Zitate von Richard Feynman

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Richard Feynman

Geburtstag: 11. Mai 1918
Todesdatum: 15. Februar 1988
Andere Namen:Richard Feynman Philips,Richard Phillips Feynman,Ричард Филлипс Фейнман

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Richard Phillips Feynman [ˈfaɪnmən] war ein amerikanischer Physiker und Nobelpreisträger des Jahres 1965.

Feynman gilt als einer der großen Physiker des 20. Jahrhunderts, der wesentliche Beiträge zum Verständnis der Quantenfeldtheorien geliefert hat. Zusammen mit Shin’ichirō Tomonaga und Julian Schwinger erhielt er 1965 den Nobelpreis für seine Arbeit zur Quantenelektrodynamik . Seine anschauliche Darstellung quantenfeldtheoretischer elementarer Wechselwirkungen durch Feynman-Diagramme ist heute ein De-facto-Standard.

Für Feynman war es immer wichtig, die unanschaulichen Gesetzmäßigkeiten der Quantenphysik Laien und Studenten nahezubringen und verständlich zu machen. An Universitäten ist seine Vorlesungsreihe weit verbreitet. In Büchern wie QED. Die seltsame Theorie des Lichts und der Materie und Character of Physical Law – wandte er sich an ein breiteres Publikum. Seine charismatische Art und die Fähigkeit, auf seine Zuhörerschaft einzugehen, ließen seine Vorlesungen und Vorträge legendär werden.

Seine unkonventionelle und nonkonformistische Art zeigte sich auch in seinen autobiographisch geprägten Büchern wie Sie belieben wohl zu scherzen, Mr. Feynman. Abenteuer eines neugierigen Physikers und Kümmert Sie, was andere Leute denken?. In einem gleichnamigen Essay prägte er den Begriff der „Cargo-Kult-Wissenschaft“ für eine wissenschaftliche Disziplin, welche zwar der Form genügt, aber den Ansprüchen an den Inhalt nicht gerecht wird. Da der Begriff Cargo-Kult ursprünglich ein Verhaltensmuster von Ureinwohnern im Südpazifik beschrieb, zeigte dessen Verwendung in Bezug auf die Wissenschaft eine gewisse feinsinnige Respektlosigkeit.

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Zitate Richard Feynman

„Ein Philosoph hat einmal behaupet: 'Naturwissenschaft setzt notwendig voraus, dass gleiche Umstände immer auch gleiche Auswirkungen haben.' Nun, dem ist nicht so.“

— Richard Feynman
Zitiert in Tony Hey und Patrick Walters: Das Quantenuniversum, Spektrum, Heidelberg 1990, ISBN 3-8274-0315-4 Kapitel 2 "Heisenberg und die quantenmechanische Unbestimmtheit" "Seite 33.

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„Es ist wichtig, einzusehen, dass wir in der heutigen Physik nicht wissen, was Energie ist. Wir haben kein Bild davon, dass Energie in kleinen Klumpen definierter Größe vorkommt.“

— Richard Feynman
Vorlesungen über Physik, Band I, Kap. 4.1 (Übersetzung: Heinz Köhler), Seite 46, Oldenbourg München Wien, 5. Aufl. 2007 Google Books

„We can deduce, often, from one part of physics like the law of gravitation, a principle which turns out to be much more valid than the derivation.“

— Richard Feynman
Context: Now we have a problem. We can deduce, often, from one part of physics like the law of gravitation, a principle which turns out to be much more valid than the derivation. This doesn't happen in mathematics, that the theorems come out in places where they're not supposed to be! chapter 2, “ The Relation of Mathematics to Physics http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9ZYEb0Vf8U” referring to the law of conservation of angular momentum

„This is not yet a scientific age.“

— Richard Feynman
Context: Is no one inspired by our present picture of the universe? This value of science remains unsung by singers, you are reduced to hearing not a song or poem, but an evening lecture about it. This is not yet a scientific age.

„If our small minds, for some convenience, divide this glass of wine, this universe, into parts — physics, biology, geology, astronomy, psychology, and so on — remember that nature does not know it!“

— Richard Feynman
Context: A poet once said, "The whole universe is in a glass of wine." We will probably never know in what sense he meant that, for poets do not write to be understood. But it is true that if we look at a glass of wine closely enough we see the entire universe. There are the things of physics: the twisting liquid which evaporates depending on the wind and weather, the reflections in the glass, and our imagination adds the atoms. The glass is a distillation of the Earth's rocks, and in its composition we see the secrets of the universe's age, and the evolution of stars. What strange arrays of chemicals are in the wine? How did they come to be? There are the ferments, the enzymes, the substrates, and the products. There in wine is found the great generalization: all life is fermentation. Nobody can discover the chemistry of wine without discovering, as did Louis Pasteur, the cause of much disease. How vivid is the claret, pressing its existence into the consciousness that watches it! If our small minds, for some convenience, divide this glass of wine, this universe, into parts — physics, biology, geology, astronomy, psychology, and so on — remember that nature does not know it! So let us put it all back together, not forgetting ultimately what it is for. Let it give us one more final pleasure: drink it and forget it all! volume I; lecture 3, "The Relation of Physics to Other Sciences"; section 3-7, "How did it get that way?"; p. 3-10

„I cannot define the real problem, therefore I suspect there's no real problem, but I'm not sure there's no real problem.“

— Richard Feynman
Context: We always have had … a great deal of difficulty in understanding the world view that quantum mechanics represents. At least I do, because I'm an old enough man that I haven't got to the point that this stuff is obvious to me. Okay, I still get nervous with it. And therefore, some of the younger students … you know how it always is, every new idea, it takes a generation or two until it becomes obvious that there's no real problem. It has not yet become obvious to me that there's no real problem. I cannot define the real problem, therefore I suspect there's no real problem, but I'm not sure there's no real problem. " Simulating Physics with Computers http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~christos/classics/Feynman.pdf", International Journal of Theoretical Physics, volume 21, 1982, p. 467-488, at p. 471

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„He is by all odds the most brilliant young physicist here, and everyone knows this.“

— Richard Feynman
Context: He is by all odds the most brilliant young physicist here, and everyone knows this. He is a man of thoroughly engaging character and personality, extremely clear, extremely normal in all respects, and an excellent teacher with a warm feeling for physics in all its aspects. He has the best possible relations both with the theoretical people of whom he is one, and with the experimental people with whom he works in very close harmony.The reason for telling you about him now is that his excellence is so well known, both at Princeton where he worked before he came here, and to a not inconsiderable number of "big shots" on this project, that he has already been offered a position for the post war period, and will most certainly be offered others. I feel that he would be a great strength for our department, tending to tie together its teaching, its research and its experimental and theoretical aspects. I may give you two quotations from men with whom he has worked. Bethe has said that he would rather lose any two other men than Feynman from this present job, and E. P. Wigner said, "He is a second Dirac. Only this time human." J. Robert Oppenheimer, on Feynman's work at Los Alamos, in a letter http://www.lettersofnote.com/2009/12/he-is-second-dirac-only-this-time-human.html to Professor R.T. Birge (4 November 1943)

„The scientist has a lot of experience with ignorance and doubt and uncertainty, and this experience is of very great importance, I think.“

— Richard Feynman
Context: The scientist has a lot of experience with ignorance and doubt and uncertainty, and this experience is of very great importance, I think. When a scientist doesn’t know the answer to a problem, he is ignorant. When he has a hunch as to what the result is, he is uncertain. And when he is pretty darn sure of what the result is going to be, he is still in some doubt. We have found it of paramount importance that in order to progress we must recognize our ignorance and leave room for doubt. Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty — some most unsure, some nearly sure, but none absolutely certain. Now, we scientists are used to this, and we take it for granted that it is perfectly consistent to be unsure, that it is possible to live and not know. But I don’t know whether everyone realizes this is true. Our freedom to doubt was born out of a struggle against authority in the early days of science. It was a very deep and strong struggle: permit us to question — to doubt — to not be sure. I think that it is important that we do not forget this struggle and thus perhaps lose what we have gained.

„It appears that there are enormous differences of opinion as to the probability of a failure with loss of vehicle and of human life.“

— Richard Feynman
Context: It appears that there are enormous differences of opinion as to the probability of a failure with loss of vehicle and of human life. The estimates range from roughly 1 in 100 to 1 in 100,000. The higher figures come from the working engineers, and the very low figures from management. What are the causes and consequences of this lack of agreement? Since 1 part in 100,000 would imply that one could put a Shuttle up each day for 300 years expecting to lose only one, we could properly ask "What is the cause of management's fantastic faith in the machinery?" We have also found that certification criteria used in Flight Readiness Reviews often develop a gradually decreasing strictness. The argument that the same risk was flown before without failure is often accepted as an argument for the safety of accepting it again. Because of this, obvious weaknesses are accepted again and again, sometimes without a sufficiently serious attempt to remedy them, or to delay a flight because of their continued presence.

„There are all kinds of interesting questions that come from a knowledge of science, which only adds to the excitement and mystery and awe of a flower. It only adds. I don't understand how it subtracts.“

— Richard Feynman
Context: I have a friend who's an artist, and he sometimes takes a view which I don't agree with. He'll hold up a flower and say, "Look how beautiful it is," and I'll agree. But then he'll say, "I, as an artist, can see how beautiful a flower is. But you, as a scientist, take it all apart and it becomes dull." I think he's kind of nutty. … There are all kinds of interesting questions that come from a knowledge of science, which only adds to the excitement and mystery and awe of a flower. It only adds. I don't understand how it subtracts. "The Making of a Scientist," p. 11: video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEwUwWh5Xs4&t=26s

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„The old problems, such as the relation of science and religion, are still with us, and I believe present as difficult dilemmas as ever, but they are not often publicly discussed because of the limitations of specialization.“

— Richard Feynman
Context: In this age of specialization men who thoroughly know one field are often incompetent to discuss another. The great problems of the relations between one and another aspect of human activity have for this reason been discussed less and less in public. When we look at the past great debates on these subjects we feel jealous of those times, for we should have liked the excitement of such argument. The old problems, such as the relation of science and religion, are still with us, and I believe present as difficult dilemmas as ever, but they are not often publicly discussed because of the limitations of specialization. remarks (2 May 1956) at a Caltech YMCA lunch forum http://calteches.library.caltech.edu/49/2/Religion.htm

„I wanted very much to learn to draw, for a reason that I kept to myself: I wanted to convey an emotion I have about the beauty of the world.“

— Richard Feynman
Context: I wanted very much to learn to draw, for a reason that I kept to myself: I wanted to convey an emotion I have about the beauty of the world. It's difficult to describe because it's an emotion. It's analogous to the feeling one has in religion that has to do with a god that controls everything in the whole universe: there's a generality aspect that you feel when you think about how things that appear so different and behave so differently are all run "behind the scenes" by the same organization, the same physical laws. It's an appreciation of the mathematical beauty of nature, of how she works inside; a realization that the phenomena we see result from the complexity of the inner workings between atoms; a feeling of how dramatic and wonderful it is. It's a feeling of awe — of scientific awe — which I felt could be communicated through a drawing to someone who had also had this emotion. It could remind him, for a moment, of this feeling about the glories of the universe. Part 5: "The World of One Physicist", "But Is It Art?", p. 261

„They just went right on running rats in the same old way, and paid no attention to the great discoveries of Mr. Young, and his papers are not referred to, because he didn't discover anything about rats. In fact, he discovered all the things you have to do to discover something about rats. But not paying attention to experiments like that is a characteristic of cargo cult science.“

— Richard Feynman
Context: All experiments in psychology are not of this [cargo cult] type, however. For example there have been many experiments running rats through all kinds of mazes, and so on — with little clear result. But in 1937 a man named Young did a very interesting one. He had a long corridor with doors all along one side where the rats came in, and doors along the other side where the food was. He wanted to see if he could train rats to go to the third door down from wherever he started them off. No. The rats went immediately to the door where the food had been the time before.The question was, how did the rats know, because the corridor was so beautifully built and so uniform, that this was the same door as before? Obviously there was something about the door that was different from the other doors. So he painted the doors very carefully, arranging the textures on the faces of the doors exactly the same. Still the rats could tell. Then he thought maybe they were smelling the food, so he used chemicals to change the smell after each run. Still the rats could tell. Then he realized the rats might be able to tell by seeing the lights and the arrangement in the laboratory like any commonsense person. So he covered the corridor, and still the rats could tell.He finally found that they could tell by the way the floor sounded when they ran over it. And he could only fix that by putting his corridor in sand. So he covered one after another of all possible clues and finally was able to fool the rats so that they had to learn to go to the third door. If he relaxed any of his conditions, the rats could tell.Now, from a scientific standpoint, that is an A-number-one experiment. That is the experiment that makes rat-running experiments sensible, because it uncovers the clues that the rat is really using — not what you think it's using. And that is the experiment that tells exactly what conditions you have to use in order to be careful and control everything in an experiment with rat-running.I looked into the subsequent history of this research. The next experiment, and the one after that, never referred to Mr. Young. They never used any of his criteria of putting the corridor on sand, or of being very careful. They just went right on running rats in the same old way, and paid no attention to the great discoveries of Mr. Young, and his papers are not referred to, because he didn't discover anything about rats. In fact, he discovered all the things you have to do to discover something about rats. But not paying attention to experiments like that is a characteristic of cargo cult science. " Cargo Cult Science http://calteches.library.caltech.edu/51/2/CargoCult.htm", adapted from a 1974 Caltech commencement address; also published in Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!, p. 345

„In science, as well as in other fields of human endeavor, there are two kinds of geniuses: the “ordinary” and the “magicians.” An ordinary genius is a fellow that you and I would be just as good as, if we were only many times better.“

— Richard Feynman
Context: In science, as well as in other fields of human endeavor, there are two kinds of geniuses: the “ordinary” and the “magicians.” An ordinary genius is a fellow that you and I would be just as good as, if we were only many times better. There is no mystery as to how his mind works. Once we understand what he has done, we feel certain that we, too, could have done it. It is different with the magicians. They are, to use mathematical jargon, in the orthogonal complement of where we are and the working of their minds is for all intents and purposes incomprehensible. Even after we understand what they have done, the process by which they have done it is completely dark. They seldom, if ever, have students because they cannot be emulated and it must be terribly frustrating for a brilliant young mind to cope with the mysterious ways in which the magician’s mind works. Richard Feynman is a magician of the highest caliber. Hans Bethe, whom Dyson considers to be his teacher, is an “ordinary genius”; so much so that one may gain the erroneous impression that he is not a genius at all. But it was Feynman, only slightly older than Dyson, who captured the young man's imagination. Mark Kac, in his introduction to Enigmas of Chance: An Autobiography (1985), p. xxv

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