"Roger, at Cornell University they have an incredible piece of scientific equipment known as the Tunneling Electron Microscope. Now, this microscope is so powerful that by firing electrons you can actually see images of the atom, the infinitesimally minute building blocks of our universe. Roger, if I were using that microscope right now, I still wouldn't be able to locate my interest in your problem. "
"I was half asleep, thinking, 'How the heck can you stretch a magnetic field to straighten it up, to make it really circular, instead of slightly elliptical?' "
"It took me about twenty years before I had the right system that could be realized in practice and that scientist said it could work"
"...a lot of people will advise you. On the one hand you want to listen, and on the other hand you want to test it and say, ‘Okay, is this really making sense, or is it just that somebody I really respect said this?’”"
"Frankly most of the stuff we try just doesn't work"
"The most important thing in science is to be together with a colleague at that moment when you discover something. When some little piece of nature unfolds and you see something new. "
"As many of his colleagues can attest, the wave nature of the electron was no remote or discouragingly abstract conception to him. Peering at the viewing screen while he manipulated the controls of an electron microscope, he could be seen to be thinking in terms of wave functions. "