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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index O > Richard Dixon Oldham Quotes

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Richard Dixon Oldham
(31 Jul 1858 - 15 Jul 1936)

Irish geologist and seismologist.


Science Quotes by Richard Dixon Oldham (2 quotes)

Just as the spectroscope opened up a new astronomy by enabling the astronomer to determine some of the constituents of which distant stars are composed, so the seismograph, recording the unfelt motion of distant earthquakes, enables us to see into the earth and determine its nature with as great a certainty, up to a certain point, as if we could drive a tunnel through it and take samples of the matter passed through.
— Richard Dixon Oldham
'The Constitution of the Interior of the Earth, as Revealed by Earthquakes', Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society (1906), 62, 456.
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomer (50)  |  Astronomy (175)  |  Certainty (97)  |  Composition (52)  |  Constituent (13)  |  Determination (53)  |  Distance (54)  |  Earth (487)  |  Earthquake (27)  |  Enable (25)  |  Matter (270)  |  Motion (127)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Pass (60)  |  Recording (4)  |  Sample (8)  |  Seismograph (4)  |  Spectroscope (2)  |  Star (251)  |  Tunnel (7)

Of all regions of the earth none invites speculation more than that which lies beneath our feet, and in none is speculation more dangerous; yet, apart from speculation, it is little that we can say regarding the constitution of the interior of the earth. We know, with sufficient accuracy for most purposes, its size and shape: we know that its mean density is about 5½ times that of water, that the density must increase towards the centre, and that the temperature must be high, but beyond these facts little can be said to be known. Many theories of the earth have been propounded at different times: the central substance of the earth has been supposed to be fiery, fluid, solid, and gaseous in turn, till geologists have turned in despair from the subject, and become inclined to confine their attention to the outermost crust of the earth, leaving its centre as a playground for mathematicians.
— Richard Dixon Oldham
'The Constitution of the Interior of the Earth, as Revealed by Earthquakes', Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society (1906), 62, 456.
Science quotes on:  |  Crust (17)  |  Earth (487)  |  Fact (609)  |  Interior (13)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Playground (5)  |  Speculation (77)  |  Temperature (42)  |  Theory (582)


See also:
  • 31 Jul - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Oldham'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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