Celebrating 18 Years on the Web
TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY ®
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index P > Abraham Pais Quotes

Thumbnail of Abraham Pais (source)
Abraham Pais
(19 May 1918 - 28 Jul 2000)

Dutch-American physicist and science historian whose research became the building blocks of the theory of elemental particles.


Science Quotes by Abraham Pais (5 quotes)

Some years ago John Kenneth Galbraith wrote in an essay on his efforts at writing a history of economics: ‘As one approaches the present, one is filled with a sense of hopelessness; in a year and possibly even a month, there is now more economic comment in the supposedly serious literature than survives from the whole of the thousand years commonly denominated as the Middle Ages ... anyone who claims to be familiar with it all is a confessing liar.’ I believe that all physicists would subscribe to the same sentiments regarding their own professional literature. I do at any rate.
— Abraham Pais
'The Physical Review Then and Now', in H. Henry Stroke, Physical Review: The First Hundred Years: a Selection of Seminal Papers and Commentaries, Vol. 1, 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Approach (33)  |  Belief (400)  |  Comment (8)  |  Economics (30)  |  Essay (9)  |  Familiarity (12)  |  Fill (35)  |  John Kenneth Galbraith (7)  |  History (302)  |  Hopelessness (4)  |  Liar (5)  |  Literature (64)  |  Middle Ages (7)  |  Month (21)  |  Physicist (130)  |  Present (103)  |  Professional (27)  |  Sense (240)  |  Sentiment (9)  |  Serious (37)  |  Year (214)

There is not a soul on Earth who can read the deluge of physics publications in its entirety. As a result, it is sad but true that physics has irretrievably fallen apart from a cohesive to a fragmented discipline. … It was not that long ago that people were complaining about two cultures. If we only had it that good today.
— Abraham Pais
In 'The Physical Review Then and Now', in H. Henry Stroke, Physical Review: The First Hundred Years: a Selection of Seminal Papers and Commentaries, Vol. 1, 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Complaint (7)  |  Culture (85)  |  Deluge (7)  |  Discipline (38)  |  Earth (487)  |  Entirety (3)  |  Fragment (24)  |  Long Ago (4)  |  Physics (301)  |  Publication (83)  |  Reading (51)  |  Result (250)  |  Soul (139)

To make a discovery is not necessarily the same as to understand a discovery.
— Abraham Pais
Inward Bound: Of Matter and Forces in the Physical World (1986), 134.
Science quotes on:  |  Discovery (591)  |  Understanding (317)

[George] Uhlenbeck was a highly gifted physicist. One of his remarkable traits was he would read every issue of The Physical Review from cover to cover.
— Abraham Pais
'The Physical Review Then and Now', in H. Henry Stroke, Physical Review: The First Hundred Years: a Selection of Seminal Papers and Commentaries, Vol. 1, 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (227)  |  Issue (37)  |  Physicist (130)  |  Reading (51)

[Heisenberg's seminal 1925 paper initiating quantum mechanics marked] one of the great jumps—perhaps the greatest—in the development of twentieth century physics.
— Abraham Pais
In Abraham Pais, Niels Bohr's Times: in Physics, Philosophy, and Polity (1991), 276. Cited in Mauro Dardo, Nobel Laureates and Twentieth-Century Physics (2004), 179.
Science quotes on:  |  20th Century (25)  |  Greatest (53)  |  Werner Heisenberg (38)  |  Jump (13)  |  Paper (52)  |  Physics (301)  |  Quantum Mechanics (31)


See also:
  • 19 May - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Pais'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
Quotations by: • Albert Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about: • Atomic  Bomb • Biology • Chemistry • Deforestation • Engineering • Anatomy • Astronomy • Bacteria • Biochemistry • Botany • Conservation • Dinosaur • Environment • Fractal • Genetics • Geology • History of Science • Invention • Jupiter • Knowledge • Love • Mathematics • Measurement • Medicine • Natural Resource • Organic Chemistry • Physics • Physician • Quantum Theory • Research • Science and Art • Teacher • Technology • Universe • Volcano • Virus • Wind Power • Women Scientists • X-Rays • Youth • Zoology  ... (more topics)
Sitewide search within all Today In Science History pages:
Visit our Science and Scientist Quotations index for more Science Quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists, pioneers in medicine, science events and technology.

Names index: | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Categories index: | 1 | 2 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton



who invites your feedback
Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.