It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.
Physics is like sex: sure, it may give some practical results, but that’s not why we do it.
More Feynman quotes here.
Richard Phillips Feynman (/ˈfaɪnmən/; May 11, 1918 – February 15, 1988) was an American theoretical physicist known for his work in the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics, and the physics of thesuperfluidity of supercooled liquid helium, as well as in particle physics for which he proposed the parton model. For his contributions to the development of quantum electrodynamics, Feynman, jointly with Julian Schwinger and Sin-Itiro Tomonaga, received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965. – Wikipedia (read more here).
Feynman developed a series of lectures on physics, starting from the basics. If you watch them or read them, you’ll probably know, understand, and appreciate more about physics than you will after high school and a couple years study of it in college.
Plus, you’ll learn about his philosophy and his methods, worth a great deal in and of itself.
“The intervening years might have glazed their memories with a euphoric tint, but about 80 percent recall Feynman’s lectures as highlights of their college years. “It was like going to church.” The lectures were “a transformational experience,” “the experience of a lifetime, probably the most important thing I got from Caltech.” “I was a biology major but Feynman’s lectures stand out as a high point in my undergraduate experience … though I must admit I couldn’t do the homework at the time and I hardly turned any of it in.” “I was among the least promising of students in this course, and I never missed a lecture. … I remember and can still feel Feynman’s joy of discovery. … His lectures had an…emotional impact that was probably lost in the printed Lectures.”
Surely You’re Joking, Mr Feynman (read here) contains a bunch of Feynman’s stories (man was a scientist in multiple fields, a professional painter, a drummer, safe-cracker, ladies’ man, etc) and expresses some of his philosophy and feelings about the beauty of life.