Physicists only talk to physicists, economists to economists-worse still, nuclear physicists only talk to nuclear physicists and econometricians to econometricians. One wonders sometimes if science will not grind to a stop in an assemblage of walled-in hermits, each mumbling to himself words in a private language that only he can understand.
Kenneth E. Boulding
It is quite true that many scientists, many physicists, maintain that the physical constants, the half dozen or so numbers that physicists have to simply assume in order to derive the rest of their understanding ... have to be assumed. You can't provide a rationale for why those numbers are there. Physicists have calculated that if any of these numbers was a little bit different, the universe as we know it wouldn't exist.
...contemporary physicists come in two varieties. Type 1 physicists are bothered by EPR and Bell's Theorem. Type 2 (the majority) are not, but one has to distinguish two subvarieties. Type 2a physicists explain why they are not bothered. Their explanations tend either to miss the point entirely (like Born's to Einstein) or to contain physical assertions that can be shown to be false. Type 2b are not bothered and refuse to explain why.
Over the last century, physicists have used light quanta, electrons, alpha particles, X-rays, gamma-rays, protons, neutrons and exotic sub-nuclear particles for this purpose [scattering experiments]. Much important information about the target atoms or nuclei or their assemblage has been obtained in this way. In witness of this importance one can point to the unusual concentration of scattering enthusiasts among earlier Nobel Laureate physicists. One could say that physicists just love to perform or interpret scattering experiments.
We want no dictatorship of physicists, as physicists. If our democracy is to realize its full promise, we want no dictatorship at all - of any species. What we want and need is the enlightened and active interest of all men of intelligence and goodwill in their government, and their participation in its functions.
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
Whenever I want to represent or depict the official version, I will refer to them as 'mathematicians' or 'mathematical physicists' or idiots or something like that. There are no physicists in mainstream 'Physics.' From Newton to Einstein to Hawking, they are all just mathematicians as far as Science and Physics are concerned.
I recognize that many physicists are smarter than I am-most of them theoretical physicists. A lot of smart people have gone into theoretical physics, therefore the field is extremely competitive. I console myself with the thought that although they may be smarter and may be deeper thinkers than I am, I have broader interests than they have.
There are physicists, and there are string theorists. Of course the string theorists are physicists, but the string theorists in general will not attend lectures on experimental physics. They will not be terribly concerned about the results of experiments. They will talk to one another.
Sheldon Lee Glashow
If physicists could not quote in the text, they would not feel that much was lost with respect to advancement of knowledge of the natural world. If historians could not quote, they would deem it a disastrous impediment to the communication of knowledge about the past. A luxury for physicists, quotation is a necessity for historians, indispensable to historiography.
J. H. Hexter
Some physicists solve that problem of the necessity of finely tuned physical constants ... by invoking the anthropic principle, saying, well, here we are, we exist, we have to be in the kind of universe capable of giving rise to us. That in itself is, I think, unsatisfying, and as John Lennox rightly says, some physicists solve that by the multiverse idea-the idea that our universe is just one of many universes.
When chemists have brought their knowledge out of their special laboratories into the laboratory of the world, where chemical combinations are and have been through all time going on in such vast proportions,-when physicists study the laws of moisture, of clouds and storms, in past periods as well as in the present,-when, in short, geologists and zoologists are chemists and physicists, and vice versa,-then we shall learn more of the changes the world has undergone than is possible now that they are separately studied.
Despite the vision and farseeing wisdom of our wartime heads of state, the physicists have felt the peculiarly intimate responsibility for suggesting, for supporting, and in the end, in large measure, for achieving the realization of atomic weapons. Nor can we forget that these weapons as they were in fact used dramatized so mercilessly the inhumanity and evil of modern war. In some sort of crude sense which no vulgarity, no humor, no overstatement can quite extinguish, the physicists have known sin; and this is a knowledge which they cannot lose.
J. Robert Oppenheimer
People will listen to sophisticated physicists, using God as a kind of metaphor for the deep constants, the deep problems, the deep principles of physics, and say that in that sense I believe in God. The reaction is, "Oh, this great physicist believes in God - that means I'm free to believe in the trinity and in the crucifixion and in the reincarnation of Christ" - and all that stuff, which of course has nothing whatever to do with the fundamental constants of physics, which is what these physicists are talking about.
Does it mean, if you don't understand something, and the community of physicists don't understand it, that means God did it? Is that how you want to play this game? Because if it is, here's a list of things in the past that the physicists at the time didn't understand [and now we do understand] [...]. If that's how you want to invoke your evidence for God, then God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance that's getting smaller and smaller and smaller as time moves on - so just be ready for that to happen, if that's how you want to come at the problem
Neil deGrasse Tyson