Quotations by Max Born


I am now convinced that theoretical physics is actual philosophy.
Autobiography

If God has made the world a perfect mechanism, He has at least conceded so much to our imperfect intellect that in order to predict little parts of it, we need not solve innumerable differential equations, but can use dice with fair sucess.
Quoted in H R Pagels, The Cosmic Code

The difficulty involved in the proper and adequate means of describing changes in continuous deformable bodies is the method of differential equations. ... They express mathematically the physical concept of contiguous action. Einstein's Theory of Relativity

It is natural that a man should consider the work of his hands or his brain to be useful and important. Therefore nobody will object to an ardent experimentalist boasting of his measurements and rather looking down on the 'paper and ink' physics of his theoretical friend, who on his part is proud of his lofty ideas and despises the dirty fingers of the other.
Experiment and Theory in Physics

The problem of physics is how the actual phenomena, as observed with the help of our sense organs aided by instruments, can be reduced to simple notions which are suited for precise measurement and used of the formulation of quantitative laws.
Experiment and Theory in Physics

I believe there is no philosophical high-road in science, with epistemological signposts. No, we are in a jungle and find our way by trial and error, building our road behind us as we proceed.

Science is not formal logic it needs the free play of the mind in as great a degree as any other creative art. It is true that this is a gift which can hardly be taught, but its growth can be encouraged in those who already possess it.


JOC/EFR April 2011

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