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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index B > Alexander Crum Brown Quotes

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Alexander Crum Brown
(26 Mar 1838 - 28 Oct 1922)

Scottish chemist and physiologist who built up chemistry as a major subject at the University of Edinburgh. He worked on the structure of organic compounds, and is known for his Crum Brown rule.


Science Quotes by Alexander Crum Brown (2 quotes)

THE fundamental questions in chemistry,—those questions the answers to which would convert chemistry into a branch of exact science, and enable us to predict with absolute certainty the result of every reaction—are (1) What is the nature of the forces which retain the several molecules or atoms of a compound together? and (2) How may their direction and amount be determined? We may safely say that, in the present state of the science, these questions cannot be answered; and it is extremely doubtful whether any future advances will render their solution possible.
— Alexander Crum Brown
Opening paragraph of his University of Edinburgh M.D. thesis, 'On the Theory of Chemical Combination' (1861).
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (298)  |  Answer (389)  |  Atom (381)  |  Certainty (180)  |  Chemical Bond (7)  |  Chemistry (376)  |  Compound (117)  |  Direction (185)  |  Doubt (314)  |  Exact (75)  |  Fundamental (264)  |  Molecule (185)  |  Prediction (89)  |  Question (649)  |  Reaction (106)  |  Result (700)  |  Solution (282)

Unless the chemist learns the language of mathematics, he will become a provincial and the higher branches of chemical work, that require reason as well as skill, will gradually pass out of his hands.
— Alexander Crum Brown
Quoted in Journal of the Chemical Society, 1929, 6, 254.
Science quotes on:  |  Become (821)  |  Chemical (303)  |  Chemist (169)  |  Gradually (102)  |  Language (308)  |  Learn (672)  |  Mathematics (1395)  |  Pass (241)  |  Reason (766)  |  Require (229)  |  Skill (116)  |  Will (2350)  |  Work (1402)


See also:
  • 26 Mar - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Brown's birth.

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