Richard Feynman was an eminent American theoretical physicist who specialized in quantum electrodynamics, particle physics and quantum mechanics. He is renowned for his parton model, theory of quantum electrodynamics, path integral formulation and superfluidity of super cooled liquid helium. Feynman received the Nobel Prize in Physics jointly with Shin’ichro Tomonaga and Julian Schwinger in 1965 for his contributions towards the growth of quantum electrodynamics. The pictorial representation that he gave which governed the behaviour of subatomic particles known as Feynman diagrams are till date used by physicists around the globe. He became one of the most well-known scientists around the world for his thoughts, work, theories, lectures, writings and discoveries. We have compiled some famous sayings and thoughts by Richard Feynman which are used as quotable quotes to this date. Presenting the popular quotes and thoughts by Richard Feynman.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Gravitation is, so far, not understandable in terms of other phenomena.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you keep proving stuff that others have done, getting confidence, increasing the complexities of your solutions - for the fun of it - then one day you'll turn around and discover that nobody actually did that one!
See that the imagination of nature is far, far greater than the imagination of man.
There is a computer disease that anybody who works with computers knows about. It's a very serious disease and it interferes completely with the work. The trouble with computers is that you 'play' with them!
Einstein's gravitational theory, which is said to be the greatest single achievement of theoretical physics, resulted in beautiful relations connecting gravitational phenomena with the geometry of space; this was an exciting idea.
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.
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.
I want to marry Arline because I love her - which means I want to take care of her. That is all there is to it. I want to take care of her. I am anxious for the responsibilities and uncertainties of taking care of the girl I love.
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.
The correct statement of the laws of physics involves some very unfamiliar ideas which require advanced mathematics for their description. Therefore, one needs a considerable amount of preparatory training even to learn what the words mean.
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.
I practiced drawing all the time and became very interested in it. If I was at a meeting that wasn't getting anywhere - like the one where Carl Rogers came to Caltech to discuss with us whether Caltech should develop a psychology department - I would draw the other people.
If we have an atom that is in an excited state and so is going to emit a photon, we cannot say when it will emit the photon. It has a certain amplitude to emit the photon at any time, and we can predict only a probability for emission; we cannot predict the future exactly.
From the point of view of basic physics, the most interesting phenomena are, of course, in the new places, the places where the rules do not work - not the places where they do work! That is the way in which we discover new rules.
Each piece, or part, of the whole of nature is always merely an approximation to the complete truth, or the complete truth so far as we know it. In fact, everything we know is only some kind of approximation because we know that we do not know all the laws as yet.
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.
The most obvious characteristic of science is its application: the fact that, as a consequence of science, one has a power to do things. And the effect this power has had need hardly be mentioned. The whole industrial revolution would almost have been impossible without the development of science.
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.
It has been discovered that all the world is made of the same atoms, that the stars are of the same stuff as ourselves. It then becomes a question of where our stuff came from. Not just where did life come from, or where did the earth come from, but where did the stuff of life and of the earth come from?
In the Raphael Room, the secret turned out to be that only some of the paintings were made by the great master; the rest were made by students. I had liked the ones by Raphael. This was a big jab for my self-confidence in my ability to appreciate art.
People are always asking for the latest developments in the unification of this theory with that theory, and they don't give us a chance to tell them anything about one of the theories that we know pretty well. They always want to know things that we don't know.
When I was about thirteen, the library was going to get 'Calculus for the Practical Man.' By this time I knew, from reading the encyclopedia, that calculus was an important and interesting subject, and I ought to learn it.
Today, all physicists know from studying Einstein and Bohr that sometimes an idea which looks completely paradoxical at first, if analyzed to completion in all detail and in experimental situations, may, in fact, not be paradoxical.
When I was a young man, Dirac was my hero. He made a breakthrough, a new method of doing physics. He had the courage to simply guess at the form of an equation, the equation we now call the Dirac equation, and to try to interpret it afterwards.
I think equation guessing might be the best method to proceed to obtain the laws for the part of physics which is presently unknown. Yet, when I was much younger, I tried this equation guessing, and I have seen many students try this, but it is very easy to go off in wildly incorrect and impossible directions.
The philosophical question before us is, when we make an observation of our track in the past, does the result of our observation become real in the same sense that the final state would be defined if an outside observer were to make the observation?
It is always good to know which ideas cannot be checked directly, but it is not necessary to remove them all. It is not true that we can pursue science completely by using only those concepts which are directly subject to experiment.
What goes on inside a star is better understood than one might guess from the difficulty of having to look at a little dot of light through a telescope, because we can calculate what the atoms in the stars should do in most circumstances.
We get the exciting result that the total energy of the universe is zero. Why this should be so is one of the great mysteries - and therefore one of the important questions of physics. After all, what would be the use of studying physics if the mysteries were not the most important things to investigate?
Once you have a computer that can do a few things - strictly speaking, one that has a certain 'sufficient set' of basic procedures - it can do basically anything any other computer can do. This, loosely, is the basis of the great principle of 'Universality'.
The original reason to start the project, which was that the Germans were a danger, started me off on a process of action, which was to try to develop this first system at Princeton and then at Los Alamos, to try to make the bomb work.
It always seems odd to me that the fundamental laws of physics, when discovered, can appear in so many different forms that are not apparently identical at first, but, with a little mathematical fiddling, you can show the relationship.
All the evidence, experimental and even a little theoretical, seems to indicate that it is the energy content which is involved in gravitation, and therefore, since matter and antimatter both represent positive energies, gravitation makes no distinction.
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.
Trying to understand the way nature works involves a most terrible test of human reasoning ability. It involves subtle trickery, beautiful tightropes of logic on which one has to walk in order not to make a mistake in predicting what will happen. The quantum mechanical and the relativity ideas are examples of this.
The fact that the colors in the flower have evolved in order to attract insects to pollinate it is interesting; that means insects can see the colors. That adds a question: does this aesthetic sense we have also exist in lower forms of life?
If I get stuck, I look at a book that tells me how someone else did it. I turn the pages, and then I say, 'Oh, I forgot that bit,' then close the book and carry on. Finally, after you've figured out how to do it, you read how they did it and find out how dumb your solution is and how much more clever and efficient theirs is!
I was a very shy character, always feeling uncomfortable because everybody was stronger than I, and always afraid I would look like a sissy. Everybody else played baseball; everybody else did all kinds of athletic things.
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 a curious historical fact that modern quantum mechanics began with two quite different mathematical formulations: the differential equation of Schroedinger and the matrix algebra of Heisenberg. The two apparently dissimilar approaches were proved to be mathematically equivalent.
We do not know what the rules of the game are; all we are allowed to do is to watch the playing. Of course, if we watch long enough, we may eventually catch on to a few of the rules. The rules of the game are what we mean by fundamental physics.
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.
It's the way I study - to understand something by trying to work it out or, in other words, to understand something by creating it. Not creating it one hundred percent, of course; but taking a hint as to which direction to go but not remembering the details. These you work out for yourself.
Things on a very small scale behave like nothing that you have any direct experience about. They do not behave like waves, they do not behave like particles, they do not behave like clouds, or billiard balls, or weights on springs, or like anything that you have ever seen.
If you realize all the time what's kind of wonderful - that is, if we expand our experience into wilder and wilder regions of experience - every once in a while, we have these integrations when everything's pulled together into a unification, in which it turns out to be simpler than it looked before.