Saturday, February 20, 2010

Physics Quote of the Day (February 14 - February 20)

"But every day I go to work I'm making a bet that the universe is simple, symmetric, and aesthetically pleasing—a universe that we humans, with our limited perspective, will someday understand." George Smoot, born 20 February 1945.

"Perhaps our thinking exemplifies a selective system. First lots of random scattered ideas compete for survival. Then comes the selection for what works best —one idea dominates, and this is followed by its amplification. Perhaps the moral [...] is that you never learn anything unless you are willing to take a risk and tolerate a little randomness in your life." Heinz Pagels, born 19 February 1939.

"Personally, people know themselves very poorly." Ernst Mach, born 18 February 1838.

"The experiment decided in favor of the quantum theory." Otto Stern, born 17 February 1888.

"The twentieth century return to Middle Age scholastics taught us a lot about formalisms. Probably it is time to look outside again. Meaning is what really matters." Yuri Manin, born 16 February 1937.

"For successful education there must always be a certain freshness in the knowledge dealt with. It must be either new in itself or invested with some novelty of application to the new world of new times. Knowledge does not keep any better than fish. You may be dealing with knowledge of the old species, with some old truth; but somehow it must come to the students, as it were, just drawn out of the sea and with the freshness of its immediate importance." Alfred Whitehead, born 15 February 1861.

"To eliminate the discrepancy between men's plans and the results achieved, a new approach is necessary. Morphological thinking suggests that this new approach cannot be realized through increased teaching of specialized knowledge. This morphological analysis suggests that the essential fact has been overlooked that every human is potentially a genius. Education and dissemination of knowledge must assume a form which allows each student to absorb whatever develops his own genius, lest he become frustrated. The same outlook applies to the genius of the peoples as a whole." Fritz Zwicky, born 14 February 1898.

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