If you can not explain anything in simple words, you do not understand it / SurprizingFacts


In the early 1960s, Richard Feynman gave several lectures for students later collected in a book "Feynman lectures on physics." The book did not include a lecture on the planetary movement, but later notes allowed David Gudstein, Feynman's colleague, to write a book about her: "The Lost Lecture of Feynman" [David Goodstein, Feynman’s Lost Lecture]. A quote from a book published in the issue of Caltech's Engineering & Science magazine of 1996:

Feynman was a great teacher. He was proud of the ability to invent ways to explain the deepest ideas to aspiring students. Once I said to him: "Dick, explain to me so that I understand why particles with a half-integer spin obey Fermi-Dirac statistics." Feynman said: "I will prepare a lecture for first-year students on this topic." But a few days later he returned and said: "I could not. I could not bring this down to the level of first-year students. It means that we do not really understand this. "

John Gruber writes that simple explanations are the goal of Apple:

Engineers should be able to explain complex technology or product by simple And understandable terms, not because the director wants to explain it to him, but to prove that the engineer fully understands the technology.

Feynman was famous for simple explanations of scientific concepts, thanks to which a person began to understand the subject deeper: for example, one can see Feynman's explanations on the fact that fire is stored sunlight, on the theme of rubber bands, how trains make a turn, and about magnets. What is important, he never hesitated to admit that he does not know something – or that scientists in general do not know something. In his explanation about magnets there is a funny phrase. He says:

I really can not decently, and anyhow, explain magnetism in terms of something else, more familiar to you, because I do not understand it in terms of something else, with Than you are better acquainted.

Also Feynman once said:

I think I can confidently state that no one understands quantum mechanics.

It is interesting to hear this from a man who received the Nobel Prize for explaining quantum mechanics, made better than those that were before him. He died in 1988 after a long and fruitful career, but at the top of his blackboard it was written:

What I can not create, I can not understand.

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