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- Not only God knows, I know, and by the end of the semester, you will know.
- People get a lot of confusion, because they keep trying to think of quantum mechanics as classical mechanics
- Quantum Mechanics in Your Face, a lecture given by Sidney Coleman at the New England sectional meeting of the American Physical Society (Apr. 9, 1994)
- The career of a young theoretical physicist consists of treating the harmonic oscillator in ever-increasing levels of abstraction.
Quotes about Coleman
- Sidney Coleman was not only a leader in theoretical particle physics, but also a hugely gifted and dedicated teacher. In his courses he found just the right balance between rigor and intuition, enlivened by wit, humor and a deep store of anecdotes about the history of physics. Very often these were first-hand accounts; if he wasn't a participant, he was an eyewitness.
- David Derbes in preface to Chen, Bryan Gin-ge, et al., ed (2018). Quantum field theory: lectures of Sidney Coleman, preface by David Kaiser. World Scientific. p. xxix.
- If you haven't read his Erice Lectures, you don't know the heights that scientific writing can attain.
- Steve Weinberg was giving the gauge seminar one Wednesday and was, as I recall nearly finished or just finishing his talk. Sidney had not arrived. So-Young Pi asked Steve a question and Steve replied (as I recall) “That’s a good question. I don’t know the answer; I haven’t thought about it.” At that exact instant Sidney enters the room, hears Steve’s reply, heads for the coffee pot, and says “I know the answer; what’s the question?” He was told the question, and he answered it. (Correctly, of course.)