How Science Is Done – Not Glamorous

The point of theoretical science is to agree with nature. What’s important in the long run is that the theory makes predictions that agree with observation.”

In any significant area of human endeavor it’s very important to solve problems, to break with tradition to solve problems, to have a new idea. The first step is you encounter some contradiction between what you need to do and the traditional machinery that’s available to do such a thing.

In theoretical physics we work with, pencil, paper and wastebasket. And the most important of these is the last. And most ideas end up in the waste basket because they are not self-consistent. Or if they are self-consistent because they are inconsistent with some experimentally very well established and coherent body of information.”

A breakthrough…you have found that something that everyone accepted as necessary isn’t necessary, you can get ride of it. And once that threshold is passed, as often as not you can solve the problem.”  (excerpted from Murry Gell-Mann lecture)








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