Shut up and calculate

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Quotes about "Shut up and calculate"


  • You can’t blame most physicists for following this ‘shut up and calculate’ ethos because it has led to tremendous develop­ments in nuclear physics, atomic physics, solid­ state physics and particle physics.
    • Jean Bricmont, quoted in Zeeya Merali, "What is Really Real?", Nature (2015)
  • Thinking about foundations pays off in the long run. David Mermin once summarized a popular attitude towards quantum theory as “Shut up and calculate!”. We suggest an alternative slogan: “Shut up and contemplate!”
    • Lucien Hardy and Robert Spekkens, "Why Physics Needs Quantum Foundations" (2010)
  • I have the highest respect for any historical physicists who even came close to actually shutting up and calculating, who were genuinely conservative in assessing what they did and didn't know. This is the best they could possibly do without actually being Hugh Everett, and I award them fifty rationality points. My scorn is reserved for those who interpreted "We don't know why it works" as the positive knowledge that the equations were definitely not real.

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