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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index L > Pierre-Simon Laplace Quotes > Biography

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Pierre-Simon Laplace
(23 Mar 1749 - 5 Mar 1827)

French mathematician, physicist, statistician and astronomer , known for his exact approach to science, who developed mathematical probability theory and suggested the name 'meter' as the metric unit measurement.


Pierre-Simon Laplace Quotes on Biography (4 quotes)

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Ce que nous connaissons est peu de chose; ce que nous ignorons est immense.
What we know is not much. What we do not know is immense.
Commonly said to be his last words. However, different true last words are stated by Augustus De Morgan.
— Pierre-Simon Laplace
Quoted in Augustus De Morgan, Budget of Paradoxes (1915), Vol. 2, 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (227)  |  Last Word (8)

L'homme ne poursuit que des chimères.
Man follows only phantoms.
His true last words, according to Augustus De Morgan.
— Pierre-Simon Laplace
Quoted in Augustus De Morgan, Budget of Paradoxes (1915), Vol. 2, 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (227)  |  Last Word (8)

Lisez Euler, lisez Euler, c'est notre maître à tous.
(Read Euler, read Euler, he is our master in everything.)
— Pierre-Simon Laplace
Quoted in Petr Beckmann, A History of Pi, 157.
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (227)  |  Leonhard Euler (10)

Napoleon: M. Laplace, they tell me you have written this large book [Systθme du Monde] on the system of the universe, and have never even mentioned its Creator.
Laplace: I have no need for this hypothesis. (Je n'avais pas besoin de cette hypothθse-lΰ.)
— Pierre-Simon Laplace
Quoted in Augustus De Morgan, Budget of Paradoxes (1915), Vol. 2, 2-3.
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (227)  |  Hypothesis (227)


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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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