Physics Quotes


In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.

Lords and Ladies

Terry Pratchett

Lords and Ladies

I'll be looking for you, Will, every moment, every single moment. And when we do find each other again, we'll cling together so tight that nothing and no one'll ever tear us apart. Every atom of me and every atom of you... We'll live in birds and flowers and dragonflies and pine trees and in clouds and in those little specks of light you see floating in sunbeams... And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they wont' just be able to take one, they'll have to take two, one of you and one of me, we'll be joined so tight...

Our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions any more than our opinions in physics or geometry...

Photons have mass? I didn’t even know they were Catholic.

Physics isn't the most important thing. Love is.

Not only is the Universe stranger than we think, it is stranger than we can think.

Across the Frontiers

Werner Heisenberg

Particles    Physics    Quantum    Reality    Science    Strange

The role played by time at the beginning of the universe is, I believe, the final key to removing the need for a Grand Designer, and revealing how the universe created itself. … Time itself must come to a stop. You can’t get to a time before the big bang, because there was no time before the big bang. We have finally found something that does not have a cause because there was no time for a cause to exist in. For me this means there is no possibility of a creator because there is no time for a creator to have existed. Since time itself began at the moment of the Big Bang, it was an event that could not have been caused or created by anyone or anything. … So when people ask me if a god created the universe, I tell them the question itself makes no sense. Time didn’t exist before the Big Bang, so there is no time for God to make the universe in. It’s like asking for directions to the edge of the Earth. The Earth is a sphere. It does not have an edge, so looking for it is a futile exercise.

Beginning    Big bang    Caucasian    Cause    Cosmology    Origin    Philosophy    Physics    Science    Space    Time    Universe

Ronan didn't need physics. He could intimidate even a piece of plywood into doing what he wanted.

The Raven Boys

Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys

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.

The only thing known to go faster than ordinary light is monarchy, according to the philosopher Ly Tin Wheedle. He reasoned like this: you can't have more than one king, and tradition demands that there is no gap between kings, so when a king dies the succession must therefore pass to the heir
instantaneously
. Presumably, he said, there must be some elementary particles -- kingons, or possibly queons -- that do this job, but of course succession sometimes fails if, in mid-flight, they strike an anti-particle, or republicon. His ambitious plans to use his discovery to send messages, involving the careful torturing of a small king in order to modulate the signal, were never fully expanded because, at that point, the bar closed.

Mort

Terry Pratchett

Mort

It is often stated that of all the theories proposed in this century, the silliest is quantum theory. In fact, some say that the only thing that quantum theory has going for it is that it is unquestionably correct.

Physics is really nothing more than a search for ultimate simplicity, but so far all we have is a kind of elegant messiness.

When it came time for me to give my talk on the subject, I started off by drawing an outline of the cat and began to name the various muscles.
The other students in the class interrupt me: "We *know* all that!"
"Oh," I say, "you *do*? Then no *wonder* I can catch up with you so fast after you've had four years of biology." They had wasted all their time memorizing stuff like that, when it could be looked up in fifteen minutes.

Humor    Learning    Physics    Science

You may not feel outstandingly robust, but if you are an average-sized adult you will contain within your modest frame no less than 7 X 10^18 joules of potential energy—enough to explode with the force of thirty very large hydrogen bombs, assuming you knew how to liberate it and really wished to make a point.

Nonsense is that which does not fit into the prearranged patterns which we have superimposed on reality...Nonsense is nonsense only when we have not yet found that point of view from which it makes sense.

Belief    Mind    New_age    Nonsense    Perception    Physics

The release of atomic power has changed everything except our way of thinking ... the solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind. If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker. (1945)

Those who are not shocked when they first come across quantum theory cannot possibly have understood it.

Particles    Physics    Quantum    Reality    Science    Strange

How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have some hope of making progress.

Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else.

He who thinks half-heartedly will not believe in God; but he who really thinks has to believe in God.

Christian    Education    Faith    Fake quote    God    Gravity    Isaac newton    Newton    Physics    Spirituality

What I have done is to show that it is possible for the way the universe began to be determined by the laws of science. In that case, it would not be necessary to appeal to God to decide how the universe began. This doesn't prove that there is no God, only that God is not necessary.

And a new philosophy emerged called quantum physics, which suggest that the individual’s function is to inform and be informed. You really exist only when you’re in a field sharing and exchanging information. You create the realities you inhabit.

I remember discussions with
Bohr
which went through many hours till very late at night and ended almost in despair; and when at the end of the discussion I went alone for a walk in the neighbouring park I repeated to myself again and again the question:
Can nature possibly be so absurd as it seemed to us in these atomic experiments
?

The first principle of value that we need to rediscover is this: that all reality hinges on moral foundations. In other words, that this is a moral universe, and that there are moral laws of the universe just as abiding as the physical laws. (from "Rediscovering Lost Values")

Laws    Morals    Physics    Universe    Values

I like physics, but I love cartoons.

Energy is liberated matter, matter is energy waiting to happen.

Atomic    Einstein    Energy    Matter    Physics    Science

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

The bright sun was extinguish'd, and the stars
Did wander darkling in the eternal space.

Astronomy    Cosmology    Eschatology    Physics    Science    Stars    Sun

Time and space are finite in extent, but they don't have any boundary or edge. They would be like the surface of the earth, but with two more dimensions.

Energy is neither created nor destroyed. It just changes shape.

He needs "space" and "time," as if this were physics and not a human relationship.

The Help

Kathryn Stockett

The Help

The death of God left the angels in a strange position.

Ideas that require people to reorganize their picture of the world provoke hostility.

Something deeply hidden had to be behind things.

Autobiographical Notes

Albert Einstein

Autobiographical Notes
Cosmology    Life    Meaing    Physics    Science    Universe

Quantum theory provides us with a striking illustration of the fact that we can fully understand a connection though we can only speak of it in images and parables.

God abhors a naked singularity.

There is a philosophy that says that if something is unobservable -- unobservable in principle -- it is not part of science. If there is no way to falsify or confirm a hypothesis, it belongs to the realm of metaphysical speculation, together with astrology and spiritualism. By that standard, most of the universe has no scientific reality -- it's just a figment of our imaginations.

The time has come to realise that an interpretation of the universe—even a positivist one—remains unsatisfying unless it covers the interior as well as the exterior of things; mind as well as matter. The true physics is that which will, one day, achieve the inclusion of man in his wholeness in a coherent picture of the world.

Mind    Physics    Science    Universe

Physics depends on a universe infinitely centred on an equals sign.

Science is opposed to theological dogmas because science is founded on fact. To me, the universe is simply a great machine which never came into being and never will end. The human being is no exception to the natural order. Man, like the universe, is a machine. Nothing enters our minds or determines our actions which is not directly or indirectly a response to stimuli beating upon our sense organs from without. Owing to the similarity of our construction and the sameness of our environment, we respond in like manner to similar stimuli, and from the concordance of our reactions, understanding is born. In the course of ages, mechanisms of infinite complexity are developed, but what we call 'soul' or 'spirit,' is nothing more than the sum of the functionings of the body. When this functioning ceases, the 'soul' or the 'spirit' ceases likewise.
I expressed these ideas long before the behaviorists, led by Pavlov in Russia and by Watson in the United States, proclaimed their new psychology. This apparently mechanistic conception is not antagonistic to an ethical conception of life.

I think that modern physics has definitely decided in favor of
Plato
. In fact the smallest units of matter are not physical objects in the ordinary sense; they are forms, ideas which can be expressed unambiguously only in mathematical language.

Language    Math    Mathematics    Physics    Plato    Science

In some sense, gravity does not exist; what moves the planets and the stars is the distortion of space and time.

This is why magic is worse even than quantum physics. Because, while both spit in the eye of common sense, I've never yet had a Higgs bosun turn up and try to have a conversation with me.

Nature has a great simplicity and therefore a great beauty

[T]he atoms or elementary particles themselves are not real; they form a world of potentialities or possibilities rather than one of things or facts.

Mathematics is the cheapest science. Unlike physics or chemistry, it does not require any expensive equipment. All one needs for mathematics is a pencil and paper.

Cheap    Chemistry    Equipment    Expensive    Math    Mathematics    Physics    Science

We ought to regard the present state of the universe as the effect of its antecedent state and as the cause of the state that is to follow. An intelligence knowing all the forces acting in nature at a given instant, as well as the momentary positions of all things in the universe, would be able to comprehend in one single formula the motions of the largest bodies as well as the lightest atoms in the world, provided that its intellect were sufficiently powerful to subject all data to analysis; to it nothing would be uncertain, the future as well as the past would be present to its eyes. The perfection that the human mind has been able to give to astronomy affords but a feeble outline of such an intelligence.

Analysis    Astronomy    Certainty    Comprehension    Data    Determinism    Eyes    Formula    Free will    Human mind    Intelligence    Lack of free will    Mind    Motion    Naturalism    Nature    Omniscience    Past    Perfection    Physics    Present    Science    Space    Time    Universe

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.

If you see an antimatter version of yourself running towards you, think twice before embracing.

You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.
And at one point you'd hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell him that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you. And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her eyes, that those photons created within her constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.
And the physicist will remind the congregation of how much of all our energy is given off as heat. There may be a few fanning themselves with their programs as he says it. And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here, still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn continue the heat of our own lives.
And you'll want the physicist to explain to those who loved you that they need not have faith; indeed, they should not have faith. Let them know that they can measure, that scientists have measured precisely the conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time. You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they'll be comforted to know your energy's still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you're just less orderly.
Amen.

Energy    Grief    Physicist    Physics

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