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Albert Einstein quote

I take it to be true that pure thought can grasp the real, as the ancients had dreamed.

ALBERT EINSTEIN, Herbert Spencer lecture delivered at Oxford, Jun. 10, 1933

Everyone sits in the prison of his own ideas; he must burst it open, and that in his youth, and so try to test his ideas on reality.

ALBERT EINSTEIN, Cosmic Religion: With Other Opinions and Aphorisms

The value of a college education is not the learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think.

ALBERT EINSTEIN, New York Times, May 18, 1921

To punish me for my contempt of authority, Fate has made me an authority myself.

ALBERT EINSTEIN, aphorism for a friend, Sep. 18, 1930, quoted in Albert Einstein: Creator and Rebel (Hoffman)

All of science is nothing more than the refinement of everyday thinking.

ALBERT EINSTEIN, Journal of the Franklin Institute, Mar. 1936

It can scarcely be denied that the supreme goal of all theory is to make the irreducible basic elements as simple and as few as possible without having to surrender the adequate representation of a single datum of experience.

ALBERT EINSTEIN, Herbert Spencer lecture delivered at Oxford, Jun. 10, 1933

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.

ALBERT EINSTEIN, letter to Morris Raphael Cohen, Mar. 19, 1940

Why does this magnificent applied science which saves work and makes life easier bring us so little happiness? The simple answer runs: Because we have not yet learned to make sensible use of it. In war it serves that we may poison and mutilate each other. In peace it has made our lives hurried and uncertain. Instead of freeing us in great measure from spiritually exhausting labor, it has made men into slaves of machinery, who for the most part complete their monotonous long day's work with disgust and must continually tremble for their poor rations. ... It is not enough that you should understand about applied science in order that your work may increase man's blessings. Concern for the man himself and his fate must always form the chief interest of all technical endeavours; concern for the great unsolved problems of the organization of labor and the distribution of goods in order that the creations of our mind shall be a blessing and not a curse to mankind. Never forget this in the midst of your diagrams and equations.

ALBERT EINSTEIN, speech at California Institute of Technology, quoted in New York Times, Feb. 16, 1931

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.

ALBERT EINSTEIN, letter to his son Eduard, Feb. 5, 1930

The mass of a body is a measure of its energy content.

ALBERT EINSTEIN, Annalen der Physik, 1905

Concepts that have proven useful in ordering things easily achieve such authority over us that we forget their earthly origins and accept them as unalterable givens.

ALBERT EINSTEIN, obituary for physicist Ernst Mach, Physikalische Zeitschrift, 1916

People like you and I, though mortal of course like everyone else, do not grow old no matter how long we live ... never cease to stand like curious children before the great mystery into which we were born.

ALBERT EINSTEIN, letter to Otto Juliusburger, Sep. 29, 1942

By an application of the theory of relativity to the taste of readers, today in Germany I am called a German man of science, and in England I am represented as a Swiss Jew. If I come to be represented as a bête noire, the descriptions will be reversed, and I shall become a Swiss Jew for the Germans and a German man of science for the English!

ALBERT EINSTEIN, The London Times, Nov. 28, 1919

I was sitting in a chair in the patent office at Bern when all of sudden a thought occurred to me: If a person falls freely he will not feel his own weight. I was startled. This simple thought made a deep impression on me. It impelled me toward a theory of gravitation.

ALBERT EINSTEIN, Kyoto address, Dec. 14, 1922

One may say "the eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility."

ALBERT EINSTEIN, "Physics and Reality" (1936)

As long as there are sovereign nations possessing great power, war is inevitable.

ALBERT EINSTEIN, Atlantic Monthly, Nov. 1945

Why is it nobody understands me and everybody likes me?

ALBERT EINSTEIN, New York Times, Mar. 12, 1944

Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.

ALBERT EINSTEIN, New York Times, Jun. 20, 1932

I see a clock, but I cannot envision the clockmaker. The human mind is unable to conceive of the four dimensions, so how can it conceive of a God, before whom a thousand years and a thousand dimensions are as one?

ALBERT EINSTEIN, Cosmic Religion: With Other Opinions and Aphorisms

Since the mathematicians have invaded the theory of relativity, I do not understand it myself anymore.

ALBERT EINSTEIN, attributed, Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist

When a man after long years of searching chances on a thought which discloses something of the beauty of this mysterious universe, he should not therefore be personally celebrated. He is already sufficiently paid by his experience of seeking and finding. In science, moreover, the work of the individual is so bound up with that of his scientific predecessors and contemporaries that it appears almost as an impersonal product of his generation.

ALBERT EINSTEIN, "The Progress of Science," The Scientific Monthly, Jun. 1921

If A is success in life, then A = x + y + z. Work is x, play is y and z is keeping your mouth shut.

ALBERT EINSTEIN, remark to Samuel J. Woolf, summer 1929

Scientists believe that every occurrence, including the affairs of human beings, is due to the laws of nature. Therefore a scientist cannot be inclined to believe that the course of events can by influenced by prayer, that is, by a supernaturally manifested wish. However, we must concede that our actual knowledge of these forces is imperfect, so that in the end the belief in the existence of a final, ultimate spirit rests on a kind of faith.

ALBERT EINSTEIN, letter to Phyllis (a child), Jan. 24, 1936

Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that, behind all the discernible concatenations, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion. To that extent I am, in point of fact, religious.

ALBERT EINSTEIN, response to Alfred Kerr at a dinner party, 1927, quoted in The Diary of a Cosmopolitan (Kessler)

Still, there are moments when one feels free from one's own identification with human limitations and inadequacies. At such moments, one imagines that one stands on some spot of a small planet, gazing in amazement at the cold yet profoundly moving beauty of the eternal, the unfathomable: life and death flow into one, and there is neither evolution nor destiny; only being.

ALBERT EINSTEIN, letter to Queen Mother Elisabeth of Belgium, Jan. 9, 1939

It followed from the special theory of relativity that mass and energy are both but different manifestations of the same thing — a somewhat unfamiliar conception for the average mind. Furthermore, the equation E = mc², in which energy is put equal to mass, multiplied by the square of the velocity of light, showed that very small amounts of mass may be converted into a very large amount of energy and vice versa.

ALBERT EINSTEIN, Atomic Physics (1948)

It is easier to denature plutonium than it is to denature the evil spirit of man.

ALBERT EINSTEIN, New York Times Magazine, Jun. 23, 1946

In living through this "great epoch," it is difficult to reconcile oneself to the fact that one belongs to that mad, degenerate species that boasts of its free will. How I wish that somewhere there existed an island for those who are wise and of good will! In such a place even I should be an ardent patriot!

ALBERT EINSTEIN, letter to Paul Ehrenfest, Dec. 1914, Collected Papers of Albert Einstein

Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that some spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe, one that is vastly superior to that of man. In this way the pursuit of science leads to a religious feeling of a special sort, which is surely quite different from the religiosity of someone more naive.

ALBERT EINSTEIN, letter to Phyllis (a child), Jan. 24, 1936

So many people today — and even professional scientists — seem to me like someone who has seen thousands of trees but has never seen a forest. A knowledge of the historic and philosophical background gives that kind of independence from prejudices of his generation from which most scientists are suffering. This independence created by philosophical insight is — in my opinion — the mark of distinction between a mere artisan or specialist and a real seeker after truth.

ALBERT EINSTEIN, letter to Robert A. Thorton, Dec. 7, 1944

A human being is a part of the whole, called by us "Universe", a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.

ALBERT EINSTEIN, New York Times, Mar. 29, 1972

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