Richard Feynman was a brilliant scientist as well as a wise man. We hope you enjoy these Richard Feynman quotes about science, life, learning, and more.
American physicist, Richard Feynman is just one of many examples reflecting the irrelevancy of IQ tests. Highly regarded as one of the most influential, fastest thinking, and most out-of-the-box creative individuals in his generation, Feynman only received an IQ score of 125 after taking an IQ test at school.
Feynman is most known for his work on quantum electrodynamics, a scientific theory that describes how light interacts with matter and how charged particles interact with each other. His work would lead him to receive both the Albert Einstein Award and the Nobel Prize in Physics.
He was a brilliant scientist who would become well-known throughout the world as one of the greatest scientists of his time. Enjoy reading these Richard Feynman quotes.
Don’t forget to also check out these science quotes from some of the greatest minds ever known.
Richard Feynman quotes about science
1. “If I could explain it to the average person, I wouldn’t have been worth the Nobel Prize.” — Richard Feynman
2. “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
3. “I would rather have questions that can’t be answered than answers that can’t be questioned.” — Richard Feynman
4. “Physics is to math what sex is to masturbation.” — Richard Feynman
5. “If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don’t understand quantum mechanics.” — Richard Feynman
6. “Physics has a history of synthesizing many phenomena into a few theories.” — Richard Feynman
7. “Physics is like sex: sure, it may give some practical results, but that’s not why we do it.” — Richard Feynman
8. “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.” — Richard Feynman
9. “I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy.” — Richard Feynman
10. “If you thought that science was certain – well, that is just an error on your part.” — Richard Feynman
11. “The thing that doesn’t fit is the thing that’s the most interesting: the part that doesn’t go according to what you expected.” — Richard Feynman
12. “Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” — Richard Feynman
13. “Philosophers say a great deal about what is absolutely necessary for science, and it is always, so far as one can see, rather naive, and probably wrong.” — Richard Feynman
14. “We have a habit in writing articles published in scientific journals to make the work as finished as possible, to cover up all the tracks, to not worry about the blind alleys or describe how you had the wrong idea first, and so on. So there isn’t any place to publish, in a dignified manner, what you actually did in order to get to do the work.” — Richard Feynman
15. “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?” — Richard Feynman
Richard Feynman quotes about learning
16. “Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions, and pass them on.” — Richard Feynman
17. “First figure out why you want the students to learn the subject and what you want them to know, and the method will result more or less by common sense.” — Richard Feynman
18. “We are trying to prove ourselves wrong as quickly as possible, because only in that way can we find progress.” — Richard Feynman
19. “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
20. “If you can’t explain something to a first-year student, then you haven’t really understood.” — Richard Feynman
21. “Our imagination is stretched to the utmost, not, as in fiction, to imagine things which are not really there, but just to comprehend those things which are there.” — Richard Feynman
22. “In this age of specialization men who thoroughly know one field are often incompetent to discuss another.” — Richard Feynman
23. “I was born not knowing and have only had a little time to change that here and there.” — Richard Feynman
24. “I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy — and when he talks about a nonscientific matter, he will sound as naive as anyone untrained in the matter.” — Richard Feynman
25. “There is no harm in doubt and skepticism, for it is through these that new discoveries are made.” — Richard Feynman
Richard Feynman quotes about nature
26. “See that the imagination of nature is far, far greater than the imagination of man.” — Richard Feynman
27. “For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.” — Richard Feynman
28. “As usual, nature’s imagination far surpasses our own, as we have seen from the other theories which are subtle and deep.” — Richard Feynman
29. “The most remarkable discovery in all of astronomy is that the stars are made of atoms of the same kind as those on the earth.” — Richard Feynman
30. “Is no one inspired by our present picture of the universe? Our poets do not write about it; our artists do not try to portray this remarkable thing. The 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.” — Richard Feynman
31. “God was invented to explain mystery. God is always invented to explain those things that you do not understand.” — Richard Feynman
Wise Richard Feynman quotes
32. “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.” — Richard Feynman
33. “What I cannot create, I do not understand.” — Richard Feynman
34. “I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.” — Richard Feynman
35. “I’m smart enough to know that I’m dumb.” — Richard Feynman
36. “I thought one should have the attitude of ‘What do you care what other people think!’.” — Richard Feynman
37. “I don’t know anything, but I do know that everything is interesting if you go into it deeply enough.” — Richard Feynman
38. “When playing Russian roulette the fact that the first shot got off safely is little comfort for the next.” — Richard Feynman
Richard Feynman quotes about life
39. “Fall in love with some activity, and do it! Nobody ever figures out what life is all about, and it doesn’t matter.” — Richard Feynman
40. “Explore the world. Nearly everything is really interesting if you go into it deeply enough.” — Richard Feynman
41. “I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong.” — Richard Feynman
42. “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 Feynman
43. “I can live with doubt, and uncertainty, and not knowing.” — Richard Feynman
44. “Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.” — Richard Feynman
45. “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.” — Richard Feynman
46. “The highest forms of understanding we can achieve are laughter and human compassion.” — Richard Feynman
47. “You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish.” — Richard Feynman
48. “Physics isn’t the most important thing. Love is.” — Richard Feynman
49. “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
50. “I have no responsibility to be like they expect me to be. It’s their mistake, not my failing.” — Richard Feynman
What did you learn from these Richard Feynman quotes?
Richard Feynman was nothing short of a genius. Known for his work in quantum electrodynamics, Feynman was also a prominent figure for the Manhattan Project during World War II. The Manhattan Project resulted in the first atomic bomb and Feynman was the youngest group leader in the theoretical division.
Along with his work in electrodynamics, Feynman also contributed to the study of physics by inventing Feynman diagrams. These diagrams significantly simplified calculations used in certain observations.
Feynman died of cancer in 1988. At the time of his death, he was well-known in the scientific community, but not by the world at large. After his death, he became a household name due to the popularity of his autobiographies, which were published close to his passing.
Did you enjoy these Richard Feynman quotes and sayings? Which quote was your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.
April 13, 2021 7:00 AM EST