Richard Feynman on Beauty

After dis­miss­ing the pop­u­lar notion that sci­en­tists are unable to tru­ly appre­ci­ate beau­ty in nature, physi­cist Richard Feyn­man (1918 — 1988) explains what a sci­en­tist real­ly is and does. Here are some of the most mem­o­rable lines from this beau­ti­ful mix of Feyn­man quotes and (most­ly) BBC and NASA footage:

  • Peo­ple say to me, Are you look­ing for the ulti­mate laws of physics? — No, I’m not. I’m just look­ing to find out more about the world.
  • When we’re going to inves­ti­gate [nature], we should­n’t pre­de­cide what it is we’re try­ing to do, except to find out more about it.
  • I can live with doubt and uncer­tain­ty and not know­ing. I think it’s much more inter­est­ing to live not know­ing than to have answers that might be wrong. (…) I don’t feel fright­ened by not know­ing things, by being lost in the mys­te­ri­ous uni­verse with­out hav­ing any pur­pose.
  • When you doubt and ask, it gets a lit­tle hard­er to believe.

Beau­ty is the first video in The Feyn­man Series, along with Hon­ours and Curios­i­ty. The sequence is a com­pan­ion to The Sagan Series, which pays trib­ute to the late Carl Sagan. H/T Kot­tke

By pro­fes­sion, Matthias Rasch­er teach­es Eng­lish and His­to­ry at a High School in north­ern Bavaria, Ger­many. In his free time he scours the web for good links and posts the best finds on Twit­ter.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Richard Feynman’s Physics Lec­tures Online

The Plea­sure of Find­ing Things Out

The Last Jour­ney Of A Genius: Richard Feyn­man Dreams of Tan­nu Tuva


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