Quotations about Mathematics and Physics
Freeman Dyson

One factor that has remained constant through all the twists and turns of the history of physics is the decisive importance of the mathematical imagination.

Paul A. M. Dirac

On being asked what he meant by the beauty of a mathematical theory of physics, Dirac replied that if the questioner was a mathematician then he did not need to be told, but were he not a mathematician then nothing would be able to convince him of it.

Stanley Gudder

Mathematics is music for the mind;

Music is mathematics for the soul.

Samuel Karli

The purpose of [mathematical] models is not to fit the data but to sharpen the questions.


a mathematician confided
that a Mobius band is one sided
and you'll get quite a laugh if you cut one in half
for it stays in one piece when divided

Kenneth Kaminsky

How poor were we? Why, we were so poor we only had imaginary numbers to play with.

Celia Green

The way to do research is to attack the facts at the point of greatest astonishment.

Werner von Braun

Basic research is when I'm doing what I don't know what I'm doing.

Leo Tolstoy

Some mathematician, I believe, has said that true pleasure lies not in the discovery of truth but in the search for it.

Stanislaw Lem

"...let's have a love poem, lyrical, pastoral, and expressed in the language of pure mathematics. Tensor algebra mainly, with a little topology and higher calculus if need be..."

Come let us hasten to a higher plane,
Where dyads tread the fairy fields of Venn,
Their indices bedecked from one to n
Commingled in an endless Markov chain

Come, every frustrum longs to be a cone,
And every vector dreams of matrices.
Hark to the gentle gradient of the breeze
It whispers of a more ergodic zone.

In Riemann, Hilbert or in Banach space
Let superscripts and subscripts go their ways
Our asymptotes no longer out of phase
We shall encounter, counting face to face.

I'll grant thee random access to my heart
Thou'lt tell me all the constants of thy love
And so we two shall all love's lemmas prove
And in our bound partition never part.

For what did Cauchy know or Christoffel,
Or Fourier or any Boole or Euler
Wielding their compasses, their planes and rulers
Of thy supernal sinusoidal spell?

Cancel me not--for what then shall remain?
Abscissas, some mantissas, modules, modes
A root or two, a torus and a node
The inverse of my verse, a null domain.

Ellipse of bliss, converge, O lips divine
The product of our scalars is defined
Cyberiad draws nigh and the skew mind
Cuts capers like a happy haversine

I see the eigenvalue in thine eye
I hear the tender tensor in thy sigh
Bernoullli would have been content to die
Had he but known such a cos(2).