Quotes by Richard P. Feynman


The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool.
– Richard P. Feynman
I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy.
– Richard P. Feynman
I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there.
– Richard P. Feynman
If I could explain it to the average person, I wouldn't have been worth the Nobel Prize.
– Richard P. Feynman
It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong.
– Richard P. Feynman
It is in the admission of ignorance and the admission of uncertainty that there is a hope for the continuous motion of human beings in some direction that doesn't get confined, permanently blocked, as it has so many times before in various periods in the history of man.
– Richard P. Feynman
Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so that each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry.
– Richard P. Feynman
Poets say science takes away from the beauty of the stars - mere globs of gas atoms. I, too, can see the stars on a desert night, and feel them. But do I see less or more?
– Richard P. Feynman
Scientific views end in awe and mystery, lost at the edge in uncertainty, but they appear to be so deep and so impressive that the theory that it is all arranged as a stage for God to watch man's struggle for good and evil seems inadequate.
– Richard P. Feynman
The idea is to try to give all the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another.
– Richard P. Feynman
The theoretical broadening which comes from having many humanities subjects on the campus is offset by the general dopiness of the people who study these things.
– Richard P. Feynman
There is a computer disease that anybody who works with computers knows about. It's a very serious disease and it interferes completely with the work. The trouble with computers is that you 'play' with them!
– Richard P. Feynman
We are at the very beginning of time for the human race. It is not unreasonable that we grapple with problems. But there are tens of thousands of years in the future. Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions, and pass them on.
– Richard P. Feynman
(I) once asked Richard Feynman whether he thought of mathematics and, by extension, the laws of physics as having an independent existence. He replied: The problem of existence is a very interesting and difficult one. if you do mathematics, which is simply working out the consequences of assumptions, you'll discover for instance a curious thing if you add the cubes of integers. One cubed is one, two cubed is two times two times two, that's eight, and three cubed is three times three times three, that's twenty-seven. If you add the cubes of these, one plus eight plus twenty-seven- let's stop there - that would be thirty-six. And that's the square of of another number, six, and that number is the sum of those same integers. one plus two plus three...Now, that fact which I've just told you about might not have been known to you before. You might say Where is it, what is it, where is it located, what kind of reality does it have?' And yet you came upon it. When you discover these things, you get the feeling that they were true before you found them. So you get the idea that somehow they existed somewhere, but there's nowhere for such things. It's just a feeling...Well, in the case of physics we have double trouble. We come upon these mathematical interrelationships but they apply to the universe, so the problem of where they are is doubly confusing...Those are philosophical questions that I don't know how to answer.
– Richard P. Feynman
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.
– Richard P. Feynman
Philosophers say a great deal about what is absolutely necessary for science, and it is always, so far as one can see, rather naive, and probably wrong.
– Richard P. Feynman
Physicists like to think that all you have to do is say, these are the conditions, now what happens next?
– Richard P. Feynman
There are 10^11 stars in the galaxy. That used to be a huge number. But it's only a hundred billion. It's less than the national deficit! We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers.
– Richard P. Feynman
You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird... So let's look at the bird and see what it's doing -- that's what counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.
– Richard P. Feynman
There is no harm in doubt and scepticism, for it is through these that new discoveries are made.
– Richard P. Feynman