Physics was the first of the natural sciences to become fully modern and highly mathematical.Chemistry followed in the wake of physics, but biology, the retarded child, lagged far behind.Michael Crichton: 1969 The Andromeda Strain.
It is now quite lawful for a Catholic woman to avoid pregnancy by a resort to mathematics, though she is still forbidden to resort to physics and chemistry.H(enry) L(ouis) Mencken: 'Minority Report'. Collected in Notebooks (1956).
All science is either physics or stamp collecting.Rutherford, Ernest, Baron Rutherford of Nelson: Quoted inJ B Birks Rutherford at Manchester (1962).
The pace of science forces the pace of technique. Theoretical physics forces atomic energy on us; the successful production of the fission bomb forces upon us the manufacture of the hydrogen bomb.We do not choose our problems, we do not choose our products; we are pushed, we are forcedby what? Bya system which has no purpose and goal transcending it, and which makes man its appendix.Erich Fromm: 1955 The Sane Society.
When physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, contribute to the detection of concrete human woes and to the development of plans for remedying them and relieving the human estate, they become moral; they become part of the apparatus of moral inquiry or science When the consciousness of science is fully impregnated with the consciousness of human value, the greatest dualism which now weighs humanity down, the split between the material, the mechanical and the scientific and the moral and ideal will be destroyed.john dewey: 1920 Reconstruction in Philosophy.
“Which is Better: the Latke or the Hamantash?” is not a valid question, even though this has now been debated for 50 years.* The question does not exhibit the necessary property of universality.* It is culturally biased, implies gender specificity, exhibits geographical chauvinism and appeals to special interests.* It is not value-free.This question would not pass scrutiny on an SAT test, since it unfairly favors one ethnic and gender group over another: e.g., it favors the NY and Brooklyn establishment over the Midwest Rust Belt, and pits female latke workers against male hamantash bakers. In short, it is Politically Incorrect. Physics does not ask which is better: the proton or neutron, baryon or lepton, helium or neon, the conductor or insulator. These are simply properties of nature. Rather, physics asks: “Why?” or “Which is more important or more fundamental?” or “Who published it first?”as quoted in Ruth Fredman Cernea, Ted (FRW) Cohen (2006). The great latke-hamantash debate. University of Chicago Press. p. 153. ISBN 0226100243.
"[Computer science] is not really about computers -- and it's not about computers in the same sense that physics is not really about particle accelerators, and biology is not about microscopes and Petri dishes...and geometry isn't really about using surveying instruments. Now the reason that we think computer science is about computers is pretty much the same reason that the Egyptians thought geometry was about surveying instruments: when some field is just getting started and you don't really understand it very well, it's very easy to confuse the essence of what you're doing with the tools that you use."hal abelson: Source: YouTube video
Certainly we do not need quantum mechanics for macroscopic objects, which are well described by classical physics – this is the reason why quantum mechanics seems so foreign to our everyday existence.alain aspect: in the introduction of John Stewart Bell's Speakable and Unspeakable in Quantum Mechanics, 2nd edition. Cambridge University Press. 2004. p. xxix. ISBN 0521523389.
Politics follows the lines of physics: every action creates an equal and opposite reaction.john avlon: The Rise of Political Extremism and the Decline of Decency, April 8, 2010. US News.
Peace is never long preserved by weight of metal or by an armament race. Peace can be made tranquil and secure only by understanding and agreement fortified by sanctions. We must embrace international cooperation or international disintegration. Science has taught us how to put the atom to work. But to make it work for good instead of for evil lies in the domain dealing with the principles of human dignity. We are now facing a problem more of ethics than of physics.bernard baruch: Address to the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission (14 June 1946)
No one, who knows what the difficulties are, now believes that the crisis of physics is likely to be resolved by any simple trick or modification of existing theories. Something radical is needed, and it will have to go far wider than physics. A new world outlook is being forged, but much experiment and argument will be needed before it can take a definitive form. It must be coherent, it must include and illuminate the new knowledge of fundamental particles and their complex fields, it must resolve the paradoxes of wave and particle, it must make the world inside the atom and the wide spaces of the universe equally intelligible. It must have a different dimension from all previous world views, and include in itself an explanation of development and the origin of new things. In this it will fall naturally in line with the converging tendencies of the biological and social sciences in which a regular pattern blends with their evolutionary history.john desmond bernal: J.D. Bernal (1959/1969) Science in history Vol 3. p. 862; cited in: Ludwig von Bertalanffy (1968) General System Theory. p. 5-6
I seriously say to you that business or job as an engineer is not the thing for me. It is totally foreign to my nature and radically opposed to my temperament and opinions. Physics is my line. I know I shall do great things here. For, each man can do best and excel in only that thing of which he is passionately fond, in which he believes, as I do, that he has the ability to do it, that he is in fact born and destined to do it... I am burning with a desire to do physics. I will and must do it sometime. It is my only ambition. I have no desire to be a "successful" man or the head of a big firm. There are intelligent people who like that and let them do it. ... It is no use saying to Beethoven "You must be a scientist for it is great thing" when he did not care two hoots for science; or to Socrates "Be an engineer; it is work of intelligent man." It is not in the nature of things. I therefore earnestly implore you to let me do physics.homi j. bhabha: Letter to his father, expressing his desire to study physics instead of mechanical engineering, as his father had wanted. His father agreed, on the condition that Bhabha pass the Mechanical Engineering Tripos with first class. He did that, and later passed the mathematical Tripos with First class too, as quoted in the "Homi Jehangir Bhabha" profile at the Vigyan Prasar Science Portal.
There is at the moment in India no big school of research in the fundamental problems of physics, both theoretical and experimental. There are, however, scattered all over India competent workers who are not doing as good work as they would do if brought together in one place under proper direction. It is absolutely in the interest of India to have a vigorous school of research in fundamental physics, for such a school forms the spearhead of research not only in less advanced branches of physics but also in problems of immediate practical application in industry. If much of the applied research done in India today is disappointing or of very inferior quality it is entirely due to the absence of sufficient number of outstanding pure research workers who would set the standard of good research and act on the directing boards in an advisory capacity ... Moreover, when nuclear energy has been successfully applied for power production in say a couple of decades from now, India will not have to look abroad for its experts but will find them ready at hand. I do not think that anyone acquainted with scientific development in other countries would deny the need in India for such a school as I propose.The subjects on which research and advanced teaching would be done would be theoretical physics, especially on fundamental problems and with special reference to cosmic rays and nuclear physics, and experimental research on cosmic rays. It is neither possible nor desirable to separate nuclear physics from cosmic rays since the two are closely connected theoretically.homi j. bhabha: In his proposal to the Sir Dorab Tata Trust for establishing a "vigorous school of research in fundamental physics [in India]", which would later be the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research; as quoted in the "Homi Jehangir Bhabha" profile at the Vigyan Prasar Science Portal.
Doing physics is much more enjoyable than just learning it. Maybe 'doing it' is the right way of learning, at least as far as I am concerned.in his Nobel biography, edited by Tore Frängsmyr, Gösta Ekspong, Nobelstiftelsen (1993). Physics 1981-1990. World Scientific. p. 383. ISBN 9810207298.
With Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, the fundamental role of experimental errors became a basic feature of physics.léon brillouin: Léon Brillouin (1962). Science and Information Theory, second edition. Academic Press, New York. p. 304. ISBN 0-48643-918-6.
On the side of physics, there were a few key figures in Oxford who realized, in all probability unlike the majority of their colleagues in the physics department, that physics without interpretation is only part of the story, and that theories like quantum mechanics need careful foundational reflection.harvey brown: Physics and Philiosophy in Oxford: a prosperous example of interdisciplinarity, in Innovation and interdisciplinarity in the university. EDIPUCRS. 2007. p. 304. ISBN 8-574-30677-0.
The problem of thermonuclear reactions is not a usual physics problem. This is a problem that must transform society and the world. Our generation, which gave to mankind atomic energy and thermonuclear energy in the form of explosions, is responsible to humanity for solving the main problem of energy – obtaining energy from water. People are waiting for the solution of this problem. Our duty is to solve it within the lifetime of our generation, and therefore we must set out on this path.gersh budker: as quoted by D. D. Ryutov in G.I. Budker: reflections & remembrances, by Boris N. Breizman. Springer. 1993. p. 278. ISBN 1-56396-070-2.
For although it is certainly true that quantitative measurements are of great importance, it is a grave error to suppose that the whole of experimental physics can be brought under this heading. We can start measuring only when we know what to measure: qualitative observation has to precede quantitative measurement, and by making experimental arrangements for quantitative measurements we may even eliminate the possibility of new phenomena appearing.in his memoirs, as quoted by Jean Matricon, G. Waysand, Charles Glashausser (2003). The cold wars: a history of superconductivity. Rutgers University Press. p. 18. ISBN 0813532957.
all the standard equations of mathematical physics can be separated and solved in Kerr geometry.subrahmanyan chandrasekhar: From Chandrasekhar's Nobel lecture, in his summary of his work on black holes; Republished in: D. G. Caldi, George D. Mostow (1989) Proceedings of the Gibbs Symposium: Yale University, May 15-17, 1989 p. 230
Changi became my university instead of my prison. ... Among the inmates there were experts in all walks of life — the high and the low roads. I studied and absorbed everything I could from physics to counterfeiting, but most of all I learned the art of surviving.james clavell: As quoted in "James Clavell, Best-Selling Storyteller of Far Eastern Epics, Is Dead at 69" by William Grimes in The New York Times (8 September 1994)
In its conception the literature prize belongs to days when a writer could still be thought of as, by virtue of his or her occupation, a sage, someone with no institutional affiliations who could offer an authoritative word on our times as well as on our moral life. (It has always struck me as strange, by the way, that Alfred Nobel did not institute a philosophy prize, or for that matter that he instituted a physics prize but not a mathematics prize, to say nothing of a music prize - music is, after all, more universal than literature, which is bound to a particular language.) The idea of writer as sage is pretty much dead today. I would certainly feel very uncomfortable in the role.j. m. coetzee: Dagens Nyheter interview with David Attwell (December 8, 2003)
Quantum physics is no longer an abstract theory for specialists. We must now absolutely include it in our education and also in our culture.claude cohen-tannoudji: Quantum Physics: From Basic Concepts to Applications. Honeywell-Nobel Laureate Lecture Series at the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad (September 15, 2008), at 3:22.
After Montesquieu, the next great addition to Sociology (which is the term I may be allowed to invent to designate Social Physics) was made by Condorcet, proceeding on the views suggested by his illustrious friend Turgot.auguste comte: Book VI: Social Physics, Ch. II: Principle Philosophical Attempts to Constitute a Social System
As a fraction of the lifespan of the universe as measured from the beginning to the evaporation of the last black hole, life as we know it is only possible for 1/10^30 of a percent. And that's why, for me, the most astonishing wonder of the universe isn't a star or a planet or a galaxy. It isn't a thing at all. It's an instant in time. And that time is now. Humans have walked the earth for just the shortest fraction of that briefest of moments in deep time. But in our 200,000 years on this planet we've made remarkable progress. It was only 2,500 years ago that we believed that the sun was a god and measured its orbit with stone towers built on the top of a hill. Today the language of curiosity is not sun gods, but science. And we have observatories that are almost infinitely more sophisticated than those towers, that can gaze out deep into the universe. And perhaps even more remarkably through theoretical physics and mathematics we can calculate what the universe will look like in the distant future. And we can even make concrete predictions about its end. And I believe that it's only by continuing our exploration of the cosmos and the laws of nature that govern it that we can truly understand ourselves and our place in this universe of wonders.brian cox: Conclusion in Wonders of the Universe - Destiny
Buddhism does not accept a theory of God, or a creator. According to Buddhism, one's own actions are the creator, ultimately. Some people say that, from a certain angle, Buddhism is not a religion but rather a science of mind. Religion has much involvement with faith. Sometimes it seems that there is quite a distance between a way of thinking based on faith and one entirely based on experiment, remaining skeptical. Unless you find something through investigation, you do not want to accept it as fact. From one viewpoint, Buddhism is a religion, from another viewpoint Buddhism is a science of mind and not a religion. Buddhism can be a bridge between these two sides. Therefore, with this conviction I try to have closer ties with scientists, mainly in the fields of cosmology, psychology, neurobiology and physics. In these fields there are insights to share, and to a certain extent we can work together.tenzin gyatso: "The Nobel Evening Address" p. 115