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Who said: “As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.”
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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index E > Leonhard Euler Quotes

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Leonhard Euler
(15 Apr 1707 - 18 Sep 1783)

Swiss mathematician and physicist who was a giant in the 18th century for his creativity and productivity, including the development of integral calculus. In physics, he developed theories of lunar motion.


Science Quotes by Leonhard Euler (3 quotes)

e√-π-1= 0
— Leonhard Euler
A special case of a formula published by Euler in his Introductio ad analysin infinitorum (1748), Vol. 1. However, he did not print it, either there or elsewhere. An early printing, maybe the first, is due to J. F. Franηais in Annales des mathematique pures et appliquιes 1813-1814, 4, 66. The formula was also highlighted by the American mathematician Benjamin Peirce around 1840. But its rise to 'fame' remains obscure.
Science quotes on:  |  Formula (51)

For since the fabric of the universe is most perfect and the work of a most wise creator, nothing at all takes place in the universe in which some rule of the maximum or minimum does not appear.
— Leonhard Euler
Methodus Inveniendi Uneas Curvas (1744), 1st addition, art. 1, trans. Ivor Grattan-Guinness.
Science quotes on:  |  Universe (563)

Now I will have less distraction. Quoted as saying upon losing the use of his right eye.
— Leonhard Euler
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Distraction (5)  |  Eye (159)  |  Less (54)  |  Lose (53)  |  Quote (13)  |  Right (144)  |  Say (126)



Quotes by others about Leonhard Euler (7)

Lisez Euler, lisez Euler, c'est notre maître à tous.
(Read Euler, read Euler, he is our master in everything.)
Quoted in Petr Beckmann, A History of Pi, 157.
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (227)

The genius of Laplace was a perfect sledge hammer in bursting purely mathematical obstacles; but, like that useful instrument, it gave neither finish nor beauty to the results. In truth, in truism if the reader please, Laplace was neither Lagrange nor Euler, as every student is made to feel. The second is power and symmetry, the third power and simplicity; the first is power without either symmetry or simplicity. But, nevertheless, Laplace never attempted investigation of a subject without leaving upon it the marks of difficulties conquered: sometimes clumsily, sometimes indirectly, always without minuteness of design or arrangement of detail; but still, his end is obtained and the difficulty is conquered.
'Review of "Théorie Analytique des Probabilites" par M. le Marquis de Laplace, 3eme edition. Paris. 1820', Dublin Review (1837), 2, 348.
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Accordingly, we find Euler and D'Alembert devoting their talent and their patience to the establishment of the laws of rotation of the solid bodies. Lagrange has incorporated his own analysis of the problem with his general treatment of mechanics, and since his time M. Poinsτt has brought the subject under the power of a more searching analysis than that of the calculus, in which ideas take the place of symbols, and intelligent propositions supersede equations.
J. C. Maxwell on Louis Poinsτt (1777-1859) in 'On a Dynamical Top' (1857). In W. D. Niven (ed.), The Scientific Papers of James Clerk Maxwell (1890), Vol. 1, 248.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (123)  |  Calculus (23)  |  Jean le Rond D’Alembert (6)  |  Equation (69)  |  Establishment (29)  |  Idea (440)  |  Count Joseph-Louis de Lagrange (11)  |  Law (418)  |  Mechanics (44)  |  Patience (31)  |  Problem (362)  |  Proposition (47)  |  Rotation (6)  |  Symbol (35)  |  Talent (49)

We pass by imperceptible gradations from the brute to the savage and from the savage to Euler and Newton.
In 'Esquisse', Oeuvres, Vol. 6, 346. As cited by Frank Edward Manuel, Utopian Thought in the Western World (1979, 2009), 492.
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My view, the skeptical one, holds that we may be as far away from an understanding of elementary particles as Newton's successors were from quantum mechanics. Like them, we have two tremendous tasks ahead of us. One is to study and explore the mathematics of the existing theories. The existing quantum field-theories may or may not be correct, but they certainly conceal mathematical depths which will take the genius of an Euler or a Hamilton to plumb. Our second task is to press on with the exploration of the wide range of physical phenomena of which the existing theories take no account. This means pressing on with experiments in the fashionable area of particle physics. Outstanding among the areas of physics which have been left out of recent theories of elementary particles are gravitation and cosmology
In Scientific American (Sep 1958). As cited in '50, 100 & 150 years ago', Scientific American (Sep 2008), 299, No. 3, 14.
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The person who did most to give to analysis the generality and symmetry which are now its pride, was also the person who made mechanics analytical; I mean Euler.
From History of the Inductive Sciences from the Earliest to the Present (1837), Vol. 2, 93.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (123)  |  Generality (22)  |  Mechanics (44)  |  Pride (45)  |  Symmetry (26)

Simple as the law of gravity now appears, and beautifully in accordance with all the observations of past and of present times, consider what it has cost of intellectual study. Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Euler, Lagrange, Laplace, all the great names which have exalted the character of man, by carrying out trains of reasoning unparalleled in every other science; these, and a host of others, each of whom might have been the Newton of another field, have all labored to work out, the consequences which resulted from that single law which he discovered. All that the human mind has produced—the brightest in genius, the most persevering in application, has been lavished on the details of the law of gravity.
in The Ninth Bridgewater Treatise: A Fragment (1838), 57.
Science quotes on:  |  Consequence (76)  |  Nicolaus Copernicus (44)  |  Discover (115)  |  Galileo Galilei (101)  |  Genius (186)  |  Gravity (89)  |  Human Mind (51)  |  Intellect (157)  |  Johannes Kepler (72)  |  Count Joseph-Louis de Lagrange (11)  |  Pierre-Simon Laplace (50)  |  Law (418)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (258)  |  Observation (418)  |  Reasoning (79)  |  Study (331)


See also:
  • 15 Apr - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Euler's birth.
  • Euler: The Master of Us All, by William Dunham. - book suggestion.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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