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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition, we must lead it... That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index W > Category: Wax

Wax Quotes (13 quotes)

As Crystallography was born of a chance observation by Haüy of the cleavage-planes of a single fortunately fragile specimen, … so out of the slender study of the Norwich Spiral has sprung the vast and interminable Calculus of Cyclodes, which strikes such far-spreading and tenacious roots into the profoundest strata of denumeration, and, by this and the multitudinous and multifarious dependent theories which cluster around it, reminds one of the Scriptural comparison of the Kingdom of Heaven “to a grain of mustard-seed which a man took and cast into his garden, and it grew and waxed a great tree, and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it.”
From 'Outline Trace of the Theory of Reducible Cyclodes', Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society (1869), 2, 155, collected in Collected Mathematical Papers of James Joseph Sylvester (1908), Vol. 2, 683-684.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (347)  |  Bird (149)  |  Branch (150)  |  Calculus (65)  |  Cast (66)  |  Chance (239)  |  Cleavage (2)  |  Cluster (16)  |  Comparison (102)  |  Crystallography (9)  |  Dependent (24)  |  Fortunate (26)  |  Fowl (5)  |  Fragile (21)  |  Garden (60)  |  Grain (50)  |  Great (1574)  |  Grow (238)  |  René-Just Haüy (4)  |  Heaven (258)  |  Interminable (3)  |  Kingdom (78)  |  Kingdom Of Heaven (3)  |  Lodge (3)  |  Man (2251)  |  Multitudinous (4)  |  Mustard (2)  |  Observation (555)  |  Plane (20)  |  Profound (104)  |  Root (120)  |  Scripture (12)  |  Seed (93)  |  Single (353)  |  Specimen (28)  |  Spiral (18)  |  Spread (83)  |  Spring (133)  |  Strata (35)  |  Stratum (10)  |  Strike (68)  |  Study (653)  |  Tenacious (2)  |  Theory (970)  |  Tree (246)  |  Vast (177)

As experimentalists, we always can find something to do, even if we have to work with string and sealing wax.
As quoted in T.W. Hänsch, 'From (Incr)edible Lasers to New Spectroscopy', collected in William M. Yen and Marc D. Levenson (eds.), Lasers, Spectroscopy and New Ideas: A Tribute to Arthur L. Schawlow (2013), 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Do (1908)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Experimentalist (20)  |  Find (998)  |  Research (664)  |  Something (719)  |  String (21)  |  Work (1351)

Basic research at universities comes in two varieties: research that requires big bucks and research that requires small bucks. Big bucks research is much like government research and in fact usually is government research but done for the government under contract. Like other government research, big bucks academic research is done to understand the nature and structure of the universe or to understand life, which really means that it is either for blowing up the world or extending life, whichever comes first. Again, that's the government's motivation. The universities' motivation for conducting big bucks research is to bring money in to support professors and graduate students and to wax the floors of ivy-covered buildings. While we think they are busy teaching and learning, these folks are mainly doing big bucks basic research for a living, all the while priding themselves on their terrific summer vacations and lack of a dress code.
Smalls bucks research is the sort of thing that requires paper and pencil, and maybe a blackboard, and is aimed primarily at increasing knowledge in areas of study that don't usually attract big bucks - that is, areas that don't extend life or end it, or both. History, political science, and romance languages are typically small bucks areas of basic research. The real purpose of small bucks research to the universities is to provide a means of deciding, by the quality of their small bucks research, which professors in these areas should get tenure.
Accidental Empires (1992), 78.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Academic (18)  |  Aim (165)  |  All (4108)  |  Basic (138)  |  Basic Research (14)  |  Blackboard (11)  |  Blowing (22)  |  Both (493)  |  Building (156)  |  Code (31)  |  Doing (280)  |  End (590)  |  Extend (128)  |  Fact (1210)  |  First (1283)  |  Government (110)  |  Graduate (29)  |  Graduate Student (11)  |  History (673)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Lack (119)  |  Language (293)  |  Learning (274)  |  Life (1795)  |  Living (491)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Money (170)  |  Motivation (27)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Other (2236)  |  Paper (182)  |  Pencil (20)  |  Political (121)  |  Political Science (2)  |  Professor (128)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Quality (135)  |  Require (219)  |  Research (664)  |  Romance (15)  |  Science (3879)  |  Small (477)  |  Structure (344)  |  Student (300)  |  Study (653)  |  Summer (54)  |  Support (147)  |  Teaching (188)  |  Tenure (7)  |  Terrific (4)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Think (1086)  |  Two (937)  |  Understand (606)  |  Universe (857)  |  University (121)  |  Usually (176)  |  World (1774)

I took a good clear piece of Cork and with a Pen-knife sharpen'd as keen as a Razor, I cut a piece of it off, and thereby left the surface of it exceeding smooth, then examining it very diligently with a Microscope, me thought I could perceive it to appear a little porous; but I could not so plainly distinguish them, as to be sure that they were pores, much less what Figure they were of: But judging from the lightness and yielding quality of the Cork, that certainly the texture could not be so curious, but that possibly, if I could use some further diligence, I might find it to be discernable with a Microscope, I with the same sharp Penknife, cut off from the former smooth surface an exceeding thin piece of it with a deep plano-convex Glass, I could exceedingly plainly perceive it to be all perforated and porous, much like a Honey-comb, but that the pores of it were not regular; yet it was not unlike a Honey-comb in these particulars.
First, in that it had a very little solid substance, in comparison of the empty cavity that was contain'd between, ... for the Interstitia or walls (as I may so call them) or partitions of those pores were neer as thin in proportion to their pores as those thin films of Wax in a Honey-comb (which enclose and constitute the sexangular cells) are to theirs.
Next, in that these pores, or cells, were not very deep, but constituted of a great many little Boxes, separated out of one continued long pore, by certain Diaphragms...
I no sooner discerned these (which were indeed the first microscopical pores I ever saw, and perhaps, that were ever seen, for I had not met with any Writer or Person, that had made any mention of them before this) but me thought I had with the discovery of them, presently hinted to me the true and intelligible reason of all the Phænomena of Cork.
Micrographia, or some Physiological Descriptions of Minute Bodies made by Magnifying Glasses with Observations and Inquiries thereupon (1665), 112-6.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Call (769)  |  Cavity (8)  |  Cell (138)  |  Certain (550)  |  Certainly (185)  |  Comparison (102)  |  Constitute (97)  |  Convex (6)  |  Cork (2)  |  Curious (91)  |  Cut (114)  |  Deep (233)  |  Diligence (20)  |  Discern (33)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Distinguish (160)  |  Empty (80)  |  Exceedingly (28)  |  Figure (160)  |  Find (998)  |  First (1283)  |  Former (137)  |  Glass (92)  |  Good (889)  |  Great (1574)  |  Hint (21)  |  Honey (15)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Intelligible (34)  |  Knife (23)  |  Little (707)  |  Long (790)  |  Mention (82)  |  Microscope (80)  |  Next (236)  |  Pen (20)  |  Person (363)  |  Possibly (111)  |  Proportion (136)  |  Quality (135)  |  Reason (744)  |  Regular (46)  |  Saw (160)  |  Sharpen (22)  |  Smooth (32)  |  Solid (116)  |  Substance (248)  |  Surface (209)  |  Thought (953)  |  Use (766)  |  Wall (67)  |  Writer (86)

In ancient days two aviators procured to themselves wings. Daedalus flew safely through the middle air and was duly honored on his landing. Icarus soared upwards to the sun till the wax melted which bound his wings and his flight ended in fiasco. In weighing their achievements, there is something to be said for Icarus. The classical authorities tell us that he was only “doing a stunt,” but I prefer to think of him as the man who brought to light a serious constructional defect in the flying machines of his day.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (179)  |  Aeronautics (14)  |  Air (347)  |  Ancient (189)  |  Authority (95)  |  Bind (25)  |  Bound (119)  |  Classical (45)  |  Defect (31)  |  Doing (280)  |  End (590)  |  Fiasco (2)  |  Flight (98)  |  Fly (146)  |  Flying (72)  |  Flying Machine (13)  |  Honor (54)  |  Icarus (2)  |  Light (607)  |  Machine (257)  |  Man (2251)  |  Melt (16)  |  Serious (91)  |  Soar (23)  |  Something (719)  |  Stunt (7)  |  Sun (385)  |  Tell (340)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Think (1086)  |  Through (849)  |  Two (937)  |  Upward (43)  |  Weigh (49)  |  Wing (75)

Let us see how high we can fly before the sun melts the wax in our wings.
About the ambitious pursuit of knowledge, alluding to Icarus of the Greek myth.
Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge (1999), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Ambition (43)  |  Fly (146)  |  Greek (107)  |  High (362)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Myth (56)  |  Pursuit (121)  |  See (1081)  |  Sun (385)  |  Wing (75)

People have wracked their brains for an explanation of benzene and how the celebrated man [Kekulé] managed to come up with the concept of the benzene theory. With regard to the last point especially, a friend of mine who is a farmer and has a lively interest in chemistry has asked me a question which I would like to share with you. My “agricultural friend” apparently believes he has traced the origins of the benzene theory. “Has Kekulé,” so ran the question, “once been a bee-keeper? You certainly know that bees too build hexagons; they know well that they can store the greatest amount of honey that way with the least amount of wax. I always liked it,” my agricultural friend went on, “When I received a new issue of the Berichte; admittedly, I don't read the articles, but I like the pictures very much. The patterns of benzene, naphthalene and especially anthracene are indeed wonderful. When I look at the pictures I always have to think of the honeycombs of my bee hives.”
A. W. Hofmann, after-dinner speech at Kekulé Benzolfest (Mar 1890). Trans. in W. H. Brock, O. Theodor Benfrey and Susanne Stark, 'Hofmann's Benzene Tree at the Kekulé Festivities', Journal of Chemical Education (1991), 68, 888.
Science quotes on:  |  Amount (151)  |  Ask (411)  |  Bee (40)  |  Benzene (7)  |  Brain (270)  |  Build (204)  |  Certainly (185)  |  Chemistry (353)  |  Concept (221)  |  Explanation (234)  |  Farmer (32)  |  Friend (168)  |  Greatest (328)  |  Hexagon (4)  |  Honey (15)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Interest (386)  |  August Kekulé (13)  |  Know (1518)  |  Last (426)  |  Lively (17)  |  Look (582)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mine (76)  |  New (1216)  |  Origin (239)  |  Pattern (110)  |  People (1005)  |  Picture (143)  |  Point (580)  |  Question (621)  |  Read (287)  |  Regard (305)  |  Share (75)  |  Store (48)  |  Theory (970)  |  Think (1086)  |  Way (1217)  |  Wonderful (149)

The Qualities then that are in Bodies rightly considered, are of Three sorts.
First, the Bulk, Figure, Number, Situation, and Motion, or Rest of their solid Parts; those are in them, whether we perceive them or no; and when they are of that size, that we can discover them, we have by these an Idea of the thing, as it is in it self, as is plain in artificial things. These I call primary Qualities.
Secondly, The Power that is in any Body, by Reason of its insensible primary Qualities, to operate after a peculiar manner on any of our Senses, and thereby produce in us the different Ideas of several Colours, Sounds, Smells, Tastes, etc. These are usually called sensible Qualities.
Thirdly, The Power that is in any Body, by Reason of the particular Constitution of its primary Qualities, to make such a change in the Bulk, Figure, Texture, and Motion of another Body, as to make it operate on our Senses, differently from what it did before. Thus the Sun has a Power to make Wax white, and Fire to make Lead fluid. These are usually called Powers.
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690). Edited by Peter Nidditch (1975), Book 2, Chapter 8, Section 23, 140-1.
Science quotes on:  |  Body (537)  |  Bulk (24)  |  Call (769)  |  Change (593)  |  Color (137)  |  Consider (416)  |  Constitution (76)  |  Different (577)  |  Discover (553)  |  Figure (160)  |  Fire (189)  |  First (1283)  |  Fluid (51)  |  Idea (843)  |  Lead (384)  |  Motion (310)  |  Number (699)  |  Peculiar (113)  |  Power (746)  |  Primary (80)  |  Quality (135)  |  Reason (744)  |  Rest (280)  |  Self (267)  |  Sense (770)  |  Situation (113)  |  Smell (27)  |  Solid (116)  |  Sound (183)  |  Sun (385)  |  Taste (90)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Usually (176)  |  White (127)

The days of my youth extend backward to the dark ages, for I was born when the rush-light, the tallow-dip or the solitary blaze of the hearth were common means of indoor lighting, and an infrequent glass bowl, raised 8 or 10 feet on a wooden post, and containing a cup full of evil-smelling train-oil with a crude cotton wick stuck in it, served to make the darkness visible out of doors. In the chambers of the great, the wax candle or, exceptionally, a multiplicity of them, relieved the gloom on state occasions, but as a rule, the common people, wanting the inducement of indoor brightness such as we enjoy, went to bed soon after sunset.
Reminiscence written by Swan “in his old age”, as quoted in Kenneth Raydon Swan, Sir Joseph Swan (1946), 1-2.
Science quotes on:  |  Age (499)  |  Bed (23)  |  Biography (240)  |  Birth (147)  |  Blaze (14)  |  Brightness (12)  |  Candle (30)  |  Common (436)  |  Crude (31)  |  Dark (140)  |  Dark Ages (10)  |  Darkness (68)  |  Door (93)  |  Evil (116)  |  Extend (128)  |  Glass (92)  |  Gloom (9)  |  Great (1574)  |  Hearth (2)  |  Indoor (2)  |  Light (607)  |  Lighting (5)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Multiplicity (14)  |  Occasion (85)  |  Oil (59)  |  People (1005)  |  Rule (294)  |  Soon (186)  |  State (491)  |  Sunset (26)  |  Tallow (2)  |  Train (114)  |  Visible (84)  |  Wick (4)  |  Youth (101)

The Mind of Man is, at first, … like a Tabula rasa; or like Wax, which while it is soft, is capable of any Impression, until Time hath hardened it.
In 'A Tritical Essay Upon the Faculties of the Mind' (6 Aug 1707). A tabula rasa means a “scraped tablet” or “blank slate” and refers to a kind of wax-surfaced tablet used to inscribe notes, that can be erased by heating the wax.
Science quotes on:  |  Capable (168)  |  First (1283)  |  Hardened (2)  |  Impression (114)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Soft (29)  |  Tabula Rasa (2)  |  Time (1877)

There is more evidence to prove that saltness [of the sea] is due to the admixture of some substance, besides that which we have adduced. Make a vessel of wax and put it in the sea, fastening its mouth in such a way as to prevent any water getting in. Then the water that percolates through the wax sides of the vessel is sweet, the earthy stuff, the admixture of which makes the water salt, being separated off as it were by a filter.
[This is an example of Aristotle giving proof by experiment, in this case, of desalination by osmosis.]
Aristotle
Meteorology (350 B.C.), Book II, translated by E. W. Webster. Internet Classics Archive, (classics.mit.edu).
Science quotes on:  |  Being (1278)  |  Brine (3)  |  Desalination (3)  |  Due (141)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Fastening (2)  |  Filter (9)  |  More (2559)  |  Mouth (53)  |  Osmosis (3)  |  Prevent (94)  |  Proof (287)  |  Prove (250)  |  Salt (46)  |  Sea (308)  |  Side (233)  |  Substance (248)  |  Sweet (39)  |  Through (849)  |  Vessel (63)  |  Water (481)  |  Way (1217)

There were taken apples, and … closed up in wax. … After a month's space, the apple inclosed in was was as green and fresh as the first putting in, and the kernals continued white. The cause is, for that all exclusion of open air, which is ever predatory, maintaineth the body in its first freshness and moisture.
[In the U.S., since the 1920s, (to replace the fruit's original wax coating that is lost in the cleaning process after harvesting), natural waxes, such as carnauba wax, are applied in an extremely thin coating, to reduce loss of moisture and maintain crispness and appearance.]
Sylva Sylvarum; or a Natural History in Ten Centuries (1627), Century 4, Experiment 350-317. Collected in The Works of Francis Bacon (1826), Vol 1, 350-351.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Air (347)  |  All (4108)  |  Appearance (140)  |  Apple (40)  |  Applied (177)  |  Body (537)  |  Cause (541)  |  Cleaning (7)  |  Closed (38)  |  Exclusion (16)  |  First (1283)  |  Fresh (67)  |  Freshness (8)  |  Fruit (102)  |  Green (63)  |  Hermetic Seal (2)  |  Loss (110)  |  Maintain (105)  |  Moisture (20)  |  Month (88)  |  Natural (796)  |  Open (274)  |  Process (423)  |  Reduce (94)  |  Space (500)  |  White (127)

What, then, shall we say about the receipts of alchemy, and about the diversity of its vessels and instruments? These are furnaces, glasses, jars, waters, oils, limes, sulphurs, salts, saltpeters, alums, vitriols, chrysocollae, copper greens, atraments, auripigments, fel vitri, ceruse, red earth, thucia, wax, lutum sapientiae, pounded glass, verdigris, soot, crocus of Mars, soap, crystal, arsenic, antimony, minium, elixir, lazarium, gold leaf salt niter, sal ammoniac, calamine stone, magnesia, bolus armenus, and many other things. Then, again, concerning herbs, roots, seeds, woods, stones, animals, worms, bone dust, snail shells, other shells, and pitch. These and the like, whereof there are some very farfetched in alchemy, are mere incumbrances of work; since even if Sol and Luna [gold and silver] could be made by them they rather hinder and delay than further one’s purpose.
In Paracelsus and Arthur Edward Waite (ed.), The Hermetic and Alchemical Writings of Paracelsus (1894), Vol. 1, 13.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Alchemy (30)  |  Animal (617)  |  Antimony (7)  |  Apparatus (68)  |  Arsenic (10)  |  Bone (95)  |  Copper (25)  |  Crystal (68)  |  Delay (20)  |  Diversity (73)  |  Dust (64)  |  Earth (996)  |  Elixir (5)  |  Encumbrance (5)  |  Furnace (12)  |  Glass (92)  |  Gold (97)  |  Green (63)  |  Herb (5)  |  Hinder (12)  |  Instrument (144)  |  Jar (9)  |  Leaf (66)  |  Lime (3)  |  Mars (44)  |  Oil (59)  |  Other (2236)  |  Pitch (17)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Red (35)  |  Root (120)  |  Sal Ammoniac (2)  |  Salt (46)  |  Say (984)  |  Seed (93)  |  Shell (63)  |  Silver (46)  |  Snail (10)  |  Soap (11)  |  Soot (9)  |  Stone (162)  |  Sulphur (18)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Vessel (63)  |  Water (481)  |  Wood (92)  |  Work (1351)  |  Worm (42)


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.