Coefficient Quotes (6 quotes)

But as no two (theoreticians) agree on this (skin friction) or any other subject, some not agreeing today with what they wrote a year ago, I think we might put down all their results, add them together, and then divide by the number of mathematicians, and thus find the average coefficient of error. (1908)

The impact of an army, like the total mechanical coefficients, is equal to the mass multiplied by the velocity.

The intensity and quantity of polemical literature on scientific problems frequently varies inversely as the number of direct observations on which the discussions are based: the number and variety of theories concerning a subject thus often form a coefficient of our ignorance. Beyond the superficial observations, direct and indirect, made by geologists, not extending below about one two-hundredth of the Earth's radius, we have to trust to the deductions of mathematicians for our ideas regarding the interior of the Earth; and they have provided us successively with every permutation and combination possible of the three physical states of matter—solid, liquid, and gaseous.

Those who are unacquainted with the details of scientific investigation have no idea of the amount of labour expended in the determination of those numbers on which important calculations or inferences depend. They have no idea of the patience shown by a Berzelius in determining atomic weights; by a Regnault in determining coefficients of expansion; or by a Joule in determining the mechanical equivalent of heat.

Two managers decided they would go moose hunting. They shot a moose, and as they were about to drag the animal by the hind legs, a biologist and an engineer came along.

The Biologist said, “You know, the hair follicles on a moose have a grain to them that causes the hair to lie toward the back.”

The Engineer said, “So dragging the moose that way increases your coefficient of friction by a tremendous amount. Pull from the other end, and you will find the work required to be quite minimal.”

The managers thanked the two and started dragging the moose by the antlers.

After about an hour, one manager said, “I can’t believe how easy it is to move this moose this way. I sure am glad we ran across those two.”

“Yeah,” said the other.“But we’re getting further and further away from our truck.”

The Biologist said, “You know, the hair follicles on a moose have a grain to them that causes the hair to lie toward the back.”

The Engineer said, “So dragging the moose that way increases your coefficient of friction by a tremendous amount. Pull from the other end, and you will find the work required to be quite minimal.”

The managers thanked the two and started dragging the moose by the antlers.

After about an hour, one manager said, “I can’t believe how easy it is to move this moose this way. I sure am glad we ran across those two.”

“Yeah,” said the other.“But we’re getting further and further away from our truck.”

Who … is not familiar with Maxwell’s memoirs on his dynamical theory of gases? … from one side enter the equations of state; from the other side, the equations of motion in a central field. Ever higher soars the chaos of formulae. Suddenly we hear, as from kettle drums, the four beats “put n=5.” The evil spirit v vanishes; and … that which had seemed insuperable has been overcome as if by a stroke of magic … One result after another follows in quick succession till at last … we arrive at the conditions for thermal equilibrium together with expressions for the transport coefficients.