I think physicists are the Peter Pans of the human race. They never grow up and they keep their curiosity.

— Isidor Isaac Rabi

The most unbelievable Isidor Isaac Rabi quotes to discover and learn by heart

My mother made me a scientist without ever intending to.

Every other Jewish mother in Brooklyn would ask her child after school, So? Did you learn anything today? But not my mother. Izzy, she would say, did you ask a good question today? That difference - asking good questions - made me become a scientist.


[Science is] a great game. It is inspiring and refreshing. The playing field is the universe itself.


As yet, if a man has no feeling for art he is considered narrow-minded, but if he has no feeling for science this is considered quite normal. This is a fundamental weakness.


It was eerie. I saw myself in that machine. I never thought my work would come to this.


My ideal man is Benjamin Franklin-the figure in American history most worthy of emulation ... Franklin is my ideal of a whole man. ... Where are the life-size-or even pint-size-Benjamin Franklins of today?


It was eerie. I saw myself in that machine. I never thought my work would come to this. Upon seeing a distorted image of his face, reflected on the inside cylindrical surface of the bore while inside an MRI (magnetic-resonance-imaging) machine-a device made possible by his early physical researches on nuclear magnetic resonance (1938).


The scientist does not defy the universe.

He accepts it. It is his dish to savor, his realm to explore; it is his adventure and never-ending delight. It is complaisant and elusive but never dull. It is wonderful both in the small and in the large. In short, its exploration is the highest occupation for a gentleman.


You know that, according to quantum theory, if two particles collide with enough energy you can, in principle, with an infinitesimal probability, produce two grand pianos.


We gave you an atomic bomb, what do you want, mermaids ?


We must also teach science not as the bare body of fact, but more as human endeavor in its historic context-in the context of the effects of scientific thought on every kind of thought. We must teach it as an intellectual pursuit rather than as a body of tricks.


Most new insights come only after a superabundant accumulation of facts have removed the blindness which prevented us from seeing what later comes to be regarded as obvious.


Suddenly, there was an enormous flash of light, the brightest light I have ever seen or that I think anyone has ever seen. It blasted; it pounced; it bored its way into you. It was a vision which was seen with more than the eye. It was seen to last forever. You would wish it would stop; altogether it lasted about two seconds.


About Isidor Isaac Rabi

Quotes 19 sayings
Profession Physicist
Birthday July 29, 1898

There isn't a scientific community. It is a culture. It is a very undisciplined organization.


There are questions which illuminate, and there are those that destroy.

I was always taught to ask the first kind.


Physics is an otherworld thing, it requires a taste for things unseen, even unheard of- a high degree of abstraction... These faculties die off somehow when you grow up... profound curiosity happens when children are young. I think physicists are the Peter Pans of the human race... Once you are sophisticated, you know too much- far too much. Pauli once said to me, "I know a great deal. I know too much. I am a quantum ancient.".


If you decide you don't have to get A's, you can learn an enormous amount in college.


To me, science is an expression of the human spirit, which reaches every sphere of human culture. It gives an aim and meaning to existence as well as a knowledge, understanding, love, and admiration for the world. It gives a deeper meaning to morality and another dimension to esthetics.


Physics filled me with awe, put me in touch with a sense of original causes.

Physics brought me closer to God. That feeling stayed with me throughout my years in science. Whenever one of my students came to me with a scientific project, I asked only one question, 'Will it bring you nearer to God?'