Society of Physics Students - Quotes

"I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious." - Albert Einstein 

 

All of physics is either impossible or trivial. It is impossible until you understand it and then it becomes trivial.
-Ernest Rutherford

"All of physics is either impossible or trivial. It is impossible until you understand it and then it becomes trivial." - Ernest Rutherford

 

"It was absolutely marvelous working for Pauli. You could ask him anything. There was no worry that he would think a particular question was stupid, since he thought all questions were stupid." - Victor Frederick Weisskopf

 

"If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts." - Albert Einstein

 

"I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." - Richard Feynman

 

"I never think of the future. It comes soon enough." - Albert Einstein

 

"All science is either physics or stamp collecting." - Ernest Rutherford

 

"The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible." - Albert Einstein

 

"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 gobs 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 imagination -- 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?" - Richard Feynman

 

"Do not worry about your difficulties in mathematics. I can assure you that mine are still greater." - Albert Einstein (In a letter to a junior high-school student in America)

 

"It is impossible to imagine a four-dimensional space. I personally find it hard enough to visualize a three-dimensional space!" - Stephen Hawking

 

"Joy in looking and comprehending is nature's most beautiful gift." - Albert Einstein

 

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." - Richard Feynman

 

"Teaching should be such that what is offered is perceived as a valuable gift and not as a hard duty." - Albert Einstein

 

"When people on airplanes ask me what I do, I used to say I was a physicist, which ended the discussion. I once said I was a cosmologist, but they started asking me about makeup, and the title 'astronomer' gets confused with astrologer. Now I say I make maps." - Margaret Geller (Physicist/Cosmologist/Astronomer who maps out the large scale structure of the Universe)

 

"In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it's the exact opposite." - Paul Dirac

 

"I want to know God's thoughts; the rest are details." - Albert Einstein

 

"Physics, as we know it, will be over in six months." - Max Born (1928)

 

 

 

Research Definitions from Scientific Papers:

  • "It has long been known" -- I didn't look up the original reference.
  • "Of great theoretical and practical importance" -- I found it interesting.
  • "A definite trend is evident" -- These data are practically meaningless.
  • "While it has not been possible to provide definite answers to these questions" -- An unsuccessful experiment but I still have to get it published.
  • "Extremely High Purity"and "Superpurity" -- Composition unknown, except for the exaggerated claims of the supplier.
  • "Accidentally stained during mounting" -- Accidentally dropped on the floor.
  • "Handled with extreme care during the experiments" -- Not dropped on the floor.
  • "Three of the samples were chosen for detailed study" -- The results of the others didn't make any sense.
  • "Typical results are shown" -- The best results are shown.
  • "These results will be shown in a subsequent report" -- I might get around to this sometime if I'm pushed.
  • "The most reliable results are those obtained by Jones" -- He was the graduate assistant.
  • "It is believed that" -- I think.
  • "It is generally believed that" -- A couple of other guys think so, too.
  • "It is clear that much additional work will be required before a complete understanding occurs" -- I don't understand it.
  • "Correct within an order of magnitude" -- Wrong
  • "It is hoped that this study will stimulate further investigations in this field" -- This is a lousy paper, but so are all the others on this miserable topic. Any mork work on this awful subject will be done by someone else.
  • "Thanks are due to Joe Blotz for assistance with the experiment and to George Frink for valuable assistance" -- Blotz did the work and Frink explained to me what it meant.
  • "A careful analysis of obtainable data" -- Three pages of notes were obliterated when I knocked over a glass of beer.

- (Handed Out By Prof. Connell, originated by "unknown genius who has read too many scientific papers") Last Update: Feb. 8th, 2003