Richard Feynman Quotes

What are your favorite Richard Feynman quotes?

Richard Phillips Feynman was a theoretical physics theorist who is probably best known for his work on quantum electrodynamics, which is basically a field of science which describes how light interacts with matter and also explains how charged particles interact with each other. His work in quantum electrodynamics actually earned him The Nobel Prize in Physics for 1965.

Feynman also wrote several books on physics and science. Some of his popular books are Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!, Six easy pieces, QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter, What Do You Care What Other People Think?, The Pleasure of Finding Things Out, The Meaning of It All, Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track and many other great masterpieces.

Here are some popular and best Richard Feynman quotes on teaching, education, learning, understanding, knowledge, nature, science, quantum mechanics and many other interesting areas of life:

Richard Feynman If You Can’t Explain Quote

Richard Feynman If You Can't Explain Quote

1.If you can’t explain something to a first year student, then you haven’t really understood.

Richard Feynman

Richard Feynman I Would Rather Quote

Richard Feynman I Would Rather Quote

2. I would rather have questions that can’t be answered than answers that can’t be questioned.

Richard Feynman

Richard Feynman Study Hard Quote

Richard Feynman Study Hard Quote

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

Richard Feynman

Best Richard Feynman Quotes

Best Richard Feynman Quotes

4. The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard Feynman

5. Words can be meaningless. If they are used in such a way that no sharp conclusions can be drawn. -Richard Feynman

6. I couldn’t claim that I was smarter than sixty-five other guys–but the average of sixty-five other guys, certainly! -Richard Feynman

7. 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 Feynman

8. 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 Feynman

9. 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 Feynman

10. 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 Feynman

11. 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 Feynman

12. There are thousands of years in the past, and there is an unknown amount of time in the future. There are all kinds of opportunities, and there are all kinds of dangers. -Richard Feynman

13. 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 Feynman

14. 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 Feynman

15. So I have just one wish for you – the good luck to be somewhere where you are free to maintain the kind of integrity I have described, and where you do not feel forced by a need to maintain your position in the organization, or financial support, or so on, to lose your integrity. May you have that freedom. -Richard Feynman

Richard Feynman Quotes On Teaching, Education & Learning

Richard Feynman Quotes On Teaching, Education & Learning

16. Learn what the rest of the world is like. The variety is worthwhile. -Richard Feynman

17. Never confuse education with intelligence, you can have a PhD and still be an idiot. -Richard Feynman

18. There is no learning without having to pose a question. And a question requires doubt. -Richard Feynman

19. What I am going to tell you about is what we teach our physics students in the third or fourth year of graduate school… It is my task to convince you not to turn away because you don’t understand it. You see my physics students don’t understand it… That is because I don’t understand it. Nobody does.

Richard Feynman

20. If you can’t explain something to a first year student, then you haven’t really understood. -Richard Feynman

21. I don’t know what’s the matter with people: they don’t learn by understanding, they learn by some other way — by rote or something. Their knowledge is so fragile! -Richard Feynman

22. Everything we know is only some kind of approximation, because we know that we do not know all the laws yet. Therefore, things must be learned only to be unlearned again or, more likely, to be corrected. -Richard Feynman

Richard Feynman Quotes On Understanding

Richard Feynman Quotes On Understanding

23. What I cannot create, I do not understand. -Richard Feynman

24. The electron is a theory we use; it is so useful in understanding the way nature works that we can almost call it real. -Richard Feynman

25. I love to think. I once considered taking drugs as an attempt to better understand an altered state of mind; however, I decided not to. I didn’t want to chance ruining the machine. -Richard Feynman

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

Richard Feynman

27. To not know math is a severe limitation to understanding the world. -Richard Feynman

28. People who wish to analyze nature without using mathematics must settle for a reduced understanding. -Richard Feynman

29. A person talks in such generalities that everyone can understand him and it’s considered to be some deep philosophy. However, I would like to be very rather more special and I would like to be understood in an honest way, rather than in a vague way. -Richard Feynman

Richard Feynman Quotes On Knowledge

Richard Feynman Quotes On Knowledge

30. I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there. -Richard Feynman

31. I would rather have questions that can’t be answered than answers that can’t be questioned. -Richard Feynman

32. We are trying to prove ourselves wrong as quickly as possible, because only in that way can we find progress. -Richard Feynman

33. Know your place in the world and evaluate yourself fairly, not in terms of the naive ideals of your own youth, nor in terms of what you erroneously imagine your teacher’s ideals are. -Richard Feynman

34. I have the advantage of having found out how hard it is to get to really know something. How careful you have to be about checking your experiments. How easy it is to make mistakes and fool yourself. I know what it means to know something. -Richard Feynman

35. Listen, I mean that from my knowledge of the world that I see around me, I think that it is much more likely that the reports of flying saucers are the results of the known irrational characteristics of terrestrial intelligence than of the unknown rational efforts of extra-terrestrial intelligence. -Richard Feynman

36. 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 Feynman

37. I’m smart enough to know that I’m dumb. -Richard Feynman

38. You do not know anything until you have practiced. -Richard Feynman

39. The test of all knowledge is experiment. Experiment is the sole judge of scientific truth. -Richard Feynman

40. Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty – some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain. -Richard Feynman

41. I don’t know what’s the matter with people: they don’t learn by understanding, they learn by some other way – by rote or something. Their knowledge is so fragile! -Richard Feynman

42. 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 Feynman

43. 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 Feynman

Richard Feynman Quotes On Science

Richard Feynman Quotes On Science

44. I am a universe of atoms, an atom in the universe. -Richard Feynman

45. Science is what we have learned about how to keep from fooling ourselves. -Richard Feynman

46. Philosophy of science is about as useful to scientists as ornithology is to birds. -Richard Feynman

47. Physics is like sex: sure, it may give some practical results, but that’s not why we do it. -Richard Feynman

48. I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy. -Richard Feynman

49. Tell your son to stop trying to fill your head with science – for to fill your heart with love is enough. -Richard Feynman

50. We scientists are clever – too clever – are you not satisfied? Is four square miles in one bomb not enough? Men are still thinking. Just tell us how big you want it! -Richard Feynman

51. 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 Feynman

52. Physics isn’t the most important thing. Love is. -Richard Feynman

53. Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt. -Richard Feynman

54. If you thought that science was certain – well, that is just an error on your part. -Richard Feynman

55. But the real glory of science is that we can find a way of thinking such that the law is evident. -Richard Feynman

56. 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 Feynman

57. 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 Feynman

58. Physicists like to think that all you have to do is say, these are the conditions, now what happens next? -Richard Feynman

59. A poet once said, ‘The whole universe is in a glass of wine.’ We will probably never know in what sense he meant it, 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 reflection in the glass; and our imagination adds 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 array 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!

Richard Feynman

60. All theoretical chemistry is really physics; and all theoretical chemists know it. -Richard Feynman

61. 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. -Richard Feynman

62. 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 Feynman

63. Computer science is not as old as physics; it lags by a couple of hundred years. However, this does not mean that there is significantly less on the computer scientist’s plate than on the physicist’s: younger it may be, but it has had a far more intense upbringing. -Richard Feynman

64. 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 Feynman

65. Poets say science takes away from the beauty of the stars – mere globs of gas atoms. I too can see the stars on a desert night, and feel them. But do I see less or more? The vastness of the heavens stretches my imagination – stuck on this carousel my little eye can catch one – million – year – old light. A vast pattern – of which I am a part… What is the pattern, or the meaning, or the why? It does not do harm to the mystery to know a little about it. For far more marvelous is the truth than any artists of the past imagined it. Why do the poets of the present not speak of it? What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?

Richard Feynman

66. Physics is to math what sex is to masturbation. -Richard Feynman

67. Mathematics is a language plus reasoning; it is like a language plus logic. Mathematics is a tool for reasoning. -Richard Feynman

68. As you know, a theory in physics is not useful unless it is able to predict underlined effects which we would otherwise expect. -Richard Feynman

69. It is scientific only to say what is more likely and what less likely, and not to be proving all the time the possible and impossible. -Richard Feynman

70. A philosopher once said, ‘It is necessary for the very existence of science that the same conditions always produce the same results.’ Well, they don’t! -Richard Feynman

71. Science alone of all the subjects contains within itself the lesson of the danger of belief in the infallibility of the greatest teachers of the preceding generation. -Richard Feynman

72. This is the key of modern science and is the beginning of the true understanding of nature. This idea. That to look at the things, to record the details, and to hope that in the information thus obtained, may lie a clue to one or another of a possible theoretical interpretation. -Richard Feynman

Richard Feynman Quotes On Nature

Richard Feynman Quotes On Nature

73. I love only nature, and I hate mathematicians. -Richard Feynman

74. Nature has a great simplicity and therefore a great beauty. -Richard Feynman

75. But see that the imagination of nature is far, far greater than the imagination of man. -Richard Feynman

76. I think nature’s imagination Is so much greater than man’s, she’s never going to let us relax. -Richard Feynman

77. Science is a process for learning about nature in which competing ideas about how the world works are measured against observations. -Richard Feynman

78. Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so that each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry. -Richard Feynman

79. For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.

Richard Feynman

80. Nature does not care what we call it, she just keeps on doing it. -Richard Feynman

81. That is the logical tight-rope on which we have to walk if we wish to interpret nature. -Richard Feynman

82. For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled. -Richard Feynman

83. Nature isn’t classical, dammit, and if you want to make a simulation of nature, you’d better make it quantum mechanical, and by golly it’s a wonderful problem, because it doesn’t look so easy. -Richard Feynman

84. This is the key of modern science and is the beginning of the true understanding of nature. This idea. That to look at the things, to record the details, and to hope that in the information thus obtained, may lie a clue to one or another of a possible theoretical interpretation. -Richard Feynman

85. People may come along and argue philosophically that they like one better than another; but we have learned from much experience that all philosophical intuitions about what nature is going to do fail. -Richard Feynman

Richard Feynman Quotes On Quantum Mechanics

Richard Feynman Quotes On Quantum Mechanics

86. If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don’t understand quantum mechanics. -Richard Feynman

87. I think I can safely say that nobody understands Quantum Mechanics.

Richard Feynman

88. Certainly we do not need quantum mechanics for macroscopic objects, which are well described by classical physics- this is the reason why quantum mechanics seems so foreign to our everyday existence. -Richard Feynman