Top 30 Alan Guth Quotes of 2020

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“The Big Bang theory says nothing about what banged, why it banged, or what happened before it banged.”

― Alan Guth

“It is rather fantastic to realize that the laws of physics can describe how everything was created in a random quantum fluctuation out of nothing, and how over the course of 15 billion years, matter could organize in such complex ways that we have human beings sitting here, talking, doing things intentionally.”

― Alan Guth

“If we assume there is no maximum possible entropy for the universe, then any state can be a state of low entropy.”

― Alan Guth

“We don’t have a solid theory of how the universe originated, but that doesn’t mean we have to invoke a deity.”

― Alan Guth

“Relativity can, for instance, explain that the universe had once been clumped into a dense fireball. But it can never explain how matter actually behaved.”

― Alan Guth

“Now, what space ultimately is – I should confess, I think most physicists believe – we don’t yet know.”

― Alan Guth

“If you bang two electrons together with enough energy, you produce protons. If there are no independent laws, then all the properties of protons must somehow be ‘known’ by the electrons. By extension, every elementary particle must carry around enough information to produce the entire universe. I find that difficult to believe.”

― Alan Guth

“To a theoretical physicist, there is no greater joy than to see that this curious activity we call calculation – the depositing of ink on paper, followed by throwing away the paper and depositing new ink on more paper – can actually tell us something about reality.”

― Alan Guth

“Our best theory of describing space at a fundamental level is probably string theory.”

― Alan Guth

“Space is certainly something more complicated than the average person would probably realize. Space is not just an empty background in which things happen.”

― Alan Guth

“In the context of general relativity, space almost is a substance. It can bend and twist and stretch, and probably the best way to think about space is to just kind of imagine a big piece of rubber that you can pull and twist and bend.”

― Alan Guth

“When one studies the properties of atoms, one found that the reality is far stranger than anybody would have invented in the form of fiction. Particles really do have the possibility of, in some sense, being in more than one place at one time.”

― Alan Guth

“My parents were not at all involved in science. In fact, neither of them went to college.”

― Alan Guth

“I had considered MIT a place where brilliant people came.”

― Alan Guth

“In high school, I was the best broad jumper on our team, and I kind of thought that when I got to MIT, I’d probably still be the best broad jumper, ’cause why do broad jumpers come to MIT? But it turned out to actually be the other way around. There was another person in my class who could jump about 3 feet further than I could.”

― Alan Guth

“If you consider the universe one second after the Big Bang, the expansion rate would have to have been just right to an accuracy of 15 decimal places, or else the universe would really not work.”

― Alan Guth

“It’s not a coincidence that the Bible starts with Genesis. Most people really want to know where we came from and where everything around us came from. I like to strongly push the scientific answer. We have evidence. We no longer have to rely on stories we were told when we were young.”

― Alan Guth

“If laws are just properties of objects, how can those laws continue to operate when the object is not really there?”

― Alan Guth

“It was sort of assumed, from the time I was born, really, that I would go to college. That’s sort of the way that Jewish families in New Jersey handled things; that was the norm.”

― Alan Guth

“I think I always wanted to go into physics. What always fascinated me about science was the desire to understand what underlies it all, and I think physics is basically the study of that.”

― Alan Guth

“I’m pretty slow at writing papers.”

― Alan Guth

“I do worry about the fact that science is becoming a slower process as society is becoming less patient.”

― Alan Guth

“From a theoretical point of view, it is very hard to imagine how gravity could avoid being quantized.”

― Alan Guth

“I am not aware of any sensible theory of how classical gravity could interact with quantum matter, and I can’t imagine how such a theory might work.”

― Alan Guth

“I’m a cosmologist. All I do is cosmology.”

― Alan Guth

“From the time I was a student, I think I was very confident in my raw abilities. I would think that, given a problem, I was as likely to solve it as anybody. But that’s not enough in science to succeed, really.”

― Alan Guth

“The idea of combining the physics of modern particle theory with cosmology was very young when I started working on cosmology.”

― Alan Guth

“If there’s no limit to how big the entropy can get, then you can start anywhere, and from that starting point, you’d expect entropy to rise as the system moves to explore larger and larger regions of phase space.”

― Alan Guth

“Reformed Jews don’t have to quite believe in God.”

― Alan Guth

“If one just tried to invent a universe on one’s own, it would probably end up being a much less colorful and interesting universe than the one that we live in.”

― Alan Guth
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