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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Nature does nothing in vain when less will serve; for Nature is pleased with simplicity and affects not the pomp of superfluous causes.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index I > Category: Indivisible

Indivisible Quotes (21 quotes)

But how shall we this union well expresse?
Naught tyes the soule: her subtiltie is such
She moves the bodie, which she doth possesse.
Yet no part toucheth, but by Vertue's touch.
Then dwels she not therein as in a tent;
Nor as a pilot in his Ship doth sit;
Nor as the spider in his web is pent;
Nor as the Waxe retaines the print in it;
Nor as a Vessell water doth containe;
Nor as one Liquor in another shed;
Nor as the heate dath in the fire remaine;
Nor as a voice throughout the ayre is spred;
But as the faire and cheerfull morning light,
Doth here, and there, her silver beames impart,
And in an instant doth her selfe unite
To the transparent Aire, in all, and part:
Still resting whole, when blowes the Aire devide;
Abiding pure, when th' Aire is most corrupted;
Throughout the Aire her beames dispersing wide,
And when the Aire is tost, not interrupted:
So doth the piercing Soule the body fill;
Being all in all, and all in part diffus'd;
Indivisible, incorruptible still,
Not forc't, encountred, troubled or confus'd.
And as the Sunne above the light doth bring,
Tough we behold it in the Aire below;
So from th'eternall light the Soule doth spring,
Though in the Bodie she her powers do show.
From 'Nosce Teipsum' (1599), in Claire Howard (ed.), The Poems of Sir John Davies (1941), 151-2.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Being (1278)  |  Body (537)  |  Do (1908)  |  Fire (189)  |  Impart (23)  |  Instant (45)  |  Light (607)  |  Morning (94)  |  Most (1731)  |  Move (216)  |  Naught (10)  |  Power (746)  |  Pure (291)  |  Ship (62)  |  Show (346)  |  Silver (46)  |  Spider (14)  |  Spring (133)  |  Still (613)  |  Sun (385)  |  Tent (11)  |  Throughout (98)  |  Touch (141)  |  Tough (19)  |  Transparent (16)  |  Union (51)  |  Unite (42)  |  Water (481)  |  Whole (738)  |  Wide (96)

A line is not made up of points. … In the same way, time is not made up of parts considered as indivisible “nows.”
Part of Aristotle’s reply to Zeno's paradox concerning continuity.
Aristotle
A succinct summary, not a direct quotation of Aristotle's words. From Aristotle's Physics, Book VI. Sections 1 and 9 as given by Florian Cajori in part 2 of an article 'The History of Zeno's Arguments on Motion', in The American Mathematical Monthly (Feb 1915), 22:2, 41.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Consider (416)  |  Continuity (38)  |  Line (91)  |  Now (5)  |  Paradox (50)  |  Part (222)  |  Point (580)  |  Reply (56)  |  Time (1877)  |  Way (1217)  |  Zeno (5)

A marveilous newtrality have these things mathematicall, and also a strange participation between things supernaturall, immortall, intellectuall, simple and indivisible, and things naturall, mortall, sensible, componded and divisible.
John Dee
In Mathematicall Praeface to the Elements of Geometrie of Euclid of Megara (1570).
Science quotes on:  |  Compound (113)  |  Divisible (4)  |  Immortal (35)  |  Intellectual (255)  |  Marvellous (25)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Mortal (54)  |  Natural (796)  |  Nature Of Mathematics (80)  |  Neutrality (5)  |  Participation (15)  |  Sensible (27)  |  Simple (406)  |  Strange (157)  |  Supernatural (25)  |  Thing (1915)

A mathematical point is the most indivisble and unique thing which art can present.
Letters, 21. 1817. In Robert Édouard Moritz, Memorabilia Mathematica (1914), 295.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (657)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Most (1731)  |  Point (580)  |  Present (619)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Unique (67)

All that can be said upon the number and nature of elements is, in my opinion, confined to discussions entirely of a metaphysical nature. The subject only furnishes us with indefinite problems, which may be solved in a thousand different ways, not one of which, in all probability, is consistent with nature. I shall therefore only add upon this subject, that if, by the term elements, we mean to express those simple and indivisible atoms of which matter is composed, it is extremely probable we know nothing at all about them; but, if we apply the term elements, or principles of bodies, to express our idea of the last point which analysis is capable of reaching, we must admit, as elements, all the substances into which we are capable, by any means, to reduce bodies by decomposition.
Elements of Chemistry (1790), trans. R. Kerr, Preface, xxiv.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Analysis (233)  |  Apply (160)  |  Atom (355)  |  Capable (168)  |  Composition (84)  |  Consistent (48)  |  Decomposition (18)  |  Different (577)  |  Discussion (72)  |  Element (310)  |  Express (186)  |  Idea (843)  |  Indefinite (20)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Last (426)  |  Matter (798)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Metaphysical (38)  |  Metaphysics (50)  |  Must (1526)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Number (699)  |  Opinion (281)  |  Point (580)  |  Principle (507)  |  Probability (130)  |  Problem (676)  |  Reduce (94)  |  Reduction (51)  |  Simple (406)  |  Solution (267)  |  Subject (521)  |  Substance (248)  |  Term (349)  |  Thousand (331)  |  Way (1217)

Atoms are not indivisible, for negatively electrified particles can be torn from them by the action of electrical forces.
In Recollections and Reflections (1936), 338.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (327)  |  Atom (355)  |  Charge (59)  |  Electrical (57)  |  Force (487)  |  Negative (63)  |  Particle (194)  |  Torn (17)

Body and soul cannot be separated for purposes of treatment, for they are one and indivisible. Sick minds must be healed as well as sick bodies.
Surgery, Gynaecology and Obstetrics (1931), 52, 488.
Science quotes on:  |  Body (537)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Must (1526)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Sick (81)  |  Soul (226)  |  Treatment (130)

For us, an atom shall be a small, spherical, homogeneous body or an essentially indivisible, material point, whereas a molecule shall be a separate group of atoms in any number and of any nature.
Annales de Chimie 1833, 52, 133. Trans. W. H. Brock.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (355)  |  Body (537)  |  Homogeneous (16)  |  Material (353)  |  Molecule (174)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Number (699)  |  Point (580)  |  Separate (143)  |  Small (477)

I think the name atomic theory was an unfortunate one. We talk fluently about atoms as the smallest particles that exist, and chemists regard them as indivisible … To my mind the infinitely small is as incomprehensible as the infinitely great. … we cannot comprehend it, we cannot take it in. And so with the atom. Therefore I think that it would have been better to have taken a different word—say minim—which would have been a safer term than atom.
Address, in 'Report to the Chemical Society's Jubilee', Nature (26 Mar 1891), 43, 493.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (355)  |  Atomic Theory (15)  |  Better (486)  |  Chemist (156)  |  Comprehend (40)  |  Different (577)  |  Exist (443)  |  Great (1574)  |  Incomprehensible (29)  |  Infinite (231)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Name (333)  |  Nomenclature (146)  |  Particle (194)  |  Regard (305)  |  Safe (54)  |  Say (984)  |  Small (477)  |  Term (349)  |  Theory (970)  |  Think (1086)  |  Unfortunate (19)  |  Word (619)

In science, probably ninety-nine percent of the knowable has to be discovered. We know only a few streaks about astronomy. We are only beginning to imagine the force and composition of the atom. Physics has not yet found any indivisible matter, or psychology a sensible soul.
'This World Depression of Ours is Chock-full of Good News', Hearst's International Combined with Cosmopolitan, (Oct 1932), 26. Reprinted in Ella Winter and Herbert Shapiro The World of Lincoln Steffens (1962), 216.
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomy (229)  |  Atom (355)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Composition (84)  |  Discover (553)  |  Force (487)  |  Imagine (164)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Matter (798)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Psychology (154)  |  Science (3879)  |  Soul (226)

In science, reason is the guide; in poetry, taste. The object of the one is truth, which is uniform and indivisible; the object of the other is beauty, which is multiform and varied.
Lacon: Many Things in Few Words (1820-22, 1866), 33.
Science quotes on:  |  Beauty (299)  |  Guide (97)  |  Object (422)  |  Other (2236)  |  Poetry (143)  |  Reason (744)  |  Science (3879)  |  Taste (90)  |  Truth (1057)

Infinities and indivisibles transcend our finite understanding, the former on account of their magnitude, the latter because of their smallness; Imagine what they are when combined.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Account (192)  |  Combine (57)  |  Finite (59)  |  Former (137)  |  Imagine (164)  |  Infinity (90)  |  Latter (21)  |  Magnitude (83)  |  Smallness (7)  |  Transcend (26)  |  Understand (606)  |  Understanding (513)

It is not strictly demonstrated that atoms are indivisible; but it appears that they are not divided by the laws of nature.
In A Philosophical Dictionary (1824), Vol. 1, 339.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (355)  |  Divide (75)  |  Divided (50)  |  Law (894)  |  Law Of Nature (72)  |  Nature (1926)

Knowledge is indivisible. When people grow wise in one direction, they are sure to make it easier for themselves to grow wise in other directions as well. On the other hand, when they split up knowledge, concentrate on their own field, and scorn and ignore other fields, they grow less wise–even in their own field.
In The Roving Mind (1983), 116.
Science quotes on:  |  Concentrate (26)  |  Direction (175)  |  Easier (53)  |  Field (364)  |  Grow (238)  |  Ignore (45)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Other (2236)  |  People (1005)  |  Scorn (12)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Wisdom (221)  |  Wise (131)

Mathematical science is in my opinion an indivisible whole, an organism whose vitality is conditioned upon the connection of its parts. For with all the variety of mathematical knowledge, we are still clearly conscious of the similarity of the logical devices, the relationship of the ideas in mathematics as a whole and the numerous analogies in its different departments.
In 'Mathematical Problems', Bulletin American Mathematical Society, 8, 478.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Analogy (71)  |  Clearly (41)  |  Condition (356)  |  Connection (162)  |  Conscious (45)  |  Department (92)  |  Device (70)  |  Different (577)  |  Idea (843)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Logical (55)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Nature Of Mathematics (80)  |  Numerous (68)  |  Opinion (281)  |  Organism (220)  |  Part (222)  |  Relationship (104)  |  Science (3879)  |  Similarity (31)  |  Still (613)  |  Variety (132)  |  Vitality (23)  |  Whole (738)

MOLECULE, n. The ultimate, indivisible unit of matter. It is distinguished from the corpuscle, also the ultimate, indivisible unit of matter, by a closer resemblance to the atom, also the ultimate, indivisible unit of matter. Three great scientific theories of the structure of the universe are the molecular, the corpuscular and the atomic. A fourth affirms, with Haeckel, the condensation or precipitation of matter from ether—whose existence is proved by the condensation or precipitation. The present trend of scientific thought is toward the theory of ions. The ion differs from the molecule, the corpuscle and the atom in that it is an ion. A fifth theory is held by idiots, but it is doubtful if they know any more about the matter than the others.
The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce (1911), Vol. 7, The Devil's Dictionary,  220-221.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (355)  |  Closer (43)  |  Condensation (12)  |  Corpuscle (13)  |  Differ (85)  |  Distinguish (160)  |  Distinguished (83)  |  Doubtful (29)  |  Ether (35)  |  Existence (456)  |  Great (1574)  |  Humour (116)  |  Idiot (22)  |  Ion (21)  |  Know (1518)  |  Matter (798)  |  Molecule (174)  |  More (2559)  |  Other (2236)  |  Precipitation (7)  |  Present (619)  |  Resemblance (38)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Scientific Theory (24)  |  Scientific Thought (17)  |  Structure (344)  |  Theory (970)  |  Thought (953)  |  Trend (22)  |  Ultimate (144)  |  Universe (857)

Thales thought that water was the primordial substance of all things. Heraclitus of Ephesus… thought that it was fire. Democritus and his follower Epicurus thought that it was the atoms, termed by our writers “bodies that cannot be cut up” or, by some “indivisibles.” The school of the Pythagoreans added air and the earthy to the water and fire. Hence, although Democritus did not in a strict sense name them, but spoke only of indivisible bodies, yet he seems to have meant these same elements, because when taken by themselves they cannot be harmed, nor are they susceptible of dissolution, nor can they be cut up into parts, but throughout time eternal they forever retain an infinite solidity.
Vitruvius
In De Architectura, Book 2, Chap 2, Sec. 1. As translated in Morris Hicky Morgan (trans.), Vitruvius: The Ten Books on Architecture (1914), 42.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (347)  |  All (4108)  |  Atom (355)  |  Cut (114)  |  Democritus of Abdera (17)  |  Dissolution (11)  |  Earth (996)  |  Element (310)  |  Epicurus (6)  |  Eternal (110)  |  Fire (189)  |  Forever (103)  |  Heraclitus (15)  |  Infinite (231)  |  Name (333)  |  Primordial (10)  |  Pythagoras (38)  |  Retain (56)  |  School (219)  |  Sense (770)  |  Solid (116)  |  Substance (248)  |  Term (349)  |  Thales (9)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Thought (953)  |  Throughout (98)  |  Time (1877)  |  Water (481)  |  Writer (86)

The generality of men are so accustomed to judge of things by their senses that, because the air is indivisible, they ascribe but little to it, and think it but one remove from nothing.
In Mary Elvira Weeks, The Discovery of the Elements (1934), 29, citing Boyle, 'Memoirs for a General History of the Air', in Shaw's Abridgment of Boyle's works (1725), Vol. 3, 61, and Ramsay, The Gases of the Atmosphere (1915), 10.
Science quotes on:  |  Accustom (52)  |  Accustomed (46)  |  Air (347)  |  Ascribe (17)  |  Generality (45)  |  Judge (108)  |  Little (707)  |  Men (20)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Remove (45)  |  Sense (770)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thinking (414)

The idea of an indivisible, ultimate atom is inconceivable by the lay mind. If we can conceive of an idea of the atom at all, we can conceive it as capable of being cut in half; indeed, we cannot conceive it at all unless we so conceive it. The only true atom, the only thing which we cannot subdivide and cut in half, is the universe. We cannot cut a bit off the universe and put it somewhere else. Therefore the universe is a true atom and, indeed, is the smallest piece of indivisible matter which our minds can conceive; and they cannot conceive it any more than they can the indivisible, ultimate atom.
Samuel Butler, Henry Festing Jones (ed.), The Note-Books of Samuel Butler (1917), 58.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Atom (355)  |  Being (1278)  |  Capable (168)  |  Conceive (98)  |  Cut (114)  |  Idea (843)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Matter (798)  |  Mind (1338)  |  More (2559)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Ultimate (144)  |  Universe (857)

The word atom signifies without parts—not to be divided. You divide it in thought; for, if you were to divide it in reality, it would no longer be an atom.
In A Philosophical Dictionary (1824), Vol. 1, 338.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (355)  |  Divide (75)  |  Divided (50)  |  Reality (261)  |  Thought (953)  |  Word (619)

Whereas history, literature, art, and even religion, all have national characters and local attachments, science alone of man’s major intellectual interests has no frontiers and no national varieties; that science, like peace, is one and indivisible.
From Pilgrim Trust Lecture (22 Oct 1946) delivered at National Academy of Science Washington, DC. Published in 'The Freedom of Science', Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society (25 Feb 1947), 91, No. 1, 72.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Alone (311)  |  Art (657)  |  Attachment (6)  |  Character (243)  |  Frontier (38)  |  History (673)  |  Intellectual (255)  |  Interest (386)  |  Literature (103)  |  Local (19)  |  Major (84)  |  Man (2251)  |  Nation (193)  |  Peace (108)  |  Religion (361)  |  Science (3879)  |  Science And Art (184)  |  Science And Religion (307)  |  Variety (132)


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.