Luis Walter Alvarez quotes

  • The last few centuries have seen the world freed from several scourges-slavery, for example; death by torture for heretics; and, most recently, smallpox. I am optimistic enough to believe that the next scourge to disappear will be large-scale warfare-killed by the existence and nonuse of nuclear weapons.
    -- Luis Walter Alvarez

    #War #Believe #Optimistic

  • I'm convinced that a controlled disrespect for authority is essential to a scientist. All the good experimental physicists I have known have had an intense curiosity that no Keep Out sign could mute. Physicists do, of course, show a healthy respect for High Voltage, Radiation, and Liquid Hydrogen signs. They are not reckless. I can think of only six who have been killed on the job.
    -- Luis Walter Alvarez

    #Jobs #Thinking #Healthy

  • Most of us who become experimental physicists do so for two reasons; we love the tools of physics because to us they have intrinsic beauty, and we dream of finding new secrets of nature as important and as exciting as those uncovered by our scientific heroes. But we walk a narrow path with pitfalls on either side. If we spend all our time developing equipment, we risk the appellation of "plumber," and if we merely use the tools developed by others, we risk the censure of our peers for being parasitic.
    -- Luis Walter Alvarez

    #Dream #Hero #Two

  • [My father] advised me to sit every few months in my reading chair for an entire evening, close my eyes and try to think of new problems to solve. I took his advice very seriously and have been glad ever since that he did.
    -- Luis Walter Alvarez

    #Father #Reading #Eye

  • There is no democracy in physics. We can't say that some second-rate guy has as much right to opinion as Fermi.
    -- Luis Walter Alvarez

    #Guy #Democracy #Opinion

  • Dirac politely refused Robert's [Robert Oppenheimer] two proffered books: reading books, the Cambridge theoretician announced gravely, "interfered with thought."
    -- Luis Walter Alvarez

    #Book #Reading #Science

  • I don't like to say bad things about paleontologists, but they're not very good scientists. They're more like stamp collectors.
    -- Luis Walter Alvarez

    #Scientist #Stamps #Very Good

  • A broadsheet obituarist once pointed out to me that veteran soldiers die by rank. First to go are the generals, admirals and air marshals, then the brigadiers, then a bit of a gap and the colonels and wing commanders and passed-over majors, then a steady trickle of captains and lieutenants. As they get older and rarer, so the soldiers are mythologised and grow ever more heroic, until finally drummer boys and under-age privates are venerated and laurelled with honours like ancient field marshals. There is something touching about that.

  • Father was an atheist; he had even joined the Skeleton Army - a club of men who went about in masks or black faces, with ribald placards and a brass band, to make war upon the Salvation Army.

  • Here dead lie we because we did not choose to live and shame the land from which we sprung. Life, to be sure, is nothing much to lose; but young men think it is, and we were young.

  • The problem after a war is with the victor. He thinks he has just proved that war and violence pay. Who will now teach him a lesson?

  • War is not an accident. It is the logical outcome of a certain way of life.

  • I used to believe in forever, but forever's too good to be true

  • The Christian that is bound by his own horizon, the church that lives simply for itself, is bound to die a spiritual death and sink into stagnancy and corruption. We never can thank God enough for giving us not only a whole Gospel to believe, but a whole world to give it to.

  • Baseball has the largest library of law and love and custom and ritual, and therefore, in a nation that fundamentally believes it is a nation under law, well, baseball is America's most privileged version of the level field.

  • The planet is ill, everyone knows that. But I need to be optimistic, otherwise I would just be adding to the negativity. So every night I come on Madrid TV and read a piece of good news.

  • Life is beautiful. You have to be thankful that we are living. Wherever you look is beauty. I know about the bad things, but I look for the good things.

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