Saturday, August 29, 2009

Physics Quote of the Day (August 23 - August 29)

"You need only a sheet of paper and so mathematics starts." Guido Beck, born 29 August 1903.

"Everything on earth has to function in harmony as a system, and it is only in such a system that humanity can flourish." M.G.K. Menon, born 28 August 1928.

"You have to get a little untrapped from too much prior knowledge." Norman Ramsey, born 27 August 1915.

"... equations that really work in describing nature with the most generality and the greatest simplicity are very elegant and subtle." Edward Witten, born 26 August 1951.

"Whenever I came to him (Fritz Sauter) with a pure physics idea, he would invariably say, with slight sarcasm: "But Mr. Kroemer, you ought to be able to formulate this mathematically! " If I came to him with a math formulation, I would get, in a similar tone: "But Mr. Kroemer, that is just math, what is the physics?" After a few encounters of this kind, you got the idea: You had to be able to go back and forth with ease. Yet, in the last analysis, concepts took priority over formalism, the latter was simply an (indispensable) means to an end." Herbert Kroemer, born 25 August 1928.

"... one of the most detrimental (and least discussed) effects of the crisis in science education in the world today is that we are creating a population increasingly unable to think skeptically about a wide range of issues." Andrew Fraknoi, born 24 August 1948.

"In science, conjecture drives both experiment and theory for it is only by forming conjectures (hypotheses) that we can make the direction of our experiments and theories informed. If such and such is true, then I should be able to do this experiment and look for this particular result or I should be able to find this theoretical formulation. Conversely, experiment and theory drive conjecture. One makes a startling observation or has a sudden insight and begins to speculate on its significance and implications and to draw possible conclusions (conjecture)." Robert Curl, born 23 August 1933.

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