Einstein Quotes

  • Posted 10.11.05
  • NOVA

Albert Einstein was a gifted writer and speaker, both in his scientific and his personal spheres. Drawn from letters, speeches, and interviews over the decades before his death in 1955, the quotes we share here offer a stimulating peek inside the mind of history's most beloved scientist. Einstein's concern for humanity, his humor, and above all his lifelong focus on higher intellectual ideals shine forth in these brief snippets.

Launch Interactive Printable Version

Seven thought-provoking statements from history's most famous scientist


General source:

All quotes are drawn from The Expanded Quotable Einstein, collected and edited by Alice Calaprice (Princeton University Press, 2000).

Specific sources:

"The state of mind…" —From "Principles of Research," a speech delivered at Max Planck's 60th birthday celebration, 1918; published in Mein Weltbild, by Albert Einstein (Amsterdam: Querido Verlag, 1934); reprinted in Ideas and Opinions, by Albert Einstein (New York: Crown, 1954), pp. 224-227; Expanded, p. 235.

"The ordinary adult never gives a thought…" —To Nobel laureate James Franck, on his belief that it is usually children, not adults, who reflect on space-time problems. Quoted in Helle Zeit, Dunkle Zeit: In Memoriam Albert Einstein, edited by Carl Seelig (Zurich: Europa Verlag, 1956), p. 72; Expanded, pp. 20-21.

"It is important for the common good…" —From a message for a Ben Schemen dinner, March 1952; Einstein Archive 28-932; Expanded, p. 286.

"The important thing is not to stop questioning…" —From the memoirs of William Miller, an editor, quoted in Life magazine, May 2, 1955; Expanded, p. 281.

"My interest in science…" —Letter to Maurice Solovine, October 30, 1924; Einstein Archive 21-195; published in Letters to Solovine, 1906-1955, by Albert Einstein. Trans. from the French by Wade Baskin, with facsimile letters in German. (New York: Carol Publishing, 1993); Expanded, p. 245.

"One thing I have learned..." —Quoted in Albert Einstein: Creator and Rebel, by Banesh Hoffmann (New York: Viking, 1972), v; Expanded, p. 261.

"Why is it that nobody understands me…" —From an interview, The New York Times, March 12, 1944; Expanded, p. 14.



(Albert Einstein)
Public domain

Related Links

  • Inside Einstein's Mind

    Retrace the thought experiments that inspired his theory on the nature of reality.

  • Einstein's Big Idea

    The story behind the world's most famous equation, E = mc2

  • Einstein Revealed

    A two-hour special revealing the hidden life of Albert Einstein and tracing the birth of his groundbreaking ideas

  • Einstein the Nobody

    Just before his "miracle year" of 1905, the patent clerk's career prospects looked bleak.


You need the Flash Player plug-in to view this content.