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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index G > Maria Goeppert-Mayer Quotes

Thumbnail of Maria Goeppert-Mayer (source)
Maria Goeppert-Mayer
(28 Jun 1906 - 20 Feb 1972)

German physicist who shared one-half of the 1963 Nobel Prize for Physics with J. Hans D. Jensen of West Germany for their proposal of the shell nuclear model.


Science Quotes by Maria Goeppert-Mayer (3 quotes)

Mathematics began to seem too much like puzzle solving. Physics is puzzle solving, too, but of puzzles created by nature, not by the mind of man.
— Maria Goeppert-Mayer
Quoted in Joan Dash, 'Maria Goeppert-Mayer', A Life of One's Own, 252.
Science quotes on:  |  Create (235)  |  Man (2249)  |  Mathematics (1333)  |  Mind (1339)  |  Nature (1928)  |  Physic (516)  |  Physics (533)  |  Puzzle (44)

The shell model, although proposed by theoreticians, really corresponds to the experimentalist’s approach. It was born from a thorough study of the experimental data, plotting them in different ways, and looking for interconnections.
— Maria Goeppert-Mayer
The Shell Model, Nobel Lecture.
Science quotes on:  |  Approach (108)  |  Data (156)  |  Different (577)  |  Experiment (696)  |  Experimental (192)  |  Experimentalist (20)  |  Interconnection (12)  |  Looking (189)  |  Model (102)  |  Shell (64)  |  Study (656)  |  Thorough (40)  |  Way (1216)

[About the mechanical properties of the molecules of a chemical substance being studied:] They could be measured, but that would have taken several months. So someone said, ‘Let’s get Teller in and make him guess the data.’ We got him into a room and locked the door, so no one else could get at him, and he asked questions and did some figuring at the blackboard. He got the answers in about two hours, not entirely accurately, of course, but—as we found out when we got around to verifying them—close enough for the purpose.
— Maria Goeppert-Mayer
Recalls the first time she was ever really awed by mental abilities of Edward Teller. She had joined the Manhattan Project, and needed data on the physical properties of molecules of a certain substance to get started on her assigned task of calculating its chemical properties. As quoted in Robert Coughlan, 'Dr. Edward Teller’s Magnificent Obsession', Life (6 Sep 1954), 61.
Science quotes on:  |  Accurate (87)  |  Answer (366)  |  Ask (411)  |  Being (1278)  |  Blackboard (11)  |  Calculation (128)  |  Chemical (292)  |  Course (408)  |  Data (156)  |  Door (93)  |  Enough (341)  |  Estimate (57)  |  Guess (61)  |  Hour (186)  |  Lock (13)  |  Measure (233)  |  Mechanical (140)  |  Molecule (174)  |  Month (88)  |  Property (169)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Question (622)  |  Room (40)  |  Study (656)  |  Substance (248)  |  Edward Teller (43)  |  Two (937)  |  Useful (250)  |  Verify (23)


See also:
  • 28 Jun - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Goeppert-Mayer's birth.
  • Maria Goeppert Mayer, by Joseph P. Ferry. - 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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