Mental Floss

Weekend Word Wrap: Einstein's words

David K. Israel
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Anyone who knows even a smidgeon of Einstein's special theory of relativity knows that nothing, according to THE MAN, can travel faster than light. To travel that fast would mean, for instance, that if you were shot through space, you could theoretically arrive at your destination before you even left!

Einstein wrote that it would require an infinite amount of energy to propel an object at more than 186,000 miles per second. But Drs. Gunter Nimtz and Alfons Stahlhofen now say they've got packets of light to travel "instantaneously" between two prisms standing 3 feet apart.

Outrageous? Maybe. I'm not sufficiently educated in the field of quantum tunneling to say. But I'll put my money behind Einstein's words.

Besides the theories, he was a very quotable man, as you all know. What follows is a list of some of my all-time favorites. Anyone want to add one that I've left off? Anyone able to dispel the numbnuts' claim? Physicists, PLEASE step forward and show off your smarts.

  • "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."
  • "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."
  • "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."
  • "It is my belief that the problem of bringing peace to the world on a supranational basis will be solved only by employing Gandhi's method on a larger scale."
  • "Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts."
  • "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."
  • "The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education."
  • "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."
  • "Imagination is more important than knowledge."
  • "Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love."
  • "Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing."
  • "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."
  • "The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax."
  • "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."
  • "A person starts to live when he can live outside himself."
  • "I am convinced that He (God) does not play dice."
  • "I never think of the future. It comes soon enough."