I am convinced that we can discover, by means of purely mathematical constructions, those concepts and those lawful connections between them which furnish the key to the understanding of natural phenomena. Experience may suggest the appropriate mathematical concepts, but they most certainly cannot be deduced from it. Experience remains, of course, the sole criterion of physical utility of a mathematical construction. But the creative principle resides in mathematics. In a certain sense therefore, I hold it true that pure thought can grasp reality, as the ancients dreamed.

- Albert Einstein, quote in Einstein, Jeremy Bernstein, p. 127 (Penguin, 1978)

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