Richard P. Feynman quotes

Who on Earth is Richard P. Feynman?

Richard Phillips "Dick" Feynman was an American Nobel Prize winning physicist.

Richard P. Feynman books

Richard P. Feynman quotes

“All the time you're saying to yourself, 'I could do that, but I won't,' — which is just another way of saying that you can't.”

Richard P. Feynman Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!

“Fall in love with some activity, and do it! Nobody ever figures out what life is all about, and it doesn't matter. Explore the world. Nearly everything is really interesting if you go into it deeply enough. Work as hard and as much as you want to on the things you like to do the best. Don't think about what you want to be, but what you want to do. Keep up some kind of a minimum with other things so that society doesn't stop you from doing anything at all.”

Richard P. Feynman

“I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy.”

Richard P. Feynman

“I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong. If we will only allow that, as we progress, we remain unsure, we will leave opportunities for alternatives. We will not become enthusiastic for the fact, the knowledge, the absolute truth of the day, but remain always uncertain … In order to make progress, one must leave the door to the unknown ajar.”

Richard P. Feynman

“I couldn't claim that I was smarter than sixty-five other guys--but the average of sixty-five other guys, certainly!”

Richard P. Feynman Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!

“I have a friend who's an artist and has sometimes taken a view which I don't agree with very well. He'll hold up a flower and say "look how beautiful it is," and I'll agree. Then he says "I as an artist can see how beautiful this is but you as a scientist take this all apart and it becomes a dull thing," and I think that he's kind of nutty. First of all, the beauty that he sees is available to other people and to me too, I believe. Although I may not be quite as refined aesthetically as he is ... I can appreciate the beauty of a flower. At the same time, I see much more about the flower than he sees. I could imagine the cells in there, the complicated actions inside, which also have a beauty. I mean it's not just beauty at this dimension, at one centimeter; there's also beauty at smaller dimensions, the inner structure, also the processes. The fact that the colors in the flower evolved in order to attract insects to pollinate it is interesting; it means that insects can see the color. It adds a question: does this aesthetic sense also exist in the lower forms? Why is it aesthetic? All kinds of interesting questions which the science knowledge only adds to the excitement, the mystery and the awe of a flower. It only adds. I don't understand how it subtracts.”

Richard P. Feynman

“I learned from her that every woman is worried about her looks, no matter how beautiful she is.”

Richard P. Feynman Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!

“I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.”

Richard P. Feynman

“I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong.”

Richard P. Feynman

“I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of uncertainty about different things, but I am not absolutely sure of anything and there are many things I don't know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we're here. I don't have to know an answer. I don't feel frightened not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without any purpose, which is the way it really is as far as I can tell.”

Richard P. Feynman

“I think nature's imagination Is so much greater than man's, she's never going to let us relax.”

Richard P. Feynman

“I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned.”

Richard P. Feynman

“I'd hate to die twice. It's so boring.”

Richard P. Feynman

“I'm smart enough to know that I'm dumb.”

Richard P. Feynman

“I... a universe of atoms, an atom in the universe.”

Richard P. Feynman

“If I could explain it to the average person, I wouldn't have been worth the Nobel Prize.”

Richard P. Feynman

“If you thought that science was certain - well, that is just an error on your part.”

Richard P. Feynman

“In physics the truth is rarely perfectly clear, and that is certainly universally the case in human affairs. Hence, what is not surrounded by uncertainty cannot be the truth.”

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 doesn't seem to me that this fantastically marvelous universe, this tremendous range of time and space and different kinds of animals, and all the different planets, and all these atoms with all their motions, and so on, all this complicated thing can merely be a stage so that God can watch human beings struggle for good and evil - which is the view that religion has. The stage is too big for the drama.”

Richard P. Feynman

“It's Okay to say "I don't know." The pleasure is in finding things out.”

Richard P. Feynman

“Learn what the rest of the world is like. The variety is worthwhile.”

Richard P. Feynman Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!

“Nature has a great simplicity and therefore a great beauty.”

Richard P. Feynman

“Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry.”

Richard P. Feynman

“No government has the right to decide on the truth of scientific principles, nor to prescribe in any way the character of the questions investigated. Neither may a government determine the aesthetic value of artistic creations, nor limit the forms of literacy or artistic expression. Nor should it pronounce on the validity of economic, historic, religious, or philosophical doctrines. Instead it has a duty to its citizens to maintain the freedom, to let those citizens contribute to the further adventure and the development of the human race.”

Richard P. Feynman

“Nobody ever figures out what life is all about, and it doesn't matter. Explore the world. Nearly everything is really interesting if you go into it deeply enough.”

Richard P. Feynman

“Of course, you only live one life, and you make all your mistakes, and learn what not to do, and that's the end of you.”

Richard P. Feynman Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!

“People often think I'm a faker, but I'm usually honest, in a certain way — in such a way that often nobody believes me!”

Richard P. Feynman

“Philosophy of science is about as useful to scientists as ornithology is to birds.”

Richard P. Feynman

“Physics is like sex: sure, it may give some practical results, but that's not why we do it.”

Richard P. Feynman

“Physics is to math what sex is to masturbation.”

Richard P. Feynman

“Physics isn't the most important thing. Love is.”

Richard P. Feynman

“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.”

Richard P. Feynman

“Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.”

Richard P. Feynman The Pleasure of Finding Things Out

“Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.”

Richard P. Feynman

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

Richard P. Feynman

“The game I play is a very interesting one. It's imagination, in a tight straightjacket.”

Richard P. Feynman

“The highest forms of understanding we can achieve are laughter and human compassion.”

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

“There is no authority who decides what is a good idea.”

Richard P. Feynman

“To every man is given the key to the gates of heaven. The same key opens the gates of hell.

And so it is with science.”

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

“We are trying to prove ourselves wrong as quickly as possible, because only in that way can we find progress.”

Richard P. Feynman

“What do I advise? Forget it all. Don't be afraid. Do what you get the most pleasure from. Is it to build a cloud chamber? Then go on doing things like that. Develop your talents wherever they may lead. Damn the torpedoes - full speed ahead!
If you have any talent, or any occupation that delights you, do it, and do it to the hilt”

Richard P. Feynman

“What do you care what other people think?”

Richard P. Feynman Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!

“Why make yourself miserable saying things like, "Why do we have such bad luck? What has God done to us? What have we done to deserve this?" - all of which, if you understand reality and take it completely into your heart, are irrelevant and unsolvable. They are just things that nobody can know. Your situation is just an accident of life.”

Richard P. Feynman What Do You Care What Other People Think?

“Words can be meaningless. If they are used in such a way that no sharp conclusions can be drawn.”

Richard P. Feynman The Meaning of It All

“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 What Do You Care What Other People Think?

“You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish. I have no responsibility to be like they expect me to be. It's their mistake, not my failing.”

Richard P. Feynman Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!

“You have to have absolute confidence. Keep right on going, and nothing will happen.”

Richard P. Feynman Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!