Natural science, does not simply describe and explain nature; it is part of the interplay between nature and ourselves.
I would say that I was absolutely convinced of the possibility of our making an uranium engine, but I never thought that we would make a bomb; and at the bottom of my heart, I was really glad that it was to be an engine and not a bomb.
There is a great difference between discoveries and inventions. With discoveries, one can always be skeptical, and many surprises can take place. In the case of inventions, surprises can really only occur for people who have not had anything to do with it.
In 1924, I became a Dozent in Gottingen and worked out the quantum mechanics during a holiday stay on Heligoland.
If the lecture is good, then everything is too smooth. That's the same in music: if the performance is too good, you really don't enjoy it, because it just goes by, and you can never penetrate into the heart of it. Sometimes a poor performance is better for enjoyment, because you can look at those things that were wrong and analyze them.
I had imagined doing nuclear physics and cosmic ray work in greater style in peace time. To do modern physics in a small way is of no use of all.