Jim Baggott Quotes
4 Sourced Quotes
A scientist in the late nineteenth century could be forgiven for thinking that the major elements of physics were built on unshakeable foundations and effectively established for all time. The efforts of generations of scientists, philosophers, and mathematicians had culminated in Isaac Newton's grand synthesis in the late seventeenth century.
The last century was defined by physics. From the minds of the world's leading physicists there flowed a river of ideas that would transport man kind to the very pinnacle of wonder and to the very depths of despair. This was a century that began with the certainties of absolute knowledge and ended with the knowledge of absolute uncertainty. It was a century in which physicists developed theories that would deny us the possibility that we can ever properly comprehend the nature of physical reality. It was also a century in which they built weapons with the capacity utterly to destroy this reality.
It seems incredible that we should willingly trade certainty for quantum confusion and doubt. But, make no mistake, despite its simplicity, its appealing visual images and its resonance with our common understanding, classical physics failed. The quantum description was built amidst the ruins of the structure that preceded it, and it is therefore appropriate that we begin our journey from within this classical landscape.