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 P > Category: Pause

Pause Quotes (6 quotes)

Doubtless the reasoning faculty, the mind, is the leading and characteristic attribute of the human race. By the exercise of this, man arrives at the properties of the natural bodies. This is science, properly and emphatically so called. It is the science of pure mathematics; and in the high branches of this science lies the truly sublime of human acquisition. If any attainment deserves that epithet, it is the knowledge, which, from the mensuration of the minutest dust of the balance, proceeds on the rising scale of material bodies, everywhere weighing, everywhere measuring, everywhere detecting and explaining the laws of force and motion, penetrating into the secret principles which hold the universe of God together, and balancing worlds against worlds, and system against system. When we seek to accompany those who pursue studies at once so high, so vast, and so exact; when we arrive at the discoveries of Newton, which pour in day on the works of God, as if a second fiat had gone forth from his own mouth; when, further, we attempt to follow those who set out where Newton paused, making his goal their starting-place, and, proceeding with demonstration upon demonstration, and discovery upon discovery, bring new worlds and new systems of worlds within the limits of the known universe, failing to learn all only because all is infinite; however we may say of man, in admiration of his physical structure, that “in form and moving he is express and admirable,” it is here, and here without irreverence, we may exclaim, “In apprehension how like a god!” The study of the pure mathematics will of course not be extensively pursued in an institution, which, like this [Boston Mechanics’ Institute], has a direct practical tendency and aim. But it is still to be remembered, that pure mathematics lie at the foundation of mechanical philosophy, and that it is ignorance only which can speak or think of that sublime science as useless research or barren speculation.
In Works (1872), Vol. 1, 180.
Science quotes on:  |  Accompany (22)  |  Acquisition (45)  |  Admirable (19)  |  Admiration (59)  |  Against (332)  |  Aim (165)  |  All (4108)  |  Apprehension (26)  |  Arrive (35)  |  Attainment (47)  |  Attempt (251)  |  Attribute (61)  |  Balance (77)  |  Barren (30)  |  Body (537)  |  Boston (7)  |  Branch (150)  |  Bring (90)  |  Call (769)  |  Characteristic (148)  |  Course (409)  |  Demonstration (113)  |  Deserve (65)  |  Detect (44)  |  Direct (225)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Doubtless (8)  |  Dust (64)  |  Emphatically (8)  |  Epithet (3)  |  Estimates of Mathematics (30)  |  Everywhere (94)  |  Exact (68)  |  Exclaim (13)  |  Exercise (110)  |  Explain (322)  |  Express (186)  |  Extensive (33)  |  Faculty (72)  |  Fail (185)  |  Far (154)  |  Fiat (6)  |  Follow (378)  |  Force (487)  |  Form (959)  |  Forth (13)  |  Foundation (171)  |  Goal (145)  |  God (757)  |  High (362)  |  Hold (95)  |  Human (1468)  |  Human Race (100)  |  Ignorance (240)  |  Infinite (231)  |  Institution (69)  |  Irreverence (3)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Known (454)  |  Law (894)  |  Lead (384)  |  Learn (629)  |  Lie (364)  |  Limit (280)  |  Making (300)  |  Man (2251)  |  Material (353)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Measure (232)  |  Mechanic (119)  |  Mechanical (140)  |  Mechanics (131)  |  Mensuration (2)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Minute (125)  |  Motion (310)  |  Mouth (53)  |  Move (216)  |  Natural (796)  |  New (1216)  |  New Worlds (5)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (333)  |  Of Course (20)  |  Penetrate (67)  |  Philosophy (380)  |  Physical (508)  |  Pour (10)  |  Practical (200)  |  Principle (507)  |  Proceed (129)  |  Proceeding (39)  |  Properly (20)  |  Property (168)  |  Pure (291)  |  Pure Mathematics (67)  |  Pursue (58)  |  Race (268)  |  Reason (744)  |  Reasoning (207)  |  Remember (179)  |  Research (664)  |  Rise (166)  |  Rising (44)  |  Say (984)  |  Scale (121)  |  Science (3879)  |  Second (62)  |  Secret (194)  |  Seek (213)  |  Set (394)  |  Speak (232)  |  Speculation (126)  |  Starting Point (14)  |  Still (613)  |  Structure (344)  |  Study (653)  |  Sublime (46)  |  System (537)  |  Tendency (99)  |  Think (1086)  |  Together (387)  |  Truly (116)  |  Universe (857)  |  Useless (33)  |  Vast (177)  |  Weigh (49)  |  Will (2355)  |  Work (1351)  |  World (1774)

I can see him [Sylvester] now, with his white beard and few locks of gray hair, his forehead wrinkled o’er with thoughts, writing rapidly his figures and formulae on the board, sometimes explaining as he wrote, while we, his listeners, caught the reflected sounds from the board. But stop, something is not right, he pauses, his hand goes to his forehead to help his thought, he goes over the work again, emphasizes the leading points, and finally discovers his difficulty. Perhaps it is some error in his figures, perhaps an oversight in the reasoning. Sometimes, however, the difficulty is not elucidated, and then there is not much to the rest of the lecture. But at the next lecture we would hear of some new discovery that was the outcome of that difficulty, and of some article for the Journal, which he had begun. If a text-book had been taken up at the beginning, with the intention of following it, that text-book was most likely doomed to oblivion for the rest of the term, or until the class had been made listeners to every new thought and principle that had sprung from the laboratory of his mind, in consequence of that first difficulty. Other difficulties would soon appear, so that no text-book could last more than half of the term. In this way his class listened to almost all of the work that subsequently appeared in the Journal. It seemed to be the quality of his mind that he must adhere to one subject. He would think about it, talk about it to his class, and finally write about it for the Journal. The merest accident might start him, but once started, every moment, every thought was given to it, and, as much as possible, he read what others had done in the same direction; but this last seemed to be his real point; he could not read without finding difficulties in the way of understanding the author. Thus, often his own work reproduced what had been done by others, and he did not find it out until too late.
A notable example of this is in his theory of cyclotomic functions, which he had reproduced in several foreign journals, only to find that he had been greatly anticipated by foreign authors. It was manifest, one of the critics said, that the learned professor had not read Rummer’s elementary results in the theory of ideal primes. Yet Professor Smith’s report on the theory of numbers, which contained a full synopsis of Kummer’s theory, was Professor Sylvester’s constant companion.
This weakness of Professor Sylvester, in not being able to read what others had done, is perhaps a concomitant of his peculiar genius. Other minds could pass over little difficulties and not be troubled by them, and so go on to a final understanding of the results of the author. But not so with him. A difficulty, however small, worried him, and he was sure to have difficulties until the subject had been worked over in his own way, to correspond with his own mode of thought. To read the work of others, meant therefore to him an almost independent development of it. Like the man whose pleasure in life is to pioneer the way for society into the forests, his rugged mind could derive satisfaction only in hewing out its own paths; and only when his efforts brought him into the uncleared fields of mathematics did he find his place in the Universe.
In Florian Cajori, Teaching and History of Mathematics in the United States (1890), 266-267.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Accident (88)  |  Adhere (3)  |  All (4108)  |  Anticipate (18)  |  Appear (118)  |  Article (22)  |  Author (167)  |  Beard (7)  |  Begin (260)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Being (1278)  |  Board (12)  |  Book (392)  |  Bring (90)  |  Class (164)  |  Companion (19)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Constant (144)  |  Contain (68)  |  Correspond (9)  |  Critic (20)  |  Derive (65)  |  Development (422)  |  Difficulty (196)  |  Direction (175)  |  Discover (553)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Doom (32)  |  Effort (227)  |  Elementary (96)  |  Elucidate (4)  |  Emphasize (23)  |  Error (321)  |  Example (94)  |  Explain (322)  |  Field (364)  |  Figure (160)  |  Final (118)  |  Finally (26)  |  Find (998)  |  First (1283)  |  Follow (378)  |  Forehead (2)  |  Foreign (45)  |  Forest (150)  |  Formula (98)  |  Full (66)  |  Function (228)  |  Genius (284)  |  Give (202)  |  Greatly (12)  |  Hair (25)  |  Half (56)  |  Hand (143)  |  Hear (139)  |  Help (105)  |  Hew (3)  |  Ideal (99)  |  Independent (67)  |  Intention (46)  |  Journal (30)  |  Ernst Eduard Kummer (3)  |  Laboratory (196)  |  Last (426)  |  Late (118)  |  Lead (384)  |  Learn (629)  |  Learned (235)  |  Lecture (105)  |  Life (1795)  |  Likely (34)  |  Listen (73)  |  Listener (7)  |  Little (707)  |  Man (2251)  |  Manifest (21)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (141)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Mean (809)  |  Mere (84)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Mode (41)  |  Moment (253)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1731)  |  Must (1526)  |  New (1216)  |  Next (236)  |  Notable (5)  |  Number (699)  |  Oblivion (10)  |  Often (106)  |  Other (2236)  |  Outcome (13)  |  Oversight (4)  |  Pass (238)  |  Path (144)  |  Peculiar (113)  |  Pioneer (33)  |  Place (177)  |  Pleasure (178)  |  Point (580)  |  Possible (552)  |  Prime (11)  |  Principle (507)  |  Professor (128)  |  Quality (135)  |  Rapidly (66)  |  Read (287)  |  Real (149)  |  Reason (744)  |  Reasoning (207)  |  Report (38)  |  Reproduce (11)  |  Rest (280)  |  Result (677)  |  Right (452)  |  Rugged (7)  |  Rum (3)  |  Same (157)  |  Satisfaction (74)  |  Say (984)  |  See (1081)  |  Seem (145)  |  Several (32)  |  Small (477)  |  Smith (3)  |  Society (326)  |  Something (719)  |  Soon (186)  |  Sound (183)  |  Spring (133)  |  Start (221)  |  Stop (80)  |  Subject (521)  |  Subsequently (2)  |  James Joseph Sylvester (58)  |  Synopsis (2)  |  Talk (100)  |  Term (349)  |  Textbook (36)  |  Theory (970)  |  Theory Of Numbers (7)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thought (953)  |  Trouble (107)  |  Understand (606)  |  Understanding (513)  |  Universe (857)  |  Way (1217)  |  Weakness (48)  |  White (127)  |  Work (1351)  |  Worry (33)  |  Wrinkle (4)  |  Write (230)  |  Writing (189)

When the greatest of American logicians, speaking of the powers that constitute the born geometrician, had named Conception, Imagination, and Generalization, he paused. Thereupon from one of the audience there came the challenge, “What of reason?” The instant response, not less just than brilliant, was: “Ratiocination—that is but the smooth pavement on which the chariot rolls.”
In Lectures on Science, Philosophy and Art (1908), 31.
Science quotes on:  |  American (46)  |  Audience (26)  |  Bear (159)  |  Brilliant (53)  |  Challenge (85)  |  Chariot (9)  |  Conception (154)  |  Constitute (97)  |  Generalization (57)  |  Geometrician (6)  |  Great (1574)  |  Greatest (328)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Instant (45)  |  Less (103)  |  Logician (17)  |  Name (333)  |  Nature Of Mathematics (80)  |  Pavement (2)  |  Power (746)  |  Ratiocination (4)  |  Reason (744)  |  Response (53)  |  Roll (40)  |  Smooth (32)  |  Speak (232)  |  Speaking (119)

You’re aware the boy failed my grade school math class, I take it? And not that many years later he’s teaching college. Now I ask you: Is that the sorriest indictment of the American educational system you ever heard? [pauses to light cigarette.] No aptitude at all for long division, but never mind. It’s him they ask to split the atom. How he talked his way into the Nobel prize is beyond me. But then, I suppose it’s like the man says, it’s not what you know...
Karl Arbeiter (former teacher of Albert Einstein)
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  American (46)  |  Aptitude (19)  |  Ask (411)  |  Atom (355)  |  Aware (31)  |  Beyond (308)  |  Boy (94)  |  Cigarette (24)  |  Class (164)  |  College (66)  |  Division (65)  |  Educational (7)  |  Fail (185)  |  Grade (11)  |  Hear (139)  |  Indictment (2)  |  Know (1518)  |  Late (118)  |  Light (607)  |  Long (790)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Never (1087)  |  Nobel Prize (40)  |  Say (984)  |  School (219)  |  Sorry (30)  |  Split (13)  |  Suppose (156)  |  System (537)  |  Talk (100)  |  Teach (277)  |  Teaching (188)  |  Way (1217)  |  Year (933)

~~[unverified]~~ Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.
Primary source needed. can you help? Seen for example, in Larry Chang, Wisdom for the Soul: Five Millennia of Prescriptions for Spiritual (2006), 353.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Good (889)  |  Happiness (115)  |  Happy (105)  |  Pursuit (121)

“Scientific people,” proceeded the Time Traveler, after the pause required for the proper assimilation of this, “know very well that Time is only a kind of Space.”
In The Time Machine (1898), 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Assimilation (13)  |  Kind (557)  |  Know (1518)  |  People (1005)  |  Proceed (129)  |  Proper (144)  |  Require (219)  |  Required (108)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Space (500)  |  Time (1877)  |  Traveler (30)


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.