Pierre Simon Laplace
(23 Mar 1749  5 Mar 1827)

“Nature laughs at the difficulties
of
integration.”
— Pierre Simon Laplace
“The weight of evidence for an
extraordinary claim must be proportioned to its strangeness.”
— Pierre Simon Laplace
“Read
Euler: he is our master in everything.”
— Pierre Simon Laplace
“Such is the advantage of a well
constructed language that its simplified notation often becomes the
source of profound theories.”
— Pierre Simon Laplace
Napoleon: “You have written this
huge book on the system of the world without once mentioning the author
of the universe.”
Laplace: “Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis.”
Laplace: “Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis.”
— Pierre Simon Laplace
“...by shortening the labours
doubled the life of the astronomer.”
— Pierre Simon Laplace
“It
is India that gave us the ingenious method of expressing all numbers by
means of ten symbols, each symbol receiving a value of position as well
as an absolute value; a profound and important idea which appears so
simple to us now that we ignore its true merit. But its very simplicity
and the great ease which it has lent to computations put our arithmetic
in the first rank of useful inventions; and we shall appreciate the
grandeur of the achievement the more when we remember that it escaped
the genius of Archimedes and Apollonius, two of the greatest men
produced by antiquity.”
— Pierre Simon Laplace
“It
is interesting thus to follow the intellectual truths of analysis in
the phenomena of nature. This correspondence, of which the system of
the world will offer us numerous examples, makes one of the greatest
charms attached to mathematical speculations.”
— Pierre Simon Laplace
“The
theory of probabilities is at bottom nothing but common sense reduced
to calculus; it enables us to appreciate with exactness that which
accurate minds feel with a sort of instinct for which of times they are
unable to account.”
— Pierre Simon Laplace
“The mind
has its illusions as the
sense of sight; and in the same manner that the sense of feeling
corrects the latter, reflection and calculation correct the former.”
— Pierre Simon Laplace
“It
is remarkable that a science which began with the consideration of
games of chance should have become the most important object of human
knowledge.”
— Pierre Simon Laplace
“All the effects of Nature are only
the
mathematical consequences of a small number of immutable laws.”
— Pierre Simon Laplace
“Given for one instant an
intelligence which could comprehend
all the forces by which nature is animated and the respective positions
of
the beings which compose it, if moreover this intelligence were vast
enough to submit these data to analysis, it would embrace in the same
formula both the movements of the largest bodies in the universe and
those of the lightest atom; to it nothing would be uncertain, and the
future as the past would be present to its eyes.”
— Pierre Simon Laplace
“What we know is not much. What we
do not know is immense.”
— Pierre Simon Laplace
“Man follows only phantoms.”
— Pierre Simon Laplace