Leon M. Lederman Quotes
Leon Max Lederman (born July 15, 1922) is an American experimental physicist who received the Wolf Prize in Physics in 1982, along with Martin Lewis Perl, for their research on quarks and leptons, and the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1988, along with Melvin Schwartz and Jack Steinberger, for their research on neutrinos. He is Director Emeritus of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia, Illinois, USA. He founded the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, in Aurora, Illinois in 1986, and has been Resident Scholar Emeritus since 2012. In 2012, he was awarded the Vannevar Bush Award for his extraordinary contributions to understanding the basic forces and particles of nature.
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Theorists write all the popular books on science: Heinz Pagels, Frank Wilczek, Stephen Hawking, Richard Feynman, et al. And why not? They have all that spare time.
A theoretical physicist can spend his entire lifetime missing the intellectual challenge of experimental work, experiencing none of the thrills and dangers - the overhead crane with its ten-ton load, the flashing skull and crossbones and danger, radioactivity signs. A theorist's only real hazard is stabbing himself with a pencil while attacking a bug that crawls out of his calculations.
I sometimes think about the tower at Pisa as the first particle accelerator, a (nearly) vertical linear accelerator that Galileo used in his studies.
The British philosopher Bertrand Russell said that philosophy went downhill after Democritus and did not recover until the Renaissance.
Particle physics suffers more from being infected by the socio-political mood of the day than from lack of spectacular opportunities for major and profound discoveries.
The aether: Invented by Isaac Newton, reinvented by James Clerk Maxwell. This is the stuff that fills up the empty space of the universe. Discredited and discarded by Einstein, the aether is now making a Nixonian comeback. It's really the vacuum, but burdened by theoretical, ghostly particles.
By the grace of AEC, BNL, God, Green and Hayworth (alphabetical order), we should see neutrinos.
Science should have no less lofty a goal. My ambition is to live to see all of physics reduced to a formula so elegant and simple that it will fit easily on the front of a T-shirt.
The real goal of physics is to come up with an equation that could explain the universe but still be small enough to fit on a T-shirt
Theorists tend to peak at an early age; the creative juices tend to gush very early and start drying up past the age of fifteen-or so it seems. They need to know just enough; when they're young they haven't accumulated the intellectual baggage.
We hope to explain the entire universe in a single, simple formula that you can wear on your T-shirt.
The physicists defer only to mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God ...
One of the major ingredients for professional success in science is luck. Without this, forget it.
Where do we stand today compared to Greece circa 400 B.C.? Today's experiment-driven 'standard model' is not all that dissimilar to Democritus's speculative [sic] atomic theory.