Discontinuous Quotes (6 quotes)

If the 'Principle of Relativity' in an extreme sense establishes itself, it seems as if even Time would become discontinuous and be supplied in atoms, as money is doled out in pence or centimes instead of continuously;—in which case our customary existence will turn out to be no more really continuous than the events on a kinematograph screen;—while that great agent of continuity, the Ether of Space, will be relegated to the museum of historical curiosities.

In relativity, movement is continuous, causally determinate and well defined; while in quantum mechanics it is discontinuous, not causally determinate and not well defined.

Our mind, by virtue of a certain finite, limited capability, is by no means capable of putting a question to Nature that permits a continuous series of answers. The observations, the individual results of measurements, are the answers of Nature to our discontinuous questioning.

Science is neither discontinuous nor monolithic. It is variously jointed, and loose in the joints in varying degrees.

The following theorem can be found in the work of Mr. Cauchy: If the various terms of the series

sin

is discontinuous at each value (2

*u*_{0}+*u*_{1}+*u*_{2}+... are continuous functions, then the sum*s*of the series is also a continuous function of*x*. But it seems to me that this theorem admits exceptions. For example the seriessin

*x*- (1/2)sin 2*x*+ (1/3)sin 3*x*-is discontinuous at each value (2

*m*+ 1)π of*x*,
To emphasize this opinion that mathematicians would be unwise to accept practical issues as the sole guide or the chief guide in the current of their investigations, ... let me take one more instance, by choosing a subject in which the purely mathematical interest is deemed supreme, the theory of functions of a complex variable. That at least is a theory in pure mathematics, initiated in that region, and developed in that region; it is built up in scores of papers, and its plan certainly has not been, and is not now, dominated or guided by considerations of applicability to natural phenomena. Yet what has turned out to be its relation to practical issues? The investigations of Lagrange and others upon the construction of maps appear as a portion of the general property of conformal representation; which is merely the general geometrical method of regarding functional relations in that theory. Again, the interesting and important investigations upon discontinuous two-dimensional fluid motion in hydrodynamics, made in the last twenty years, can all be, and now are all, I believe, deduced from similar considerations by interpreting functional relations between complex variables. In the dynamics of a rotating heavy body, the only substantial extension of our knowledge since the time of Lagrange has accrued from associating the general properties of functions with the discussion of the equations of motion. Further, under the title of conjugate functions, the theory has been applied to various questions in electrostatics, particularly in connection with condensers and electrometers. And, lastly, in the domain of physical astronomy, some of the most conspicuous advances made in the last few years have been achieved by introducing into the discussion the ideas, the principles, the methods, and the results of the theory of functions.
the refined and extremely difficult work of Poincare and others in physical astronomy has been possible only by the use of the most elaborate developments of some purely mathematical subjects, developments which were made without a thought of such applications.