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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “A change in motion is proportional to the motive force impressed and takes place along the straight line in which that force is impressed.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index E > Category: Electric Field

Electric Field Quotes (3 quotes)

It is just as foolish to complain that people are selfish and treacherous as it is to complain that the magnetic field does not increase unless the electric field has a curl. Both are laws of nature.
As quoted, without source by Eugene Wigner in 'John von Neumann (1903-1957)', Year Book of the American Philosophical Society: Biographical Memoirs (1958), 153. Collected in Eugene P. Wigner, The Collected Works of Eugene Paul Wigner: Historical, Philosophical, and Socio-Political Papers. Historical and Biographical Reflections and Syntheses (2013), 130.
Science quotes on:  |  Both (493)  |  Complain (8)  |  Electric (76)  |  Field (364)  |  Foolish (40)  |  Increase (210)  |  Law (894)  |  Law Of Nature (72)  |  Magnetic (44)  |  Magnetic Field (7)  |  Nature (1926)  |  People (1005)  |  Selfish (11)

The whole question of imagination in science is often misunderstood by people in other disciplines. They try to test our imagination in the following way. They say, “Here is a picture of some people in a situation. What do you imagine will happen next?” When we say, “I can’t imagine,” they may think we have a weak imagination. They overlook the fact that whatever we are allowed to imagine in science must be consistent with everything else we know; that the electric fields and the waves we talk about are not just some happy thoughts which we are free to make as we wish, but ideas which must be consistent with all the laws of physics we know. We can’t allow ourselves to seriously imagine things which are obviously in contradiction to the laws of nature. And so our kind of imagination is quite a difficult game. One has to have the imagination to think of something that has never been seen before, never been heard of before. At the same time the thoughts are restricted in a strait jacket, so to speak, limited by the conditions that come from our knowledge of the way nature really is. The problem of creating something which is new, but which is consistent with everything which has been seen before, is one of extreme difficulty
In The Feynman Lectures in Physics (1964), Vol. 2, Lecture 20, p.20-10 to p.20-11.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Allow (45)  |  Condition (356)  |  Consistent (48)  |  Contradiction (68)  |  Create (235)  |  Difficult (246)  |  Difficulty (196)  |  Discipline (77)  |  Do (1908)  |  Electric (76)  |  Everything (476)  |  Extreme (75)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Field (364)  |  Free (232)  |  Game (101)  |  Happen (274)  |  Happy (105)  |  Idea (843)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Imagine (164)  |  Kind (557)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Law (894)  |  Law Of Physics (3)  |  Limit (280)  |  Limited (101)  |  Misunderstand (4)  |  Must (1526)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Never (1087)  |  New (1216)  |  Next (236)  |  Other (2236)  |  Ourselves (245)  |  Overlook (31)  |  People (1005)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Picture (143)  |  Problem (676)  |  Question (621)  |  Say (984)  |  Science (3879)  |  Situation (113)  |  Something (719)  |  Speak (232)  |  Test (211)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thought (953)  |  Time (1877)  |  Try (283)  |  Wave (107)  |  Way (1217)  |  Weak (71)  |  Whatever (234)  |  Whole (738)  |  Will (2355)  |  Wish (212)

When I entered the field of space physics in 1956, I recall that I fell in with the crowd believing, for example, that electric fields could not exist in the highly conducting plasma of space. It was three years later that I was shamed by S. Chandrasekhar into investigating Alfvιn's work objectively. My degree of shock and surprise in finding Alfvιn right and his critics wrong can hardly be described. I learned that a cosmic ray acceleration mechanism basically identical to the famous mechanism suggested by Fermi in 1949 had [previously] been put forth by Alfvιn.
Quoted in Anthony L. Peratt, 'Dean of the Plasma Dissidents', Washington Times, supplement: The World and I (May 1988), 195.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Acceleration (12)  |  Belief (578)  |  Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (7)  |  Confirm (57)  |  Cosmic (72)  |  Cosmic Ray (7)  |  Critic (20)  |  Crowd (24)  |  Degree (276)  |  Description (84)  |  Electric (76)  |  Electromagnetic Field (2)  |  Enter (141)  |  Exist (443)  |  Enrico Fermi (19)  |  Field (364)  |  Identical (53)  |  Investigate (103)  |  Learn (629)  |  Learned (235)  |  Mechanism (96)  |  Objectively (5)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Plasma (8)  |  Ray (114)  |  Recall (10)  |  Right (452)  |  Shame (14)  |  Shock (37)  |  Space (500)  |  Surprise (86)  |  Work (1351)  |  Wrong (234)  |  Year (933)


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.