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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index H > Ren-Just Hay Quotes

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Ren-Just Hay
(28 Feb 1743 - 1 Jun 1822)

French mineralogist who founded of the science of crystallography with his discovery of the geometrical law of crystallization. He established there were six different primitive forms from which all crystals could be derived.


Science Quotes by Ren-Just Hay (3 quotes)

A casual glance at crystals may lead to the idea that they were pure sports of nature, but this is simply an elegant way of declaring ones ignorance. With a thoughtful examination of them, we discover laws of arrangement. With the help of these, calculation portrays and links up the observed results. How variable and at the same time how precise and regular are these laws! How simple they are ordinarily, without losing anything of their significance! The theory which has served to develop these laws is based entirely on a fact, whose existence has hitherto been vaguely discerned rather than demonstrated. This fact is that in all minerals which belong to the same species, these little solids, which are the crystal elements and which I call their integrant molecules, have an invariable form, in which the faces lie in the direction of the natural fracture surfaces corresponding to the mechanical division of the crystals. Their angles and dimensions are derived from calculations combined with observation.
— Ren-Just Hay
Trait de mineralogie Publi par le conseil des mines (1801), Vol. 1, xiii-iv, trans. Albert V. and Marguerite Carozzi.
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The exterior form and the chemical composition are each other's image.
— Ren-Just Hay
Traité de mineralogie ... Publié par le conseil des mines (1801), Vol. 1, xxxi, trans. Albert V. and Marguerite Carozzi.
Science quotes on:  |  Chemical (294)  |  Composition (84)  |  Crystal (70)  |  Form (963)  |  Image (96)  |  Other (2234)

To the exact descriptions he gave of the crystalline forms, he added the measure of their angles, and, which was essential, showed that these angles were constant for each variety. In one word, his crystallography was the fruit of an immense work, almost entirely new and most precious in its usefulness.<[About Jean-Baptiste Rom de lIsle.]
— Ren-Just Hay
(1795). As quoted in Andr Authier, Early Days of X-ray Crystallography (2013), 313.
Science quotes on:  |  Angle (21)  |  Constant (144)  |  Crystal (70)  |  Crystallography (9)  |  Description (84)  |  Essential (201)  |  Exactness (29)  |  Form (963)  |  Fruit (102)  |  Immense (86)  |  Measure (235)  |  Most (1729)  |  New (1224)  |  Precious (42)  |  Jean-Baptiste Louis Rom de llsle (2)  |  Show (346)  |  Usefulness (87)  |  Variety (133)  |  Word (626)  |  Work (1356)



Quotes by others about Ren-Just Hay (1)

As Crystallography was born of a chance observation by Hay of the cleavage-planes of a single fortunately fragile specimen, so out of the slender study of the Norwich Spiral has sprung the vast and interminable Calculus of Cyclodes, which strikes such far-spreading and tenacious roots into the profoundest strata of denumeration, and, by this and the multitudinous and multifarious dependent theories which cluster around it, reminds one of the Scriptural comparison of the Kingdom of Heaven to a grain of mustard-seed which a man took and cast into his garden, and it grew and waxed a great tree, and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it.
From 'Outline Trace of the Theory of Reducible Cyclodes', Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society (1869), 2, 155, collected in Collected Mathematical Papers of James Joseph Sylvester (1908), Vol. 2, 683-684.
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See also:
  • 28 Feb - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Hay's birth.

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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