Edward Witten Quotes

A quotes list created by Lee Songan

Edward Witten | Famous Mathematicians

Mathematical physics is an interesting subject I intend to learn one day to make my own objective calculations. Edward Witten is one worthy and makes me think how to apply Einstein’s theory of relativity from a book that perfectly explains what I had been looking for. This guy covers topics even more intriguing, his abstract dialogue reflects a great person and a fantastic mind. Awards and a lengthy career to the present, this guy will not be forgotten when I hear a reference or an example now.

  • “Quantum mechanics brought an unexpected fuzziness into physics because of quantum uncertainty, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. String theory does so again because a point particle is replaced by a string, which is more spread out.”
  • “Even before string theory, especially as physics developed in the 20th century, it turned out that the equations that really work in describing nature with the most generality and the greatest simplicity are very elegant and subtle.”
  • “But the beauty of Einstein’s equations, for example, is just as real to anyone who’s experienced it as the beauty of music. We’ve learned in the 20th century that the equations that work have inner harmony.”
  • “One very important aspect of string theory is definitely testable. That was the prediction of supersymmetry, which emerged from string theory in the early ’70s.”
  • “I have a tendency, more than most other physicists, to try to figure out everything all at once, before I publish. And even to try to figure out everything in my head, without pencil and paper.”
  • “As for the forces, electromagnetism and gravity we experience in everyday life. But the weak and strong forces are beyond our ordinary experience. So in physics, lots of the basic building blocks take 20th- or perhaps 21st-century equipment to explore.”
  • “In Einstein’s general relativity the structure of space can change but not its topology. Topology is the property of something that doesn’t change when you bend it or stretch it as long as you don’t break anything.”
  • “I wouldn’t have thought that a wrong theory should lead us to understand better the ordinary quantum field theories or to have new insights about the quantum states of black holes.”
  • “If I take the theory as we have it now, literally, I would conclude that extra dimensions really exist. They’re part of nature. We don’t really know how big they are yet, but we hope to explore that in various ways.”
  • “Im actually, for the most part, a complete agnostic politically.”
  • “The hardest part of research is always to find a question that’s big enough that it’s worth answering, but little enough that you actually can answer it.”
  • “Away from the safety of your home, the universe was not made for your convenience.”
  • “1/r^2 has a nasty singularity at r=0, but it did not bother Newton-the Moon is far enough.”

His ideas and what he was known for are M-theory, Seiberg–Witten theory, Seiberg-Witten map, Seiberg–Witten invariants, Wess–Zumino–Witten model, Weinberg–Witten theorem, Gromov–Witten invariant, Hořava–Witten domain wall, Vafa–Witten theorem, Witten index, BCFW recursion, Topological quantum field theory (Witten-type TQFTs), Topological string theory, CSW rules, Witten conjecture, Witten zeta function, Hanany–Witten transition, Twistor string theory, Chern–Simons theory, Positive energy theorem, Witten-Veneziano mechanism



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