There are children playing in the streets who could solve some of my top problems in physics, because they have modes of sensory perception that I lost long ago.
I am become Death, the shatterer of worlds.
The open society, the unrestricted access to knowledge, the unplanned and uninhibited association of men for its furtherance these are what may make a vast, complex, ever growing, ever changing, ever more specialized and expert technological world...
The true scientist never loses the faculty of amusement. It is the essence of his being.
This is a world in which each of us, knowing his limitations, knowing the evils of superficiality and the terrors of fatigue, will have to cling to what is close to him, to what he knows, to what he can do. . .
The optimist thinks this is the best of all possible worlds. The pessimist fears it is true.
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.
Both the man of science and the man of action live always at the edge of mystery, surrounded by it.
No man should escape our universities without knowing how little he knows.
"It worked." (said after witnessing the first atomic detonation).
The optimist thinks that this is the best of all possible worlds, and the pessimist knows it.
We knew the world would not be the same.
In the material sciences these are and have been, and are most surely likely to continue to be heroic days.
Any man whose errors take ten years to correct is quite a man.
When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and you argue about what to do about it only after you have had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.
The atomic bomb made the prospect of future war unendurable. It has led us up those last few steps to the mountain pass; and beyond there is a different country.
You can certainly destroy enough of humanity so that only the greatest act of faith can persuade you that what's left will be human.
I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.
Access to the Vedas is the greatest privilege this century may claim over all previous centuries.
More J. Robert Oppenheimer Quotations (Based on Topics)
Man - World - Wisdom & Knowledge - Death & Dying - Actions - Success - Sense & Perception - Physics - Future - Belief & Faith - Sin - Pleasure - Matter - Humanity - Countries - Society & Civilization - Science - Mystery - Jokes & Humor - View All J. Robert Oppenheimer Quotations
Stephen Hawking - Werner Heisenberg - Murray Gell-Mann - J. Robert Oppenheimer - Ilya Prigogine - Freeman Dyson - Enrico Fermi - Edward Teller - Brian Greene - Andrei Sakharov