Niels Bohr quotes

  • A physicist is just an atom's way of looking at itself.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Alaska #Atoms #Way

  • Address to Albert Einstein: You are not thinking. You are merely being logical.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Thinking #Addresses #Logical

  • A physicist visits a colleague and notices a horseshoe hanging on the wall above the entrance. 'Do you really believe that a horseshoe brings luck?' he asks. 'No,' replies the colleague, 'but I've been told that it works even if you don't believe in it.'
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Wall #Believe #Luck

  • There are some things so serious you have to laugh at them.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Laughter #Laughing #Serious

  • If quantum mechanics hasn't profoundly shocked you, you haven't understood it yet.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Inspiration #Understanding #Mechanic

  • It is the hallmark of any deep truth that its negation is also a deep truth
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Hallmark #Negation

  • Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Real #Reality #Physics

  • Nothing exists until it is measured.
    -- Niels Bohr

  • The old saying of the two kinds of truth. To the one kind belongs statements so simple and clear that the opposite assertion obviously could not be defended. The other kind, the so-called 'deep truths', are statements in which the opposite also contains deep truth.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Truth #Simple #Opposites

  • If anybody says he can think about quantum physics without getting giddy, that only shows he has not understood the first thing about them.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Inspirational #Life #Science

  • What is that we human beings ultimately depend on? We depend on our words. We are suspended in language. Our task is to communicate experience and ideas to others.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Ideas #Our Words #Tasks

  • The best weapon of a dictatorship is secrecy, but the best weapon of a democracy should be the weapon of openness.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Political #Democracy #Weapons

  • Every valuable human being must be a radical and a rebel, for what he must aim at is to make things better than they are
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Spiritual #Rebel #Radical

  • We depend on our words...Our task is to communicate experience and ideas to others. We must strive continually to extend the scope of our description, but in such a way that our messages do not thereby lose their objective or unambiguous character...We are suspended in language in such a way that we cannot say what is up and what is down. The word 'reality' is also a word, a word which we must learn to use correctly.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Character #Reality #Ideas

  • It is wrong to think that the task of physics is to find out how Nature is. Physics concerns what we say about Nature.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Learning #Thinking #Tasks

  • When we measure something we are forcing an undetermined, undefined world to assume an experimental value. We are not measuring the world, we are creating it.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Creating #World #Assuming

  • You must come to Copenhagen to work with us. We like people who can actually perform thought experiments!
    -- Niels Bohr

    #People #Copenhagen #Experiments

  • Isolated material particles are abstractions, their properties being definable and observable only through their interaction with other systems .
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Materials #Interaction #Particles

  • Never express yourself more clearly than you are able to think.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Inspirational #Science #Thinking

  • When searching for harmony in life one must never forget that in the drama of existence we are ourselves both actors and spectators.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Life #Drama #Actors

  • The opposite of a fact is falsehood, but the opposite of one profound truth may very well be another profound truth.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Truth #Science #Opposites

  • When it comes to atoms, language can be used only as in poetry.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Atoms #Language #Used

  • We are all agreed that your theory is crazy. The question which divides us is whether it is crazy enough to have a chance of being correct. My own feeling is that it is not crazy enough.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Crazy #Feelings #Statistics

  • Einstein, stop telling God what to do!
    -- Niels Bohr

    #God

  • There are trivial truths and the great truths. The opposite of a trivial truth is plainly false. The opposite of a great truth is also true.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Inspirational #Family #Truth

  • Every sentence I utter must be understood not as an affirmation, but as a question.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Science #Understanding #Selfless

  • I go into the Upanishads to ask questions.
    -- Niels Bohr

  • Your theory is crazy, but it's not crazy enough to be true.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Crazy #Science #Technology

  • Every great and deep difficulty bears in itself its own solution. It forces us to change our thinking in order to find it.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Inspiration #Thinking #Order

  • How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have some hope of making progress.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Thinking #Progress #Physics

  • Those who are not shocked when they first come across quantum theory cannot possibly have understood it.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Science #Firsts #Physics

  • The meaning of life consists in the fact that it makes no sense to say that life has no meaning.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Facts #Meaning Of Life #Life Has No Meaning

  • The very nature of the quantum theory ... forces us to regard the space-time coordination and the claim of causality, the union of which characterizes the classical theories, as complementary but exclusive features of the description, symbolizing the idealization of observation and description, respectively.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Space #Unions #Causality

  • An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Inspirational #Encouraging #Education

  • It is, indeed, perhaps the greatest prospect of humanistic studies to contribute through an increasing knowledge of the history of cultural development to that gradual removal of prejudices which is the common aim of all science.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Prejudice #Common #Study

  • Sometimes the child in one behaves a certain way and the rest of oneself follows behind, slowly shaking its head.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Change #Time #Children

  • If we couldn't laugh at ourselves, that would be the end of everything.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Laughing #Would Be #Aphorism

  • The great extension of our experience in recent years has brought light to the insufficiency of our simple mechanical conceptions and, as a consequence, has shaken the foundation on which the customary interpretation of observation was based.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Simple #Years #Light

  • It is very difficult to make an accurate prediction, especially about the future.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Predictions #Difficult #Accurate

  • There are two sorts of truth: trivialities, where opposites are clearly absurd, and profound truths, recognised by the fact that the opposite is also a profound truth
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Spiritual #Opposites #Two

  • Some subjects are so serious that one can only joke about them.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Serious #Subjects #Jokes

  • A person who wasn't outraged on first hearing about quantum theory didn't understand what had been said.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Funny #Science #Hearing

  • One must always do what one really cannot.
    -- Niels Bohr

  • In our description of nature the purpose is not to disclose the real essence of the phenomena but only to track down, so far as it is possible, relations between the manifold aspects of our experience.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Nature #Real #Essence

  • If an idea does not appear bizarre, there is no hope for it.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Work #Ideas #Doe

  • Of course I don't believe in it [pointing to horseshoe on his office wall]. But I understand that it brings you luck whether you believe in it or not.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Faith #Wall #Believe

  • The present state of atomic theory is characterized by the fact that we not only believe the existence of atoms to be proved beyond a doubt, but also we even believe that we have an intimate knowledge of the constituents of the individual atoms.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Believe #Science #Doubt

  • It is a great pity that human beings cannot find all of their satisfaction in scientific contemplativeness.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Satisfaction #Pity #Humans

  • It is difficult to predict, especially the future.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Future #Difficult

  • Physics is to be regarded not so much as the study of something a priori given, but rather as the development of methods of ordering and surveying human experience. In this respect our task must be to account for such experience in a manner independent of individual subjective judgement and therefore objective in the sense that it can be unambiguously communicated in ordinary human language.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Independent #Judgement #Tasks

  • Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Inspirational #Funny #Time

  • It is not enough to be wrong, one must also be polite.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Enough #Polite

  • And anyone who thinks they can talk about quantum theory without feeling dizzy hasn't yet understood the first thing about it.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Thinking #Feelings #Firsts

  • When it comes to atoms, language can be used only as in poetry. The poet, too, is not nearly so concerned with describing facts as with creating images.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Inspirational #Creating #Poetry

  • A visitor to Niels Bohr's country cottage, noticing a horseshoe hanging on the wall, teasing the eminent scientist about this ancient superstition. "Can it be true that you, of all people, believe it will bring you luck?' 'Of course not,' replied Bohr, 'but I understand it brings you luck whether you believe it or not.'
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Country #Wall #Believe

  • Anyone not shocked by quantum mechanics has not yet understood it.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Physics #Mechanic #Quantum

  • Truth and clarity are complementary
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Badass #Clarity

  • Technology has advanced more in the last thirty years than in the previous two thousand. The exponential increase in advancement will only continue. Anthropological Commentary The opposite of a trivial truth is false; the opposite of a great truth is also true.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Technology #Years #Opposites

  • In physics we deal with states of affairs much simpler than those of psychology and yet we again and again learn that our task is not to investigate the essence of things-we do not at all know what this would mean&mash;but to develop those concepts that allow us to speak with each other about the events of nature in a fruitful manner.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Knowledge #Mean #Essence

  • Prediction is difficult, especially the future.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Science #Predictions #Difficult

  • If you aren't confused by quantum mechanics, you haven't really understood it.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Confused #Science #Mechanic

  • You can recognize a small truth because its opposite is a falsehood. The opposite of a great truth is another truth.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Opposites #Truth Is #Falsehood

  • No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Inspirational #Life #Thinking

  • Anyone who can contemplate quantum mechanics without getting dizzy hasn't understood it.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Dizzy #Mechanic #Quantum

  • We are trapped by language to such a degree that every attempt to formulate insight is a play on words.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Play #Statistics #Degrees

  • We all know your idea is crazy. The question is whether it is crazy enough.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Crazy #Ideas #Madness

  • An independant reality in the ordinary physical sense can neither be ascribed to the phenomenon nor to the agencies of observation.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Science #Reality #Agency

  • One thought spectra are marvellous, but it is not possible to make progress there. Just as if you have the wing of a butterfly then certainly it is very regular with the colors and so on, but nobody thought one could get the basis of biology from the coloring of the wing of a butterfly.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Butterfly #Color #Wings

  • Oh what idiots we have all been, this is just as it must be
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Spiritual #Idiot

  • When asked ... [about] an underlying quantum world, Bohr would answer, 'There is no quantum world. There is only an abstract quantum physical description. It is wrong to think that the task of physics is to find out how nature is. Physics concerns what we can say about Nature.'
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Nature #Thinking #Answers

  • Truth is something that we can attempt to doubt, and then perhaps, after much exertion, discover that part of the doubt is not justified.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Truth #Doubt #Justified

  • Opposites are not contradictory but complementary.
    -- Niels Bohr

    #Education #Teacher #Opposites