Celebrating 19 Years on the Web
TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY ®
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index D > Category: Diffusion

Diffusion Quotes (13 quotes)

Une même expression, dont les géomètres avaient considéré les propriétés abstraites, … représente'aussi le mouvement de la lumière dans l’atmosphère, quelle détermine les lois de la diffusion de la chaleur dans la matière solide, et quelle entre dans toutes les questions principales de la théorie des probabilités.
The same expression whose abstract properties geometers had considered … represents as well the motion of light in the atmosphere, as it determines the laws of diffusion of heat in solid matter, and enters into all the chief problems of the theory of probability.
From Théorie Analytique de la Chaleur (1822), translated by Alexander Freeman in The Analytical Theory of Heat (1878), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (124)  |  All (4108)  |  Atmosphere (103)  |  Chief (97)  |  Consider (416)  |  Determine (144)  |  Enter (141)  |  Expression (175)  |  Geometer (24)  |  Heat (174)  |  Law (894)  |  Light (607)  |  Matter (798)  |  Motion (310)  |  Probability (130)  |  Problem (676)  |  Property (168)  |  Question (621)  |  Represent (155)  |  Same (157)  |  Solid (116)  |  Theory (970)

Available energy is energy which we can direct into any desired channel. Dissipated energy is energy which we cannot lay hold of and direct at pleasure, such as the energy of the confused agitation of molecules which we call heat. Now, confusion, like the correlative term order, is not a property of material things in themselves, but only in relation to the mind which perceives them. A memorandum-book does not, provided it is neatly written, appear confused to an illiterate person, or to the owner who understands it thoroughly, but to any other person able to read it appears to be inextricably confused. Similarly the notion of dissipated energy could not occur to a being who could not turn any of the energies of nature to his own account, or to one who could trace the motion of every molecule and seize it at the right moment. It is only to a being in the intermediate stage, who can lay hold of some forms of energy while others elude his grasp, that energy appears to be passing inevitably from the available to the dissipated state.
'Diffusion', Encyclopaedia Britannica (1878). In W. D. Niven (ed.), The Scientific Papers of James Clerk Maxwell (1890), Vol. 2, 646.
Science quotes on:  |  Account (192)  |  Agitation (9)  |  Available (78)  |  Being (1278)  |  Book (392)  |  Call (769)  |  Confusion (57)  |  Direct (225)  |  Dissipate (8)  |  Elude (10)  |  Energy (344)  |  Form (959)  |  Heat (174)  |  Illiterate (6)  |  Intermediate (37)  |  Material (353)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Molecule (174)  |  Moment (253)  |  Motion (310)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Notion (113)  |  Occur (150)  |  Order (632)  |  Other (2236)  |  Passing (76)  |  Person (363)  |  Pleasure (178)  |  Property (168)  |  Read (287)  |  Right (452)  |  Stage (143)  |  State (491)  |  Term (349)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Thoroughly (67)  |  Trace (103)  |  Turn (447)  |  Understand (606)

Books and libraries and the will to use them are among the most important tools our nation has to diffuse knowledge and to develop our powers of creative wisdom.
Statement on the Occasion of National Library Week (16 Apr 1961). In Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1961 (1962), 125.
Science quotes on:  |  Book (392)  |  Creative (137)  |  Develop (268)  |  Importance (286)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Library (48)  |  Most (1731)  |  Nation (193)  |  Power (746)  |  Tool (117)  |  Use (766)  |  Will (2355)  |  Wisdom (221)

But I think that in the repeated and almost entire changes of organic types in the successive formations of the earth—in the absence of mammalia in the older, and their very rare appearance (and then in forms entirely. unknown to us) in the newer secondary groups—in the diffusion of warm-blooded quadrupeds (frequently of unknown genera) through the older tertiary systems—in their great abundance (and frequently of known genera) in the upper portions of the same series—and, lastly, in the recent appearance of man on the surface of the earth (now universally admitted—in one word, from all these facts combined, we have a series of proofs the most emphatic and convincing,—that the existing order of nature is not the last of an uninterrupted succession of mere physical events derived from laws now in daily operation: but on the contrary, that the approach to the present system of things has been gradual, and that there has been a progressive development of organic structure subservient to the purposes of life.
'Address to the Geological Society, delivered on the Evening of the 18th of February 1831', Proceedings of the Geological Society (1834), 1, 305-6.
Science quotes on:  |  Absence (18)  |  Abundance (25)  |  All (4108)  |  Appearance (140)  |  Approach (108)  |  Blood (134)  |  Change (593)  |  Combination (144)  |  Contrary (141)  |  Convincing (9)  |  Daily (87)  |  Development (422)  |  Earth (996)  |  Emphasis (17)  |  Event (216)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Form (959)  |  Formation (96)  |  Genus (25)  |  Gradual (27)  |  Great (1574)  |  Known (454)  |  Last (426)  |  Law (894)  |  Life (1795)  |  Mammal (37)  |  Man (2251)  |  Most (1731)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Operation (213)  |  Order (632)  |  Organic (158)  |  Physical (508)  |  Portion (84)  |  Present (619)  |  Progression (23)  |  Proof (287)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Quadruped (4)  |  Rare (89)  |  Recent (77)  |  Repeat (42)  |  Secondary (14)  |  Series (149)  |  Structure (344)  |  Subservience (3)  |  Succession (77)  |  Successive (73)  |  Surface (209)  |  Surface Of The Earth (36)  |  System (537)  |  Tertiary (4)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Think (1086)  |  Through (849)  |  Type (167)  |  Uninterrupted (7)  |  Unknown (182)  |  Warm (69)  |  Warm-Blooded (3)  |  Word (619)

How many and how curious problems concern the commonest of the sea-snails creeping over the wet sea-weed! In how many points of view may its history be considered! There are its origin and development, the mystery of its generation, the phenomena of its growth, all concerning each apparently insignificant individual; there is the history of the species, the value of its distinctive marks, the features which link it with the higher and lower creatures, the reason why it takes its stand where we place it in the scale of creation, the course of its distribution, the causes of its diffusion, its antiquity or novelty, the mystery (deepest of mysteries) of its first appearance, the changes of the outline of continents and of oceans which have taken place since its advent, and their influence on its own wanderings.
On the Natural History of European Seas. In George Wilson and Archibald Geikie, Memoir of Edward Forbes F.R.S. (1861), 547-8.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Antiquity (33)  |  Appearance (140)  |  Cause (541)  |  Change (593)  |  Concern (228)  |  Consider (416)  |  Continent (76)  |  Course (409)  |  Creation (327)  |  Creature (233)  |  Curious (91)  |  Development (422)  |  Distinctive (25)  |  Distribution (50)  |  Evolution (590)  |  First (1283)  |  Fossil (136)  |  Generation (242)  |  Growth (187)  |  History (673)  |  Individual (404)  |  Influence (222)  |  Insignificant (32)  |  Mystery (177)  |  Novelty (29)  |  Ocean (202)  |  Origin (239)  |  Point (580)  |  Problem (676)  |  Reason (744)  |  Scale (121)  |  Sea (308)  |  Sea-Snail (2)  |  Snail (10)  |  Species (401)  |  Stand (274)  |  Value (365)  |  View (488)  |  Weed (18)  |  Why (491)

I beg this committee to recognize that knowledge is not simply another commodity. On the contrary. Knowledge is never used up, it increases by diffusion, and grows by dispersion. Knowledge and information cannot be quantitatively assessed, as a percentage of the G.N.P. Any willful cut in our resources of knowledge is an act of self-destruction.
While Librarian of Congress, asking a House Appropriations subcommittee to restore money cut from the library’s budget. As reported in New York Times (23 Feb 1986).
Science quotes on:  |  Act (272)  |  Commodity (5)  |  Contrary (141)  |  Cut (114)  |  Destruction (125)  |  Dispersion (2)  |  Grow (238)  |  Increase (210)  |  Information (166)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Never (1087)  |  Quantitative (29)  |  Recognize (125)  |  Resource (63)  |  Self (267)  |  Self-Destruction (2)  |  Willful (3)

I then bequeath the whole of my property … to the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men.
From the will of James Smithson written on 23 Oct 1826. (The amount excluded a modest lifetime annuity to a former faithful servant.) Smithson willed his estate firstly to his nephew, but it was to be bequeathed to the U.S. in the case his nephew died without heir—which did come to pass in 1835. Smithson included no further instructions concerning the Smithsonian Institution.
Science quotes on:  |  America (127)  |  Bequeath (2)  |  Establishment (47)  |  Increase (210)  |  Institution (69)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Name (333)  |  Property (168)  |  Smithsonian Institution (2)  |  State (491)  |  United States (31)  |  Washington (5)  |  Whole (738)

In a sense cosmology contains all subjects because it is the story of everything, including biology, psychology and human history. In that single sense it can be said to contain an explanation also of time's arrow. But this is not what is meant by those who advocate the cosmological explanation of irreversibility. They imply that in some way the time arrow of cosmology imposes its sense on the thermodynamic arrow. I wish to disagree with this view. The explanation assumes that the universe is expanding. While this is current orthodoxy, there is no certainty about it. The red-shifts might be due to quite different causes. For example, when light passes through the expanding clouds of gas it will be red-shifted. A large number of such clouds might one day be invoked to explain these red shifts. It seems an odd procedure to attempt to 'explain' everyday occurrences, such as the diffusion of milk into coffee, by means of theories of the universe which are themselves less firmly established than the phenomena to be explained. Most people believe in explaining one set of things in terms of others about which they are more certain, and the explanation of normal irreversible phenomena in terms of the cosmological expansion is not in this category.
'Thermodynamics, Cosmology) and the Physical Constants', in J. T. Fraser (ed.), The Study of Time III (1973), 117-8.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Advocate (18)  |  All (4108)  |  Arrow (20)  |  Attempt (251)  |  Biology (216)  |  Category (18)  |  Cause (541)  |  Certain (550)  |  Certainty (174)  |  Cloud (104)  |  Coffee (19)  |  Cosmological (11)  |  Cosmology (25)  |  Current (118)  |  Different (577)  |  Due (141)  |  Everyday (32)  |  Everything (476)  |  Expansion (41)  |  Explain (322)  |  Explanation (234)  |  Gas (83)  |  History (673)  |  Human (1468)  |  Irreversibility (4)  |  Irreversible (12)  |  Large (394)  |  Light (607)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Milk (22)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1731)  |  Number (699)  |  Occurrence (53)  |  Orthodoxy (9)  |  Other (2236)  |  People (1005)  |  Procedure (41)  |  Psychology (154)  |  Red-Shift (4)  |  Sense (770)  |  Set (394)  |  Shift (44)  |  Single (353)  |  Story (118)  |  Subject (521)  |  Term (349)  |  Terms (184)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Thermodynamics (40)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Through (849)  |  Time (1877)  |  Universe (857)  |  View (488)  |  Way (1217)  |  Will (2355)  |  Wish (212)

One of the principal obstacles to the rapid diffusion of a new idea lies in the difficulty of finding suitable expression to convey its essential point to other minds. Words may have to be strained into a new sense, and scientific controversies constantly resolve themselves into differences about the meaning of words. On the other hand, a happy nomenclature has sometimes been more powerful than rigorous logic in allowing a new train of thought to be quickly and generally accepted.
Opening Address to the Annual Meeting of the British Association by Prof. Arthur Schuster, in Nature (4 Aug 1892), 46, 325.
Science quotes on:  |  Accept (191)  |  Acceptance (52)  |  Controversy (29)  |  Convey (16)  |  Difference (337)  |  Difficulty (196)  |  Essential (199)  |  Expression (175)  |  Finding (30)  |  Happy (105)  |  Idea (843)  |  Lie (364)  |  Logic (287)  |  Meaning (233)  |  Mind (1338)  |  More (2559)  |  New (1216)  |  Nomenclature (146)  |  Obstacle (42)  |  Other (2236)  |  Point (580)  |  Power (746)  |  Powerful (139)  |  Principal (63)  |  Resolution (23)  |  Resolve (40)  |  Rigorous (48)  |  Rigour (21)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Sense (770)  |  Suitability (11)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Thought (953)  |  Train (114)  |  Word (619)

The absorption of oxygen and the elimination of carbon dioxide in the lungs take place by diffusion alone. There is no trustworthy evidence of any regulation of this process on the part of the organism.
Krogh summing up his results related to a quote from The Mechanism of gas Exchange (1910), 257, as cited by E. Snorrason, 'Krogh, Schack August Steenberg', in Charles Coulton Gillispie (ed.), Dictionary of Scientific Biography (1973), Vol 7, 502.
Science quotes on:  |  Absorption (12)  |  Alone (311)  |  Carbon (65)  |  Carbon Dioxide (22)  |  Elimination (25)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Lung (34)  |  Organism (220)  |  Oxygen (66)  |  Process (423)  |  Regulation (24)  |  Trustworthy (11)

The sun's rays are the ultimate source of almost every motion which takes place on the surface of the earth. By their heat are produced all winds, and those disturbances in the electric equilibrium of the atmosphere which give rise to the phenomena of terrestrial magnetism. By their vivifying action vegetables are elaborated from inorganic matter, and become in their turn the support of animals and of man, and the sources of those great deposits of dynamical efficiency which are laid up for human use in our coal strata. By them the waters of the sea are made to circulate in vapor through the air, and irrigate the land, producing springs and rivers. By them are produced all disturbances of the chemical equilibrium of the elements of nature which, by a series of compositions and decompositions, give rise to new products, and originate a transfer of materials. Even the slow degradation of the solid constituents of the surface, in which its chief geological changes consist, and their diffusion among the waters of the ocean, are entirely due to the abrasion of the wind, rain, and tides, which latter, however, are only in part the effect of solar influence and the alternate action of the seasons.
from Outlines of Astronomy (1849), 237.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Action (327)  |  Air (347)  |  All (4108)  |  Animal (617)  |  Atmosphere (103)  |  Become (815)  |  Change (593)  |  Chemical (292)  |  Chief (97)  |  Coal (57)  |  Composition (84)  |  Consist (223)  |  Constituent (45)  |  Decomposition (18)  |  Degradation (17)  |  Disturbance (31)  |  Due (141)  |  Dynamical (15)  |  Earth (996)  |  Effect (393)  |  Efficiency (44)  |  Elaborated (7)  |  Electric (76)  |  Element (310)  |  Equilibrium (33)  |  Great (1574)  |  Heat (174)  |  Human (1468)  |  Influence (222)  |  Magnetism (41)  |  Man (2251)  |  Material (353)  |  Matter (798)  |  Motion (310)  |  Nature (1926)  |  New (1216)  |  Ocean (202)  |  Originate (36)  |  Photosynthesis (19)  |  Produced (187)  |  Product (160)  |  Rain (62)  |  Ray (114)  |  Rise (166)  |  River (119)  |  Sea (308)  |  Season (47)  |  Series (149)  |  Slow (101)  |  Solar Energy (20)  |  Solid (116)  |  Spring (133)  |  Strata (35)  |  Sun (385)  |  Support (147)  |  Surface (209)  |  Surface Of The Earth (36)  |  Terrestrial (61)  |  Through (849)  |  Tide (34)  |  Transfer (20)  |  Turn (447)  |  Ultimate (144)  |  Use (766)  |  Vapor (12)  |  Vegetable (46)  |  Water (481)  |  Weather (44)  |  Wind (128)

To take one of the simplest cases of the dissipation of energy, the conduction of heat through a solid—consider a bar of metal warmer at one end than the other and left to itself. To avoid all needless complication, of taking loss or gain of heat into account, imagine the bar to be varnished with a substance impermeable to heat. For the sake of definiteness, imagine the bar to be first given with one half of it at one uniform temperature, and the other half of it at another uniform temperature. Instantly a diffusing of heat commences, and the distribution of temperature becomes continuously less and less unequal, tending to perfect uniformity, but never in any finite time attaining perfectly to this ultimate condition. This process of diffusion could be perfectly prevented by an army of Maxwell’s ‘intelligent demons’* stationed at the surface, or interface as we may call it with Prof. James Thomson, separating the hot from the cold part of the bar.
* The definition of a ‘demon’, according to the use of this word by Maxwell, is an intelligent being endowed with free will, and fine enough tactile and perceptive organisation to give him the faculty of observing and influencing individual molecules of matter.
In 'The Kinetic Theory of the Dissipation of Energy', Nature (1874), 9, 442.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  According (237)  |  Account (192)  |  All (4108)  |  Army (33)  |  Avoid (116)  |  Become (815)  |  Being (1278)  |  Call (769)  |  Cold (112)  |  Complication (29)  |  Condition (356)  |  Conduction (8)  |  Consider (416)  |  Definition (221)  |  Distribution (50)  |  End (590)  |  Endowed (52)  |  Energy (344)  |  Enough (340)  |  Finite (59)  |  First (1283)  |  Free (232)  |  Free Will (15)  |  Gain (145)  |  Heat (174)  |  Hot (60)  |  Imagine (164)  |  Individual (404)  |  Instantly (19)  |  Intelligent (100)  |  Loss (110)  |  Matter (798)  |  Maxwell (42)  |  Metal (84)  |  Molecule (174)  |  Never (1087)  |  Other (2236)  |  Perceptive (3)  |  Perfect (216)  |  Prevent (94)  |  Process (423)  |  Sake (58)  |  Solid (116)  |  Station (29)  |  Substance (248)  |  Surface (209)  |  Temperature (79)  |  Through (849)  |  Time (1877)  |  Ultimate (144)  |  Unequal (12)  |  Uniformity (37)  |  Use (766)  |  Varnish (2)  |  Will (2355)  |  Word (619)

Without an acquaintance with chemistry, the statesman must remain a stranger to the true vital interests of the state, to the means of its organic development and improvement; ... The highest economic or material interests of a country, the increased and more profitable production of food for man and animals, ... are most closely linked with the advancement and diffusion of the natural sciences, especially of chemistry.
Familiar Letters on Chemistry (1851), 3rd edn., 19.
Science quotes on:  |  Acquaintance (37)  |  Advancement (62)  |  Agriculture (68)  |  Animal (617)  |  Chemistry (353)  |  Country (251)  |  Development (422)  |  Economic (81)  |  Economics (37)  |  Food (199)  |  Improvement (108)  |  Increase (210)  |  Interest (386)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Man (2251)  |  Man And Animals (5)  |  Material (353)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1731)  |  Must (1526)  |  Nation (193)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural Science (128)  |  Organic (158)  |  Production (183)  |  Profit (52)  |  Profitable (28)  |  Remain (349)  |  Science (3879)  |  State (491)  |  Statesman (19)  |  Stranger (15)  |  Vital (85)


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 EinsteinIsaac NewtonLord KelvinCharles DarwinSrinivasa RamanujanCarl SaganFlorence NightingaleThomas EdisonAristotleMarie CurieBenjamin FranklinWinston ChurchillGalileo GalileiSigmund FreudRobert BunsenLouis PasteurTheodore RooseveltAbraham LincolnRonald ReaganLeonardo DaVinciMichio KakuKarl PopperJohann GoetheRobert OppenheimerCharles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about:Atomic  BombBiologyChemistryDeforestationEngineeringAnatomyAstronomyBacteriaBiochemistryBotanyConservationDinosaurEnvironmentFractalGeneticsGeologyHistory of ScienceInventionJupiterKnowledgeLoveMathematicsMeasurementMedicineNatural ResourceOrganic ChemistryPhysicsPhysicianQuantum TheoryResearchScience and ArtTeacherTechnologyUniverseVolcanoVirusWind PowerWomen ScientistsX-RaysYouthZoology  ... (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.