Interesting Quotes By Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein
Image Credit: Andrew George

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) was the most influential physicist of the 20th century, and was born in Germany to a  Jewish family, although he later became a Swiss citizen (1901) and then a U.S. citizen in 1940.

In 1905, at the age of 26, Einstein wrote several papers which provided the foundation for modern physics. In his paper on Brownian Motion, Einstein definitively confirmed the existence of atoms, and proposed the “photoelectric effect,” which identified that light was made up of packages of energy or photons, instead of waves as previously accepted. In addition, his special relativity theory explained how space and time work (contrary to the theories established by Newton and Galileo) and he proposed his famous E=mc2 equation.

By 1921, Einstein had been awarded the Noble Prize in Physics and in 1952, offered the presidency of Israel, which he politely refused, explaining: “I know a little of science, but nothing about men.”

Science And Religion

“Scientists were rated as great heretics by the church, but they were truly religious men because of their faith in the orderliness of the universe.”

“I see a clock, but I cannot envision the clockmaker. The human mind is unable to conceive of the four dimensions, so how can it conceive of a God, before whom a thousand years and a thousand dimensions are as one?”

“Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind.”

“I assert that the cosmic religious experience is the strongest and noblest driving force behind scientific research.”

“It seems hard to sneak a look at God’s cards. But that He plays dice and uses “telepathic” something that I cannot believe for a single moment.” (referring to Quantum mechanics)

“It would be possible to describe absolutely everything scientifically, but it would make no sense. It would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure.”

“For every one billion particles of antimatter there were one billion and one particles of matter. And when the mutual annihilation was complete, one billionth remained – and that’s our present universe.”

“People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”

“Classical the only physical theory of universal content which I am convinced..will never be overthrown.”

“Since I have introduced this term [cosmological constant] I had always a bad conscience..I cannot help to feel it strongly and I am unable to believe that such an ugly thing should be realized in nature.”

“To simplify the concept of relativity, I always use the following example: if you sit with a girl on a garden bench and the moon is shining, then for you the hour will be a minute. However, if you sit on a hot stove, the minute will be an hour.”

“It follows from the theory of relativity that mass and energy are both different manifestations of the same thing—a somewhat unfamiliar conception for the average man. Furthermore E=MC2, in which energy is put equal to mass multiplied with the square of the velocity of light, showed that a very small amount of mass may be converted into a very large amount of energy..the mass and energy were in fact equivalent.”

Genius & Discovery

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research.”

“The secret of creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.”

“A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?”

“The most important tool of the theoretical physicist is his wastebasket.”

History & Historical Figures

“Development of Western science is based on two great achievements: the invention of the formal logical system by the Greek philosophers, and the discovery of the possibility to find out causal relationships by systematic experiment [during the Renaissance].”

“What a deep faith in the rationality of the structure of the world and what a longing to understand even a small glimpse of the reason revealed in the world there must have been in Kepler and Newton to enable them to unravel the mechanism of the heavens in long years of lonely work.”

“You know, it has always hurt me to think that Galileo did not acknowledge the work of Kepler.”

“This change in the conception of reality [by theoretical physicist James Clerk Maxwell] is the most profound and the most fruitful that physics has experienced since the time of Newton.”

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