Celebrating 18 Years on the Web
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “A people without children would face a hopeless future; a country without trees is almost as helpless.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index P > Category: Proton

Proton Quotes (12 quotes)

Every new theory as it arises believes in the flush of youth that it has the long sought goal; it sees no limits to its applicability, and believes that at last it is the fortunate theory to achieve the 'right' answer. This was true of electron theory—perhaps some readers will remember a book called The Electrical Theory of the Universe by de Tunzelman. It is true of general relativity theory with its belief that we can formulate a mathematical scheme that will extrapolate to all past and future time and the unfathomed depths of space. It has been true of wave mechanics, with its first enthusiastic claim a brief ten years ago that no problem had successfully resisted its attack provided the attack was properly made, and now the disillusionment of age when confronted by the problems of the proton and the neutron. When will we learn that logic, mathematics, physical theory, are all only inventions for formulating in compact and manageable form what we already know, like all inventions do not achieve complete success in accomplishing what they were designed to do, much less complete success in fields beyond the scope of the original design, and that our only justification for hoping to penetrate at all into the unknown with these inventions is our past experience that sometimes we have been fortunate enough to be able to push on a short distance by acquired momentum.
The Nature of Physical Theory (1936), 136.
Science quotes on:  |  General Relativity (5)  |  Logic (187)  |  Neutron (9)  |  Quantum Theory (55)  |  Theory (582)

I believe there are
protons in the universe, and the same number of electrons.
From Tarner Lecture (1938), 'The Physical Universe', in The Philosophy of Physical Science (1939, 2012), 170. Note: the number is 136 x 2256.
Science quotes on:  |  Electron (66)  |  Universe (563)

I have not yet lost a feeling of wonder, and of delight, that this delicate motion should reside in all the things around us, revealing itself only to him who looks for it. I remember, in the winter of our first experiments, just seven years ago, looking on snow with new eyes. There the snow lay around my doorstep—great heaps of protons quietly precessing in the earth's magnetic field. To see the world for a moment as something rich and strange is the private reward of many a discovery.
Opening remark, Nobel Lecture (11 Dec 1952).
Science quotes on:  |  Delicate (11)  |  Delight (51)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Earth (487)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Look (46)  |  Magnetic Field (3)  |  Motion (127)  |  Private (17)  |  Revelation (29)  |  Reward (38)  |  Rich (48)  |  See (197)  |  Snow (15)  |  Strange (61)  |  Winter (22)  |  Wonder (134)  |  World (667)

In a great number of programmes I’m not a scientist—I’m simply a commentator. So I should claim no virtue for the fact that [people] seem to trust me, if that is indeed the case. It’s simply that I very seldom talk about something they can’t see. If I say a lion is attacking a wildebeest, they can see it is; if I were to say something about a proton, it might be different.
As quoted in Bill Parry, 'Sir David Attenborough in Conversation', The Biologist (Jun 2010), 57, No. 2, 93.
Science quotes on:  |  Different (110)  |  Lion (15)  |  Scientist (447)  |  See (197)  |  Trust (40)  |  Virtue (55)  |  Wildebeest (2)

Indeed, nothing more beautifully simplifying has ever happened in the history of science than the whole series of discoveries culminating about 1914 which finally brought practically universal acceptance to the theory that the material world contains but two fundamental entities, namely, positive and negative electrons, exactly alike in charge, but differing widely in mass, the positive electron—now usually called a proton—being 1850 times heavier than the negative, now usually called simply the electron.
Time, Matter and Values (1932), 46. Cited in Karl Raimund Popper and William Warren Bartley (ed.), Quantum Theory and theSchism in Physics (1992), 37.
Science quotes on:  |  Discovery (591)  |  Electron (66)  |  History Of Science (53)  |  Matter (270)  |  Simplification (12)

Naturally, some intriguing thoughts arise from the discovery that the three chief particles making up matter—the proton, the neutron, and the electron—all have antiparticles. Were particles and antiparticles created in equal numbers at the beginning of the universe? If so, does the universe contain worlds, remote from ours, which are made up of antiparticles?
In The Intelligent Man's Guide to the Physical Sciences (1960, 1968), 222. Also in Isaac Asimov’s Book of Science and Nature Quotations (1988), 138.
Science quotes on:  |  Antiparticle (2)  |  Beginning (114)  |  Create (98)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Electron (66)  |  Equal (53)  |  Matter (270)  |  Neutron (9)  |  Number (179)  |  Particle (90)  |  Remote (27)  |  Universe (563)  |  World (667)

Over the last century, physicists have used light quanta, electrons, alpha particles, X-rays, gamma-rays, protons, neutrons and exotic sub-nuclear particles for this purpose [scattering experiments]. Much important information about the target atoms or nuclei or their assemblage has been obtained in this way. In witness of this importance one can point to the unusual concentration of scattering enthusiasts among earlier Nobel Laureate physicists. One could say that physicists just love to perform or interpret scattering experiments.
Nobel Banquet Speech (10 Dec 1994), in Tore Frängsmyr (ed.), Les Prix Nobel. The Nobel Prizes 1994 (1995).
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (251)  |  Century (94)  |  Electron (66)  |  Enthusiast (4)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Gamma Ray (3)  |  Importance (183)  |  Information (102)  |  Interpretation (61)  |  Light (246)  |  Love (164)  |  Neutron (9)  |  Nobel Laureate (3)  |  Nucleus (30)  |  Particle (90)  |  Perform (27)  |  Physics (301)  |  Quantum (12)  |  Scattering (2)  |  Target (4)  |  X-ray (18)

The discovery of an interaction among the four hemes made it obvious that they must be touching, but in science what is obvious is not necessarily true. When the structure of hemoglobin was finally solved, the hemes were found to lie in isolated pockets on the surface of the subunits. Without contact between them how could one of them sense whether the others had combined with oxygen? And how could as heterogeneous a collection of chemical agents as protons, chloride ions, carbon dioxide, and diphosphoglycerate influence the oxygen equilibrium curve in a similar way? It did not seem plausible that any of them could bind directly to the hemes or that all of them could bind at any other common site, although there again it turned out we were wrong. To add to the mystery, none of these agents affected the oxygen equilibrium of myoglobin or of isolated subunits of hemoglobin. We now know that all the cooperative effects disappear if the hemoglobin molecule is merely split in half, but this vital clue was missed. Like Agatha Christie, Nature kept it to the last to make the story more exciting. There are two ways out of an impasse in science: to experiment or to think. By temperament, perhaps, I experimented, whereas Jacques Monod thought.
From essay 'The Second Secret of Life', collected in I Wish I'd Made You Angry Earlier (1998), 263-5.
Science quotes on:  |  Agent (27)  |  Binding (8)  |  Carbon Dioxide (20)  |  Chemical (72)  |  Agatha Christie (5)  |  Clue (14)  |  Collection (38)  |  Combination (69)  |  Common (92)  |  Contact (24)  |  Cooperation (27)  |  Curve (16)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Effect (133)  |  Equilibrium (16)  |  Excitement (33)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Half (35)  |  Hemoglobin (3)  |  Heterogeneity (3)  |  Interaction (28)  |  Ion (8)  |  Isolation (26)  |  Molecule (125)  |  Jacques Monod (21)  |  Mystery (125)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Necessity (125)  |  Obvious (54)  |  Oxygen (49)  |  Plausibility (6)  |  Pocket (5)  |  Science (1699)  |  Sense (240)  |  Site (11)  |  Solution (168)  |  Split (11)  |  Story (58)  |  Structure (191)  |  Surface (74)  |  Temperament (8)  |  Thinking (222)  |  Thought (374)  |  Touch (48)  |  Truth (750)  |  Vital (32)  |  Wrong (116)

Think like a proton — always positive.
Science quotes on:  |  Positive (28)  |  Thinking (222)

We have seen that a proton of energy corresponding to 30,000 volts can effect the transformation of lithium into two fast α-particles, which together have an energy equivalent of more than 16 million volts. Considering the individual process, the output of energy in the transmutation is more than 500 times greater than the energy carried by the proton. There is thus a great gain of energy in the single transmutation, but we must not forget that on an average more than 1000 million protons of equal energy must be fired into the lithium before one happens to hit and enter the lithium nucleus. It is clear in this case that on the whole the energy derived from transmutation of the atom is small compared with the energy of the bombarding particles. There thus seems to be little prospect that we can hope to obtain a new source of power by these processes. It has sometimes been suggested, from analogy with ordinary explosives, that the transmutation of one atom might cause the transmutation of a neighbouring nucleus, so that the explosion would spread throughout all the material. If this were true, we should long ago have had a gigantic explosion in our laboratories with no one remaining to tell the tale. The absence of these accidents indicates, as we should expect, that the explosion is confined to the individual nucleus and does not spread to the neighbouring nuclei, which may be regarded as relatively far removed from the centre of the explosion.
The Transmutation of the Atom (1933), 23-4
Science quotes on:  |  Absence (16)  |  Accident (54)  |  Alpha Particle (2)  |  Analogy (46)  |  Atom (251)  |  Atomic Bomb (101)  |  Average (31)  |  Bombardment (3)  |  Centre (19)  |  Confinement (3)  |  Effect (133)  |  Energy (185)  |  Explosion (24)  |  Explosive (16)  |  Forget (40)  |  Gigantic (16)  |  Indication (21)  |  Individual (177)  |  Laboratory (120)  |  Lithium (3)  |  Million (89)  |  Neighbor (10)  |  Nucleus (30)  |  Output (9)  |  Power (273)  |  Process (201)  |  Prospect (19)  |  Source (71)  |  Spread (19)  |  Suggestion (24)  |  Transformation (47)  |  Transmutation (13)

We must regard it rather as an accident that the Earth (and presumably the whole solar system) contains a preponderance of negative electrons and positive protons. It is quite possible that for some of the stars it is the other way about.
Science quotes on:  |  Accident (54)  |  Antimatter (2)  |  Earth (487)  |  Electron (66)  |  Matter (270)  |  Negative (24)  |  Positive (28)  |  Preponderance (2)  |  Solar System (48)  |  Star (251)

When I received my B.S. degree in 1932, only two of the fundamental particles of physics were known. Every bit of matter in the universe was thought to consist solely of protons and electrons.
From Nobel Lecture (11 Dec 1968). Collected in Yong Zhou (ed.), Nobel Lecture: Physics, 1963-1970 (2013), 241.
Science quotes on:  |  Consist (22)  |  Electron (66)  |  Fundamental (122)  |  Graduate (9)  |  Know (321)  |  Matter (270)  |  Particle (90)  |  Physics (301)  |  Solely (6)  |  Thought (374)  |  Universe (563)

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
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
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
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
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
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
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.