michael atiyah

Algebra is the offer made by the devil to the mathematician. The devil says: I will give you this powerful machine, it will answer any question you like. All you need to do is give me your soul: give up geometry and you will have this marvelous machine.
—  Sir Michael Atiyah
No one fully understands spinors. Their algebra is formally understood but their general significance is mysterious. In some sense they describe the ‘square root’ of geometry and, just as understanding the square root of -1 took centuries, the same might be true of spinors.
—  Michael Atiyah