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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “The Superfund legislation... may prove to be as far-reaching and important as any accomplishment of my administration. The reduction of the threat to America's health and safety from thousands of toxic-waste sites will continue to be an urgent…issue …”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index P > Category: Pendulum

Pendulum Quotes (15 quotes)

First, as concerns the success of teaching mathematics. No instruction in the high schools is as difficult as that of mathematics, since the large majority of students are at first decidedly disinclined to be harnessed into the rigid framework of logical conclusions. The interest of young people is won much more easily, if sense-objects are made the starting point and the transition to abstract formulation is brought about gradually. For this reason it is psychologically quite correct to follow this course.
Not less to be recommended is this course if we inquire into the essential purpose of mathematical instruction. Formerly it was too exclusively held that this purpose is to sharpen the understanding. Surely another important end is to implant in the student the conviction that correct thinking based on true premises secures mastery over the outer world. To accomplish this the outer world must receive its share of attention from the very beginning.
Doubtless this is true but there is a danger which needs pointing out. It is as in the case of language teaching where the modern tendency is to secure in addition to grammar also an understanding of the authors. The danger lies in grammar being completely set aside leaving the subject without its indispensable solid basis. Just so in Teaching of Mathematics it is possible to accumulate interesting applications to such an extent as to stunt the essential logical development. This should in no wise be permitted, for thus the kernel of the whole matter is lost. Therefore: We do want throughout a quickening of mathematical instruction by the introduction of applications, but we do not want that the pendulum, which in former decades may have inclined too much toward the abstract side, should now swing to the other extreme; we would rather pursue the proper middle course.
In Ueber den Mathematischen Unterricht an den hoheren Schulen; Jahresbericht der Deutschen Mathematiker Vereinigung, Bd. 11, 131.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (86)  |  Accomplishment (80)  |  Accumulate (26)  |  Addition (29)  |  Application (170)  |  Attention (121)  |  Author (62)  |  Base (71)  |  Basis (91)  |  Begin (108)  |  Bring (90)  |  Case (99)  |  Completely (32)  |  Conclusion (160)  |  Conviction (71)  |  Correct (85)  |  Course (84)  |  Danger (78)  |  Decade (32)  |  Development (289)  |  Difficult (121)  |  End (195)  |  Essential (117)  |  Exclusive (16)  |  Extent (51)  |  Extreme (56)  |  Follow (124)  |  Former (25)  |  Formerly (5)  |  Formulation (26)  |  Framework (20)  |  Gradual (26)  |  Grammar (14)  |  Harness (19)  |  High School (11)  |  Hold (94)  |  Implant (4)  |  Important (205)  |  Inclined (12)  |  Indispensable (28)  |  Inquire (9)  |  Instruction (73)  |  Interest (237)  |  Introduction (35)  |  Kernel (4)  |  Language (228)  |  Leave (128)  |  Logic (260)  |  Lose (94)  |  Majority (42)  |  Mastery (28)  |  Mathematics (1205)  |  Matter (343)  |  Middle (16)  |  Modern (162)  |  Need (287)  |  Outer (13)  |  Permit (31)  |  Point (123)  |  Possible (158)  |  Premise (27)  |  Proper (38)  |  Psychological (12)  |  Purpose (194)  |  Pursue (23)  |  Quicken (7)  |  Reason (471)  |  Receive (60)  |  Recommend (7)  |  Rigid (13)  |  Secure (21)  |  Sense (321)  |  Set Aside (4)  |  Share (49)  |  Sharpen (16)  |  Side (51)  |  Solid (50)  |  Starting Point (14)  |  Student (203)  |  Stunt (3)  |  Subject (240)  |  Success (250)  |  Swing (10)  |  Teach (188)  |  Teaching of Mathematics (39)  |  Tendency (56)  |  Think (347)  |  Transition (18)  |  True (208)  |  Understand (340)  |  Want (176)  |  Whole (192)  |  Wise (61)  |  World (898)  |  Young (100)

For FRICTION is inevitable because the Universe is FULL of God's works.
For the PERPETUAL MOTION is in all works of Almighty GOD.
For it is not so in the engines of man, which are made of dead materials, neither indeed can be.
For the Moment of bodies, as it is used, is a false term—bless God ye Speakers on the Fifth of November.
For Time and Weight are by their several estimates.
For I bless GOD in the discovery of the LONGITUDE direct by the means of GLADWICK.
For the motion of the PENDULUM is the longest in that it parries resistance.
For the WEDDING GARMENTS of all men are prepared in the SUN against the day of acceptation.
For the wedding Garments of all women are prepared in the MOON against the day of their purification.
For CHASTITY is the key of knowledge as in Esdras, Sir Isaac Newton & now, God be praised, in me.
For Newton nevertheless is more of error than of the truth, but I am of the WORD of GOD.
From 'Jubilate Agno' (c.1758-1763), in N. Callan (ed.), The Collected Poems of Christopher Smart (1949), Vol. 1, 276.
Science quotes on:  |  Acceptance (45)  |  Chastity (4)  |  Dead (57)  |  Discovery (680)  |  Engine (29)  |  Error (277)  |  Estimate (28)  |  Friction (6)  |  Garment (6)  |  God (535)  |  Inevitability (8)  |  Key (50)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Longitude (5)  |  Man (373)  |  Material (156)  |  Moon (199)  |  Motion (160)  |  Nevertheless (2)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (333)  |  Perpetual Motion (9)  |  Praise (26)  |  Purification (6)  |  Resistance (26)  |  Sun (276)  |  Time (595)  |  Truth (928)  |  Universe (686)  |  Wedding (5)  |  Weight (77)  |  Woman (111)  |  Word (302)  |  Work (635)

For the better part of my last semester at Garden City High, I constructed a physical pendulum and used it to make a “precision” measurement of gravity. The years of experience building things taught me skills that were directly applicable to the construction of the pendulum. Twenty-five years later, I was to develop a refined version of this measurement using laser-cooled atoms in an atomic fountain interferometer.
[Outcome of high school physics teacher, Thomas Miner, encouraging Chu's ambitious laboratory project.]
Autobiography in Gösta Ekspong (ed.), Nobel Lectures: Physics 1996-2000 (2002), 116.
Science quotes on:  |  Education (347)  |  Experiment (602)  |  Gravity (100)  |  Measurement (161)

I shall explain a System of the World differing in many particulars from any yet known, answering in all things to the common Rules of Mechanical Motions: This depends upon three Suppositions. First, That all Cœlestial Bodies whatsoever, have an attraction or gravitating power towards their own Centers, whereby they attract not only their own parts, and keep them from flying from them, as we may observe the Earth to do, but that they do also attract all the other Cœlestial bodies that are within the sphere of their activity; and consequently that not only the Sun and Moon have an influence upon the body and motion the Earth, and the Earth upon them, but that Mercury also Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter by their attractive powers, have a considerable influence upon its motion in the same manner the corresponding attractive power of the Earth hath a considerable influence upon every one of their motions also. The second supposition is this, That all bodies whatsoever that are put into a direct and simple motion, will continue to move forward in a streight line, till they are by some other effectual powers deflected and bent into a Motion, describing a Circle, Ellipse, or some other more compounded Curve Line. The third supposition is, That these attractive powers are so much the more powerful in operating, by how much the nearer the body wrought upon is to their own Centers. Now what these several degrees are I have not yet experimentally verified; but it is a notion, which if fully prosecuted as it ought to be, will mightily assist the Astronomer to reduce all the Cœlestial Motions to a certain rule, which I doubt will never be done true without it. He that understands the nature of the Circular Pendulum and Circular Motion, will easily understand the whole ground of this Principle, and will know where to find direction in Nature for the true stating thereof. This I only hint at present to such as have ability and opportunity of prosecuting this Inquiry, and are not wanting of Industry for observing and calculating, wishing heartily such may be found, having myself many other things in hand which I would first compleat and therefore cannot so well attend it. But this I durst promise the Undertaker, that he will find all the Great Motions of the World to be influenced by this Principle, and that the true understanding thereof will be the true perfection of Astronomy.
An Attempt to Prove the Motion of the Earth from Observations (1674), 27-8. Based on a Cutlerian Lecture delivered by Hooke at the Royal Society four years earlier.
Science quotes on:  |  Gravitation (38)  |  Inertia (11)  |  Moon (199)  |  Orbit (69)  |  Planet (263)  |  Sun (276)  |  Theory (696)

If it is possible to have a linear unit that depends on no other quantity, it would seem natural to prefer it. Moreover, a mensural unit taken from the earth itself offers another advantage, that of being perfectly analogous to all the real measurements that in ordinary usage are also made upon the earth, such as the distance between two places or the area of some tract, for example. It is far more natural in practice to refer geographical distances to a quadrant of a great circle than to the length of a pendulum.
'Histoire'. Histoire et Memoires de l’Academie Royale des Science de Paris (1788/1791), 9-10. In Charles Coulston Gillispie, Pierre-Simon Laplace, 1749-1827: A Life in Exact Science (2nd Ed., 2000), 151.
Science quotes on:  |  Definition (192)  |  Earth (638)  |  Length (22)  |  Measurement (161)  |  Unit (31)

Most, if not all, of the great ideas of modern mathematics have had their origin in observation. Take, for instance, the arithmetical theory of forms, of which the foundation was laid in the diophantine theorems of Fermat, left without proof by their author, which resisted all efforts of the myriad-minded Euler to reduce to demonstration, and only yielded up their cause of being when turned over in the blow-pipe flame of Gauss’s transcendent genius; or the doctrine of double periodicity, which resulted from the observation of Jacobi of a purely analytical fact of transformation; or Legendre’s law of reciprocity; or Sturm’s theorem about the roots of equations, which, as he informed me with his own lips, stared him in the face in the midst of some mechanical investigations connected (if my memory serves me right) with the motion of compound pendulums; or Huyghen’s method of continued fractions, characterized by Lagrange as one of the principal discoveries of that great mathematician, and to which he appears to have been led by the construction of his Planetary Automaton; or the new algebra, speaking of which one of my predecessors (Mr. Spottiswoode) has said, not without just reason and authority, from this chair, “that it reaches out and indissolubly connects itself each year with fresh branches of mathematics, that the theory of equations has become almost new through it, algebraic geometry transfigured in its light, that the calculus of variations, molecular physics, and mechanics” (he might, if speaking at the present moment, go on to add the theory of elasticity and the development of the integral calculus) “have all felt its influence”.
In 'A Plea for the Mathematician', Nature, 1, 238 in Collected Mathematical Papers, Vol. 2, 655-56.
Science quotes on:  |  Add (40)  |  Algebra (104)  |  Analysis (166)  |  Appear (118)  |  Arithmetical (11)  |  Author (62)  |  Authority (66)  |  Automaton (10)  |  Become (172)  |  Branch (107)  |  Calculus (51)  |  Cause (285)  |  Chair (11)  |  Characterize (20)  |  Compound (58)  |  Connect (33)  |  Construction (83)  |  Continue (65)  |  Demonstration (86)  |  Development (289)  |  Discovery (680)  |  Doctrine (75)  |  Double (15)  |  Effort (144)  |  Elasticity (5)  |  Equation (96)  |  Leonhard Euler (35)  |  Face (108)  |  Fact (733)  |  Feel (167)  |  Pierre de Fermat (15)  |  Flame (26)  |  Form (314)  |  Foundation (108)  |  Fraction (13)  |  Fresh (30)  |  Carl Friedrich Gauss (77)  |  Genius (249)  |  Geometry (232)  |  Great (534)  |  Christiaan Huygens (10)  |  Idea (580)  |  Influence (140)  |  Inform (16)  |  Instance (32)  |  Integral Calculus (5)  |  Investigation (176)  |  Karl Jacobi (10)  |  Count Joseph-Louis de Lagrange (26)  |  Laid (7)  |  Law (515)  |  Lead (160)  |  Leave (128)  |  Adrien-Marie Legendre (3)  |  Light (347)  |  Lip (4)  |  Mathematician (384)  |  Mathematics (1205)  |  Mechanic (23)  |  Mechanical (50)  |  Memory (106)  |  Method (239)  |  Midst (7)  |  Modern (162)  |  Molecular (7)  |  Moment (107)  |  Motion (160)  |  Nature Of Mathematics (80)  |  New (496)  |  Observation (450)  |  Origin (88)  |  Periodicity (5)  |  Physics (348)  |  Planetary (10)  |  Predecessor (21)  |  Present (176)  |  Principal (28)  |  Proof (245)  |  Purely (28)  |  Reach (121)  |  Reason (471)  |  Reciprocity (2)  |  Reduce (53)  |  Resist (15)  |  Result (389)  |  Right (197)  |  Root (61)  |  Say (228)  |  Serve (58)  |  Speak (92)  |  William Spottiswoode (3)  |  Stare (9)  |  Theorem (90)  |  Theory (696)  |  Transcendent (2)  |  Transfigure (2)  |  Transformation (54)  |  Turn (118)  |  Variation (63)  |  Year (299)  |  Yield (38)

Our advanced and fashionable thinkers are, naturally, out on a wide swing of the pendulum, away from the previous swing of the pendulum.... They seem to have an un-argue-out-able position, as is the manner of sophists, but this is no guarantee that they are right.
In Science is a Sacred Cow (1950), 177-78.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (165)  |  Fashion (30)  |  Guarantee (21)  |  Sophist (2)  |  Swing (10)  |  Thinking (231)

Science gains from it [the pendulum] more than one can expect. With its huge dimensions, the apparatus presents qualities that one would try in vain to communicate by constructing it on a small [scale], no matter how carefully. Already the regularity of its motion promises the most conclusive results. One collects numbers that, compared with the predictions of theory, permit one to appreciate how far the true pendulum approximates or differs from the abstract system called 'the simple pendulum'.
In 'Demonstration Experimentale du Movement de Rotation de la Terre' (31 May 1851). In C.M. Gariel (ed.), J. Bertrand (ed.) and Harold Burstyn (trans.), Recueil des Travaux Scientifiques de Lion Foucault (1878), Vol. 2, 527.
Science quotes on:  |  Experiment (602)

So the pendulum swings, now violently, now slowly; and every institution not only carries within it the seeds of its own dissolution, but prepares the way for its most hated rival.
Dean Inge
In W.R. Inge, 'Democracy and the Future', The Atlantic Monthly (Mar 1922), 129, 289.
Science quotes on:  |  Carry (59)  |  Dissolution (5)  |  Institution (39)  |  Prepare (35)  |  Rival (10)  |  Seed (63)  |  Slowly (18)  |  Swing (10)  |  Violently (3)

The great physicist von Laue said … a pendulum clock is not the Box you buy in a shop; a pendulum clock is the box you buy in a shop together with the Earth.
From Assumption and Myth in Physical Theory (1967), 12.
Science quotes on:  |  Clock (29)  |  Earth (638)  |  Max von Laue (3)

The observations, so numerous and so important, of the pendulum as object are especially relevant to the length of its oscillations. Those that I propose to make known to the [Paris] Academy [of Sciences] are principally addressed to the direction of the plane of its oscillation, which, moving gradually from east to west, provides evidence to the senses of the diurnal movement of the terrestrial globe.
'Demonstration Physique du Mouvement de Rotation de la Terre', 3 Feb 1851. In C. M. Gariel and J. Bertrand (eds.), Recueil des Travaux Scientifiques de Lion Foucault (1878), Vol. 2, 378. Trans. Harold Burstyn.
Science quotes on:  |  Earth (638)

The Patent-Office Commissioner knows that all machines in use have been invented and re-invented over and over; that the mariner’s compass, the boat, the pendulum, glass, movable types, the kaleidoscope, the railway, the power-loom, etc., have been many times found and lost, from Egypt, China and Pompeii down; and if we have arts which Rome wanted, so also Rome had arts which we have lost; that the invention of yesterday of making wood indestructible by means of vapor of coal-oil or paraffine was suggested by the Egyptian method which has preserved its mummy-cases four thousand years.
In Lecture, second in a series given at Freeman Place Chapel, Boston (Mar 1859), 'Quotation and Originality', Letters and Social Aims (1875, 1917), 178-179.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (294)  |  Boat (15)  |  China (20)  |  Commissioner (2)  |  Compass (24)  |  Egypt (22)  |  Find (408)  |  Glass (44)  |  Indestructible (9)  |  Invention (324)  |  Kaleidoscope (5)  |  Lost (32)  |  Machine (157)  |  Make (25)  |  Mariner (8)  |  Means (176)  |  Method (239)  |  Movable (2)  |  Patent Office (3)  |  Pompeii (4)  |  Power Loom (2)  |  Preservation (33)  |  Railroad (27)  |  Rome (14)  |  Suggest (33)  |  Thousand (152)  |  Time (595)  |  Type (52)  |  Vapor (6)  |  Want (176)  |  Wood (49)  |  Year (299)  |  Yesterday (18)

The person who observes a clock, sees in it not only the pendulum swinging to and fro, and the dial-plate, and the hands moving, for a child can see all this; but he sees also the parts of the clock, and in what connexion the suspended weight stands to the wheel-work, and the pendulum to the moving hands.
'The Study of the Natural Sciences: An Introductory Lecture to the Course of Experimental Chemistry in the University of Munich, for the Winter Session of 1852-53,' as translated and republished in The Medical Times and Gazette (22 Jan 1853), N.S. Vol. 6, 82.
Science quotes on:  |  Child (252)  |  Clock (29)  |  Hand (142)  |  Movement (83)  |  Observation (450)  |  Part (222)  |  See (369)  |  Stand (108)  |  Suspend (9)  |  Weight (77)

When young Galileo, then a student at Pisa, noticed one day during divine service a chandelier swinging backwards and forwards, and convinced himself, by counting his pulse, that the duration of the oscillations was independent of the arc through which it moved, who could know that this discovery would eventually put it in our power, by means of the pendulum, to attain an accuracy in the measurement of time till then deemed impossible, and would enable the storm-tossed seaman in the most distant oceans to determine in what degree of longitude he was sailing?
Hermann von Helmholtz, Edmund Atkinson (trans.), Popular Lectures on Scientific Subjects: First Series (1883), 29.
Science quotes on:  |  Accuracy (60)  |  Church (34)  |  Discovery (680)  |  Galileo Galilei (122)  |  Independent (67)  |  Longitude (5)  |  Measurement (161)  |  Oscillation (6)  |  Seaman (3)  |  Swing (10)  |  Time (595)

[I]magine you want to know the sex of your unborn child. There are several approaches. You could, for example, do what the late film star ... Cary Grant did before he was an actor: In a carnival or fair or consulting room, you suspend a watch or a plumb bob above the abdomen of the expectant mother; if it swings left-right it's a boy, and if it swings forward-back it's a girl. The method works one time in two. Of course he was out of there before the baby was born, so he never heard from customers who complained he got it wrong. ... But if you really want to know, then you go to amniocentesis, or to sonograms; and there your chance of being right is 99 out of 100. ... If you really want to know, you go to science.
In 'Wonder and Skepticism', Skeptical Enquirer (Jan-Feb 1995), 19, No. 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Abdomen (3)  |  Actor (6)  |  Approach (54)  |  Baby (20)  |  Birth (93)  |  Carnival (2)  |  Child (252)  |  Complaint (10)  |  Experiment (602)  |  Fair (15)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Mother (71)  |  Science (2067)  |  Sex (49)  |  Swing (10)  |  Unborn (5)


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.