Celebrating 19 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 S > Category: Striking

Striking Quotes (48 quotes)

After we came out of the church, we stood talking for some time together of Bishop Berkeley’s ingenious sophistry to prove the non-existence of matter, and that every thing in the universe is merely ideal. I observed, that though we are satisfied his doctrine is not true, it is impossible to refute it. I never shall forget the alacrity with which Johnson answered, striking his foot with mighty force against a large stone, till he rebounded from it, “I refute it thus.”
In Boswell’s Life of Johnson (1820), Vol. 1, 218.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Against (332)  |  Answer (366)  |  George Berkeley (7)  |  Church (56)  |  Existence (456)  |  Force (487)  |  Forget (115)  |  Ideal (99)  |  Impossible (251)  |  Ingenious (55)  |  Samuel Johnson (50)  |  Large (394)  |  Matter (798)  |  Merely (316)  |  Never (1087)  |  Observed (149)  |  Philosophy (380)  |  Prove (250)  |  Stone (162)  |  Talking (76)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Time (1877)  |  Together (387)  |  Universe (857)

Although we know nothing of what an atom is, yet we cannot resist forming some idea of a small particle, which represents it to the mind ... there is an immensity of facts which justify us in believing that the atoms of matter are in some way endowed or associated with electrical powers, to which they owe their most striking qualities, and amongst them their mutual chemical affinity.
[Summarizing his investigations in electrolysis.]
Experimental Researches in Electricity (1839), section 852. Cited in Laurie M. Brown, Abraham Pais, Brian Pippard, Twentieth Century Physics (1995), Vol. 1, 51.
Science quotes on:  |  Affinity (27)  |  Atom (355)  |  Charge (59)  |  Chemical (292)  |  Electrical (57)  |  Electrolysis (7)  |  Endowed (52)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Forming (42)  |  Idea (843)  |  Immensity (30)  |  Investigation (230)  |  Know (1518)  |  Matter (798)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Most (1731)  |  Mutual (52)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Owe (71)  |  Particle (194)  |  Power (746)  |  Represent (155)  |  Representation (53)  |  Small (477)  |  Way (1217)

Among the minor, yet striking characteristics of mathematics, may be mentioned the fleshless and skeletal build of its propositions; the peculiar difficulty, complication, and stress of its reasonings; the perfect exactitude of its results; their broad universality; their practical infallibility.
In Charles S. Peirce, ‎Charles Hartshorne (ed.), ‎Paul Weiss (ed.), Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce (1931), Vol. 4, 197.
Science quotes on:  |  Broad (27)  |  Build (204)  |  Characteristic (148)  |  Complication (29)  |  Difficulty (196)  |  Exactitude (10)  |  Flesh (27)  |  Infallibility (7)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Mention (82)  |  Minor (10)  |  Peculiar (113)  |  Perfect (216)  |  Practical (200)  |  Proposition (123)  |  Reasoning (207)  |  Result (677)  |  Skeleton (22)  |  Stress (22)  |  Universal (189)  |  Universality (22)

An immune system of enormous complexity is present in all vertebrate animals. When we place a population of lymphocytes from such an animal in appropriate tissue culture fluid, and when we add an antigen, the lymphocytes will produce specific antibody molecules, in the absence of any nerve cells. I find it astonishing that the immune system embodies a degree of complexity which suggests some more or less superficial though striking analogies with human language, and that this cognitive system has evolved and functions without assistance of the brain.
'The Generative Grammar of the Immune System', Nobel Lecture, 8 Dec 1984. In Nobel Lectures: Physiology or Medicine 1981-1990 (1993), 223.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Analogy (71)  |  Animal (617)  |  Antibody (6)  |  Antigen (5)  |  Appropriate (61)  |  Assistance (20)  |  Astonishing (27)  |  Brain (270)  |  Cognitive (7)  |  Complex (188)  |  Complexity (111)  |  Culture (143)  |  Degree (276)  |  Find (998)  |  Fluid (51)  |  Function (228)  |  Human (1468)  |  Immune System (3)  |  Immunology (14)  |  Language (293)  |  Molecule (174)  |  More (2559)  |  More Or Less (68)  |  Nerve (79)  |  Population (110)  |  Present (619)  |  Specific (95)  |  System (537)  |  Tissue (45)  |  Vertebrate (20)  |  Will (2355)

An iron rod being placed on the outside of a building from the highest part continued down into the moist earth, in any direction strait or crooked, following the form of the roof or other parts of the building, will receive the lightning at its upper end, attracting it so as to prevent it's striking any other part; and, affording it a good conveyance into the earth, will prevent its damaging any part of the building.
Of Lightning, and the Method (now used in America) of securing Buildings and Persons from its mischievous Effects', Paris 1767. In I. Bernard Cohen (ed.), Benjamin Franklin's Experiments (1941), 390.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Being (1278)  |  Building (156)  |  Direction (175)  |  Down (456)  |  Earth (996)  |  End (590)  |  Form (959)  |  Good (889)  |  Invention (369)  |  Iron (96)  |  Lightning (45)  |  Moist (12)  |  Other (2236)  |  Outside (141)  |  Prevent (94)  |  Receive (114)  |  Will (2355)

As crude a weapon as the cave man’s club, the chemical barrage has been hurled against the fabric of life—a fabric on the one hand delicate and destructible, on the other miraculously tough and resilient, and capable of striking back in unexpected ways. [On the effect of chemical insecticides and fertilizers.]
In Silent Spring, (1962), 297.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Against (332)  |  Back (390)  |  Capable (168)  |  Chemical (292)  |  Crude (31)  |  Delicate (43)  |  Effect (393)  |  Environment (216)  |  Fabric (27)  |  Fertilizer (12)  |  Insecticide (2)  |  Life (1795)  |  Man (2251)  |  Other (2236)  |  Pollution (48)  |  Tough (19)  |  Unexpected (52)  |  Way (1217)  |  Weapon (92)

Being the most striking manifestation of the art of metal structures by which our engineers have shown in Europe, it [the Eiffel Tower] is one of the most striking of our modern national genius.
English version by Webmaster using Google Translate, from the original French, “Étant la plus saisissante manifestation de l’art des constructions métalliques par lesquelles nos ingénieurs se sont illustrés en Europe, elle est une des formes les plus frappantes de notre génie national moderne.” From interview of Eiffel by Paul Bourde, in the newspaper Le Temps (14 Feb 1887). Reprinted in 'Au Jour le Jour: Les Artistes Contre la Tour Eiffel', Gazette Anecdotique, Littéraire, Artistique et Bibliographique (Feb 1887), 126, and in Gustave Eiffel, Travaux Scientifiques Exécutés à la Tour de 300 Mètres de 1889 à 1900 (1900), 14. Also quoted in review of the Gustave Eiffel’s book La Tour Eiffel (1902), in Nature (30 Jan 1902), 65, 292.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (657)  |  Being (1278)  |  Eiffel Tower (12)  |  Engineer (121)  |  Europe (43)  |  Genius (284)  |  Manifestation (58)  |  Metal (84)  |  Modern (385)  |  Most (1731)  |  Nation (193)  |  Structure (344)  |  Tower (42)

BELLADONNA, n. In Italian a beautiful lady; in English a deadly poison. A striking example of the essential identity of the two tongues.
The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce (1911), Vol. 7, The Devil's Dictionary,  36.
Science quotes on:  |  Beautiful (258)  |  Deadly (21)  |  Essential (199)  |  Humour (116)  |  Identity (19)  |  Italian (12)  |  Poison (40)  |  Tongue (43)  |  Two (937)

Biologists have long attempted by chemical means to induce in higher organisms predictable and specific changes which thereafter could be transmitted in series as hereditary characters. Among microorganisms the most striking example of inheritable and specific alterations in cell structure and function that can be experimentally induced and are reproducible under well defined and adequately controlled conditions is the transformation of specific types of Pneumococcus.
Oswald T. Avery (1877-1955), Colin Macleod (1909-72) and Maclyn McCarty (1911-2005), 'Studies on the Chemical Nature of the Substance Inducing Transformation of Pneumococcal Types', Journal of Experimental Medicine 1944, 79, 137.
Science quotes on:  |  Alteration (30)  |  Attempt (251)  |  Biologist (69)  |  Change (593)  |  Character (243)  |  Chemical (292)  |  Condition (356)  |  Function (228)  |  Genetics (101)  |  Induce (22)  |  Long (790)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Micro-Organism (3)  |  Microorganism (28)  |  Most (1731)  |  Organism (220)  |  Reproducible (7)  |  Series (149)  |  Specific (95)  |  Structure (344)  |  Transformation (69)  |  Type (167)

Combining in our survey then, the whole range of deposits from the most recent to the most ancient group, how striking a succession do they present:– so various yet so uniform–so vast yet so connected. In thus tracing back to the most remote periods in the physical history of our continents, one system of operations, as the means by which many complex formations have been successively produced, the mind becomes impressed with the singleness of nature's laws; and in this respect, at least, geology is hardly inferior in simplicity to astronomy.
The Silurian System (1839), 574.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Ancient (189)  |  Astronomy (229)  |  Back (390)  |  Become (815)  |  Combination (144)  |  Complex (188)  |  Complexity (111)  |  Connect (125)  |  Connection (162)  |  Continent (76)  |  Deposit (12)  |  Do (1908)  |  Formation (96)  |  Geology (220)  |  History (673)  |  Impress (64)  |  Impressed (38)  |  Impression (114)  |  Inferior (37)  |  Law (894)  |  Law Of Nature (72)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Most (1731)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Operation (213)  |  Operations (107)  |  Period (198)  |  Physical (508)  |  Present (619)  |  Produced (187)  |  Production (183)  |  Range (99)  |  Recent (77)  |  Remote (83)  |  Respect (207)  |  Simplicity (167)  |  Singleness (2)  |  Succession (77)  |  Survey (33)  |  System (537)  |  Trace (103)  |  Uniformity (37)  |  Variety (132)  |  Various (200)  |  Vast (177)  |  Whole (738)

Evidence of this [transformation of animals into fossils] is that parts of aquatic animals and perhaps of naval gear are found in rock in hollows on mountains, which water no doubt deposited there enveloped in sticky mud, and which were prevented by coldness and dryness of the stone from petrifying completely. Very striking evidence of this kind is found in the stones of Paris, in which one very often meets round shells the shape of the moon.
De Causis Proprietatum Elementorum (On the Causes of the Properties of the Elements) [before 1280], Book II, tract 3, chapter 5, quoted in A. C. Crombie, Augustine to Galileo (1959), Vol. 1, 126.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (617)  |  Aquatic (5)  |  Completely (135)  |  Doubt (304)  |  Dryness (5)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Fossil (136)  |  Kind (557)  |  Moon (237)  |  Mountain (185)  |  Mud (26)  |  Petrification (5)  |  Prevent (94)  |  Rock (161)  |  Shell (63)  |  Stone (162)  |  Transformation (69)  |  Water (481)

Experiments on ornamental plants undertaken in previous years had proven that, as a rule, hybrids do not represent the form exactly intermediate between the parental strains. Although the intermediate form of some of the more striking traits, such as those relating to shape and size of leaves, pubescence of individual parts, and so forth, is indeed nearly always seen, in other cases one of the two parental traits is so preponderant that it is difficult or quite impossible, to detect the other in the hybrid. The same is true for Pisum hybrids. Each of the seven hybrid traits either resembles so closely one of the two parental traits that the other escapes detection, or is so similar to it that no certain distinction can be made. This is of great importance to the definition and classification of the forms in which the offspring of hybrids appear. In the following discussion those traits that pass into hybrid association entirely or almost entirely unchanged, thus themselves representing the traits of the hybrid, are termed dominating and those that become latent in the association, recessive. The word 'recessive' was chosen because the traits so designated recede or disappear entirely in the hybrids, but reappear unchanged in their progeny, as will be demonstrated later.
'Experiments on Plant Hybrids' (1865). In Curt Stern and Eva R. Sherwood (eds.), The Origin of Genetics: A Mendel Source Book (1966), 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Association (46)  |  Become (815)  |  Certain (550)  |  Chosen (48)  |  Classification (97)  |  Definition (221)  |  Demonstration (113)  |  Detect (44)  |  Detection (16)  |  Difficult (246)  |  Disappear (82)  |  Discussion (72)  |  Distinction (72)  |  Do (1908)  |  Dominant (26)  |  Escape (80)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Form (959)  |  Genetics (101)  |  Great (1574)  |  Hybrid (14)  |  Importance (286)  |  Impossible (251)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Individual (404)  |  Intermediate (37)  |  Latent (12)  |  Leaf (66)  |  More (2559)  |  Nearly (137)  |  Offspring (27)  |  Other (2236)  |  Parent (76)  |  Pass (238)  |  Plant (294)  |  Progeny (15)  |  Recede (11)  |  Recessive (6)  |  Represent (155)  |  Resemble (63)  |  Rule (294)  |  Shape (72)  |  Size (60)  |  Strain (11)  |  Term (349)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Trait (22)  |  Two (937)  |  Will (2355)  |  Word (619)  |  Year (933)

For books [Charles Darwin] had no respect, but merely considered them as tools to be worked with. ... he would cut a heavy book in half, to make it more convenient to hold. He used to boast that he had made Lyell publish the second edition of one of his books in two volumes, instead of in one, by telling him how ho had been obliged to cut it in half. ... his library was not ornamental, but was striking from being so evidently a working collection of books.
In Charles Darwin: His Life Told in an Autobiographical Chapter, and in a Selected Series of his Published Letters (1908), 96.
Science quotes on:  |  Being (1278)  |  Boast (22)  |  Book (392)  |  Collection (64)  |  Consider (416)  |  Convenience (50)  |  Cut (114)  |  Charles Darwin (303)  |  Evidently (26)  |  Half (56)  |  Heavy (23)  |  Library (48)  |  Sir Charles Lyell (42)  |  Merely (316)  |  More (2559)  |  Ornament (20)  |  Respect (207)  |  Tool (117)  |  Two (937)  |  Volume (19)  |  Work (1351)

Historically the most striking result of Kant's labors was the rapid separation of the thinkers of his own nation and, though less completely, of the world, into two parties;—the philosophers and the scientists.
The Order of Nature: An Essay (1917), 69.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Completely (135)  |  Immanuel Kant (49)  |  Labor (107)  |  Most (1731)  |  Nation (193)  |  Philosopher (258)  |  Result (677)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Separation (57)  |  Thinker (39)  |  Two (937)  |  World (1774)

Srinivasa Ramanujan quote: I have not trodden through a conventional university course, but I am striking out a new path for mys
I have not trodden through a conventional university course, but I am striking out a new path for myself. I have made a special investigation of divergent series in general and the results I get are termed by the local mathematicians as “startling.”
First letter to G.H. Hardy (16 Jan 1913). In Collected Papers of Srinivasa Ramanujan (1927), xxiii. Hardy notes he did “seem to remember his telling me that his friends had given him some assistance” in writing the letter because Ramanujan's “knowledge of English, at that stage of his life, could scarcely have been sufficient.”
Science quotes on:  |  Conventional (30)  |  Course (409)  |  Divergent (6)  |  General (511)  |  Investigation (230)  |  Local (19)  |  Mathematician (387)  |  Myself (212)  |  New (1216)  |  Path (144)  |  Result (677)  |  Series (149)  |  Special (184)  |  Startling (15)  |  Term (349)  |  Termed (2)  |  Through (849)  |  Tread (17)  |  University (121)

In early times, when the knowledge of nature was small, little attempt was made to divide science into parts, and men of science did not specialize. Aristotle was a master of all science known in his day, and wrote indifferently treatises on physics or animals. As increasing knowledge made it impossible for any one man to grasp all scientific subjects, lines of division were drawn for convenience of study and of teaching. Besides the broad distinction into physical and biological science, minute subdivisions arose, and, at a certain stage of development, much attention was, given to methods of classification, and much emphasis laid on the results, which were thought to have a significance beyond that of the mere convenience of mankind.
But we have reached the stage when the different streams of knowledge, followed by the different sciences, are coalescing, and the artificial barriers raised by calling those sciences by different names are breaking down. Geology uses the methods and data of physics, chemistry and biology; no one can say whether the science of radioactivity is to be classed as chemistry or physics, or whether sociology is properly grouped with biology or economics. Indeed, it is often just where this coalescence of two subjects occurs, when some connecting channel between them is opened suddenly, that the most striking advances in knowledge take place. The accumulated experience of one department of science, and the special methods which have been developed to deal with its problems, become suddenly available in the domain of another department, and many questions insoluble before may find answers in the new light cast upon them. Such considerations show us that science is in reality one, though we may agree to look on it now from one side and now from another as we approach it from the standpoint of physics, physiology or psychology.
In article 'Science', Encyclopedia Britannica (1911), 402.
Science quotes on:  |  Accumulated (2)  |  Advance (280)  |  All (4108)  |  Animal (617)  |  Answer (366)  |  Approach (108)  |  Aristotle (163)  |  Attempt (251)  |  Attention (190)  |  Available (78)  |  Barrier (32)  |  Become (815)  |  Beyond (308)  |  Biological (137)  |  Biology (216)  |  Cast (66)  |  Certain (550)  |  Chemistry (353)  |  Class (164)  |  Classification (97)  |  Coalesce (5)  |  Coalescence (2)  |  Consideration (139)  |  Convenience (50)  |  Data (156)  |  Deal (188)  |  Department (92)  |  Develop (268)  |  Development (422)  |  Difference (337)  |  Different (577)  |  Distinction (72)  |  Divide (75)  |  Division (65)  |  Domain (69)  |  Down (456)  |  Early (185)  |  Economic (81)  |  Economics (37)  |  Experience (467)  |  Find (998)  |  Follow (378)  |  Geology (220)  |  Impossible (251)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Indifferent (16)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Known (454)  |  Light (607)  |  Little (707)  |  Look (582)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mankind (339)  |  Master (178)  |  Men Of Science (143)  |  Method (505)  |  Methods (204)  |  Minute (125)  |  Most (1731)  |  Name (333)  |  Nature (1926)  |  New (1216)  |  Occur (150)  |  Open (274)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physical (508)  |  Physics (533)  |  Physiology (95)  |  Problem (676)  |  Psychology (154)  |  Question (621)  |  Radioactivity (30)  |  Reach (281)  |  Reality (261)  |  Result (677)  |  Say (984)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Show (346)  |  Side (233)  |  Significance (113)  |  Small (477)  |  Sociology (46)  |  Special (184)  |  Specialize (3)  |  Stage (143)  |  Standpoint (28)  |  Stream (81)  |  Study (653)  |  Subject (521)  |  Suddenly (88)  |  Teaching (188)  |  Thought (953)  |  Time (1877)  |  Treatise (44)  |  Two (937)  |  Use (766)

In order that an inventory of plants may be begun and a classification of them correctly established, we must try to discover criteria of some sort for distinguishing what are called “species”. After a long and considerable investigation, no surer criterion for determining species had occurred to me than distinguishing features that perpetuate themselves in propagation from seed. Thus, no matter what variations occur in the individuals or the species, if they spring from the seed of one and the same plant, they are accidental variations and not such as to distinguish a species. For these variations do not perpetuate themselves in subsequent seeding. Thus, for example, we do not regard caryophylli with full or multiple blossoms as a species distinct from caryophylli with single blossoms, because the former owe their origin to the seed of the latter and if the former are sown from their own seed, they once more produce single-blossom caryophylli. But variations that never have as their source seed from one and the same species may finally be regarded as distinct species. Or, if you make a comparison between any two plants, plants which never spring from each other's seed and never, when their seed is sown, are transmuted one into the other, these plants finally are distinct species. For it is just as in animals: a difference in sex is not enough to prove a difference of species, because each sex is derived from the same seed as far as species is concerned and not infrequently from the same parents; no matter how many and how striking may be the accidental differences between them; no other proof that bull and cow, man and woman belong to the same species is required than the fact that both very frequently spring from the same parents or the same mother. Likewise in the case of plants, there is no surer index of identity of species than that of origin from the seed of one and the same plant, whether it is a matter of individuals or species. For animals that differ in species preserve their distinct species permanently; one species never springs from the seed of another nor vice versa.
John Ray
Historia Plantarum (1686), Vol. 1, 40. Trans. Edmund Silk. Quoted in Barbara G. Beddall, 'Historical Notes on Avian Classification', Systematic Zoology (1957), 6, 133-4.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Accident (88)  |  Accidental (27)  |  Animal (617)  |  Belong (162)  |  Blossom (21)  |  Both (493)  |  Bull (3)  |  Call (769)  |  Classification (97)  |  Comparison (102)  |  Concern (228)  |  Considerable (75)  |  Cow (39)  |  Criterion (27)  |  Differ (85)  |  Difference (337)  |  Discover (553)  |  Distinct (97)  |  Distinguish (160)  |  Distinguishing (14)  |  Do (1908)  |  Enough (340)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Former (137)  |  Identity (19)  |  Individual (404)  |  Inventory (7)  |  Investigation (230)  |  Likewise (2)  |  Long (790)  |  Man (2251)  |  Matter (798)  |  More (2559)  |  Mother (114)  |  Multiple (16)  |  Must (1526)  |  Never (1087)  |  Occur (150)  |  Order (632)  |  Origin (239)  |  Other (2236)  |  Owe (71)  |  Parent (76)  |  Permanence (24)  |  Perpetuate (10)  |  Perpetuation (4)  |  Plant (294)  |  Preserve (83)  |  Production (183)  |  Proof (287)  |  Propagation (14)  |  Prove (250)  |  Regard (305)  |  Required (108)  |  Seed (93)  |  Sex (69)  |  Single (353)  |  Species (401)  |  Spring (133)  |  Subsequent (33)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Try (283)  |  Two (937)  |  Variation (90)  |  Vice (40)  |  Woman (151)

In the year of our Lord 729, two comets appeared around the sun, striking terror into all who saw them. One comet rose early and preceded the sun, while the other followed the setting sun at evening, seeming to portend awful calamity to east and west alike. Or else, since one comet was the precursor of day and the other of night, they indicated that mankind was menaced by evils at both times. They appeared in the month of January, and remained visible for about a fortnight, pointing their fiery torches northward as though to set the welkin aflame. At this time, a swarm of Saracens ravaged Gaul with horrible slaughter; … Both the outset and course of Ceolwulfs reign were filled by so many grave disturbances that it is quite impossible to know what to write about them or what the outcome will be.
Bede
From Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum, Book V, Chap. XXIII., as translated by Leo Sherley-Price, revised by R.E. Latham, Ecclesiastical History of the English People (1955, 1990), 323. Note: The observation likely was on a single comet seen twice each day. The event is also in both the Laud and Parker manuscripts of The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.
Science quotes on:  |  Alike (60)  |  All (4108)  |  Appear (118)  |  Awful (8)  |  Both (493)  |  Calamity (11)  |  Comet (54)  |  Course (409)  |  Day (42)  |  Disturbance (31)  |  Early (185)  |  Evil (116)  |  Fiery (5)  |  Follow (378)  |  Fortnight (3)  |  Grave (52)  |  Horrible (10)  |  Impossible (251)  |  Know (1518)  |  Lord (93)  |  Mankind (339)  |  Menace (5)  |  Month (88)  |  Night (120)  |  Other (2236)  |  Portend (2)  |  Precursor (5)  |  Ravage (7)  |  Reign (23)  |  Remain (349)  |  Rose (34)  |  Saracen (2)  |  Saw (160)  |  Set (394)  |  Setting (44)  |  Slaughter (7)  |  Sun (385)  |  Swarm (14)  |  Terror (30)  |  Time (1877)  |  Torch (12)  |  Two (937)  |  Visible (84)  |  Will (2355)  |  Write (230)  |  Year (933)

It is one of the striking generalizations of biochemistry—which surprisingly is hardly ever mentioned in the biochemical text-books—that the twenty amino acids and the four bases, are, with minor reservations, the same throughout Nature. As far as I am aware the presently accepted set of twenty amino acids was first drawn up by Watson and myself in the summer of 1953 in response to a letter of Gamow's.
'On the Genetic Code', Nobel Lecture, 11 December 1962. In Nobel Lectures: Physiology or Medicine 1942-1962 (1964), 811.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Accept (191)  |  Acid (83)  |  Amino Acid (11)  |  Base (117)  |  Biochemistry (49)  |  Book (392)  |  First (1283)  |  George Gamow (12)  |  Generalization (57)  |  Letter (109)  |  Mention (82)  |  Myself (212)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Response (53)  |  Set (394)  |  Summer (54)  |  Throughout (98)  |  James Watson (33)

It was quite the most incredible event that has ever happened to me in my life. It was almost as incredible as if you fired a 15-inch shell at a piece of tissue paper and it came back and hit you.
[Recalling in 1936 the discovery of the nucleus in 1909, when some alpha particles were observed instead of travelling through a very thin gold foil were seen to rebound backward, as if striking something much more massive than the particles themselves.]
Quoted in Abraham Pais, Inward Bound (1986), 189, from E. N. da C. Andrade, Rutherford and the nature of the atom, (1964) 111.
Science quotes on:  |  Alpha Particle (5)  |  Autobiography (56)  |  Back (390)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Event (216)  |  Gold (97)  |  Happen (274)  |  Happened (88)  |  Incredible (41)  |  Life (1795)  |  Massive (9)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1731)  |  Nucleus (49)  |  Observed (149)  |  Paper (182)  |  Particle (194)  |  Shell (63)  |  Something (719)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Through (849)  |  Tissue (45)  |  Travelling (17)

J. J. Sylvester was an enthusiastic supporter of reform [in the teaching of geometry]. The difference in attitude on this question between the two foremost British mathematicians, J. J. Sylvester, the algebraist, and Arthur Cayley, the algebraist and geometer, was grotesque. Sylvester wished to bury Euclid “deeper than e’er plummet sounded” out of the schoolboy’s reach; Cayley, an ardent admirer of Euclid, desired the retention of Simson’s Euclid. When reminded that this treatise was a mixture of Euclid and Simson, Cayley suggested striking out Simson’s additions and keeping strictly to the original treatise.
In History of Elementary Mathematics (1910), 285.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Addition (66)  |  Admirer (9)  |  Ardent (6)  |  Attitude (82)  |  British (41)  |  Bury (16)  |  Arthur Cayley (17)  |  Deep (233)  |  Desire (204)  |  Difference (337)  |  Enthusiastic (6)  |  Euclid (54)  |  Foremost (11)  |  Geometer (24)  |  Geometry (255)  |  Grotesque (6)  |  Keep (101)  |  Mathematician (387)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (141)  |  Mixture (41)  |  Original (58)  |  Plummet (2)  |  Question (621)  |  Reach (281)  |  Reform (22)  |  Remind (13)  |  Retention (5)  |  Schoolboy (9)  |  Sound (183)  |  Strictly (13)  |  Strike (68)  |  Suggest (34)  |  Supporter (4)  |  James Joseph Sylvester (58)  |  Teach (277)  |  Teaching (188)  |  Treatise (44)  |  Two (937)  |  Wish (212)

Leakey’s work on the Olduvai Canyon man has depended a great deal on the observance of a notched break in the shinbones of good-sized animals, which is assumed to have been made by striking a bone with a sharp rock before breaking it over the knee to expose the bone marrow which is edible and nourishing. When he found broken bones with the tell-tale notch, he knew that man must have been there and so began his search.
In 'Man’s Place in the Physical Universe', Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (Sep 1965), 21, No. 7, 15.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Animal (617)  |  Archaeology (49)  |  Bone (95)  |  Break (99)  |  Broken (56)  |  Clue (17)  |  Deal (188)  |  Depend (228)  |  Edible (6)  |  Expose (23)  |  Food (199)  |  Good (889)  |  Great (1574)  |  Louis S.B. Leakey (2)  |  Man (2251)  |  Marrow (5)  |  Must (1526)  |  Observation (555)  |  Rock (161)  |  Search (162)  |  Tell (340)  |  Work (1351)

Looking down on this great metropolis, the ingenuity with which we continue to reshape our planet is very striking. It’s also sobering. It reminds me of just how easy it is for us to lose our connection with the natural world. Yet it is on this connection that the future of both humanity and the natural world will depend.
From BBC TV series Planet Earth II, while at London from the top of a skyscraper. As quoted in interview with Joe Shute, 'David Attenborough at 90: ‘I think about my mortality every day’', The Telegraph (29 Oct 2016).
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Both (493)  |  Connection (162)  |  Continue (165)  |  Depend (228)  |  Down (456)  |  Easy (204)  |  Future (429)  |  Great (1574)  |  Humanity (169)  |  Ingenuity (39)  |  Look (582)  |  Looking (189)  |  Lose (159)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural World (25)  |  Planet (356)  |  Reshape (4)  |  Will (2355)  |  World (1774)

No place affords a more striking conviction of the vanity of human hopes than a publick library; for who can see the wall crouded on every side by mighty volumes, the works of laborious meditation, and accurate inquiry, now scarcely known but by the catalogue, and preserved only to encrease the pomp of learning, without considering how many hours have been wasted in vain endeavours, how often imagination has anticipated the praises of futurity, how many statues have risen to the eye of vanity, how many ideal converts have elevated zeal, how often wit has exulted in the eternal infamy of his antagonists, and dogmatism has delighted in the gradual advances of his authority, the immutability of his decrees, and the perpetuity of his power.
Non unquam dedit
Documenta fors majora, quam fragili loco
Starent superbi.

Seneca, Troades, II, 4-6
Insulting chance ne'er call'd with louder voice,
On swelling mortals to be proud no more.
Of the innumerable authors whose performances are thus treasured up in magnificent obscurity, most are forgotten, because they never deserved to be remembered, and owed the honours which they have once obtained, not to judgment or to genius, to labour or to art, but to the prejudice of faction, the stratagem of intrigue, or the servility of adulation.
Nothing is more common than to find men whose works are now totally neglected, mentioned with praises by their contemporaries, as the oracles of their age, and the legislators of science. Curiosity is naturally excited, their volumes after long enquiry are found, but seldom reward the labour of the search. Every period of time has produced these bubbles of artificial fame, which are kept up a while by the breath of fashion and then break at once and are annihilated. The learned often bewail the loss of ancient writers whose characters have survived their works; but perhaps if we could now retrieve them we should find them only the Granvilles, Montagus, Stepneys, and Sheffields of their time, and wonder by what infatuation or caprice they could be raised to notice.
It cannot, however, be denied, that many have sunk into oblivion, whom it were unjust to number with this despicable class. Various kinds of literary fame seem destined to various measures of duration. Some spread into exuberance with a very speedy growth, but soon wither and decay; some rise more slowly, but last long. Parnassus has its flowers of transient fragrance as well as its oaks of towering height, and its laurels of eternal verdure.
The Rambler, Number 106, 23 Mar 1751. In W. J. Bate and Albrecht B. Strauss (eds.), The Rambler (1969), Vol. 2, 200-1.
Science quotes on:  |  Accurate (86)  |  Advance (280)  |  Age (499)  |  Ancient (189)  |  Art (657)  |  Author (167)  |  Authority (95)  |  Break (99)  |  Breath (59)  |  Bubble (22)  |  Call (769)  |  Caprice (9)  |  Chance (239)  |  Character (243)  |  Class (164)  |  Common (436)  |  Conviction (97)  |  Curiosity (128)  |  Decay (53)  |  Decree (8)  |  Delight (108)  |  Destined (42)  |  Dogmatism (14)  |  Endeavour (63)  |  Enquiry (87)  |  Eternal (110)  |  Eye (419)  |  Faction (3)  |  Fame (50)  |  Find (998)  |  Flower (106)  |  Forgotten (53)  |  Genius (284)  |  Growth (187)  |  Honour (56)  |  Hope (299)  |  Hour (186)  |  Human (1468)  |  Ideal (99)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Innumerable (55)  |  Inquiry (78)  |  Judgment (132)  |  Kind (557)  |  Known (454)  |  Laborious (14)  |  Labour (98)  |  Last (426)  |  Learn (629)  |  Learned (235)  |  Learning (274)  |  Library (48)  |  Long (790)  |  Loss (110)  |  Magnificent (43)  |  Measure (232)  |  Meditation (19)  |  Mention (82)  |  More (2559)  |  Mortal (54)  |  Most (1731)  |  Neglect (63)  |  Neglected (23)  |  Never (1087)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Notice (77)  |  Number (699)  |  Oak (14)  |  Oblivion (10)  |  Obtain (163)  |  Performance (48)  |  Period (198)  |  Perpetuity (9)  |  Power (746)  |  Prejudice (87)  |  Produced (187)  |  Remember (179)  |  Reward (68)  |  Rise (166)  |  Scarcely (74)  |  Science (3879)  |  Search (162)  |  See (1081)  |  Seldom (65)  |  Side (233)  |  Soon (186)  |  Spread (83)  |  Statue (16)  |  Time (1877)  |  Towering (11)  |  Transient (12)  |  Vain (83)  |  Various (200)  |  Wall (67)  |  Wit (59)  |  Wonder (236)  |  Work (1351)  |  Writer (86)

One of the most striking evidences of the reliability of the organic chemist's methods of determining molecular structure is the fact that he has never been able to derive satisfactory structures for supposed molecules which are in fact nonexistent.
Physical Organic Chemistry; Reaction Rates, Equilibria, and Mechanisms (1940),38.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Chemist (156)  |  Derive (65)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Method (505)  |  Methods (204)  |  Molecular Structure (8)  |  Molecule (174)  |  Most (1731)  |  Never (1087)  |  Organic (158)  |  Organic Chemistry (40)  |  Reliability (17)  |  Structure (344)

One of the most striking results of modern investigation has been the way in which several different and quite independent lines of evidence indicate that a very great event occurred about two thousand million years ago. The radio-active evidence for the age of meteorites; and the estimated time for the tidal evolution of the Moon's orbit (though this is much rougher), all agree in their testimony, and, what is far more important, the red-shift in the nebulae indicates that this date is fundamental, not merely in the history of our system, but in that of the material universe as a whole.
The Solar System and its Origin (1935), 137.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Active (76)  |  Age (499)  |  Agreement (53)  |  All (4108)  |  Date (13)  |  Different (577)  |  Estimation (7)  |  Event (216)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Fundamental (250)  |  Great (1574)  |  History (673)  |  Importance (286)  |  Independence (34)  |  Indicate (61)  |  Indication (33)  |  Investigation (230)  |  Material (353)  |  Merely (316)  |  Meteorite (9)  |  Million (114)  |  Modern (385)  |  Moon (237)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1731)  |  Nebula (16)  |  Orbit (81)  |  Radio (50)  |  Radioactivity (30)  |  Red-Shift (4)  |  Result (677)  |  Shift (44)  |  System (537)  |  Testimony (21)  |  Thousand (331)  |  Tide (34)  |  Time (1877)  |  Two (937)  |  Universe (857)  |  Way (1217)  |  Whole (738)  |  Year (933)

One striking peculiarity of mathematics is its unlimited power of evolving examples and problems. A student may read a book of Euclid, or a few chapters of Algebra, and within that limited range of knowledge it is possible to set him exercises as real and as interesting as the propositions themselves which he has studied; deductions which might have pleased the Greek geometers, and algebraic propositions which Pascal and Fermat would not have disdained to investigate.
In 'Private Study of Mathematics', Conflict of Studies and other Essays (1873), 82.
Science quotes on:  |  Algebra (113)  |  Algebraic (5)  |  Book (392)  |  Chapter (11)  |  Deduction (82)  |  Disdain (10)  |  Euclid (54)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Example (94)  |  Exercise (110)  |  Pierre de Fermat (15)  |  Geometer (24)  |  Greek (107)  |  Interest (386)  |  Interesting (153)  |  Investigate (103)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Limit (280)  |  Limited (101)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Pascal (2)  |  Peculiarity (25)  |  Please (65)  |  Possible (552)  |  Power (746)  |  Problem (676)  |  Proposition (123)  |  Range (99)  |  Read (287)  |  Real (149)  |  Set (394)  |  Strike (68)  |  Student (300)  |  Study (653)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Unlimited (22)  |  Value Of Mathematics (60)

Quantum provides us with a striking illustration of the fact that though we can fully understand a connection … we can only speak of it in images and parables. We must be clear that when it comes to atoms, language can be used only as in poetry. The poet, too, is not nearly so concerned with describing facts as with creating images and establishing mental connections.
In conversation during first meeting with Werner Heisenberg (summer 1920), as quoted in Werner Heisenberg and Arnold J. Pomerans (trans.), Physics and Beyond: Encounters and Conversations (1971), 41. As cited in Philip Kuberski, The Forgèd Feature: Toward a Poetics of Uncertainty: New and Selected Essays (1995), 177-178.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (355)  |  Concern (228)  |  Connection (162)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Illustration (48)  |  Image (96)  |  Language (293)  |  Mental (177)  |  Must (1526)  |  Nearly (137)  |  Parable (5)  |  Poetry (143)  |  Quantum (117)  |  Speak (232)  |  Understand (606)

So many of the properties of matter, especially when in the gaseous form, can be deduced from the hypothesis that their minute parts are in rapid motion, the velocity increasing with the temperature, that the precise nature of this motion becomes a subject of rational curiosity. Daniel Bernoulli, Herapath, Joule, Kronig, Clausius, &c., have shewn that the relations between pressure, temperature and density in a perfect gas can be explained by supposing the particles move with uniform velocity in straight lines, striking against the sides of the containing vessel and thus producing pressure. (1860)
In W.D. Niven (ed.) 'Illustrations of the Dynamical Theory of Gases,' The Scientific Papers of James Clerk Maxwell, Vol 1, 377. Quoted in John David Anderson, Jr., Hypersonic and High Temperature Gas Dynamics (2000), 468.
Science quotes on:  |  Against (332)  |  Become (815)  |  Daniel Bernoulli (5)  |  Rudolf Clausius (9)  |  Curiosity (128)  |  Density (25)  |  Explain (322)  |  Form (959)  |  Gas (83)  |  Hypothesis (296)  |  Kinetic Theory (7)  |  Matter (798)  |  Minute (125)  |  Motion (310)  |  Move (216)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Particle (194)  |  Perfect (216)  |  Precise (68)  |  Pressure (63)  |  Properties Of Matter (7)  |  Rational (90)  |  Side (233)  |  Straight (73)  |  Straight Line (30)  |  Subject (521)  |  Temperature (79)  |  Velocity (48)  |  Vessel (63)

Sodium thymonucleate fibres give two distinct types of X-ray diagram … [structures A and B]. The X-ray diagram of structure B (see photograph) shows in striking manner the features characteristic of helical structures, first worked out in this laboratory by Stokes (unpublished) and by Crick, Cochran and Vand2. Stokes and Wilkins were the first to propose such structures for nucleic acid as a result of direct studies of nucleic acid fibres, although a helical structure had been previously suggested by Furberg (thesis, London, 1949) on the basis of X-ray studies of nucleosides and nucleotides.
While the X-ray evidence cannot, at present, be taken as direct proof that the structure is helical, other considerations discussed below make the existence of a helical structure highly probable.
From Rosalind Franklin and R. G. Gosling,'Molecular Configuration in Sodium Thymonucleate', Nature (25 Apr 1953), 171, No. 4356, 740.
Science quotes on:  |  Acid (83)  |  Basis (173)  |  Characteristic (148)  |  Consideration (139)  |  Francis Crick (62)  |  Diagram (20)  |  Direct (225)  |  Distinct (97)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Existence (456)  |  First (1283)  |  Helix (10)  |  Laboratory (196)  |  Nucleic Acid (23)  |  Nucleotide (6)  |  Other (2236)  |  Present (619)  |  Probability (130)  |  Proof (287)  |  Ray (114)  |  Result (677)  |  See (1081)  |  Show (346)  |  Sodium (14)  |  Structure (344)  |  Study (653)  |  Suggestion (46)  |  Thesis (15)  |  Two (937)  |  Type (167)  |  Work (1351)  |  X-ray (37)  |  X-ray Crystallography (12)

Some months ago we discovered that certain light elements emit positrons under the action of alpha particles. Our latest experiments have shown a very striking fact: when an aluminium foil is irradiated on a polonium preparation [alpha ray emitter], the emission of positrons does not cease immediately when the active preparation is removed: the foil remains radioactive and the emission of radiation decays exponentially as for an ordinary radio-element. We observed the same phenomenon with boron and magnesium.
[Co-author with Irène Joliot-Curie. This one-page paper reported their discovery of artificial radioactivity for which they were awarded the 1935 Nobel Prize for Chemistry.]
Letter to the Editor, 'Artificial Production of a New Kind of Radio-Element'(10 Jan 1934) published in Nature (1934), 133, 201-2. Cited in Mauro Dardo, Nobel Laureates and Twentieth-Century Physics (2004), 187.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (327)  |  Active (76)  |  Alpha Particle (5)  |  Alpha Ray (3)  |  Aluminium (3)  |  Artificial (33)  |  Author (167)  |  Award (13)  |  Boron (4)  |  Cease (79)  |  Certain (550)  |  Chemistry (353)  |  Decay (53)  |  Discover (553)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Element (310)  |  Emission (17)  |  Emit (15)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Exponential (3)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Foil (3)  |  Immediately (114)  |  Light (607)  |  Magnesium (4)  |  Month (88)  |  Nobel Prize (40)  |  Observation (555)  |  Observed (149)  |  Ordinary (160)  |  Paper (182)  |  Particle (194)  |  Phenomenon (318)  |  Polonium (5)  |  Positron (4)  |  Preparation (58)  |  Radiation (44)  |  Radio (50)  |  Radioactive (22)  |  Radioactivity (30)  |  Ray (114)  |  Remain (349)

The actual evolution of mathematical theories proceeds by a process of induction strictly analogous to the method of induction employed in building up the physical sciences; observation, comparison, classification, trial, and generalisation are essential in both cases. Not only are special results, obtained independently of one another, frequently seen to be really included in some generalisation, but branches of the subject which have been developed quite independently of one another are sometimes found to have connections which enable them to be synthesised in one single body of doctrine. The essential nature of mathematical thought manifests itself in the discernment of fundamental identity in the mathematical aspects of what are superficially very different domains. A striking example of this species of immanent identity of mathematical form was exhibited by the discovery of that distinguished mathematician … Major MacMahon, that all possible Latin squares are capable of enumeration by the consideration of certain differential operators. Here we have a case in which an enumeration, which appears to be not amenable to direct treatment, can actually be carried out in a simple manner when the underlying identity of the operation is recognised with that involved in certain operations due to differential operators, the calculus of which belongs superficially to a wholly different region of thought from that relating to Latin squares.
In Presidential Address British Association for the Advancement of Science, Sheffield, Section A, Nature (1 Sep 1910), 84, 290.
Science quotes on:  |  Actual (117)  |  Actually (27)  |  All (4108)  |  Amenable (4)  |  Analogous (5)  |  Appear (118)  |  Aspect (124)  |  Belong (162)  |  Body (537)  |  Both (493)  |  Branch (150)  |  Build (204)  |  Building (156)  |  Calculus (65)  |  Capable (168)  |  Carry (127)  |  Case (99)  |  Certain (550)  |  Classification (97)  |  Comparison (102)  |  Connection (162)  |  Consideration (139)  |  Develop (268)  |  Different (577)  |  Differential (7)  |  Direct (225)  |  Discernment (4)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Distinguish (160)  |  Distinguished (83)  |  Doctrine (75)  |  Domain (69)  |  Due (141)  |  Employ (113)  |  Enable (119)  |  Essential (199)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Example (94)  |  Exhibit (20)  |  Find (998)  |  Form (959)  |  Frequent (23)  |  Fundamental (250)  |  Generalization (57)  |  Identity (19)  |  Include (90)  |  Independent (67)  |  Independently (24)  |  Induction (77)  |  Involve (90)  |  Involved (90)  |  Latin (38)  |  Percy Alexander MacMahon (3)  |  Major (84)  |  Manifest (21)  |  Manner (58)  |  Mathematician (387)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Method (505)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Nature Of Mathematics (80)  |  Observation (555)  |  Obtain (163)  |  Operation (213)  |  Operations (107)  |  Operator (3)  |  Physical (508)  |  Physical Science (101)  |  Possible (552)  |  Proceed (129)  |  Process (423)  |  Really (78)  |  Recognise (9)  |  Region (36)  |  Relate (21)  |  Result (677)  |  Science (3879)  |  Simple (406)  |  Single (353)  |  Sometimes (45)  |  Special (184)  |  Species (401)  |  Square (70)  |  Strictly (13)  |  Strike (68)  |  Subject (521)  |  Superficial (12)  |  Synthesis (57)  |  Synthesize (3)  |  Theory (970)  |  Thought (953)  |  Treatment (130)  |  Trial (57)  |  Underlying (30)  |  Wholly (88)

The contents of this section will furnish a very striking illustration of the truth of a remark, which I have more than once made in my philosophical writings, and which can hardly be too often repeated, as it tends greatly to encourage philosophical investigations viz. That more is owing to what we call chance, that is, philosophically speaking, to the observation of events arising from unknown causes, than to any proper design, or pre-conceived theory in this business. This does not appear in the works of those who write synthetically upon these subjects; but would, I doubt not, appear very strikingly in those who are the most celebrated for their philosophical acumen, did they write analytically and ingenuously.
'On Dephlogisticated Air, and the Constitution of the Atmosphere', in The Discovery of Oxygen, Part I, Experiments by Joseph Priestley 1775 (Alembic Club Reprint, 1894), 5.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (233)  |  Arising (22)  |  Business (149)  |  Call (769)  |  Cause (541)  |  Chance (239)  |  Design (195)  |  Doubt (304)  |  Encourage (40)  |  Event (216)  |  Furnish (96)  |  Illustration (48)  |  Investigation (230)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1731)  |  Observation (555)  |  Owing (39)  |  Proper (144)  |  Speaking (119)  |  Subject (521)  |  Tend (124)  |  Theory (970)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Unknown (182)  |  Will (2355)  |  Work (1351)  |  Write (230)  |  Writing (189)

The frequency of disastrous consequences in compound fracture, contrasted with the complete immunity from danger to life or limb in simple fracture, is one of the most striking as well as melancholy facts in surgical practice.
'On a New Method of Treating Compound Fracture, Abscesses, etc: With Observations on the Conditions of Supperation', Part I, The Lancet (1867), 326.
Science quotes on:  |  Bone (95)  |  Complete (204)  |  Compound (113)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Contrast (44)  |  Danger (115)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Fracture (6)  |  Frequency (22)  |  Immunity (8)  |  Infection (27)  |  Life (1795)  |  Melancholy (17)  |  Most (1731)  |  Practice (204)  |  Simple (406)  |  Treatment (130)

The more important fundamental laws and facts of physical science have all been discovered, and these are now so firmly established that the possibility of their ever being supplanted in consequence of new discoveries is exceedingly remote. Nevertheless, it has been found that there are apparent exceptions to most of these laws, and this is particularly true when the observations are pushed to a limit, i.e., whenever the circumstances of experiment are such that extreme cases can be examined. Such examination almost surely leads, not to the overthrow of the law, but to the discovery of other facts and laws whose action produces the apparent exceptions. As instances of such discoveries, which are in most cases due to the increasing order of accuracy made possible by improvements in measuring instruments, may be mentioned: first, the departure of actual gases from the simple laws of the so-called perfect gas, one of the practical results being the liquefaction of air and all known gases; second, the discovery of the velocity of light by astronomical means, depending on the accuracy of telescopes and of astronomical clocks; third, the determination of distances of stars and the orbits of double stars, which depend on measurements of the order of accuracy of one-tenth of a second-an angle which may be represented as that which a pin's head subtends at a distance of a mile. But perhaps the most striking of such instances are the discovery of a new planet or observations of the small irregularities noticed by Leverrier in the motions of the planet Uranus, and the more recent brilliant discovery by Lord Rayleigh of a new element in the atmosphere through the minute but unexplained anomalies found in weighing a given volume of nitrogen. Many other instances might be cited, but these will suffice to justify the statement that “our future discoveries must be looked for in the sixth place of decimals.”
In Light Waves and Their Uses (1903), 23-4. Michelson had some years earlier referenced “an eminent physicist” that he did not name who had “remarked that the future truths of physical science are to be looked for in the sixth place of decimals,” near the end of his Convocation Address at the Dedication of the Ryerson Physical Laboratory at the University of Chicago, 'Some of the Objects and Methods of Physical Science' (4 Jul 1894), published in University of Chicago Quarterly Calendar (Aug 1894), 3, No.2, 15. Also
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Accuracy (78)  |  Action (327)  |  Actual (117)  |  Air (347)  |  All (4108)  |  Angle (20)  |  Anomaly (11)  |  Apparent (84)  |  Astronomy (229)  |  Atmosphere (103)  |  Being (1278)  |  Brilliant (53)  |  Call (769)  |  Circumstance (136)  |  Circumstances (108)  |  Clock (47)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Decimal (20)  |  Depend (228)  |  Determination (78)  |  Discover (553)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Distance (161)  |  Due (141)  |  Element (310)  |  Examination (98)  |  Exceedingly (28)  |  Exception (73)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Extreme (75)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  First (1283)  |  Fundamental (250)  |  Future (429)  |  Gas (83)  |  Improvement (108)  |  Instrument (144)  |  Irregularity (11)  |  Known (454)  |  Law (894)  |  Lead (384)  |  LeVerrier_Urbain (3)  |  Light (607)  |  Limit (280)  |  Liquefaction (2)  |  Look (582)  |  Lord (93)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Measurement (174)  |  Mention (82)  |  Minute (125)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1731)  |  Motion (310)  |  Must (1526)  |  Nevertheless (90)  |  New (1216)  |  Nitrogen (26)  |  Observation (555)  |  Orbit (81)  |  Order (632)  |  Other (2236)  |  Overthrow (4)  |  Perfect (216)  |  Physical (508)  |  Physical Science (101)  |  Pin (18)  |  Planet (356)  |  Possibility (164)  |  Possible (552)  |  Practical (200)  |  Push (62)  |  Sir John William Strutt, Lord Rayleigh (9)  |  Recent (77)  |  Remote (83)  |  Represent (155)  |  Result (677)  |  Science (3879)  |  Simple (406)  |  Small (477)  |  So-Called (71)  |  Speed Of Light (17)  |  Star (427)  |  Stars (304)  |  Statement (142)  |  Surely (101)  |  Telescope (98)  |  Through (849)  |  Unexplained (8)  |  Uranus (4)  |  Velocity (48)  |  Urbain-Jean-Joseph Le Verrier (4)  |  Volume (19)  |  Whenever (81)  |  Will (2355)

The most striking characteristic of the written language of algebra and of the higher forms of the calculus is the sharpness of definition, by which we are enabled to reason upon the symbols by the mere laws of verbal logic, discharging our minds entirely of the meaning of the symbols, until we have reached a stage of the process where we desire to interpret our results. The ability to attend to the symbols, and to perform the verbal, visible changes in the position of them permitted by the logical rules of the science, without allowing the mind to be perplexed with the meaning of the symbols until the result is reached which you wish to interpret, is a fundamental part of what is called analytical power. Many students find themselves perplexed by a perpetual attempt to interpret not only the result, but each step of the process. They thus lose much of the benefit of the labor-saving machinery of the calculus and are, indeed, frequently incapacitated for using it.
In 'Uses of Mathesis', Bibliotheca Sacra (Jul 1875), 32, 505.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (152)  |  Algebra (113)  |  Analysis (233)  |  Attempt (251)  |  Attend (65)  |  Benefit (114)  |  Calculus (65)  |  Call (769)  |  Change (593)  |  Characteristic (148)  |  Definition (221)  |  Desire (204)  |  Find (998)  |  Form (959)  |  Fundamental (250)  |  Incapacitate (2)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Interpret (19)  |  Labor (107)  |  Labor-Saving (3)  |  Language (293)  |  Law (894)  |  Logic (287)  |  Lose (159)  |  Machinery (56)  |  Mathematics As A Language (20)  |  Meaning (233)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Most (1731)  |  Perform (121)  |  Perpetual (57)  |  Perplex (6)  |  Power (746)  |  Process (423)  |  Reach (281)  |  Reason (744)  |  Result (677)  |  Rule (294)  |  Science (3879)  |  Sharp (14)  |  Sharpness (8)  |  Stage (143)  |  Step (231)  |  Student (300)  |  Symbol (93)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Visible (84)  |  Wish (212)

The most striking impression was that of an overwhelming bright light. I had seen under similar conditions the explosion of a large amount—100 tons—of normal explosives in the April test, and I was flabbergasted by the new spectacle. We saw the whole sky flash with unbelievable brightness in spite of the very dark glasses we wore. Our eyes were accommodated to darkness, and thus even if the sudden light had been only normal daylight it would have appeared to us much brighter than usual, but we know from measurements that the flash of the bomb was many times brighter than the sun. In a fraction of a second, at our distance, one received enough light to produce a sunburn. I was near Fermi at the time of the explosion, but I do not remember what we said, if anything. I believe that for a moment I thought the explosion might set fire to the atmosphere and thus finish the earth, even though I knew that this was not possible.
In Enrico Fermi: Physicist (1970), 147.
Science quotes on:  |  Accommodation (9)  |  Amount (151)  |  April (9)  |  Atmosphere (103)  |  Atomic Bomb (111)  |  Bright (79)  |  Brightness (12)  |  Condition (356)  |  Dark (140)  |  Darkness (68)  |  Daylight (22)  |  Distance (161)  |  Do (1908)  |  Earth (996)  |  Enough (340)  |  Explosion (44)  |  Explosive (23)  |  Eye (419)  |  Enrico Fermi (19)  |  Finish (59)  |  Fire (189)  |  Flabbergast (2)  |  Flash (49)  |  Fraction (13)  |  Glasses (2)  |  Impression (114)  |  Know (1518)  |  Large (394)  |  Light (607)  |  Measurement (174)  |  Moment (253)  |  Most (1731)  |  New (1216)  |  Overwhelming (30)  |  Possibility (164)  |  Possible (552)  |  Remember (179)  |  Saw (160)  |  Second (62)  |  Set (394)  |  Sky (161)  |  Spectacle (33)  |  Spite (55)  |  Sudden (67)  |  Sun (385)  |  Test (211)  |  Thought (953)  |  Time (1877)  |  Ton (21)  |  Unbelievable (7)  |  Whole (738)

The results have exhibited one striking feature which has been frequently emphasized, namely that at high pressures all twelve liquids become more nearly like each other. This suggests that it might be useful in developing a theory of liquids to arbitrarily construct a 'perfect liquid' and to discuss its properties. Certainly the conception of a 'perfect gas' has been of great service in the kinetic theory of gases; and the reason is that all actual gases approximate closely to the 'perfect gas.' In the same way, at high pressures all liquids approximate to one and the same thing, which may be called by analogy the 'perfect liquid.' It seems to offer at least a promising line of attack to discuss the properties of this 'perfect liquid,' and then to invent the simplest possible mechanism to explain them.
'Thermodynamic Properties of Twelve Liquids Between 200 and 800 and up to 1200 KGM. Per Sq. Cm.', Memoirs of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1913, 49, 113.
Science quotes on:  |  Actual (117)  |  All (4108)  |  Analogy (71)  |  Approximate (25)  |  Attack (84)  |  Become (815)  |  Call (769)  |  Certainly (185)  |  Conception (154)  |  Construct (124)  |  Explain (322)  |  Gas (83)  |  Great (1574)  |  High (362)  |  Kinetic (12)  |  Kinetic Theory (7)  |  Liquid (50)  |  Mechanism (96)  |  More (2559)  |  Nearly (137)  |  Offer (141)  |  Other (2236)  |  Perfect (216)  |  Possible (552)  |  Pressure (63)  |  Reason (744)  |  Result (677)  |  Service (110)  |  Theory (970)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Useful (250)  |  Way (1217)

The serum, when subjected to heat, coagulates and hardens like egg. This property is one of its striking characteristics; it is attributed to a particular substance which is thereby readily recognizable, and which is called albumine, because it is the one present in egg white, termed albumen.
Système des Connaissances Chimiques (1801), Vol. 5, 117. Trans. Joseph S. Fmton, Proteins, Enzymes, Genes: The Interplay of Chemistry and Biology (1999), 161.
Science quotes on:  |  Call (769)  |  Characteristic (148)  |  Egg (69)  |  Heat (174)  |  Present (619)  |  Property (168)  |  Protein (54)  |  Serum (11)  |  Subject (521)  |  Substance (248)  |  Term (349)  |  White (127)

The student of biology is often struck with the feeling that historians, when dealing with the rise and fall of nations, do not generally view the phenomena from a sufficiently high biological standpoint. To me, at least, they seem to attach too much importance to individual rulers and soldiers, and to particular wars, policies, religions, and customs; while at the same time they make little attempt to extract the fundamental causes of national success or failure.
Introduction written by Ross for William Henry Samuel Jones, Malaria, a Neglected Factor in the History of Greece and Rome (1907), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Attach (56)  |  Attempt (251)  |  Biological (137)  |  Biology (216)  |  Cause (541)  |  Custom (42)  |  Do (1908)  |  Extract (40)  |  Failure (161)  |  Fall (230)  |  Feeling (250)  |  Fundamental (250)  |  High (362)  |  Historian (54)  |  Importance (286)  |  Individual (404)  |  Little (707)  |  Nation (193)  |  Policy (24)  |  Religion (361)  |  Rise (166)  |  Ruler (21)  |  Soldier (26)  |  Standpoint (28)  |  Student (300)  |  Success (302)  |  Time (1877)  |  View (488)  |  War (225)

The varieties of chemical substances actually found in living things are vastly more restricted than the possible varieties. A striking illustration is that if one molecule each of all the possible types of proteins were made, they would together weigh more than the observable universe. Obviously there are a fantastically large number of protein types that are not made by living cells.
In The Closing Circle: Nature, Man, and Technology (2014).
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Cell (138)  |  Chemical (292)  |  Illustration (48)  |  Large (394)  |  Life (1795)  |  Living (491)  |  Molecule (174)  |  More (2559)  |  Number (699)  |  Observable (21)  |  Possible (552)  |  Protein (54)  |  Restricted (2)  |  Substance (248)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Together (387)  |  Type (167)  |  Universe (857)  |  Variety (132)  |  Vast (177)  |  Weigh (49)

The Wegener hypothesis has been so stimulating and has such fundamental implications in geology as to merit respectful and sympathetic interest from every geologist. Some striking arguments in his favor have been advanced, and it would be foolhardy indeed to reject any concept that offers a possible key to the solution of profound problems in the Earth's history.
Published while geologists remained sceptical of Alfred Wegener's idea of Continental Drift, Though unconvinced, he published these thoughts suggesting that critics should be at least be open-minded. His patience was proven justified when two decades later, the theory of plate tectonics provided a mechanism for the motion of the continents.
Some Thoughts on the Evidence for Continental Drift (1944).
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Argument (138)  |  Concept (221)  |  Continent (76)  |  Continental Drift (10)  |  Decade (59)  |  Earth (996)  |  Favor (63)  |  Fundamental (250)  |  Geologist (75)  |  Geology (220)  |  History (673)  |  Hypothesis (296)  |  Idea (843)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Interest (386)  |  Mechanism (96)  |  Merit (50)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Motion (310)  |  Offer (141)  |  Open (274)  |  Patience (56)  |  Plate Tectonics (20)  |  Possible (552)  |  Problem (676)  |  Profound (104)  |  Reject (63)  |  Remain (349)  |  Solution (267)  |  Sympathetic (10)  |  Theory (970)  |  Thought (953)  |  Two (937)  |  Alfred L. Wegener (8)

The whole strenuous intellectual work of an industrious research worker would appear, after all, in vain and hopeless, if he were not occasionally through some striking facts to find that he had, at the end of all his criss-cross journeys, at last accomplished at least one step which was conclusively nearer the truth.
Nobel Lecture (2 Jun 1920), in Nobel Lectures in Physics, 1901-1921 (1998), 407.
Science quotes on:  |  Accomplishment (93)  |  All (4108)  |  Appearance (140)  |  Conclusion (254)  |  End (590)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Find (998)  |  Hopeless (16)  |  Industrious (12)  |  Intellect (233)  |  Intellectual (255)  |  Journey (42)  |  Last (426)  |  Nearer (45)  |  Research (664)  |  Step (231)  |  Strenuous (5)  |  Through (849)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Vain (83)  |  Whole (738)  |  Work (1351)

The year which has passed ... has not been unproductive in contributions of interest and value, in those sciences to which we are professedly more particularly addicted, as well as in every other walk of scientific research. It has not, indeed, been marked by any of those striking discoveries which at once revolutionize, so as to speak, the department of science on which they bear.
Summary of the year in which the Darwin-Wallace communication was read. 'Presidential Address', Proceedings of the Linnean Society, 24 May (1859), viii.
Science quotes on:  |  Bear (159)  |  Contribution (89)  |  Charles Darwin (303)  |  Department (92)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Interest (386)  |  Marked (55)  |  More (2559)  |  Other (2236)  |  Pass (238)  |  Research (664)  |  Revolutionize (8)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Speak (232)  |  Value (365)  |  Walk (124)  |  Alfred Russel Wallace (40)  |  Year (933)

There was one quality of mind which seemed to be of special and extreme advantage in leading him [Charles Darwin] to make discoveries. It was the power of never letting exceptions pass unnoticed. Everybody notices a fact as an exception when it is striking or frequent, but he had a special instinct for arresting an exception. A point apparently slight and unconnected with his present work is passed over by many a man almost unconsciously with some half-considered explanation, which is in fact no explanation. It was just these things that he seized on to make a start from. In a certain sense there is nothing special in this procedure, many discoveries being made by means of it. I only mention it because, as I watched him at work, the value of this power to an experimenter was so strongly impressed upon me.
In Charles Darwin: His Life Told in an Autobiographical Chapter, and in a Selected Series of his Published Letters (1908), 94-95.
Science quotes on:  |  Advantage (134)  |  Being (1278)  |  Biography (240)  |  Certain (550)  |  Consider (416)  |  Charles Darwin (303)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Everybody (70)  |  Exception (73)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Experimenter (40)  |  Explanation (234)  |  Extreme (75)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Impress (64)  |  Impressed (38)  |  Instinct (88)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Mention (82)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Never (1087)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Notice (77)  |  Pass (238)  |  Point (580)  |  Power (746)  |  Present (619)  |  Procedure (41)  |  Quality (135)  |  Sense (770)  |  Special (184)  |  Start (221)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Unconnected (10)  |  Value (365)  |  Watch (109)  |  Work (1351)

This science, Geometry, is one of indispensable use and constant reference, for every student of the laws of nature; for the relations of space and number are the alphabet in which those laws are written. But besides the interest and importance of this kind which geometry possesses, it has a great and peculiar value for all who wish to understand the foundations of human knowledge, and the methods by which it is acquired. For the student of geometry acquires, with a degree of insight and clearness which the unmathematical reader can but feebly imagine, a conviction that there are necessary truths, many of them of a very complex and striking character; and that a few of the most simple and self-evident truths which it is possible for the mind of man to apprehend, may, by systematic deduction, lead to the most remote and unexpected results.
In The Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences Part 1, Bk. 2, chap. 4, sect. 8 (1868).
Science quotes on:  |  Acquire (39)  |  Acquired (78)  |  All (4108)  |  Alphabet (9)  |  Apprehend (5)  |  Character (243)  |  Clearness (11)  |  Complex (188)  |  Constant (144)  |  Conviction (97)  |  Deduction (82)  |  Degree (276)  |  Evident (91)  |  Feeble (27)  |  Foundation (171)  |  Geometry (255)  |  Great (1574)  |  Human (1468)  |  Imagine (164)  |  Importance (286)  |  Indispensable (28)  |  Insight (102)  |  Interest (386)  |  Kind (557)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Law (894)  |  Lead (384)  |  Man (2251)  |  Method (505)  |  Methods (204)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Mind Of Man (7)  |  Most (1731)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Necessary (363)  |  Number (699)  |  Peculiar (113)  |  Possess (156)  |  Possible (552)  |  Reader (40)  |  Reference (33)  |  Relation (157)  |  Remote (83)  |  Result (677)  |  Science (3879)  |  Self (267)  |  Self-Evident (21)  |  Simple (406)  |  Space (500)  |  Strike (68)  |  Student (300)  |  Systematic (57)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Understand (606)  |  Unexpected (52)  |  Use (766)  |  Value (365)  |  Value Of Mathematics (60)  |  Wish (212)  |  Write (230)

We may say that life has borrowed from inanimate processes the same mechanism used in producing these striking structures that are crystals.
‘The Nature of Forces between Large Molecules of Biological Interest’, Nature (1948), 161, 708.
Science quotes on:  |  Borrow (30)  |  Borrowing (4)  |  Crystal (68)  |  Inanimate (16)  |  Life (1795)  |  Mechanism (96)  |  Process (423)  |  Production (183)  |  Say (984)  |  Structure (344)

Your words have come true with a vengeance that I shd [should] be forestalled ... I never saw a more striking coincidence. If Wallace had my M.S. sketch written out in 1842 he could not have made a better short abstract! Even his terms now stand as Heads of my Chapters.
Letter to Charles Lyell, 18 June 1858. In F. Burkhardt and S. Smith (eds.), The Correspondence of Charles Darwin 1858-1859, Supplement 1821-1857 (1991), Vol. 7, 107.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Abstract (124)  |  Better (486)  |  Coincidence (19)  |  Sir Charles Lyell (42)  |  More (2559)  |  Never (1087)  |  Publication (101)  |  Saw (160)  |  Short (197)  |  Stand (274)  |  Term (349)  |  Terms (184)  |  Alfred Russel Wallace (40)  |  Word (619)


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.