Zitate Wolfgang Pauli

„All we can observe is their effect on other living people, whose spiritual level and whose personal unconscious crucially influence the way these contents actually manifest themselves.“

—  Wolfgang Pauli
Context: Although I have no objection to accepting the existence of relatively constant psychic contents that survive personal ego, it must always be born in mind that we have no way of knowing what these contents are actually like "as such." All we can observe is their effect on other living people, whose spiritual level and whose personal unconscious crucially influence the way these contents actually manifest themselves. "Modern Examples of Background Physics" ["Moderne Beispiele zur Hintergrundsphysik"] (1948) as translated by David Roscoe in Atom and Archetype (1992) edited by Carl Alfred Meier

„What now is the answer to the question as to the bridge between the perception of the senses and the concepts, which is now reduced to the question as to the bridge between the outer perceptions and those inner image-like representations.“

—  Wolfgang Pauli
Context: What now is the answer to the question as to the bridge between the perception of the senses and the concepts, which is now reduced to the question as to the bridge between the outer perceptions and those inner image-like representations. It seems to me one has to postulate a cosmic order of nature — outside of our arbitrariness— to which the outer material objects are subjected as are the inner images... The organizing and regulating has to be posited beyond the differentiation of physical and psychical... I am all for it to call this "organizing and regulating" "archetypes." It would then be inadmissible to define these as psychic contents. Rather, the above-mentioned inner pictures (dominants of the collective unconscious, see Jung) are the psychic manifestations of the archetypes, but which would have to produce and condition all nature laws belonging to the world of matter. The nature laws of matter would then be the physical manifestation of the archetypes. Letter to Markus Fierz (1948)

„The best that most of us can hope to achieve in physics is simply to misunderstand at a deeper level.“

—  Wolfgang Pauli
to Jagdish Mehra, in Berkeley, California (May 1958), as quoted in The Historical Development of Quantum Theory (2000) by Jagdish Mehra

„I have done a terrible thing, I have postulated a particle that cannot be detected.“

—  Wolfgang Pauli
Statement of 1930, after postulating the existence of the very elusive neutrino; as quoted by Frederick Reines, in his "Foreword" to Spaceship Neutrino (1992) http://books.google.com/books?id=JBOdejRrmaMC by Christine Sutton, p. xi

„The setup of the book as far as printing and paper are concerned is splendid.“

—  Wolfgang Pauli
Said regarding Elementare Quantenmechanik by Max Born and Pascual Jordan, as quoted in Quantum Dialogue (1999) by Mara Beller, p. 38

„I cannot believe God is a weak left-hander.“

—  Wolfgang Pauli
After discovery of parity violation in 1956. Source: The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question? by Leon M. Lederman, Dick Teresi (ISBN 0-385-31211-3), Interlude C

„One shouldn’t work on semiconductors, that is a filthy mess; who knows whether any semiconductors exist.“

—  Wolfgang Pauli
Über Halbleiter soll man nicht arbeiten, das ist eine Schweinerei; wer weiss, ob es überhaupt Halbleiter gibt. Letter to Peierls, 29 September 1931, Wolfgang Pauli – Wissenschaftlicher Briefwechsel mit Bohr, Einstein, Heisenberg u.a. Band II: 1930–1939, Springer, 1985, p. 94

„God made the bulk; surfaces were invented by the devil.“

—  Wolfgang Pauli
As quoted in Growth, Dissolution, and Pattern Formation in Geosystems (1999) by Bjørn Jamtveit and Paul Meakin, p. 291

„When I was young, I thought I was the best formalist of my time. I thought I was a revolutionary. When the big problems would come, I would solve them and write about them. The big problems came and passed by, others solved them and wrote about them. I was a classicist and not a revolutionary.“

—  Wolfgang Pauli
As quoted in Faust in Copenhagen (2007) by Gino Segrè, p. 130.5, which cites The Historical Development of Quantum Theory (1982) by Jagdish Mehra and Helmut Rechenberg, vol 1 of 4, p. xxiv, and Inward Bound (1986) by Abraham Pais, p. 186

„There is no God and Dirac is his Prophet.“

—  Wolfgang Pauli
Es gibt keinen Gott und Dirac ist sein Prophet. A remark made during the Fifth Solvay International Conference (October 1927), after a discussion of the religious views of various physicists, at which all the participants laughed, including Dirac, as quoted in Teil und das Ganze (1969), by Werner Heisenberg, p. 119; it is an ironic play on the Muslim statement of faith, the Shahada, often translated: "There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is His Prophet." Variant translations and paraphrases: Well, our friend Dirac, too, has a religion, and its guiding principle is "God does not exist and Dirac is His prophet." As quoted in the authorized translation, Physics and Beyond : Encounters and Conversations (1971) by Werner Heisenberg, p. 87 Yes, yes, our friend Dirac has a religion, and its creed runs: "There is no God, and Dirac is his prophet." As quoted in Jesus, Son of Man (1977) by Rudolf Augstein, p. 325 Our friend Dirac has a religion; and the main tenet of that religion is: There is no God, and Dirac is his prophet. As quoted in Haphazard Reality : Half a Century of Science (1983), by Hendrik Brugt Gerhard Casimir, p. 151 Yes, our friend Dirac has a religion, and the basic postulate of this religion is: "There is no God, and Dirac is his prophet." As quoted in Dirac : A Scientific Biography (1990) by Helge Kragh, p. 256 Well, well, our friend Dirac has a religion, and its guiding principle is: "There is no God, and Dirac is His prophet. As quoted in God's Laughter : Man and His Cosmos (1992) by Gerhard Staguhn, p. 159 If I understand Dirac correctly, his meaning is this: there is no God, and Dirac is his Prophet.

„I don't mind your thinking slowly; I mind your publishing faster than you think.“

—  Wolfgang Pauli
Ich habe nichts dagegen wenn Sie langsam denken, Herr Doktor, aber ich babe etwas dagegen wenn Sie rascher publizieren als denken. As quoted in The Harvest of a Quiet Eye : A Selection of Scientific Quotations (1977) by Alan Lindsay Mackay, p. 117

„This isn't right. This isn't even wrong.“

—  Wolfgang Pauli
Response after reading a colleague's paper, quoted in The Successful Toastmaster: A Treasure Chest of Introductions, Epigrams, Humor, and Quotations (1966) by Herbert Victor Prochnow, p. 350, and in Mathematical Apocrypha Redux : More Stories and Anecdotes of Mathematicians and the Mathematical (2005) by Steven George Krantz, p. 194 This paper is so bad it is not even wrong. As quoted in Comic Sections : The Book of Mathematical Jokes, Humour, Wit, and Wisdom (1993) by Des MacHale Das is nicht einmal falsch. It is not even wrong. As quoted in Not Even Wrong : The Failure Of String Theory and the Search for Unity in Physical Law (2006) by Peter Woit (2006), Preface, p. xii

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