Tuesday, July 29

a feeling of wonder and of delight

Professor Block has told you how one can detect the precession of the magnetic nuclei in a drop of water. Commonplace as such experiments have become in our laboratories, I have not yet lost a feeling of wonder and of delight, that this delicate motion should reside in all the ordinary things around us, revealing itself only to him who looks for it. I remember, in the winter of our first experiments, just seven years ago, looking on snow with new eyes. There the snow lay around my doorstep—great heaps of protons quietly precessing in the earth's magnetic field. To see the world for a moment as something rich and strange is the private reward of many a discovery.

-- Edward M. Purcell Nobel Lecture 1952

Nobel Lecture- Nobel Prize in Physics (Research in Nuclear Magnetism)