Asking stupid questions is a way of getting at the depth of things, Victor F. Weisskopf explains:
But there was one older physicist who made a greater impression on me than any of the others and shaped my attitudes toward physics: He was P. Ehrenfest . . . [and he] taught me for the first time to distrust the complicated mathematics and formalisms that were then very popular in Göttingen. He loved to ask, and encouraged others to ask, “stupid” questions; he refused to admit that something is understood if one understands only the mathematical derivation. He showed me how to get at the real physics, how to distinguish between physics and formalism, how to get at the depth of things: “Physics is simple, but subtle,” he used to say. The older I get, the more aware I am of his influence.
(Quoted from page 331 of The Life of the Creative Spirit, by H. Charles Romesburg. Xlibris, 2001.)
For a brief biography of Victor F. Weisskopf, click here. For images of or relating to Victor F. Weisskopf, click here.