richard Feynman quotes on physics


99. “It is really quite impossible to say anything with absolute precision, unless that thing is so abstracted from the real world as to not represent any real thing. ”


100. “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!”


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


102. “In this age of specialization men who thoroughly know one field are often incompetent to discuss another. ” — Richard Feynman


103. “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.”


104. These poor bastards could now sit and think clearly all by themselves, OK? So they don’t get an idea for a while: They have every opportunity to do something, and they’re not getting any ideas. I believe that in a situation like this a kind of guilt or depression worms inside of you, and you begin to worry about not getting any ideas. And nothing happens. Still no ideas come. ”


105. “Is science of any value? I think a power to do something is of value. Whether the result is a good thing or a bad thing depends on how it is used, but the power is a value.” – Richard P. Feynman


106. “There were several possible solutions of the difficulty of classical electrodynamics, any one of which might serve as a good starting point to the solution of the difficulties of quantum electrodynamics. ”


107. “All mass is interaction.”


108. “Scientific knowledge is an enabling power to do either good or bad — but it does not carry instructions on how to use it.” — Richard P. Feynman


109. “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.”


110. “I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.” It is one of the most repeated quotes of Richard Feynman (11 May 1918 – 15 February 1988), and is undoubtedly an unusual phrase coming from the mouth of a physicist. But the words make sense when you understand how Feynman’s fine mental gears worked, a man who was, in addition to one of the most renowned figures of theoretical physics of all time, one of the most popular scientists of the twentieth century.


111. “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”


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


113. “- Read everyday.


114. “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!”


115. “The thing that doesn’t fit is the thing that’s the most interesting: the part that doesn’t go according to what you expected. ” — Richard Feynman


116. “What one fool can understand, another can.” – Richard P. Feynman


117. “CURIOSITY DEMANDS THAT WE ASK QUESTIONS,


118. “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!”


119. “I don’t have to know an answer. I don’t feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in the mysterious universe without having any purpose - which is the way it really is, as far as I can tell. ”


120. “The scientist has a lot of experience with ignorance and doubt and uncertainty, and this experience is of very great importance, I think. When a scientist doesn’t know the answer to a problem, he is ignorant. When he has a hunch as to what the result is, he is uncertain. And when he is pretty damn sure of what the result is going to be, he is still in some doubt. We have found it of paramount importance that in order to progress, we must recognize our ignorance and leave room for doubt. Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty — some most unsure, some nearly sure, but none absolutely certain. Now, we scientists are used to this, and we take it for granted that it is perfectly consistent to be unsure, that it is possible to live and not know. But I don’t know whether everyone realizes this is true. Our freedom to doubt was born out of a struggle against authority in the early days of science. It was a very deep and strong struggle: permit us to question — to doubt — to not be sure. I think that it is important that we do not forget this struggle and thus perhaps lose what we have gained.”


121. “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.”


122. “The most remarkable discovery in all of astronomy is that the stars are made of atoms of the same kind as those on the earth.” – Richard P. Feynman


123. “Quarks came in a number of varieties – in fact, at first, only three were needed to explain all the hundreds of particles and the different kinds of quarks – they are called u-type, d-type, s-type.” – Richard P. Feynman


124. “It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is ... If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong.”


125. “I wouldn’t stop until I figured the damn thing out–it would take me fifteen or twenty minutes. But during the day, other guys would come to me with the same problem, and I’d do it for them in a flash. So for one guy, to do it took me twenty minutes, while there were five guys who thought I was a super-genius.”


126. “Every object is a mixture of lots of things, so we can deal with it only as a series of approximations and idealizations.”


127. “Impossible!” I said, without stopping to think that I was doubting the great Descartes. (It was a reaction I learned from my father: have no respect whatsoever for authority; forget who said it and instead look at what he starts with, where he ends up, and ask yourself, “Is it reasonable?”) I said, “How can you deduce one from the other?”


128. “I love only nature, and I hate mathematicians. ”


129. “If we were to name the most powerful assumption of all, which leads one on and on in an attempt to understand life, it is that all things are made of atoms, and that everything that living things do can be understood in terms of the jigglings and wigglings of atoms.”


130. “THE QUESTION IS, OF COURSE, IS IT GOING TO BE POSSIBLE TO AMALGAMATE EVERYTHING,


131. “A philosopher once said, "It is necessary for the very existence of science that the same conditions always produce the same results." Well, they don't!”


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


133. “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.” – Richard P. Feynman


134. “You can know the name of that bird in all the languages of the world, but when you’re finished, you’ll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird. You’ll only know about humans in different places, and what they call the bird… I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.”


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


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


137. “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 understand how it subtracts.”


138. “At some time people thought that the potential that people had was not developed because everyone was ignorant, and that education was the solution to the problem, that if all people were educated, we could perhaps all be Voltaires. But it turns out that falsehood and evil can be taught as easily as good.”


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


140. “I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong.” — Richard P. Feynman


141. “To those who do not know mathematics it is difficult to get across a real feeling as to the beauty, the deepest beauty, of nature ... If you want to learn about nature, to appreciate nature, it is necessary to understand the language that she speaks in.”


142. “My rule is, when you are unhappy, think about it. But when you’re happy, don’t. Why spoil it? You’re probably happy for some ridiculous reason and you’d just spoil it to know it. ”


143. “There is no harm in doubt and skepticism, for it is through these that new discoveries are made. ” — Richard Feynman


144. “I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy.” – Richard P. Feynman


145. They often ask profound questions that I’ve thought about at times and then given up on, so to speak, for a while. It wouldn’t do me any harm to think about them again and see if I can go any further now. The students may not be able to see the thing I want to answer, or the subtleties I want to think about, but they remind me of a problem by asking questions in the neighborhood of that problem. It’s not so easy to remind yourself of these things. ”


146. “And the result of this of course is that the politician must give an answer. And the result of this is that political promises can never be kept. It is a mechanical fact; it is impossible. The result of that is that nobody believes campaign promises. And the result of that is a general disparaging of politics, a general lack of respect for the people who are trying to solve problems, and so forth. It’s all generated from the very beginning (maybe—this is a simple analysis). It’s all generated, maybe, by the fact that the attitude of the populace is to try to find the answer instead of trying”


147. “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”: Adventures of a Curious Character — This one has been a bestseller for a long time for a good reason. Feynman comes across as interesting, fun, and brilliant in a series of vignettes he wrote about his life.


148. “Because atomic behavior is so unlike ordinary experience, it is very difficult to get used to, and it appears peculiar and mysterious to everyone – both to the novice and to the experienced physicist.” – Richard P. Feynman


149. “God was invented to explain mystery.” — Richard P. Feynman


150. “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


151. “There were a lot of fools at that conference—pompous fools—and pompous fools drive me up the wall. Ordinary fools are all right; you can talk to them, and try to help them out.”


152. “There is always another way to say the same thing that doesn’t look at all like the way you said it before. I don’t know what the reason for this is. I think it is somehow a representation of the simplicity of nature.” – Richard P. Feynman


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


154. “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.”


155. “There is nothing that living things do that cannot be understood from the point of view that they are made of atoms acting according to the laws of physics. ”


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


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


158. “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.” – Richard P. Feynman, Richard Feynman quotes on life


159. “The exception tests the rule. ”


160. “Nature isn’t classical, dammit, and if you want to make a simulation of nature, you’d better make it quantum mechanical. ”


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


162. “I don’t understand what it’s all about or what’s worth what, but if the people in the Swedish Academy decide that x, y or z wins the Nobel Prize, then so be it.” – Richard P. Feynman


163. The reason is, I have to have something so that when I don’t have any ideas and I’m not getting anywhere I can say to myself, “At least I’m living; at least I’m doing something; I’m making some contribution”–it’s just psychological. ”


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


165. “I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of uncertainty about different things, but I am not absolutely sure of anything and there are many things I don't know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we're here. I don't have to know an answer. I don't feel frightened not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without any purpose, which is the way it really is as far as I can tell.”


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


167. “I think, however, that there isn't any solution to this problem of education other than to realize that the best teaching can be done only when there is a direct individual relationship between a student and a good teacher --- a situation in which the student discusses the ideas, thinks about the things, and talks about the things.”


168. “THE SMARTEST MAN IN THE WORLD”


169. “How I'm rushing through this! How much each sentence in this brief story contains. "The stars are made of the same atoms as the earth." I usually pick one small topic like this to give a lecture on. Poets say science takes away from the beauty of the stars—mere globs of gas atoms. Nothing is "mere." 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 imagina-tion—stuck on this carousel my little eye can catch one-million-year-old light. A vast pattern—of which I am a part—perhaps my stuff was belched from some forgotten star, as one is belching there. Or see them with the greater eye of Palomar, rushing all apart from some common starting point when they were perhaps all together. 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! Why do the poets of the present not speak of it ? What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were like a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?”


170. “We seem gradually to be groping toward an understanding of the world of subatomic particles, but we really do not know how far we have yet to go in this task.” – Richard P. Feynman


171. “You know, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t reduce it to the freshman level. That means we really don’t understand it.”


172. “How can we tell whether the rules which we "guess" at are really right if we cannot analyze the game very well? There are, roughly speaking, three ways.


173. “I happen to know this, and I happen to know that, and maybe I know that;and I work everything out from there. Tomorrow I may forgot that this is true, but remember that something else is true, so I can reconstruct it all again. I am never quite sure of where I am supposed to begin or where I am supposed to end. I just remember enough all the time so that as the memory fades and some of the pieces fall out I can put the thing back together again every day”


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


175. It’s impossible to learn very much by simply sitting in a lecture, or even by simply doing problems that are assigned. But in our modern times we have so many students to teach that we have to try to find some substitute for the ideal. ”


176. “If a law does not work even in one place where it ought to, it is just wrong.”


177. “Physics is like sex: sure, it may give some practical results, but that's not why we do it.”


178. “Educate yourself about things. Study hard what interests you the most. Don't worry about what others think of you, that's none of your business. Train your mind to think, doubt, and question. That's how you grow.”


179. “It is necessary to look at the results of observation objectively, because you, the experimenter, might like one result better than another.” – Richard P. Feynman


180. “I don’t believe in honors, it bothers me, honors bother, honors is epaulettes, honors is uniforms. My papa brought me up this way. I can’t stand it, it hurts me.”


181. “Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns so that each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry.” – Richard P. Feynman


182. “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts. ” — Richard Feynman


183. “What Do You Care What Other People Think”: Further Adventures of a Curious Character


184. “Von Neumann gave me an interesting idea: that you don’t have to be responsible for the world that you’re in. So I have developed a very powerful sense of social irresponsibility as a result of Von Neumann’s advice. It’s made me a very happy man ever since. But it was Von Neumann who put the seed in that grew into my active irresponsibility!”


185. “Prof. Wheeler was called away last night so I took over his course in mechanics for the day. I spent all last night preparing. It went very nicely and smoothly. It was a good experience---I guess I'll do a lot of that.”


186. “The world is a dynamic mess of jiggling things. ”


187. “It is really quite impossible to say anything with absolute precision unless that thing is so abstracted from the real world as to not represent any real thing.” — Richard P. Feynman


188. “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. It is our responsibility to leave the people of the future a free hand. In the impetuous youth of humanity, we can make grave errors that can stunt our growth for a long time. This we will do if we say we have the answers now, so young and ignorant as we are. If we suppress all discussion, all criticism, proclaiming “This is the answer, my friends; man is saved!” we will doom humanity for a long time to the chains of authority, confined to the limits of our present imagination. It has been done so many times before.


189. “Our imagination is stretched to the utmost, not, as in fiction, to imagine things which are not really there, but just to comprehend those things which are there. ” — Richard Feynman


190. “I wonder why. I wonder why. I wonder why I wonder. ”


191. “I believe, therefore, that although it is not the case today, that there may some day come a time, I should hope, when it will fully appreciated that the power of governments should be limited; that governments ought not to be empowered to decide the validity of scientific theories, that this is a ridiculous thing for them to try to do; that they are not to decide the description of history or of economic theory or of philosophy.”


192. During high school, every puzzle that was known to man must have come to me. Every damn, crazy conundrum that people had invented, I knew. ”


193. “Are you looking for the ultimate laws of physics?" No, I'm not. I'm just looking to find out more about the world and if it turns out there is a simple ultimate law which explains everything, so be it; that would be very nice to discover. If it turns out it's like an onion with millions of layers and we're just sick and tired of looking at the layers, then that's the way it is. ... My interest in science is to simply find out more about the world.”


194. “Keep an open mind - but not so open that your brain falls out.”


195. “If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don’t understand quantum mechanics. ”


196. “Poets say science takes away from the beauty of the stars—mere globs of gas atoms. Nothing is 'mere. I too can see the stars on a desert night, and feel them. ”


197. “If we were not able or did not desire to look in any new direction, if we did not have a doubt or recognize ignorance, we would not get any new ideas.”


198. “Today we say that the law of relativity is supposed to be true at all energies, but someday somebody may come along and say how stupid we were.” – Richard P. Feynman


199. “The people of Japan believed they had only one way of moving up: to have their children educated more than they were; that it was very important for them to move out of their peasantry to become educated. So there has been a great energy in the family to encourage the children to do well in school, and to be pushed forward. Because of this tendency to learn things all the time, new ideas from the outside would spread through the educational system very easily. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why Japan has advanced so rapidly.”


200. “I noticed that the [drawing] teacher didn't tell people much... Instead, he tried to inspire us to experiment with new approaches. I thought of how we teach physics: We have so many techniques - so many mathematical methods - that we never stop telling the students how to do things. On the other hand, the drawing teacher is afraid to tell you anything. If your lines are very heavy, the teacher can't say, "Your lines are too heavy." because *some* artist has figured out a way of making great pictures using heavy lines. The teacher doesn't want to push you in some particular direction. So the drawing teacher has this problem of communicating how to draw by osmosis and not by instruction, while the physics teacher has the problem of always teaching techniques, rather than the spirit, of how to go about solving physical problems.”


201. “Working out another system to replace Newton’s laws took a long time because phenomena at the atomic level were quite strange. One had to lose one’s common sense in order to perceive what was happening at the atomic level.” – Richard P. Feynman


202. “There are very remarkable mysteries about the fact that we’re able to do so many more things than apparently animals can do, and other questions like that, but those are mysteries I want to investigate without knowing the answer to them, and so altogether I can’t believe theses special stories that have been made up about our relationship to the universe at large because they seem to be too simple, too connected, too local, too provincial.”


203. “What Do You Care What Other People Think?”: Further Adventures of a Curious Character — The “sequel” to Surely You’re Joking, this one is full of more Feynman goodness, including his experience investigating the Challenger explosion.


204. “I took a little walk outside for a while. I was surprised that I wasn't feeling what I thought people were supposed to feel under the circumstances. May be I was fooling myself. I wasn't delighted, but I didn't feel terribly upset, perhaps because we had known for a long time that it was going to happen.


205. “There’s plenty of room at the bottom. ”


206. “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.” — Richard P. Feynman


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


208. “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!


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


210. “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!” – Richard P. Feynman


211. Relativity VS quantum mechanics: There was a time when the newspapers said that only twelve men understood the theory of relativity. I do not believe there ever was such a time. There might have been a time when only one man did, (Einstein) because he was the only guy who caught on, before he wrote his paper. But after people read the paper a lot of people understood the theory of relativity in some way or other, certainly more than twelve. On the other hand, I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics


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


213. “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.”


214. “Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions, and pass them on. ” — Richard Feynman


215. “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.”


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


217. “I have approximate answers, and possible beliefs, and different degrees of certainty about different things, but I’m not absolutely sure of anything.” — Richard P. Feynman


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


219. “It is impossible to explain honestly the beauties of the laws of nature in a way that people can feel, without their having some deep understanding of mathematics. I am sorry, but this seems to be the case.”


220. “Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain.”


221. “I’ve always been very one-sided about science, and when I was younger, I concentrated almost all my effort on it.” – Richard P. Feynman


222. “There is nothing that living things do that cannot be understood from the point of view that they are made of atoms acting according to the laws of physics.” – Richard P. Feynman


223. “I love to think. I once considered taking drugs as an attempt to better understand an altered state of mind; however, I decided not to. I didn't want to chance ruining the machine.”


224. “Physics is to math what sex is to masturbation. ” — Richard Feynman


225. “There is one feature I notice that is generally missing in cargo cult science [pseudoscience]… It’s a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty — a kind of leaning over backwards.”


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


227. These things are kind of fun and delightful. It doesn’t do any harm to think them over again. Is there a better way to present them? Are there any new problems associated with them? Are there any new thoughts you can make about them? The elementary things are easy to think about; if you can’t think of a new thought, no harm done; what you thought about it before is good enough for the class. If you do think of something new, you’re rather pleased that you have a new way of looking at it. ”


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


229. “Nature has a great simplicity and therefore a great beauty”


230. “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. ”


231. “Scientists are explorers. Philosophers are tourists. ”


232. “If all of mathematics disappeared, physics would be set back by exactly one week. ”


233. “Study hard what interests you most, in the most undisciplined, irreverent, and original manner possible.” This is one of the most famous quotes by Richard Feynman that truly describe his approach to life. Feynman was one of the most dynamic physicists to walk this planet. He showed us that if you add passion to your profession, you can do wonders.


234. “Outside of their particular area of expertise scientists are just as dumb as the next person. ”


235. “I wanted very much to learn to draw, for a reason that I kept to myself: I wanted to convey an emotion I have about the beauty of the world.” – Richard P. Feynman


236. “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?”


237. “It is probably better to realize that the probability concept is in a sense subjective, that it is always based on uncertain knowledge, and that its quantitative evaluation is subject to change as we obtain more information.”


238. “The exception proves that the rule is wrong.” That is the principle of science. If there is an exception to any rule, and if it can be proved by observation, that rule is wrong.”


239. “This is in the attitude of mind of the populace, that they have to have an answer and that a man who gives an answer is better than a man who gives no answer, when the real fact of the matter is, in most cases, it is the other way around. And”


240. “Einstein was a giant. His head was in the clouds, but his feet were on the ground. But those of us who are not that tall have to choose!”


241. “If you try once or twice to communicate and get pushed back, pretty soon you decide, “To hell with it.”


242. “How would I say in Japanese, ‘I solve the Dirac Equation’?” They said such-and-so. “OK. Now I want to say, ‘Would you solve the Dirac Equation?’—how do I say that?” “Well, you have to use a different word for ‘solve,’” they say. “Why?” I protested. “When I solve it, I do the same damn thing as when you solve it!”


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


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


245. “I would rather have questions that can’t be answered than answers that can’t be questioned.” — Richard P. Feynman


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


247. “The ideas associated with the problems of the development of science, as far as I can see by looking around me, are not of the kind that everyone appreciates.” – Richard P. Feynman


248. “If someone were to propose that the planets go around the sun because all planet matter has a kind of tendency for movement, a kind of motility, let us call it an ‘oomph,’ this theory could explain a number of other phenomena as well. So this is a good theory, is it not? No. It is nowhere near as good as the proposition that the planets move around the sun under the influence of a central force which varies exactly inversely as the square of the distance from the center. The second theory is better because it is so specific; it is so obviously unlikely to be the result of chance. It is so definite that the barest error in the movement can show that it is wrong; but the planets could wobble all over the place, and, according to the first theory, you could say, ‘Well, that is the funny behavior of the ‘oomph.”


249. “This conference was worse than a Rorschach test: There’s a meaningless inkblot, and the others ask you what you think you see, but when you tell them, they start arguing with you!”


250. “There is a most profound and beautiful question associated with the observed coupling constant, e - the amplitude for a real electron to emit or absorb a real photon. It is a simple number that has been experimentally determined to be close to 0.08542455. (My physicist friends won't recognize this number, because they like to remember it as the inverse of its square: about 137.03597 with about an uncertainty of about 2 in the last decimal place. It has been a mystery ever since it was discovered more than fifty years ago, and all good theoretical physicists put this number up on their wall and worry about it.) Immediately you would like to know where this number for a coupling comes from: is it related to pi or perhaps to the base of natural logarithms? Nobody knows. It's one of the greatest damn mysteries of physics: a magic number that comes to us with no understanding by man. You might say the "hand of God" wrote that number, and "we don't know how He pushed his pencil." We know what kind of a dance to do experimentally to measure this number very accurately, but we don't know what kind of dance to do on the computer to make this number come out, without putting it in secretly!”


251. “I started to walk into the bar, and I suddenly thought to myself, “Wait a minute! It’s the middle of the afternoon. There’s nobody here. There’s no social reason to drink. Why do you have such a terribly strong feeling that you have to have a drink?”—and I got scared. I never drank ever again, since then. I suppose I really wasn’t in any danger, because I found it very easy to stop. But that strong feeling that I didn’t understand frightened me. You see, I get such fun out of thinking that I don’t want to destroy this most pleasant machine that makes life such a big kick. It’s the same reason that, later on, I was reluctant to try experiments with LSD in spite of my curiosity about hallucinations. Near”


252. “I have a serious affliction: loving you forever.


253. “Physics is like sex: sure, it may give some practical results, but that’s not why we do it. ” — Richard Feynman


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


255. “i have a friend who’s an artist and he’s sometimes taken a view which i don’t agree with very well. he’ll hold up a flower and say, “look how beautiful it is,” and i’ll agree, i think. and he says - “you see, i as an artist can see how beautiful this is, but you as a scientist, oh, take this all apart and it becomes a dull thing.” and i think that he’s kind of nutty. first of all, the beauty that he sees is available to other people and to me, too, i believe, although i might not be quite as refined aesthetically as he is; but i can appreciate the beauty of a flower. at the same time i see much more about the flower than he sees. i can imagine the cells in there, the complicated actions inside which also have a beauty. i mean it’s not just beauty at this dimension of one centimeter, there is also beauty at a smaller dimension, the inner structure. also the processes, the fact that the colors in the flower evolved in order to attract insects to pollinate it is interesting - it means that insects can see the color. it adds a question: does this aesthetic sense also exist in the lower forms? why is it aesthetic? all kinds of interesting questions which shows that a science knowledge only adds to the excitement and mystery and the awe of a flower. it only adds; i don’t understand how it subtracts..”


256. “The ultimate test of your knowledge is your capacity to convey it to another.”


257. “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.” – Richard P. Feynman


258. “I said, “There’s a long tradition behind life in India that comes from a religion and philosophy that is thousands of years old. And although these people are not in India, they still pass on those traditions about what’s important in life—trying to build for the future and supporting their children in the effort—which have come down to them for centuries.”


259. “But that was my big moment: I gave a seminar in the biology department at Harvard! I always do that, get into something and see how far I can go. I”


260. “there is a physical problem that is common to many fields, that is very old, and that has not been solved. It is not the problem of finding new fundamental particles, but something left over from a long time ago—over a hundred years. Nobody in physics has really been able to analyze it mathematically satisfactorily in spite of its importance to the sister sciences. It is the analysis of circulating or turbulent fluids.”


261. “We do not know where to look, or what to look for, when something is memorized. We do not know what it means, or what change there is in the nervous system, when a fact is learned. This is a very important problem which has not been solved at all.” – Richard P. Feynman


262. “We have a habit in writing articles published in scientific journals to make the work as finished as possible, to cover up all the tracks, to not worry about the blind alleys or describe how you had the wrong idea first, and so on. So there isn’t any place to publish, in a dignified manner, what you actually did in order to get to do the work. ” — Richard Feynman


263. “Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt. ” — Richard Feynman


264. “We have found it of paramount importance that in order to progress we must recognize our ignorance and leave room for doubt. Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty—some most unsure, some nearly sure, but none absolutely certain.”


265. “Once you start doubting, just like you’re supposed to doubt, you ask me if the science is true. You say no, we don’t know what’s true, we’re trying to find out and everything is possibly wrong.”


266. “In this age of specialization men who thoroughly know one field are often incompetent to discuss another. The great problems of the relations between one and another aspect of human activity have for this reason been discussed less and less in public.”


267. “I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers, and possible beliefs, and different degrees of uncertainty about different things, but I am not absolutely sure of anything. There are many things I don’t know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask “Why are we here?” I might think about it a little bit, and if I can’t figure it out then I go on to something else. But I don’t have to know an answer. I don’t feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in the mysterious universe without having any purpose – which is the way it really is, as far as I can tell.” – Richard P. Feynman


268. “Is science of any value? I think a power to do something is of value. ”


269. “No problem is too small or too trivial if we can really do something about it.” — Richard P. Feynman


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


271. “I don’t believe in honors – it bothers me. Honors bother: honors are epaulets; honors are uniforms. My papa brought me up this way.” – Richard P. Feynman


272. “For example, there was a book that started out with four pictures: first there was a wind-up toy; then there was an automobile; then there was a boy riding a bicycle; then there was something else. And underneath each picture, it said "What makes it go?"


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


274. “A great deal more is known than has been proved.” — Richard P. Feynman


275. “God was invented to explain mystery. ”


276. “You see, one thing is, I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of certainty about different things, but I'm not absolutely sure of anything and there are many things I don't know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we're here, and what the question might mean. I might think about it a little bit and if I can't figure it out, then I go on to something else, but I don't have to know an answer, I don't feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without having any purpose, which is the way it really is so far as I can tell. It doesn't frighten me.”


277. “Teach principles not formulas. ”


278. “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. ”


279. “Knowledge isn't free. You have to pay attention.”


280. “We absolutely must leave room for doubt or there is no progress and no learning. ”


281. So there isn’t any place to publish, in a dignified manner, what you actually did in order to get to do the work. ”


282. “When Feynman faces a problem, he’s unusually good at going back to being like a child, ignoring what everyone else thinks… He was so unstuck — if something didn’t work, he’d look at it another way.”


283. “I’m just looking to find out more about the world and if it turns out there is a simple ultimate law which explains everything, so be it; that would be very nice to discover.” — Richard P. Feynman


284. “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!”


285. “The uncertainty principle “protects” quantum mechanics. Heisenberg recognized that if it were possible to measure the momentum and the position simultaneously with a greater accuracy, the quantum mechanics would collapse. So he proposed that it must be impossible.”


286. “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 all right. But a dishonest fool is terrible!”


287. The mystery of atom: It always bothers me that, according to the laws as we understand them today, it takes a computing machine an infinite number of logical operations to figure out what goes on in no matter how tiny a region of space, and no matter how tiny a region of time


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


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


290. “A great way to learn is to explain.”


291. “You see, the chemists have a complicated way of counting: instead of saying "one, two, three, four, five protons," they say, "hydrogen, helium, lithium, beryllium, boron.”


292. “that in order to progress we must recognize our ignorance and leave room for doubt.”


293. “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.”


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


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


296. “Einstein was a giant. His head was in the clouds, but his feet were on the ground. ”


297. “I got a fancy reputation. During high school, every puzzle that was known to man must have come to me. Every damn, crazy conundrum that people had invented, I knew.” – Richard P. Feynman


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


299. “I have approximate answers, and possible beliefs, and different degrees of certainty about different things, but I’m not absolutely sure of anything. ”


300. Personal struggle: I always have had a great deal of difficulty in understanding the world view that quantum mechanics represents. Because I'm an old enough man that I haven't got to the point that this stuff is obvious to me, okay? I still get nervous with it. And therefore, some of the younger students, you know how it always is, every new idea, it takes a generation or two until it becomes obvious that there's no real problem. It has not yet become obvious to me that there is no real problem


301. “They didn't put two and two together. They didn't even know what they knew. 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!”


302. “You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird... So let's look at the bird and see what it's doing — that's what counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.”


303. “Life is too short to worry about stupid things. Have fun. Fall in love. Regret nothing, and don't let people bring you down. Study, think, create, and grow. Teach yourself and teach others.”


304. “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. ”


305. “If, in some cataclysm, all of scientific knowledge were to be destroyed, and only one sentence passed on to the next generations of creatures, what statement would contain the most information in the fewest words? I believe it is the atomic hypothesis … that all things are made of atoms — little particles that move around in perpetual motion, attracting each other when they are a little distance apart, but repelling upon being squeezed into one another. ”


306. “I won’t have anything to do with the Nobel Prize . . . it’s a pain in the . . . (LAUGHS). I don’t like honors.”


307. “I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of uncertainty about different things, but I am not absolutely sure of anything and there are many things I don’t know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we’re here. I don’t have to know an answer.”


308. “So our problem is to explain where symmetry comes from. Why is nature so nearly symmetrical? No one has any idea why. The only thing we might suggest is something like this: There is a gate in


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


310. “It is interesting that this thoroughness, which is a virtue, is often misunderstood. When someone says a thing has been done scientifically, often all he means is that it has been done thoroughly. I have heard people talk of the "scientific" extermination of the Jews in Germany. There was nothing scientific about it. It was only thorough. There was no question of making observations and then checking them in order to determine something. In that sense, there were "scientific" exterminations of people in Roman times and in other periods when science was not so far developed as it is today and not much attention was paid to observation. In such cases, people should say "thorough" or "thoroughgoing," instead of "scientific.”


311. “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!”


312. “innovation is a very difficult thing in the real world”


313. “Physics has a history of synthesizing many phenomena into a few theories. ” — Richard Feynman


314. “I decided to sell my drawings. However, I didn’t want people to buy my drawings because the professor of physics isn’t supposed to be able to draw – isn’t that wonderful – so I made up a false name.” – Richard P. Feynman


315. “The situation in the sciences is this: A concept or an idea which cannot be measured or cannot be referred directly to experiment may or may not be useful. It need not exist in a theory.” – Richard P. Feynman


316. “We absolutely must leave room for doubt or there is no progress and no learning. There is no learning without having to pose a question. And a question requires doubt. People search for certainty. But there is no certainty.” – Richard P. Feynman, Richard Feynman quotes on learning


317. “I don't feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without any purpose, which is the way it really is, as far as I can tell. Possibly. It doesn't frighten me.”


318. “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.


319. “And how we are going to teach well by using books written by people who don’t quite understand what they’re talking about, I cannot understand. I don’t know why, but the books are lousy; UNIVERSALLY LOUSY!”


320. “I want to build a billion tiny factories, models of each other, which are manufacturing simultaneously… The principles of physics, as far as I can see, do not speak against the possibility of maneuvering things atom by atom. It is not an attempt to violate any laws; it is something, in principle, that can be done; but in practice, it has not been done because we are too big.”


321. The reason is, I have to have something so that when I don’t have any ideas and I’m not getting anywhere, I can say to myself, “At least I’m living; at least I’m doing something. I’m making some contribution. ” It’s just psychological. ”


322. “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.”


323. “Western civilization, it seems to me, stands by two great heritages. One is the scientific spirit of adventure—the adventure into the unknown, an unknown that must be recognized as unknown in order to be explored, the demand that the unanswerable mysteries of the universe remain unanswered, the attitude that all is uncertain. To summarize it: humility of the intellect.”


324. “The extreme weakness of quantum gravitational effects now poses some philosophical problems; maybe nature is trying to tell us something new here: maybe we should not try to quantize gravity.” – Richard P. Feynman


325. “I don’t like honors…I’ve already got the prize: the prize is the pleasure of finding the thing out, the kick in the discovery, the observation that other people use it. Those are the real things.”


326. “First of all there is matter—and, remarkably enough, all matter is the same. The matter of which the stars are made is known to be the same as the matter on the earth...The same kinds of atoms appear to be in living creatures as in non-living creatures.”


327. “It is a part of the adventure of science to try to find a limitation in all directions and to stretch the human imagination as far as possible everywhere. Although at every stage it has looked as if such an activity was absurd and useless, it often turns out at least not to be useless.”


328. “I was an ordinary person who studied hard. There are no miracle people. It happens they get interested in this thing and they learn all this stuff, but they’re just people.”


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


330. “I believe there's nothing in hallucinations that has anything to do with anything external to the internal psychological state of the person who's got the hallucination.”


331. “October 17, 1946


332. “Perhaps one day we will have machines that can cope with approximate task descriptions, but in the meantime, we have to be very prissy about how we tell computers to do things.” – Richard P. Feynman


333. “With quantum physics, who needs drugs?”


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


335. “A great deal more is known than has been proved. ”


336. “It is our responsibility as scientists, knowing the great progress and great value of a satisfactory philosophy of ignorance, the great progress that is the fruit of freedom of thought, to proclaim the value of this freedom, to teach how doubt is not to be feared but welcomed and discussed, and to demand this freedom as our duty to all coming generations.”


337. “It was thought in the Middle Ages that people simply make many observations, and the observations themselves suggest the laws. But it does not work that way. It takes much more imagination than that.So the next thing we have to talk about is where the new ideas come from. Actually, it does not make any difference, as long as they come.”


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


339. “See that the imagination of nature is far, far greater than the imagination of man.” – Richard P. Feynman


340. “Why make yourself miserable saying things like, "Why do we have such bad luck? What has God done to us? What have we done to deserve this?" - all of which, if you understand reality and take it completely into your heart, are irrelevant and unsolvable. They are just things that nobody can know. Your situation is just an accident of life.”


341. “I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong. ”


342. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong. ”


343. “What is necessary ‘for the very existence of science,’ and what the characteristics of nature are, are not to be determined by pompous preconditions, they are determined always by the material with which we work, by nature herself. ”


344. “I thought one should have the attitude of ‘What do you care what other people think!’.” – Richard P. Feynman


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


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


347. “The lay reader only wanted to have the illusion of understanding and to catch a few buzzwords to throw around at cocktail parties.”


348. “Because the theory of quantum mechanics could explain all of chemistry and the various properties of substances, it was a tremendous success. But still, there was the problem of the interaction of light and matter.” – Richard P. Feynman


349. “The only way to have real success in science, the field I’m familiar with, is to describe the evidence very carefully without regard to the way you feel it should be. If you have a theory, you must try to explain what’s good and what’s bad about it equally. In science, you learn a kind of standard integrity and honesty.”


350. “It's Okay to say "I don't know." The pleasure is in finding things out.”


351. “I believe that we must attack these things in which we do not believe. Not attack by the method of cutting off the heads of the people, but attack in the sense of discuss. I believe that we should demand that people try in their own minds to obtain for themselves a more consistent picture of their own world; that they not permit themselves the luxury of having their brain cut in four pieces or two pieces even, and on one side they believe this and on the other side they believe that, but never try to compare the two points of view. Because we have learned that, by trying to put the points of view that we have in our head together and comparing one to the other, we make some progress in understanding and in appreciating where we are and what we are. And I believe that science has remained irrelevant because we wait until somebody asks us questions or until we are invited to give a speech on Einstein’s theory to people who don’t understand Newtonian mechanics, but we never are invited to give an attack on faith healing, or on astrology — on what is the scientific view of astrology today.”


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


353. “To not know math is a severe limitation to understanding the world. ”


354. “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.”


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


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


357. “In talking about the impact of ideas in one field on ideas in another field, one is always apt to make a fool of oneself.” – Richard P. Feynman


358. “it is our capacity to doubt that will determine the future of civilization.”


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


360. “We absolutely must leave room for doubt or there is no progress and there is no learning. There is no learning without having to pose a question. And a question requires doubt. People search for certainty. But there is no certainty. People are terrified — how can you live and not know? It is not odd at all. You only think you know, as a matter of fact. And most of your actions are based on incomplete knowledge and you really don't know what it is all about, or what the purpose of the world is, or know a great deal of other things. It is possible to live and not know.”


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


362. “Then the son told me what happened. The last time he was there, Bohr said to his son, “Remember the name of that little fellow in the back over there? He’s the only guy who’s not afraid of me, and will say when I’ve got a crazy idea. So next time when we want to discuss ideas, we’re not going to be able to do it with these guys who say everything is yes, yes, Dr. Bohr. Get that guy and we’ll talk with him first.” I was always dumb in that way. I never knew who I was talking to. I was always worried about the physics. If the idea looked lousy, I said it looked lousy. If it looked good, I said it looked good. Simple proposition. I’ve always lived that way. It’s nice, it’s pleasant—if you can do it. I’m lucky in my life that I can do this.”


363. “This is not a new idea; this is the idea of the age of reason. This is the philosophy that guided the men that made the democracy that we live under. The idea that no one really knew how to run a government led to the idea that we should arrange a system by which new ideas could be developed, tried out, and tossed out if necessary, with more new ideas brought in—a trial and error system.”


364. “The only way to deep happiness is to do something you love to the best of your ability. ”


365. “The internal machinery of life, the chemistry of the parts, is something beautiful. And it turns out that all life is interconnected with all other life. ”


366. “People who wish to analyze nature without using mathematics must settle for a reduced understanding. ”


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


368. “Trees are made of air, primarily. When they are burned, they go back to air, and in the flaming heat is released the flaming heat of the Sun which was bound in to convert the air into tree. And in the ash is the small remnant of the part which did not come from air, that came from the solid earth, instead.”


369. “The universe is very large, and its boundaries are not known very well, but it is still possible to define some kind of a radius to be associated with it.” – Richard P. Feynman


370. “have no respect whatsoever for authority; forget who said it and instead look at what he starts with, where he ends up, and ask yourself, “Is it reasonable?”)”


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


372. “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.”


373. 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. ”


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


375. “The female mind is capable of understanding analytic geometry... The difficulty may just be that we have never yet discovered a way to communicate with the female mind. If it is done in the right way, you may be able to get something out of it.”


376. “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 Feynman


377. “After reading the salary, I've decided that I must refuse. The reason I have to refuse a salary like that is I would be able to do what I've always wanted to do- -get a wonderful mistress, put her up in an apartment, buy her nice things.. . With the salary you have offered, I could actually do that, and I know what would happen to me. I'd worry about her, what she's doing; I'd get into arguments when I come home, and so on. All this bother would make me uncomfortable and unhappy. I wouldn't be able to do physics well, and it would be a big mess! What I've always wanted to do would be bad for me, so I've decided that I can't accept your offer.”


378. “I think the educational and psychological studies I mentioned are examples of what I would like to call cargo cult science. In the South Seas there is a cargo cult of people. During the war they saw airplanes land with lots of good materials, and they want the same thing to happen now. So they’ve arranged to make things like runways, to put fires along the sides of the runways, to make a wooden hut for a man to sit in, with two wooden pieces on his head like headphones and bars of bamboo sticking out like antennas—he’s the controller—and they wait for the airplanes to land. They’re doing everything right. The form is perfect. It looks exactly the way it looked before. But it doesn’t work. No airplanes land. So I call these things cargo cult science, because they follow all the apparent precepts and forms of scientific investigation, but they’re missing something essential, because the planes don’t land.”


379. “It is a great adventure to contemplate the universe, beyond man, to contemplate what it would be like without man, as it was in a great part of its long history and as it is in a great majority of places. When this objective view is finally attained, and the mystery and majesty of matter are fully appreciated, to then turn the objective eye back on man viewed as matter, to view life as part of this universal mystery of greatest depth, is to sense an experience which is very rare, and very exciting. It usually ends in laughter and a delight in the futility of trying to understand what this atom in the universe is, this thing—atoms with curiosity—that looks at itself and wonders why it wonders. Well, these scientific views end in awe and mystery, lost at the edge in uncertainty, but they appear to be so deep and so impressive that the theory that it is all arranged as a stage for God to watch man's struggle for good and evil seems inadequate.


380. “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool. So you have to be very careful about that. After you’ve not fooled yourself, it’s easy not to fool other scientists. You just have to be honest in a conventional way after that. ”


381. “I’m just looking to find out more about the world and if it turns out there is a simple ultimate law which explains everything, so be it; that would be very nice to discover. ”


382. “Fall in love with some activity and do it!”


383. “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?”


384. “You see, the chemists have a complicated way of counting: instead of saying “one, two, three, four, five protons”, they say, “hydrogen, helium, lithium, beryllium, boron. ””


385. “When I would hear the rabbi tell about some miracle such as a bush whose leaves were shaking but there wasn’t any wind, I would try to fit the miracle into the real world and explain it in terms of natural phenomena.” – Richard P. Feynman


386. “We cannot predict whether a given photon will arrive at A or B. All we can predict is that out of 100 photons that come down, an average of 4 will be reflected by the front surface. Does this mean that physics, a science of great exactitude, has been reduced to calculating only the probability of an event, and not predicting exactly what will happen? Yes. That's a retreat, but that's the way it is: Nature permits us to calculate only probabilities. Yet science has not collapsed.”


387. “We absolutely must leave room for doubt or there is no progress and no learning.” — Richard P. Feynman


388. “I learned from her that every woman is worried


389. “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.”


390. “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 literary or artistic expression. Nor should it pronounce on the validity of economic, historic,”


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


392. “But one man, I remember, Bob Wilson, was just sitting there moping. I said, “What are you moping about?” He said, “It’s a terrible thing that we made.” I said, “But you started it. You got us into it.” You see, what happened to me—what happened to the rest of us—is we started for a good reason, then you’re working very hard to accomplish something and it’s a pleasure, it’s excitement. And you stop thinking, you know; you just stop. Bob Wilson was the only one who was still thinking about it, at that moment. I”


393. “A very great deal more truth can become known than can be proven.”


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


395. “They had wasted all their time memorizing”


396. “So we see that what looks like a dead, uninteresting thing—a glass of water with a cover, that has been sitting there for perhaps twenty years—really contains a dynamic and interesting phenomenon which is going on all the time. To”


397. “There is nothing that living things do that cannot be understood from the point of view that they are made of atoms acting according to the laws of physics.” — Richard P. Feynman


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


399. “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.”


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


401. “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.” — Richard P. Feynman


402. “No problem is too small or too trivial if we can really do something about it. ”


403. “I was terrible in English. I couldn’t stand the subject. It seemed to me ridiculous to worry about whether you spelled something wrong or not, because English spelling is just a human convention – it has nothing to do with anything real, anything from nature.” – Richard P. Feynman


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


405. Their knowledge is so fragile!”


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


407. “I feel that human beings should treat human beings like human beings.”


408. “Flow is the way people describe their state of mind when consciousness is harmoniously ordered, and they want to pursue whatever they are doing for its own sake.


409. “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


410. “Von Neumann gave me an interesting idea: that you don’t have to be responsible for the world that you’re in. So I have developed a very powerful sense of social irresponsibility as a result of Von Neumann’s advice. It’s made me a very happy man ever since.”


411. You don’t have to think how to answer questions from the students. Nothing!”


412. “If science is to progress, what we need is the ability to experiment.” — Richard P. Feynman


413. “Knowledge is of no real value if all you can tell me is what happened yesterday. It is necessary to tell what will happen tomorrow if you do something—not only necessary, but fun. Only you must be willing to stick your neck out.”


414. “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?” — Richard Feynman


415. “With the exception of gravitation and radioactivity, all of the phenomena known to physicists and chemists in 1911 have their ultimate explanation in the laws of quantum electrodynamics.” – Richard P. Feynman


416. “Philosophers have said before that one of the fundamental requisites of science is that whenever you set up the same conditions, the same thing must happen. This is simply not true, it is not a fundamental condition of science.”


417. “It has not yet become obvious to me that there’s no real problem. I cannot define the real problem; therefore, I suspect there’s no real problem, but I’m not sure there’s no real problem.” — Richard P. Feynman


418. “I think that when we know that we actually do live in uncertainty, then we ought to admit it; it is of great value to realize that we do not know the answers to different questions. This attitude of mind – this attitude of uncertainty – is vital to the scientist, and it is this attitude of mind which the student must first acquire.” – Richard P. Feynman


419. “We are at the very beginning of time for the human race. Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions and pass them on. It is our responsibility to leave the men of the future a free hand. In the impetuous youth of humanity, we can make grave errors that can stunt our growth for a long time. This we will do if we say we have the answers now, so young and ignorant; if we suppress all discussion, all criticism, saying, ‘This is it, boys, man is saved!’ and thus doom man for a long time to the chains of authority, confined to the limits of our present imagination. It has been done so many times before.”


420. “Often one postulates that a priori, all states are equally probable. This is not true in the world as we see it. This world is not correctly described by the physics which assumes this postulate.” – Richard P. Feynman


421. “The individual member of the social community often receives his information via visual, symbolic channels.” I went back and forth over it, and translated. You know what it means? “People read.”


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


423. “In fact the total amount that a physicist knows is very little. He has only to remember the rules to get him from one place to another and he is all right...”


424. “For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.” – Richard P. Feynman


425. “That is the idea that we all hope you have learned in studying science in school—we never explicitly say what this is, but just hope that you catch on by all the examples of scientific investigation. It is interesting, therefore, to bring it out now and speak of it explicitly. It’s a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty—a kind of leaning over backwards.


426. “Perhaps one day we will have machines that can cope with approximate task descriptions, but in the meantime, we have to be very prissy about how we tell computers to do things.” — Richard P. Feynman


427. “I don’t believe in honors – it bothers me. Honors bother: honors are epaulets; honors are uniforms. ”


428. “Once in Hawaii I was taken to see a Buddhist temple. In the temple a man said, "I am going to tell you something that you will never forget." And then he said, "To every man is given the key to the gates of heaven. The same key opens the gates of hell.”


429. “If you can’t explain something to a first-year student, then you haven’t really understood. ” — Richard Feynman


430. “It has not yet become obvious to me that there’s no real problem. I cannot define the real problem; therefore, I suspect there’s no real problem, but I’m not sure there’s no real problem. ”


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


432. “If u think u can u may


433. “Some people say, How can you live without knowing? I do not know what they mean. I always live without knowing. That is easy. How you get to know is what I want to know.”


434. “What I got out of that story was something still very new to me: I understood at last what art is really for, at least in certain respects. It gives somebody, individually, pleasure. You can make something that somebody likes so much that they’re depressed, or they’re happy, on account of that damn thing you made! In science, it’s sort of general and large: You don’t know the individuals who have appreciated it directly. I understood that to sell a drawing is not to make money, but to be sure that it’s in the home of someone who really wants it; someone who would feel bad if they didn’t have it. This was interesting.”


435. “Nature has a great simplicity and therefore a great beauty. ”


436. “Electrons, when they were first discovered, behaved exactly like particles or bullets, very simply. Further research showed, from electron diffraction experiments for example, that they behaved like waves. As time went on there was a growing confusion about how these things really behaved ---- waves or particles, particles or waves? Everything looked like both.


437. “alone, and start to think. There are the rushing waves . . . mountains of molecules, each stupidly minding its own business . . . trillions apart . . . yet forming white surf in unison. Ages on ages . . . before any eyes could see . . . year after year . . . thunderously pounding the shore as now. For whom, for what? . . . on a dead planet, with no life to entertain. Never at rest . . . tortured by energy . . . wasted prodigiously by the sun . . . poured into space. A mite makes the sea roar. Deep in the sea, all molecules repeat the patterns of one another till complex new ones are formed. They make others like themselves . . . and a new dance starts. Growing in size and complexity . . . living things, masses of atoms, DNA, protein . . . dancing a pattern ever more intricate. Out of the cradle onto the dry land . . . here it is standing . . . atoms with consciousness . . . matter with curiosity. Stands at the sea . . . wonders at wondering . . . I . . . a universe”


438. “This universe has been described by many, but it just goes on, with its edge as unknown as the bottom of the bottomless sea of the other idea—just as mysterious, just as awe-inspiring, and just as incomplete as the poetic pictures that came before.”


439. “[Doubt] is not a new idea; this is the idea of the age of reason. This is the philosophy that guided the men who made the democracy that we live under. The idea that no one really knew how to run a government led to the idea that we should arrange a system by which new ideas could be developed, tried out, and tossed out if necessary, with more new ideas bought in - a trial-and-error system. This method was a result of the fact that science was already showing itself to be a successful venture at the end of the eighteenth century. Even then it was clear to socially minded people that the openness of possibilities was an opportunity, and that doubt and discussion were essential to progress into the unknown. If we want to solve a problem that we have never solved before, we must leave the door to the unknown ajar...doubt is not to be feared, but welcomed and discussed.”


440. “You see, one thing is, I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong.”


441. “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.”


442. “The thing that doesn’t fit is the thing that’s the most interesting: the part that doesn’t go according to what you expected.” – Richard P. Feynman


443. “We have sought for firm ground and found none.


444. “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. ”


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


446. “From a long view of the history of mankind, seen from, say, ten thousand years from now, there can be little doubt that the most significant event of the 19th century will be judged as Maxwell's discovery of the laws of electrodynamics. The American Civil War will pale into provincial insignificance in comparison with this important scientific event of the same decade.”


447. “You ask me if an ordinary person—by studying hard—would get to be able to imagine these things like I imagine. Of course. I was an ordinary person who studied hard. There's no miracle people. It just happens they got interested in this thing, and they learned all this stuff. They're just people. There's no talent or special miracle ability to understand quantum mechanics or a miracle ability to imagine electromagnetic fields that comes without practice and reading and learning and study. So if you take an ordinary person who's willing to devote a great deal of time and study and work and thinking and mathematics, then he's become a scientist.”


448. “The worthwhile problems are the ones you can really solve or help solve, the ones you can really contribute something to… No problem is too small or too trivial if we can really do something about it.”


449. “Out of the cradle


450. “If a Martian (who, we'll imagine, never dies except by accident) came to Earth and saw this peculiar race of creatures - these humans who live about seventy or eighty years, knowing that death is going to come - it would look to him like a terrible problem of psychology to live under those circumstances, knowing that life is only temporary. Well, we humans somehow figure out how to live despite this problem: we laugh, we joke, we live.”


451. “What looks still to our crude eyes is a wild and dynamic dance.”


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


453. “I wonder why. I wonder why.


454. “You keep on learning and learning, and pretty soon you learn something no one has learned before.”


455. “Scientific knowledge is an enabling power to do either good or bad — but it does not carry instructions on how to use it. ”


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


457. “I'm smart enough to know that I'm dumb.”


458. “It is important to doubt and that the doubt is not a fearful thing, but a thing of great value. ”


459. “It’s also not even true that “energy makes it go,” because if it stops, you could say, “energy makes it stop” just as well. What they’re talking about is concentrated energy being transformed into more dilute forms, which is a very subtle aspect of energy. Energy is neither increased nor decreased in these examples; it’s just changed from one form to another. And when the things stop, the energy is changed into heat, into general chaos.”


460. “It’s amazing how many people even today use a computer to do something you can do with a pencil and paper in less time. ”


461. “Know how to solve every problem that has been solved. ”


462. “I think a power to do something is of value. Whether the result is a good thing or a bad thing depends on how it is used, but the power is a value.”


463. “It is our responsibility as scientists, to teach how doubt is not to be feared but welcomed and discussed.”


464. “You’re unlikely to discover something new without a lot of practice on old stuff, but further, you should get a heck of a lot of fun out of working out funny relations and interesting things.” – Richard P. Feynman


465. “The only way to have real success in science, the field I'm familiar with, is to describe the evidence very carefully without regard to the way you feel it should be. If you have a theory, you must try to explain what's good and what's bad about it equally. In science, you learn a kind of standard integrity and honesty.”


466. “But if you’ve ever worked with computers, you understand the disease—the delight in being able to see how much you can do.”


467. “I returned to civilization shortly after that and went to Cornell to teach, and my first impression was a very strange one. I can't understand it any more, but I felt very strongly then. I sat in a restaurant in New York, for example, and I looked out at the buildings and I began to think, you know, about how much the radius of the Hiroshima bomb damage was and so forth... How far from here was 34th street?... All those buildings, all smashed — and so on. And I would go along and I would see people building a bridge, or they'd be making a new road, and I thought, they're crazy, they just don't understand, they don't understand. Why are they making new things? It's so useless.


468. “In any decision for action, when you have to make up your mind what to do, there is always a ‘should’ involved, and this cannot be worked out from, ‘If I do this, what will happen?’ alone.” – Richard P. Feynman


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


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


471. “There is nothing that living things do that cannot be understood from the point of view that they are made of atoms acting according to the laws of physics.”


472. “We have been led to imagine all sorts of things infinitely more marvelous than the imagining of poets and dreamers of the past. It shows that the imagination of nature is far, far greater than the imagination of man. For instance, how much more remarkable it is for us all to be stuck-half of us upside down-by a mysterious attraction, to a spinning ball that has been swinging in space for billions of years, than to be carried on the back of an elephant supported on a tortoise swimming in a bottomless sea.”


473. “Perhaps one day we will have machines that can cope with approximate task descriptions, but in the meantime, we have to be very prissy about how we tell computers to do things. ”


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


475. “I wanted very much to learn to draw, for a reason that I kept to myself: I wanted to convey an emotion I have about the beauty of the world. It's difficult to describe because it's an emotion. It's analogous to the feeling one has in religion that has to do with a god that controls everything in the whole universe: there's a generality aspect that you feel when you think about how things that appear so different and behave so differently are all run "behind the scenes" by the same organization, the same physical laws. It's an appreciation of the mathematical beauty of nature, of how she works inside; a realization that the phenomena we see result from the complexity of the inner workings between atoms; a feeling of how dramatic and wonderful it is. It's a feeling of awe — of scientific awe — which I felt could be communicated through a drawing to someone who had also had this emotion. It could remind him, for a moment, of this feeling about the glories of the universe.”


476. “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.”


477. “From my knowledge of the world that I see around me, I think that it is much more likely that the reports of flying saucers are the results of the known irrational characteristics of terrestrial intelligence than of the unknown rational efforts of extra-terrestrial intelligence. ”


478. “The most remarkable discovery in all of astronomy is that the stars are made of atoms of the same kind as those on the earth. ”


479. “There is no learning without having to pose a question. And a question requires doubt. ”


480. “The prize is in the pleasure of finding the thing out, the kick in the discovery, the observation that other people use it [my work]--those are the real things, the honors are unreal to me.”


481. “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.”


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


483. “First figure out why you want the students to learn the subject and what you want them to know, and the method will result more or less by common sense.”


484. On nature of reality: Does this then mean that my observations become real only when I observe an observer observing something as it happens? This is a horrible viewpoint. Do you seriously entertain the idea that without the observer there is no reality? Which observer? Any observer? Is a fly an observer? Is a star an observer? Was there no reality in the universe before life began? Or are you the observer? Then there is no reality to the world after you are dead? I know a number of otherwise respectable physicists who have bought life insurance


485. “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”: Adventures of a Curious Character


486. “I was terrible in English. I couldn't stand the subject. It seemed to me ridiculous to worry about whether you spelled something wrong or not, because English spelling is just a human convention--it has nothing to do with anything real, anything from nature. Any word can be spelled just as well a different way.”


487. “The trouble with playing a trick on a highly intelligent man like Mr. Teller is that the time it takes him to figure out from the moment that he sees there is something wrong till he understands exactly what happened is too damn small to give you any pleasure!”


488. “It has not yet become obvious to me that there’s no real problem. I cannot define the real problem; therefore, I suspect there’s no real problem, but I’m not sure there’s no real problem.” – Richard P. Feynman


489. “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.”


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


491. “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?” – Richard P. Feynman


492. “I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics. ”


493. “Fall in love with some activity, and do it! Nobody ever figures out what life is all about, and it doesn’t matter. ”


494. “Reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.” – Richard P. Feynman


495. “They had wasted all their time memorizing stuff like that, when it could be looked up in fifteen minutes.”


496. “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?”


497. “psychoanalysis is not a science: it is at best a medical process, and perhaps even more like witch-doctoring.”


498. “I suddenly remembered that Murray Gell-Mann and I were supposed to give talks at that conference on the present situation of high-energy physics. My talk was set for the plenary session, so I asked the guide, "Sir, where would the talks for the plenary session of the conference be?"


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


500. “What Do You Care What Other People Think?”


501. “Everything we know is only some kind of approximation, because we know that we do not know all the laws yet. Therefore, things must be learned only to be unlearned again or, more likely, to be corrected. ”


502. “First figure out why you want the students to learn the subject and what you want them to know, and the method will result more or less by common sense.” – Richard P. Feynman, Richard Feynman quotes on education


503