Quotes about Albert Einstein
220 Sourced Quotes
For centuries knowledge meant proven knowledge... Einstein's results again turned the tables and now very few philosophers or scientists still think that scientific knowledge is, or can be, proven knowledge. But few realize that with this the whole classical structure of intellectual values falls in ruins and has to be replaced.
The subject of this book is the structure of space-time on length-scales from 10-13cm, the radius of an elementary particle, up to 1028cm, the radius of the universe.... we base our treatment on Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. This theory leads to two remarkable predictions about the universe: first, that the final fate of massive stars is to collapse behind an event horizon to form a 'black hole' which will contain a singularity; and secondly, that there is a singularity in our past which constitutes, in some sense, a beginning to the universe.
Einstein is the only figure in the physical sciences with a stature that can be compared with Newton. Newton is reported to have said "If I have seen further than other men, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants." This remark is even more true of Einstein who stood on the shoulders of Newton. Both Newton and Einstein put forward a theory of mechanics and a theory of gravity but Einstein was able to base General Relativity on the mathematical theory of curved spaces that had been constructed by Riemann while Newton had to develop his own mathematical machinery. It is therefore appropriate to acclaim Newton as the greatest figure in mathematical physics and the Principia is his greatest achievement.
Maybe I'm being a bit harsh on philosophers, but they have not been very kind to me... I have been variously called nominalist, an instrumentalist, a positivist, a realist, and several other ists. The technique seems refutation by denigration: If you can attach a label to my approach, you don't have to say what is wrong with it... I am sure that Einstein, Heisenberg and Dirac didn't worry about whether they were realists or instrumentalists.
Someone told me that each equation I included in the book would halve the sales. I therefore resolved not to have any equations at all. In the end, however, I did put in one equation, Einstein's famous equation, E = mc squared. I hope that this will not scare off half of my potential readers.
Philosopher Bertrand Russell suggested that 'Men are born ignorant, not stupid. They are made stupid by education.' And, it was Albert Einstein who explained, 'Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.' So which is it - stupidity, ignorance or insanity - that explains the behavior of my fellow Americans who call for greater government involvement in our lives?
The tensor calculus that cost Einstein an effort to master is now a regular part of an undergraduate course in the better technical schools. The subject has been so thoroughly emulsified that even an eighteen-year-old can swallow it without regurgitating. But this does not prove that wither his brain or his stomach is stronger than Einstein's was.
Einstein's relativity work is a magnificent mathematical garb which fascinates, dazzles and makes people blind to the underlying errors. The theory is like a beggar clothed in purple whom ignorant people take for a king... its exponents are brilliant men but they are metaphysicists rather than scientists.