Sunday, November 27, 2005

Ipse dixit 4, parole sante.

Well, I’ve been talking to you for two years and now I’m going to quit. In some way I would like to apologize, and other ways not. I hope - in fact, I know - that two or three dozen of you have been able to follow everything with great excitement, and have had a good time with it. But I also know that ‘the powers of instruction are of very little efficacy except in those happy circumstances in which they are practically superfluous’. So, for the two or three dozen who have understood everything, may I say that I have done nothing but shown you the things. For the others, if I have made you hate the subject, I’m sorry. I never taught elementary physics before, and I apologize. I just hope that I haven’t caused a serious trouble to you, and that you do not leave this exciting business. I hope that someone else can teach it to you in a way that doesn’t give you indigestion, and that you will find someday that, after all, it isn’t as horrible as it looks.

Finally, may I add that the main purpose of my teaching has not been to prepare you for some examination - it was not even to prepare you to serve in industry or the military. I wanted most to give you some appreciation of the wonderful world and the physicist’s way of looking at it, which, I believe, is a major part of the true culture of modern times. (There are probably professors of other subjects who would object, but I believe they are completely wrong.) Perhaps you will not only have some appreciation of this culture; it is even possible that you may want to join in the greatest adventure that the human mind has ever begun
Richard Feynman, Epilogue alle Lectures on Physics
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