Some Niels Bohr Quotes

We have said that Bohr is irrational. Here we provide some evidence for those claims! We will go over some of them in a future episode, but for now, see what you can make of them.

“The very recognition of the limited divisibility of physical processes, symbolized, by the quantum of actions, has justified the old doubt as to the range of our ordinary forms of perception when applied to atomic phenomena. Since, in the observation of phenomena, we cannot neglect the interaction between the objection and the instrument of observation, the question of the possibilities of observation again comes to the foreground. Thus we meet here in new light, the problem of the objectivity of phenomena which has always attracted so much attention in philosophical discussions.”

“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.”

“We must be clear that 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 and establishing mental connections.”

“Your theory is crazy, but it’s not crazy enough to be true.”

“Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real.”

“I consider those developments in physics during the last decades which have shown how problematical such concepts as objective and subjective are, a great liberation of thought.”

“Isolated material particles are abstractions, their properties being definable and observable only through their interaction with other systems.”

“The quantum theory may be said to be a disappointment, for the atomic theory arose just from the attempt to accomplish such a description, also in the case of phenomena which, in our immediate sense impressions, do not appear as material bodies. From the very beginning, however, one was not unprepared in this domain to come upon failure of the forms of perception adapted to our ordinary sense impressions”

“No, no, you’re not thinking; you’re just being logical.”

“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.”

“In addition, it has been my desire to emphasize as strongly as possible how profoundly the new knowledge has shaken the foundations underlying the building up of concepts on which not only the classical description of physics rests but also our ordinary mode of thinking. It is above all to this emancipation that we owe the wonderful progress far exceeding all the hopes which one ventured to cherish just a few years ago.”

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