(source) 
J. Willard Gibbs
(11 Feb 1839  28 Apr 1903)

Science Quotes by J. Willard Gibbs (5 quotes)
A mathematician may say anything he pleases, but a physicist must be at least partially sane.
— J. Willard Gibbs
Mathematics is a language.
— J. Willard Gibbs
One of the principal objects of theoretical research in my department of knowledge is to find the point of view from which the subject appears in its greatest simplicity.
— J. Willard Gibbs
The laws of thermodynamics, as empirically determined, express the approximate and probable behavior of systems of a great number of particles, or, more precisely, they express the laws of mechanics for such systems as they appear to beings who have not the fineness of perception to enable them to appreciate quantities of the order of magnitude of those which relate to single particles, and who cannot repeat their experiments often enough to obtain any but the most probable results.
— J. Willard Gibbs
We avoid the gravest difficulties when, giving up the attempt to frame hypotheses concerning the constitution of matter, we pursue statistical inquiries as a branch of rational mechanics.
— J. Willard Gibbs
Quotes by others about J. Willard Gibbs (2)
Qu'une goutee de vin tombe dans un verre d'eau; quelle que soit la loi du movement interne du liquide, nous verrons bientτt se colorer d'une teinte rose uniforme et ΰ partir de ce moment on aura beau agiter le vase, le vin et l'eau ne partaξtront plus pouvoir se sιparer. Tout cela, Maxwell et Boltzmann l'ont expliquι, mais celui qui l'a vu plus nettement, dans un livre trop peu lu parce qu'il est difficile ΰ lire, c'est Gibbs dans ses principes de la Mιcanique Statistique.
Let a drop of wine fall into a glass of water; whatever be the law that governs the internal movement of the liquid, we will soon see it tint itself uniformly pink and from th at moment on, however we may agitate the vessel, it appears that the wine and water can separate no more. All this, Maxwell and Boltzmann have explained, but the one who saw it in the cleanest way, in a book that is too little read because it is difficult to read, is Gibbs, in his Principles of Statistical Mechanics.
Let a drop of wine fall into a glass of water; whatever be the law that governs the internal movement of the liquid, we will soon see it tint itself uniformly pink and from th at moment on, however we may agitate the vessel, it appears that the wine and water can separate no more. All this, Maxwell and Boltzmann have explained, but the one who saw it in the cleanest way, in a book that is too little read because it is difficult to read, is Gibbs, in his Principles of Statistical Mechanics.
Newton was the greatest creative genius physics has ever seen. None of the other candidates for the superlative (Einstein, Maxwell, Boltzmann, Gibbs, and Feynman) has matched Newtons combined achievements as theoretician, experimentalist, and mathematician.
If you were to become a time traveler and meet Newton on a trip back to the seventeenth century, you might find him something like the performer who first exasperates everyone in sight and then goes on stage and sings like an angel.
See also:
 11 Feb  short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Gibbs's birth.
 The Scientific Papers of J. Willard Gibbs, Vol. 1: Thermodynamics, by J. Willard Gibbs.  book suggestion.