It is odd, but on the infrequent occasions when I have been called upon in a formal place to play the bongo drums, the introducer never seems to find it necessary to mention that I also do theoretical physics.— Richard P. Feynman
Killer Theoretical Physics quotations
Everything is energy and that's all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.
The theoretical side of physical chemistry is and will probably remain the dominant one; it is by this peculiarity that it has exerted such a great influence upon the neighboring sciences, pure and applied, and on this ground physical chemistry may be regarded as an excellent school of exact reasoning for all students of the natural sciences.
In science it often happens that scientists say, "You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken..."
Even if you can't physically see the result in front of you right now, every single effort you do is changing your body from the inside. Never get discouraged.
I am now convinced that theoretical physics is actually philosophy.
The only object of theoretical physics is to calculate results that can be compared with experiment... it is quite unnecessary that any satisfactory description of the whole course of the phenomena should be given.
If you really want to contribute to our theoretical understanding of physical laws - and it is an exciting experience if you succeed! - there are many things you need to know. First of all, be serious about it!
Strength does not come from physical capacity, It comes from an indomitable will.
I recognize that many physicists are smarter than I am-most of them theoretical physicists. A lot of smart people have gone into theoretical physics, therefore the field is extremely competitive. I console myself with the thought that although they may be smarter and may be deeper thinkers than I am, I have broader interests than they have.
The methods of theoretical physics should be applicable to all those branches of thought in which the essential features are expressible with numbers.
Since the beginning of physics, symmetry considerations have provided us with an extremely powerful and useful tool in our effort to understand nature. Gradually they have become the backbone of our theoretical formulation of physical laws.
If you put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus and you must go beyond them.
I started out in nuclear physics. But after I became more sensitized to the environmental and health implications of the nuclear system - I was being trained to be the first women in the fast-breeder reactor in India (and was in it when it first went critical) - I didn't feel comfortable with it. So I went into theoretical physics.
...the physicist cannot simply surrender to the philosopher the critical contemplation of the theoretical foundations; for, he himself knows best, and feels more surely where the shoe pinches...Physical conceptions are free creations of the human mind, and are not, however it may seem, uniquely determined by the external world.
If the aim of physical theories is to explain experimental laws, theoretical physics is not an autonomous science; it is subordinate to metaphysics.
No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.
Mental illness, of course, is not literally a "thing" - or physical object - and hence it can "exist" only in the same sort of way in which other theoretical concepts exist.
All theoretical chemistry is really physics; and all theoretical chemists know it.
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 forced -- by what? By a system which has no purpose and goal transcending it, and which makes man its appendix.
Relativity applies to physics, not ethics.
That's what doing theoretical physics is like: there are a lot of wipeouts.
I've always really been into science, and in the last five years I've gotten into theoretical physics and the origins of the universe.
It was at this moment that I wrote my first important paper in theoretical physics. I was 32 years old, 5 years beyond the alleged age of senility for theorists.
Quantum physics tells us that nothing that is observed is unaffected by the observer. That statement, from science, holds an enormous and powerful insight. It means that everyone sees a different truth, because everyone is creating what they see.
Einstein's gravitational theory, which is said to be the greatest single achievement of theoretical physics, resulted in beautiful relations connecting gravitational phenomena with the geometry of space; this was an exciting idea.
Most people don't have time to master the very mathematical details of theoretical physics.
Theoretical physics is one of the few fields in which being disabled is no handicap - it is all in the mind.
Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done.
The first thing to realize about physics .
.. is its extraordinary indirectness.... For physics is not about the real world, it is about "abstractions" from the real world, and this is what makes it so scientific.... Theoretical physics runs merrily along with these unreal abstractions, but its conclusions are checked, at every possible point, by experiments.
This is often the way it is in physics - our mistake is not that we take our theories too seriously, but that we do not take them seriously enough. It is always hard to realize that these numbers and equations we play with at our desks have something to do with the real world. Even worse, there often seems to be a general agreement that certain phenomena are just not fit subjects for respectable theoretical and experimental effort.
It is tribute to how far we have come in theoretical physics that it now takes enormous machines and a great deal of money to perform experiments whose results we can not predict.
If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.
It would of course be a great step forward if we succeeded in combining the gravitational field and the electromagnetic field into a single structure. Only so could the era in theoretical physics inaugurated by Faraday and James Clerk Maxwell be brought to a satisfactory close.
When I was a college student at Yale, I was studying physics and mathematics and was absolutely intent on becoming a theoretical physicist.
It is natural that a man should consider the work of his hands or his brain to be useful and important. Therefore nobody will object to an ardent experimentalist boasting of his measurements and rather looking down on the 'paper and ink' physics of his theoretical friend, who on his part is proud of his lofty ideas and despises the dirty fingers of the other. Experiment and Theory in Physics
No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without even seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.
What appear to be the most valuable aspects of the theoretical physics we have are the mathematical descriptions which enable us to predict events. These equations are, we would argue, the only realities we can be certain of in physics; any other ways we have of thinking about the situation are visual aids or mnemonics which make it easier for beings with our sort of macroscopic experience to use and remember the equations.
The chief difficulty of modern theoretical physics resides not in the fact that it expresses itself almost exclusively in mathematical symbols, but in the psychological difficulty of supposing that complete nonsense can be seriously promulgated and transmitted by persons who have sufficient intelligence of some kind to perform operations in differential and integral calculus.
Is the purpose of theoretical physics to be no more than a cataloging of all the things that can happen when particles interact with each other and seperate? Or is it to be an understanding at a deeper level in which there are things that are not directly observable (as the underlying quantized fields are) but in terms of which we shall have a more fundamental understanding?
I am physically allergic to flip-flops.
At present, when the prevailing forms of society have become hindrances to the free expression of human powers, it is precisely the abstract branches of science, mathematics and theoretical physics, which ... offer a less distorted form of knowledge than other branches of science which are interwoven with the pattern of daily life, and the practicality of which seemingly testifies to their realistic character.
Therefore psychologically we must keep all the theories in our heads, and every theoretical physicist who is any good knows six or seven different theoretical representations for exactly the same physics.
I think my dad [ Stephen Hawking] would have been pleased if I had turned out a scientist because he truly believes that is the most interesting career open to anyone. But he also believes that you have to follow your own path in life and so he certainly wasn't going to push me toward theoretical physics when it didn't look like I was going in that direction naturally.
In some ways I'm a frustrated scientist or mathematician.
The amount of times I've thought I'd go back to university and do theoretical physics because I like the big questions, but really I know now that that's not quite me. What's me is to do it in novels.
It is impossible to discuss realism in logic without drawing in the empirical sciences... A truly realistic mathematics should be conceived, in line with physics, as a branch of the theoretical construction of the one real world and should adopt the same sober and cautious attitude toward hypothetic extensions of its foundation as is exhibited by physics.