Celebrating 18 Years on the Web
TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY ®
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “I have no satisfaction in formulas unless I feel their arithmetical magnitude.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index P > Category: Photograph

Photograph Quotes (17 quotes)

For the birth of something new, there has to be a happening. Newton saw an apple fall; James Watt watched a kettle boil; Roentgen fogged some photographic plates. And these people knew enough to translate ordinary happenings into something new...
Quoted by André Maurois, The Life of Sir Alexander Fleming, trans. by Gerard Hopkins (1959), 167. Cited in Steven Otfinoski, Alexander Fleming: Conquering Disease with Penicillin (1993), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Apple (33)  |  Birth (81)  |  Boiling (3)  |  Fog (7)  |  Happening (32)  |  Kettle (2)  |  New (340)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (258)  |  Ordinary (44)  |  Plate (5)  |  Wilhelm Röntgen (7)  |  Translation (12)  |  Watching (10)  |  James Watt (11)

I was working with a Crookes tube covered by a shield of black cardboard. A piece of barium platino-cyanide paper lay on the bench there. I had been passing a current through the tube, and I noticed a peculiar black line across the paper. …
The effect was one which could only be produced in ordinary parlance by the passage of light. No light could come from the tube because the shield which covered it was impervious to any light known even that of the electric arc. …
I did not think; I investigated. …
I assumed that the effect must have come from the tube since its character indicated that it could come from nowhere else. … It seemed at first a new kind of invisible light. It was clearly something new something unrecorded. …
There is much to do, and I am busy, very busy. [Describing to a journalist the discovery of X-rays that he had made on 8 Nov 1895.]
In H.J.W. Dam in 'The New Marvel in Photography", McClure's Magazine (Apr 1896), 4:5, 413.
Science quotes on:  |  Arc (5)  |  Busy (21)  |  Current (43)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Impervious (5)  |  Investigate (49)  |  Light (246)  |  Ray (32)  |  Shield (4)  |  Test (96)  |  Thinking (222)  |  X-ray (18)

I will insist particularly upon the following fact, which seems to me quite important and beyond the phenomena which one could expect to observe: The same [double sulfate of uranium and potassium] crystalline crusts, arranged the same way [as reported to the French academy on 24 Feb 1896] with respect to the photographic plates, in the same conditions and through the same screens, but sheltered from the excitation of incident rays and kept in darkness, still produce the same photographic images ... [when kept from 26 Feb 1896] in the darkness of a bureau drawer. ... I developed the photographic plates on the 1st of March, expecting to find the images very weak. Instead the silhouettes appeared with great intensity.
It is important to observe that it appears this phenomenon must not be attributed to the luminous radiation emitted by phosphorescence ... One hypothesis which presents itself to the mind naturally enough would be to suppose that these rays, whose effects have a great similarity to the effects produced by the rays studied by M. Lenard and M. Röntgen, are invisible rays ...
[Having eliminated phosphorescence as a cause, he has further revealed the effect of the as yet unknown radioactivity.]
Read at French Academy of Science (2 Mar 1896). In Comptes Rendus (1896), 122, 501. As translated by Carmen Giunta on the Classic Chemistry web site.
Science quotes on:  |  Discovery (591)  |  Effect (133)  |  Hypothesis (227)  |  Invisible (30)  |  Phenomenon (218)  |  Phosphorescence (2)  |  Potassium (11)  |  Radioactivity (26)  |  Ray (32)  |  Wilhelm Röntgen (7)  |  Uranium (16)

In Melvin Calvin’s office there were four photographs: Michael Polanyi, Joel Hildebrand, Gilbert N. Lewis, and Ernest O. Lawrence. These scientists were his mentors: Polanyi for introducing him to the chemistry of phthalocyanine; Hildebrand for bringing him to Berkeley; Lewis, perhaps his most influential teacher; and Lawrence, who provided him the opportunity to work with the new scientific tool of radioactive carbon, which enabled the search for the path of carbon in photosynthesis to be successful.
Co-author with Marilyn Taylor and Robert E. Connick, obituary, 'Melvin Calvin', Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society (Dec 2000), 144, No. 4, 454.
Science quotes on:  |  Berkeley (2)  |  Biography (227)  |  Melvin Calvin (11)  |  Carbon (48)  |  Carbon-14 (2)  |  Chemistry (239)  |  Enable (25)  |  Joel H. Hildebrand (16)  |  Influential (3)  |  Introduce (27)  |  Introduced (2)  |  Ernest Orlando Lawrence (5)  |  Gilbert Newton Lewis (9)  |  Mentor (3)  |  New (340)  |  Opportunity (43)  |  Path (59)  |  Photosynthesis (15)  |  Michael Polanyi (4)  |  Radioactive (7)  |  Scientific (169)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Search (85)  |  Successful (20)  |  Teacher (90)  |  Tool (70)  |  Work (457)

In that same year [1932], the number of [known] particles was suddenly doubled. In two beautiful experiments, Chadwick showed that the neutron existed, and Anderson photographed the first unmistakable positron track.
In Nobel Lecture (11 Dec 1968), 'Recent Developments in Particle Physics', collected in Nobel Lectures: Physics 1963-1970 (1972), 241.
Science quotes on:  |  Beautiful (81)  |  Sir James Chadwick (3)  |  Definitive (2)  |  Exist (89)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Known (15)  |  Neutron (9)  |  Particle (90)  |  Positron (3)  |  Sudden (21)  |  Track (9)

No video, no photographs, no verbal descriptions, no lectures can provide the enchantment that a few minutes out-of-doors can: watch a spider construct a web; observe a caterpillar systematically ravaging the edge of a leaf; close your eyes, cup your hands behind your ears, and listen to aspen leaves rustle or a stream muse about its pools and eddies. Nothing can replace plucking a cluster of pine needles and rolling them in your fingers to feel how they’re put together, or discovering that “sedges have edges and grasses are round,” The firsthand, right-and-left-brain experience of being in the out-of-doors involves all the senses including some we’ve forgotten about, like smelling water a mile away. No teacher, no student, can help but sense and absorb the larger ecological rhythms at work here, and the intertwining of intricate, varied and complex strands that characterize a rich, healthy natural world.
Into the Field: A Guide to Locally Focused Teaching
Science quotes on:  |  Absorb (11)  |  Behind (25)  |  Caterpillar (3)  |  Characterize (9)  |  Close (40)  |  Cluster (10)  |  Complex (78)  |  Construct (25)  |  Cup (5)  |  Description (72)  |  Discover (115)  |  Ear (21)  |  Ecological (4)  |  Eddy (3)  |  Edge (16)  |  Enchantment (8)  |  Experience (268)  |  Eye (159)  |  Feel (93)  |  Finger (38)  |  Firsthand (2)  |  Forget (40)  |  Grass (30)  |  Hand (103)  |  Healthy (17)  |  Help (68)  |  Include (27)  |  Intricate (14)  |  Involve (27)  |  Large (82)  |  Leaf (43)  |  Leave (63)  |  Lecture (54)  |  Listen (26)  |  Mile (24)  |  Minute (25)  |  Muse (5)  |  Natural World (21)  |  Needle (5)  |  Nothing (267)  |  Observe (48)  |  Pine (9)  |  Pluck (4)  |  Pool (10)  |  Provide (48)  |  Ravage (6)  |  Replace (16)  |  Rhythm (12)  |  Rich (48)  |  Roll (7)  |  Round (15)  |  Sense (240)  |  Smell (16)  |  Spider (8)  |  Strand (5)  |  Stream (27)  |  Student (131)  |  Systematically (6)  |  Teacher (90)  |  Together (48)  |  Vary (14)  |  Verbal (5)  |  Video (2)  |  Watch (39)  |  Water (244)  |  Web (11)  |  Weve (5)  |  Work (457)

PHOTOGRAPH, n. A picture painted by the sun without instruction in art.
The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce (1911), Vol. 7, The Devil's Dictionary,  251.
Science quotes on:  |  Humour (101)

Picture yourself during the early 1920's inside the dome of the [Mount Wilson Observatory]. … [Milton] Humason is showing [Harlow] Shapley stars he had found in the Andromeda Nebula that appeared and disappeared on photographs of that object. The famous astronomer very patiently explains that these objects could not be stars because the Nebula was a nearby gaseous cloud within our own Milky Way system. Shapley takes his handkerchief from his pocket and wipes the identifying marks off the back of the photographic plate.
Of course, Hubble came along in 1924 and showed that it was just these Cepheid variable stars in the Andromeda Nebula which proved it was a separate galaxy system.
In Quasars, Redshifts and Controversies (1998), 168. Arp writes that this was “a piece of real history which I happen to know because it was told to me by one of the participants. It dramatically illustrate the critical role of discordant evidence.”
Science quotes on:  |  Andromeda (2)  |  Appearance (77)  |  Disappearance (21)  |  Evidence (157)  |  Galaxy (38)  |  Handkerchief (2)  |  Edwin Powell Hubble (17)  |  Identification (11)  |  Mark (28)  |  Milky Way (19)  |  Mount Wilson (2)  |  Nebula (15)  |  Object (110)  |  Observatory (11)  |  Selection Effect (2)  |  Separate (46)  |  Harlow Shapley (13)  |  Star (251)  |  Telescope (74)  |  Variable (9)  |  Wipe (6)

The generalized theory of relativity has furnished still more remarkable results. This considers not only uniform but also accelerated motion. In particular, it is based on the impossibility of distinguishing an acceleration from the gravitation or other force which produces it. Three consequences of the theory may be mentioned of which two have been confirmed while the third is still on trial: (1) It gives a correct explanation of the residual motion of forty-three seconds of arc per century of the perihelion of Mercury. (2) It predicts the deviation which a ray of light from a star should experience on passing near a large gravitating body, the sun, namely, 1".7. On Newton's corpuscular theory this should be only half as great. As a result of the measurements of the photographs of the eclipse of 1921 the number found was much nearer to the prediction of Einstein, and was inversely proportional to the distance from the center of the sun, in further confirmation of the theory. (3) The theory predicts a displacement of the solar spectral lines, and it seems that this prediction is also verified.
Studies in Optics (1927), 160-1.
Science quotes on:  |  Arc (5)  |  Confirmation (15)  |  Consequence (76)  |  Corpuscle (8)  |  Deviation (11)  |  Eclipse (16)  |  Explanation (161)  |  Gravitation (27)  |  Light (246)  |  Mercury (39)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (258)  |  Relativity (50)  |  Result (250)  |  Star (251)  |  Theory (582)

The greatest of all spectral classifiers, Antonia Maury had two strikes on her: the biggest one was, she was a woman. A woman had no chance at anything in astronomy except at Harvard in the 1880’s and 1890’s. And even there, things were rough. It now turns out that her director, E.C. Pickering, did not like the way she classified; she then refused to change to suit him; and after her great publication in Harvard Annals 28 (1897), she left Harvard—and in a sense, astronomy. ... I would say the most remarkable phenomenological investigation in modern astronomy is Miss Maury’s work in Harvard Annals 28. She didn’t have anything astrophysical to go on. Investigations between 1890 and 1900 were the origin of astrophysics. But these were solar, mostly. And there Miss Maury was on the periphery. I’ve seen pictures of groups, where she’d be standing away a little bit to one side of the other people, a little bit in the background. It was a very sad thing. When Hertzsprung wrote Pickering to congratulate him on Miss Maury’s work that had led to Hertzsprung’s discovery of super giants, Pickering is supposed to have replied that Miss Maury’s work was wrong — could not possibly be correct.
'Oral History Transcript: Dr. William Wilson Morgan' (8 Aug 1978) in the Niels Bohr Library & Archives.
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomer (50)  |  Astrophysics (12)  |  Background (24)  |  Classification (79)  |  Congratulation (2)  |  Correctness (11)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Group (52)  |  Harvard (6)  |  Ejnar Hertzsprung (2)  |  Investigation (123)  |  Antonia Maury (2)  |  Periphery (2)  |  Phenomenology (2)  |  Edward Charles Pickering (2)  |  Picture (55)  |  Reply (18)  |  Research (517)  |  Sadness (26)  |  Spectrum (23)  |  Woman (94)

The progress of synthesis, or the building up of natural materials from their constituent elements, proceeds apace. Even some of the simpler albuminoids, a class of substances of great importance in the life process, have recently been artificially prepared. ... Innumerable entirely new compounds have been produced in the last century. The artificial dye-stuffs, prepared from materials occurring in coal-tar, make the natural colours blush. Saccharin, which is hundreds of times sweeter than sugar, is a purely artificial substance. New explosives, drugs, alloys, photographic substances, essences, scents, solvents, and detergents are being poured out in a continuous stream.
In Matter and Energy (1912), 45-46.
Science quotes on:  |  Alloy (2)  |  Artificial (26)  |  Blush (3)  |  Building (51)  |  Century (94)  |  Chemistry (239)  |  Class (64)  |  Coal Tar (2)  |  Color (78)  |  Compound (53)  |  Constituent (13)  |  Continuous (24)  |  Detergent (2)  |  Drug (40)  |  Element (129)  |  Entirely (23)  |  Essence (42)  |  Explosive (16)  |  Great (300)  |  Hundred (46)  |  Importance (183)  |  Innumerable (17)  |  Last (19)  |  Life (917)  |  Material (124)  |  Natural (128)  |  New (340)  |  Occurrence (30)  |  Pour (7)  |  Preparation (33)  |  Proceeding (13)  |  Process (201)  |  Production (105)  |  Progress (317)  |  Purely (15)  |  Recent (23)  |  Saccharin (2)  |  Scent (4)  |  Simplicity (126)  |  Solvent (5)  |  Stream (27)  |  Substance (73)  |  Sugar (13)  |  Synthesis (38)

The Sun is no lonelier than its neighbors; indeed, it is a very common-place star,—dwarfish, though not minute,—like hundreds, nay thousands, of others. By accident the brighter component of Alpha Centauri (which is double) is almost the Sun's twin in brightness, mass, and size. Could this Earth be transported to its vicinity by some supernatural power, and set revolving about it, at a little less than a hundred million miles' distance, the star would heat and light the world just as the Sun does, and life and civilization might go on with no radical change. The Milky Way would girdle the heavens as before; some of our familiar constellations, such as Orion, would be little changed, though others would be greatly altered by the shifting of the nearer stars. An unfamiliar brilliant star, between Cassiopeia and Perseus would be—the Sun. Looking back at it with our telescopes, we could photograph its spectrum, observe its motion among the stars, and convince ourselves that it was the same old Sun; but what had happened to the rest of our planetary system we would not know.
The Solar System and its Origin (1935), 2-3.
Science quotes on:  |  Accident (54)  |  Alpha Centauri (2)  |  Alteration (22)  |  Brightness (8)  |  Cassiopeia (2)  |  Change (291)  |  Civilization (155)  |  Convince (17)  |  Double (12)  |  Dwarf (5)  |  Earth (487)  |  Heat (90)  |  Life (917)  |  Light (246)  |  Loneliness (3)  |  Look (46)  |  Mass (61)  |  Mile (24)  |  Million (89)  |  Motion (127)  |  Nearness (3)  |  Neighbor (10)  |  Observation (418)  |  Perseus (2)  |  Planet (199)  |  Radical (17)  |  Revolution (56)  |  Shift (21)  |  Size (47)  |  Solar System (48)  |  Spectrum (23)  |  Star (251)  |  Sun (211)  |  Supernatural (19)  |  Telescope (74)  |  Transportation (10)  |  Twin (6)  |  Unfamiliarity (4)  |  World (667)

The typical nature photograph shows a butterfly on a pretty flower. The conservation photograph shows the same thing, but with a bulldozer coming at it in the background.
As quoted in Jaymi Heimbuch, 'How One Photographer's Foolishness is Saving Endangered Wildlife' (23 Jan 2014) on Mother Nature Network webpage.
Science quotes on:  |  Background (24)  |  Bulldozer (4)  |  Butterfly (19)  |  Conservation (139)  |  Flower (65)  |  Nature (1029)

Why can't I see the picture right away?
Remark made at age 3 years old after having just been photographed by her father, Edwin Land. Subsequently, he took a solitary walk while vacationing in Sante Fe (1943) and in that time originated the basic idea for the Polaroid instant camera. As quoted in 'Colossus of the Camera', New York Times (5 Aug 1982).
Science quotes on:  |  Camera (4)  |  Instant (10)  |  Picture (55)

With crystals we are in a situation similar to an attempt to investigate an optical grating merely from the spectra it produces... But a knowledge of the positions and intensities of the spectra does not suffice for the determination of the structure. The phases with which the diffracted waves vibrate relative to one another enter in an essential way. To determine a crystal structure on the atomic scale, one must know the phase differences between the different interference spots on the photographic plate, and this task may certainly prove to be rather difficult.
Physikalische Zeitschrift (1913), 14. Translated in Walter Moore, Schrödinger. Life and Thought (1989), 73.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (251)  |  Crystal (47)  |  Determination (53)  |  Diffraction (3)  |  Intensity (19)  |  Interference (12)  |  Investigation (123)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Phase (14)  |  Position (54)  |  Scale (49)  |  Spectrum (23)  |  Structure (191)  |  Wave (55)

[Concerning] phosphorescent bodies, and in particular to uranium salts whose phosphorescence has a very brief duration. With the double sulfate of uranium and potassium ... I was able to perform the following experiment: One wraps a Lumière photographic plate with a bromide emulsion in two sheets of very thick black paper, such that the plate does not become clouded upon being exposed to the sun for a day. One places on the sheet of paper, on the outside, a slab of the phosphorescent substance, and one exposes the whole to the sun for several hours. When one then develops the photographic plate, one recognizes that the silhouette of the phosphorescent substance appears in black on the negative. If one places between the phosphorescent substance and the paper a piece of money or a metal screen pierced with a cut-out design, one sees the image of these objects appear on the negative. One can repeat the same experiments placing a thin pane of glass between the phosphorescent substance and the paper, which excludes the possibility of chemical action due to vapors which might emanate from the substance when heated by the sun's rays. One must conclude from these experiments that the phosphorescent substance in question emits rays which pass through the opaque paper and reduces silver salts.
[Although the sun is irrelevant, and he misinterprets the role of phosphorescence, he has discovered the effect of radioactivity.]
Read at French Academy of Science (24 Feb 1896). In Comptes Rendus (1896), 122, 420. As translated by Carmen Giunta on the Classic Chemistry web site.
Science quotes on:  |  Discovery (591)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Phosphorescence (2)  |  Potassium (11)  |  Radioactivity (26)  |  Ray (32)  |  Uranium (16)

[The Library of Congress] is a multimedia encyclopedia. These are the tentacles of a nation.
[Referring to the diverse holdings of the library, including motion pictures, photographs, recordings, posters and other historic objects which collectively far outnumber the books]
Quoted by Barbara Gamarekian in 'Working Profile: Daniel J. Boorstin. Helping the Library of Congress Fulfill Its Mission', New York Times (8 Jul 1983), B6.
Science quotes on:  |  Congress (9)  |  Encyclopedia (5)  |  Library (37)  |  Movie (8)  |  Nation (111)  |  Recording (4)  |  Tentacle (2)


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.