There is no quantum world. There is only an abstract quantum physical description. It is wrong to think that the task of physics is to find out how nature is. Physics concerns what we can say about nature.
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists The Philosophy of Niels Bohr (p. 12) Volume 19, Number 7, September 1963
"Curiouser and curiouser," cried Alice.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland The Pool of Tears Chapter II (p. 13)
The more one chases after quanta, the better they hide themselves.
Letter to Paul Ehrenfest dated 12 July 1924 Quoted in Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman Albert Einstein: The Human Side (p. 69)
Feynman, Richard P.
The theory of quantum electrodynamics describes Nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And it agrees with experiment. So I hope you can accept Nature as She is—absurd.
QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter Chapter 1 (p. 10)
All of modern physics is governed by that magnificent and thoroughly confusing discipline called quantum mechanics, invented more than fifty years ago. It has survived all tests and there is no reason to believe that there is any flaw in it. We suppose that it is exactly correct. Nobody understands it, but we all know how to use it and how to apply it to problems; and so we have learned to live with the fact that nobody can understand it.
In Frank Durham and Robert D. Purrington (eds)
Some Truer Method Chapter 2 (p. 51)
If anything like mechanics were true then one would never understand the existence of atoms. Evidently there exists another "quantum mechanics."
In Keith Hannabuss An Introduction to Quantum Theory Letter to Wolfgang Pauli June 21, 1925 (p. 21)
...quantum theory reminds us, as Bohr has put it, of the old wisdom that when searching for harmony in life one must never forget that in the drama of existence we are ourselves both players and spectators. It is understandable that in our scientific relation to nature our own activity becomes very important when we have to deal with parts of nature into which we can penetrate only by using the most elaborate tools.
Physics and Philosophy The Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory
I like relativity and quantum theories because I don't understand them and they make me feel as if space shifted about like a swan that can't settle, refusing to sit still and be measured; and as if the atom were an impulsive thing Always changing its mind.
In Vivian de Sola Pinto and Warren Roberts (eds) The Complete Poems of D.H. Lawrence Volume 1 Relativity (p. 524)
Quantum theory is both stupendously successful as an account of the small-scale structure of the world and it is also the subject of unresolved debate and dispute about its interpretation. That sounds rather like being shown an impressively beautiful palace and being told that no one is quite sure whether its foundations rest on bedrock or shifting sand.
The Quantum World Chapter 1 (p. 1)
Welcome to the strange world of the quantum, where one cannot determine how a particle gets from here to there. Physicists are reduced to bookies, posting odds on the various possibilities.
Fearful Symmetry Chapter 10 (p. 141)
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