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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index H > G. H. Hardy Quotes > Theorem

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G. H. Hardy
(7 Feb 1877 - 1 Dec 1947)

English pure mathematician who made leading contributions in analysis and number theory.


G. H. Hardy Quotes on Theorem (6 quotes)

>> Click for 64 Science Quotes by G. H. Hardy

>> Click for G. H. Hardy Quotes on | Mathematician | Mathematics | Ramanujan_Srinivasa | Work |

I believe that mathematical reality lies outside us, that our function is to discover or observe it, and that the theorems which we prove, and which we describe grandiloquently as our “creations,” are simply the notes of our observations.
— G. H. Hardy
In A Mathematician's Apology (1940, reprint with Foreward by C.P. Snow 1992), 113.
Science quotes on:  |  Creation (329)  |  Describe (128)  |  Discover (553)  |  Function (229)  |  Lie (364)  |  Mathematics (1333)  |  Observation (560)  |  Observe (168)  |  Outside (141)  |  Prove (252)  |  Reality (262)  |  Theorem (112)

It is a melancholy experience for a professional mathematician to find him writing about mathematics. The function of a mathematician is to do something, to prove new theorems, to add to mathematics, and not to talk about what he or other mathematicians have done. Statesmen despise publicists, painters despise art-critics, and physiologists, physicists, or mathematicians have usually similar feelings; there is no scorn more profound, or on the whole more justifiable, than that of men who make for the men who explain. Exposition, criticism, appreciation, is work for second-rate minds.
— G. H. Hardy
In A Mathematician's Apology (1940, reprint with Foreward by C.P. Snow 1992), 61 (Hardy's opening lines after Snow's foreward).
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The primes are the raw material out of which we have to build arithmetic, and Euclid’s theorem assures us that we have plenty of material for the task.
— G. H. Hardy
In A Mathematician's Apology (1940, 2012), 99.
Science quotes on:  |  Arithmetic (139)  |  Assurance (17)  |  Build (204)  |  Euclid (54)  |  Material (353)  |  Prime (11)  |  Raw (28)  |  Task (147)  |  Theorem (112)

The “seriousness” of a mathematical theorem lies, not in its practical consequences, which are usually negligible, but in the significance of the mathematical ideas which it connects.
— G. H. Hardy
In A Mathematician's Apology (1940, 2012), 89.
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What we do may be small, but it has a certain character of permanence and to have produced anything of the slightest permanent interest, whether it be a copy of verses or a geometrical theorem, is to have done something utterly beyond the powers of the vast majority of men.
— G. H. Hardy
From Inaugural Lecture, Oxford (1920). Recalled in A Mathematician’s Apology (1940, 1967), 76.
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Young men should prove theorems, old men should write books.
— G. H. Hardy
Quoted by Freeman Dyson as the answer from G.H. Hardy about the book An Introduction to the Theory of Numbers. Dyson, while at Cambridge, had asked him why “he spent so much time and effort writing that marvellous book when he might be doing serious mathematics.” In Freeman Dyson 'A Walk Through Ramanujan's Garden', Lecture by Dyson at Ramanujan Centenary Conference (2 Jun 1987). Collected in Selected Papers of Freeman Dyson with Commentary (1996), 189. Also as quoted in 'Mathematician, Physicist, and Writer.' Interview (Jun 1990) with Donald J. Albers, The College Mathematics Journal (Jan 1994), 25, No. 1, 4.
Science quotes on:  |  Book (394)  |  Old (480)  |  Old Age (33)  |  Prove (252)  |  Theorem (112)  |  Write (231)  |  Young (228)  |  Youth (103)


See also:
  • 7 Feb - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Hardy's birth.
  • Godfrey Harold Hardy - context of quote Languages die and mathematical ideas do not - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • Godfrey Harold Hardy - context of quote Languages die and mathematical ideas do not - Large image (800 x 600 px)
  • Godfrey Harold Hardy - context of quote Young men should prove theorems, old men should write books. - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • Godfrey Harold Hardy - context of quote Young men should prove theorems, old men should write books. - Large image (800 x 600 px)
  • A Mathematician's Apology, by G. H. Hardy. - 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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