- Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.
Science, Philosophy and Religion: a Symposium (1941) ch. 13
- As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.
Sidelights on Relativity (1920)
- E = mc2.
the usual form of Einstein's original statement: ‘If a body releases the energy L in the form of radiation, its mass is decreased by L/V2’
in Annalen der Physik 18 (1905)
- God is subtle but he is not malicious.
remark made during a week at Princeton beginning 9 May 1921, later carved above the fireplace of the Common Room of Fine Hall (the Mathematical Institute), Princeton University
- The value of an education in a liberal arts college is not the learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think something that cannot be learned from textbooks.
in 1921; Philipp Frank Einstein: His Life and Times (1947)
- At any rate, I am convinced that He [God] does not play dice.
often quoted as: ‘God does not play dice’
letter to Max Born, 4 December 1926
- An hour sitting with a pretty girl on a park bench passes like a minute, but a minute sitting on a hot stove seems like an hour.
explanation of relativity given to his secretary for use when answering enquiries in the 1920s
Jamie Sayen Einstein in America (1985)
- Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
in Saturday Evening Post 26 October 1929
- If my theory of relativity is proven correct, Germany will claim me as a German and France will declare that I am a citizen of the world. Should my theory prove untrue, France will say that I am a German and Germany will declare that I am a Jew.
address at the Sorbonne, Paris, possibly early December 1929, in New York Times 16 February 1930
- Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.
letter to his son Eduard, 5 February 1930
- I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.
in an interview, given on the Belgenland, December 1930
- I am not only a pacifist but a militant pacifist. I am willing to fight for peace. Nothing will end war unless the people themselves refuse to go to war.
interview with G. S. Viereck, January 1931
- As a human being, one has been endowed with just enough intelligence to be able to see clearly how utterly inadequate that intelligence is when confronted with what exists.
letter to Queen Elisabeth of Belgium, 19 September 1932
- 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.
often quoted as ‘Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler’
‘On the Method of Theoretical Physics’, lecture delivered at Oxford, 10 June 1933
- The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility…The fact that it is comprehensible is a miracle.
usually quoted as ‘The most incomprehensible fact about the universe is that it is comprehensible’
in Franklin Institute Journal March 1936 ‘Physics and Reality’
- Some recent work by E. Fermi and L. Szilard, which has been communicated to me in manuscript, leads me to expect that the element uranium may be turned into a new and important source of energy in the immediate future. Certain aspects of the situation which has arisen seem to call for watchfulness and, if necessary, quick action on the part of the Administration.
warning of the possible development of an atomic bomb, and leading to the setting up of the Manhattan Project
letter to Franklin Roosevelt
, 2 August 1939, drafted by Leo Szilard and signed by Einstein
- God does not care about our mathematical difficulties. He integrates empirically.
Leopold Infeld Quest (1942)
- The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking and we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.
telegram to prominent Americans, 24 May 1946, in New York Times 25 May 1946
when asked what weapons would be used in a third world war:I don't know. But I can tell you what they'll use in the fourth. They'll use rocks!
in The Rotarian June 1948; similar remarks suggesting the use of spears were attributed to unidentified army officers from 1946 on
- It is in fact nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry.
Paul Schilpp Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist (1949) ‘Autobiographical Notes’
- If A is a success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut.
in Observer 15 January 1950
- Common sense is nothing more than a deposit of prejudices laid down in the mind before you reach eighteen.
Lincoln Barnett The Universe and Dr Einstein (1950 ed.)
- The grand aim of all science [is] to cover the greatest number of empirical facts by logical deduction from the smallest possible number of hypotheses or axioms.
Lincoln Barnett The Universe and Dr Einstein (1950 ed.)
- I think that only daring speculation can lead us further and not accumulation of facts.
letter to Michele Besso, 8 October 1952
- If I would be a young man again and had to decide how to make my living, I would not try to become a scientist or scholar or teacher. I would rather choose to be a plumber or a peddler in the hope to find that modest degree of independence still available under present circumstances.
in Reporter 18 November 1954
- The distinction between past, present and future is only an illusion, however persistent.
letter to Michelangelo Besso, 21 March 1955
- Nationalism is an infantile sickness. It is the measles of the human race.
Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman Albert Einstein, the Human Side (1979)
- One must divide one's time between politics and equations. But our equations are much more important to me.
C. P. Snow ‘Einstein’ in M. Goldsmith et al. (eds.) Einstein (1980)
- Two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I am not yet completely sure about the universe.
attributed; Frederick S. Perls In and Out the Garbage Pail (1969)
- When I was young, I found out that the big toe always ends up making a hole in a sock. So I stopped wearing socks.
to Philippe Halsman; A. P. French Einstein: A Centenary Volume (1979)