Adams, Douglas

Very strange people, my experience the ones who aren't actually dead are in some way very ill.

The Long Dark Tea-Time Of The Soul Chapter II (p. 111)

Adams, Henry

...the future of thought and therefore of history lies in the hands of physicists, and therefore the future historian must seek his education in the world of mathematical physics.

The Degradation of the Democratic Dogma The Rule of Phase Applied to History (p. 283)

Einstein, Albert

How wretchedly inadequate is the theoretical physicist as he stands before Nature—and before his students!

Letter dated 15 March 1922 Quoted in Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman Albert Einstein: The Human Side (p. 24)

Green, Celia

If you say to a theoretical physicist that something is inconceivable, he will reply: 'It only appears inconceivable because you are naively trying to conceive it. Stop thinking and all will be well.'

The Decline and Fall of Science Aphorisms (pp. 2-3)

Physicists do not start from hypotheses; they start from data. By the time a law has been fixed into an H-D [hypothetico-deductive] system, really original physical thinking is over.

Patterns of Discovery Chapter IV (p. 70)

Johnson, George

Trying to capture the physicists' precise mathematical description of the quantum world with our crude words and mental images is like playing Chopin with a boxing glove on one hand and a catcher's mitt on the other.

The New York Times On Skinning Schrodinger's Cat (p. 16) Section 4, Sunday, 2 June 1996

Kush, Polykarp

Our early predecessors observed Nature as she displayed herself to them. As knowledge of the world increased, however, it was not sufficient to observe only the most apparent aspects of Nature to discover her more subtle properties; rather, it was necessary to interrogate Nature and often to compel Nature, by various devices, to yield an answer as to her functioning. It is precisely the role of the experimental physicist to arrange devices and procedures that will compel Nature to make a quantitative statement of her properties and behavior.

In the Nobel Foundation Nobel Lectures Physics 1942-62

Nobel Lecture, December 12, 1955 (p. 298)

Michelson, Albert A.

If a poet could at the same time be a physicist, he might convey to others the pleasure, the satisfaction, almost the reverence, which the subject inspires. The aesthetic side of the subject is, I confess, by no means the least attractive to me. Especially is its fascination felt in the branch which deals with light. . .

Light Waves and Their Uses Lecture I (p. 1)

Newman, James R.

In this century the professional philosophers have let the physicists get away with murder. It is a safe bet that no other group of scientists could have passed off and gained acceptance for such an extraordinary principle as complementarity, nor succeeded in elevating indeterminacy to a universal law.

Scientific American

Book Review of "Causality and Chance in Modern Physics" (p. 116)

Volume 198, Number 1, January 1958

Rorty, Richard

Here is one way to look at physics: the physicists are men looking for new interpretations of the Book of Nature. After each pedestrian period of normal science, they dream up a new model, a new picture, a new vocabulary, and then they announce that the true meaning of the Book has been discovered. But, of course, it never is, any more than the true meaning of Coriolanus or the Dunciad or the Phenomenology of the Spirit or the Philosophical Investigations. What makes them physicists is that their writing are commentaries on the writings of earlier interpreters of Nature, not that they all are somehow "talking about the same thing"...

New Literary History Philosophy as a Kind of Writing (p. 141) Volume X, Number 1, Autumn 1978

Toulmin, Stephen

Natural historians...look for regularities of given forms, but physicists seek the form of given regularities.

The Philosophy of Science Chapter II Section 2.8 (p. 53)


Theoretical physicist—a physicist whose existence is postulated, to make the numbers balance, but who is never actually observed in the laboratory.

Source unknown

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