Ivar Giaever

Norwegian physicist

Ivar Giaever (born April 5, 1929, in Bergen, Norway) is a Norwegian physicist who shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1973 with Leo Esaki and Brian Josephson "for their discoveries regarding tunnelling phenomena in solids".

Ivar Giaever


  • If you want to do good research, it's important not to know too much. This almost sounds contradictory but really if you know too much and you get an idea, you will sort of talk yourself out of trying it because you figure it won't work. But if you know just the right amount and you get enthusiastic about your project, you go ahead, you do it and if you're lucky things'll work out.
  • The facts are that in the last 100 years we have measured the temperatures it has gone up .8 degrees and everything in the world has gotten better.
  • How can you possibly measure the average temperature for the whole earth and come up with a fraction of a degree?
  • They can fiddle with the data. That is what NASA does.
  • Global warming really has become a new religion. Because you cannot discuss it. It’s not proper. It is like the Catholic Church.
  • I would say that the global warming is basically a non-problem. Just leave it alone and it will take care of itself.
  • For the last hundred years, the ocean has risen 20 cm — but for the previous hundred years the ocean also has risen 20 cm and for the last 300 years, the ocean has also risen 20 cm per 100 years. So there is no unusual rise in sea level. And to be sure you understand that I will repeat it. There is no unusual rise in sea level.
  • I am not really terribly interested in global warming. Like most physicists I don't think much about it. But in 2008 I was in a panel here about global warming and I had to learn something about it. And I spent a day or so — half a day maybe on Google, and I was horrified by what I learned.
  • When the ice age comes, the temperature falls 8 degrees. So maybe we should pollute more, to prevent that?
  • What is the the correct temperature? It would be a miracle if the correct temperature for the world is the temperature we have today. Clearly that is not true. Maybe we’d be better off 2 degrees warmer. Maybe we’d be better off 2 degrees colder. I don’t know, but what I do know is this is not the correct temperature.

Nobel lecture (1973)


Electron Tunneling and Superconductivity, Nobel Lecture [1] (December 12, 1973)

  • To me the greatest moment in an experiment is always just before I learn whether the particular idea is a good or a bad one. Thus even a failure is exciting, and most of my ideas have of course been wrong. But this time it worked!
  • If I have learned anything as a scientist it is that one should not make things complicated when a simple explanation will do.
  • My own beliefs are that the road to a scientific discovery is seldom direct, and that it does not necessarily require great expertise. In fact, I am convinced that often a newcomer to a field has a great advantage because he is ignorant and does not know all the complicated reasons why a particular experiment should not be attempted.

Quotes about Ivar Giaever

  • While Giaever is certainly a highly accomplished physicist, that does not automatically make him a climate expert as well. As Giaever himself has admitted, he has spent very little time researching the subject, and it shows. He simply bounces from one climate myth to the next, demonstrating a lack of understanding of Climate Science 101, and then insults the entire scientific field by comparing it to a religion.
Wikipedia has an article about: