Arnold Sommerfeld

Arnold Sommerfeld

Arnold Johannes Wilhelm Sommerfeld (5 December 186826 April 1951) was a German physicist who introduced the fine-structure constant in 1919.


  • If I knew something about it, I wouldn’t lecture on it!
    • As quoted in: Cassidy, David C., Uncertainty: The Life and Science of Werner Heisenberg (W. H. Freeman and Company, 1992), p. 104.


  • Thermodynamics is a funny subject. The first time you go through it, you don't understand it at all. The second time you go through it, you think you understand it, except for one or two small points. The third time you go through it, you know you don't understand it, but by that time you are so used to it, so it doesn't bother you any more.
    • As quoted in: Johannes Karl Fink, Physical Chemistry in Depth (Springer Science & Business Media, 1992), p. 1. No primary source is given in that book.

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