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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “A change in motion is proportional to the motive force impressed and takes place along the straight line in which that force is impressed.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index Z > Category: Zero

Zero Quotes (37 quotes)

A man who keeps company with glaciers comes to feel tolerably insignificiant by and by. The Alps and the glaciers together are able to take every bit of conceit out of a man and reduce his self-importance to zero if he will only remain within the influence of their sublime presence long enough to give it a fair and reasonable chance to do its work.
In A Tramp Abroad (1880), 466.
Science quotes on:  |  Alp (9)  |  Alps (8)  |  Chance (239)  |  Company (59)  |  Conceit (15)  |  Do (1908)  |  Enough (340)  |  Fair (15)  |  Feel (367)  |  Glacier (17)  |  Importance (286)  |  Influence (222)  |  Insignificance (10)  |  Keeping (9)  |  Long (790)  |  Man (2251)  |  Presence (63)  |  Reasonable (27)  |  Reduce (94)  |  Remain (349)  |  Remaining (45)  |  Self (267)  |  Self-Importance (2)  |  Sublime (46)  |  Taking (9)  |  Together (387)  |  Toleration (6)  |  Will (2355)  |  Work (1351)

Among all the occurrences possible in the universe the a priori probability of any particular one of them verges upon zero. Yet the universe exists; particular events must take place in it, the probability of which (before the event) was infinitesimal. At the present time we have no legitimate grounds for either asserting or denying that life got off to but a single start on earth, and that, as a consequence, before it appeared its chances of occurring were next to nil. ... Destiny is written concurrently with the event, not prior to it.
In Jacques Monod and Austryn Wainhouse (trans.), Chance and Necessity: An Essay on the Natural Philosophy of Modern Biology (1971), 145.
Science quotes on:  |  A Priori (26)  |  All (4108)  |  Appear (118)  |  Assert (66)  |  Chance (239)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Deny (66)  |  Destiny (50)  |  Earth (996)  |  Event (216)  |  Exist (443)  |  Ground (217)  |  Infinitesimal (29)  |  Legitimate (25)  |  Life (1795)  |  Must (1526)  |  Next (236)  |  Occur (150)  |  Occurrence (53)  |  Particular (76)  |  Possible (552)  |  Present (619)  |  Prior (5)  |  Probability (130)  |  Single (353)  |  Start (221)  |  Time (1877)  |  Universe (857)  |  Verge (10)  |  Write (230)

Do you realize we’ve got 250 million years of coal? But coal has got environmental hazards to it, but there’s—I’m convinced, and I know that we—technology can be developed so we can have zero-emissions coal-fired electricity plants.
Remarks at the Associated Builders and Contractors National Legislative Conference (8 Jun 2005). The White house corrected “250 million years” to “250 years” in a footnote to the printed record, 41 WCPD 956 in 'Administration of George W. Bush', 959.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Clean (50)  |  Coal (57)  |  Convince (41)  |  Develop (268)  |  Development (422)  |  Do (1908)  |  Electricity (159)  |  Environment (216)  |  Hazard (18)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Million (114)  |  Money (170)  |  Plant (294)  |  Realize (147)  |  Technology (257)  |  Year (933)

Each nerve cell receives connections from other nerve cells at six sites called synapses. But here is an astonishing fact—there are about one million billion connections in the cortical sheet. If you were to count them, one connection (or synapse) per second, you would finish counting some thirty-two million years after you began. Another way of getting a feeling for the numbers of connections in this extraordinary structure is to consider that a large match-head’s worth of your brain contains about a billion connections. Notice that I only mention counting connections. If we consider how connections might be variously combined, the number would be hyperastronomical—on the order of ten followed by millions of zeros. (There are about ten followed by eighty zero’s worth of positively charged particles in the whole known universe!)
Bright and Brilliant Fire, On the Matters of the Mind (1992), 17.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Astonishing (27)  |  Billion (95)  |  Brain (270)  |  Call (769)  |  Connection (162)  |  Consider (416)  |  Count (105)  |  Counting (26)  |  Extraordinary (79)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Feeling (250)  |  Finish (59)  |  Follow (378)  |  Known (454)  |  Large (394)  |  Match (29)  |  Mention (82)  |  Nerve (79)  |  Neurobiology (4)  |  Notice (77)  |  Number (699)  |  Order (632)  |  Other (2236)  |  Particle (194)  |  Receive (114)  |  Structure (344)  |  Two (937)  |  Universe (857)  |  Way (1217)  |  Whole (738)  |  Worth (169)  |  Year (933)

Four circles to the kissing come,
The smaller are the benter.
The bend is just the inverse of
The distance from the centre.
Though their intrigue left Euclid dumb
There’s now no need for rule of thumb.
Since zero bend’s a dead straight line
And concave bends have minus sign,
The sum of squares of all four bends
Is half the square of their sum.
In poem, 'The Kiss Precise', Nature (20 Jun 1936), 137, 1021, as quoted, cited, explained and illustrated in Martin Gardner, The Colossal Book of Mathematics: Classic Puzzles, Paradoxes, and Problems (2001), 139-141.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Bend (12)  |  Centre (28)  |  Circle (110)  |  Concave (6)  |  Dead (59)  |  Distance (161)  |  Dumb (11)  |  Euclid (54)  |  Half (56)  |  Intrigue (2)  |  Inverse (7)  |  Kiss (8)  |  Leave (130)  |  Minus (7)  |  Need (290)  |  Rule (294)  |  Rule Of Thumb (3)  |  Sign (58)  |  Small (477)  |  Square (70)  |  Straight (73)  |  Straight Line (30)  |  Sum (102)  |  Thumb (17)

From a certain temperature on, the molecules 'condense' without attractive forces; that is, they accumulate at zero velocity. The theory is pretty, but is there some truth in it.
Letter to Ehrenfest (Dec 1924). Quoted in Abraham Pais, Roger Penrose, Subtle Is the Lord: The Science and the Life of Albert Einstein (2005), 432.
Science quotes on:  |  Attractive (23)  |  Certain (550)  |  Force (487)  |  Molecule (174)  |  Temperature (79)  |  Theory (970)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Velocity (48)

I have been driven to assume for some time, especially in relation to the gases, a sort of conducting power for magnetism. Mere space is Zero. One substance being made to occupy a given portion of space will cause more lines of force to pass through that space than before, and another substance will cause less to pass. The former I now call Paramagnetic & the latter are the diamagnetic. The former need not of necessity assume a polarity of particles such as iron has with magnetic, and the latter do not assume any such polarity either direct or reverse. I do not say more to you just now because my own thoughts are only in the act of formation, but this I may say: that the atmosphere has an extraordinary magnetic constitution, & I hope & expect to find in it the cause of the annual & diurnal variations, but keep this to yourself until I have time to see what harvest will spring from my growing ideas.
Letter to William Whewell, 22 Aug 1850. In L. Pearce Williams (ed.), The Selected Correspondence of Michael Faraday (1971), Vol. 2, 589.
Science quotes on:  |  Act (272)  |  Atmosphere (103)  |  Being (1278)  |  Call (769)  |  Cause (541)  |  Constitution (76)  |  Direct (225)  |  Do (1908)  |  Expect (200)  |  Extraordinary (79)  |  Find (998)  |  Force (487)  |  Formation (96)  |  Former (137)  |  Growing (98)  |  Harvest (27)  |  Hope (299)  |  Idea (843)  |  Iron (96)  |  Magnetic (44)  |  Magnetism (41)  |  More (2559)  |  Necessity (191)  |  Nomenclature (146)  |  Particle (194)  |  Pass (238)  |  Polarity (5)  |  Portion (84)  |  Power (746)  |  Reverse (33)  |  Say (984)  |  See (1081)  |  Space (500)  |  Spring (133)  |  Substance (248)  |  Thought (953)  |  Through (849)  |  Time (1877)  |  Variation (90)  |  Will (2355)

If a nonnegative quantity was so small that it is smaller than any given one, then it certainly could not be anything but zero. To those who ask what the infinitely small quantity in mathematics is, we answer that it is actually zero. Hence there are not so many mysteries hidden in this concept as they are usually believed to be. These supposed mysteries have rendered the calculus of the infinitely small quite suspect to many people. Those doubts that remain we shall thoroughly remove in the following pages, where we shall explain this calculus.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (366)  |  Ask (411)  |  Belief (578)  |  Calculus (65)  |  Certainly (185)  |  Concept (221)  |  Doubt (304)  |  Explain (322)  |  Hidden (42)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Mystery (177)  |  People (1005)  |  Quantity (132)  |  Remain (349)  |  Remove (45)  |  Render (93)  |  Small (477)  |  Suppose (156)  |  Suspect (16)  |  Thoroughly (67)  |  Usually (176)

If patterns of ones and zeros were “like” patterns of human lives and death, if everything about an individual could be represented in a computer record by a long string of ones and zeros, then what kind of creature would be represented by a long string of lives and deaths?
Vineland (1900, 1997), 90.
Science quotes on:  |  Binary (12)  |  Computer (127)  |  Creature (233)  |  Death (388)  |  Everything (476)  |  Human (1468)  |  Individual (404)  |  Kind (557)  |  Life (1795)  |  Live (628)  |  Long (790)  |  Pattern (110)  |  Record (154)  |  Represent (155)  |  String (21)

In the discussion of the. energies involved in the deformation of nuclei, the concept of surface tension of nuclear matter has been used and its value had been estimated from simple considerations regarding nuclear forces. It must be remembered, however, that the surface tension of a charged droplet is diminished by its charge, and a rough estimate shows that the surface tension of nuclei, decreasing with increasing nuclear charge, may become zero for atomic numbers of the order of 100. It seems therefore possible that the uranium nucleus has only small stability of form, and may, after neutron capture, divide itself into two nuclei of roughly equal size (the precise ratio of sizes depending on liner structural features and perhaps partly on chance). These two nuclei will repel each other and should gain a total kinetic energy of c. 200 Mev., as calculated from nuclear radius and charge. This amount of energy may actually be expected to be available from the difference in packing fraction between uranium and the elements in the middle of the periodic system. The whole 'fission' process can thus be described in an essentially classical way, without having to consider quantum-mechanical 'tunnel effects', which would actually be extremely small, on account of the large masses involved.
[Co-author with Otto Robert Frisch]
Lise Meitner and O. R. Frisch, 'Disintegration of Uranium by Neutrons: a New Type of Nuclear Reaction', Nature (1939), 143, 239.
Science quotes on:  |  Account (192)  |  Amount (151)  |  Atomic Number (3)  |  Author (167)  |  Available (78)  |  Become (815)  |  Chance (239)  |  Charge (59)  |  Classical (45)  |  Concept (221)  |  Consider (416)  |  Consideration (139)  |  Deformation (3)  |  Difference (337)  |  Discussion (72)  |  Divide (75)  |  Effect (393)  |  Element (310)  |  Energy (344)  |  Estimate (57)  |  Expect (200)  |  Fission (10)  |  Force (487)  |  Form (959)  |  Gain (145)  |  Involved (90)  |  Kinetic (12)  |  Kinetic Energy (3)  |  Large (394)  |  Matter (798)  |  Mechanical (140)  |  Must (1526)  |  Neutron (17)  |  Nuclear (107)  |  Nucleus (49)  |  Number (699)  |  Order (632)  |  Other (2236)  |  Possible (552)  |  Precise (68)  |  Process (423)  |  Quantum (117)  |  Quantum Theory (66)  |  Radius (4)  |  Ratio (39)  |  Remember (179)  |  Repulsion (7)  |  Show (346)  |  Simple (406)  |  Small (477)  |  Stability (25)  |  Structural (29)  |  Surface (209)  |  Surface Tension (2)  |  System (537)  |  Tension (24)  |  Total (94)  |  Tunnel (13)  |  Two (937)  |  Uranium (20)  |  Value (365)  |  Way (1217)  |  Whole (738)  |  Will (2355)

In the history of the discovery of zero will always stand out as one of the greatest single achievements of the human race.
Number: the Language of Science (1930), 35.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (179)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Great (1574)  |  Greatest (328)  |  History (673)  |  Human (1468)  |  Human Race (100)  |  Race (268)  |  Single (353)  |  Stand (274)  |  Stand Out (5)  |  Will (2355)

In Winter, [the Antarctic] is perhaps the dreariest of places. Our base, Little America, lay in a bowl of ice, near the edge of the Ross Ice Barrier. The temperature fell as low as 72 degrees below zero. One could actually hear one's breath freeze.
In 'Hoover Presents Special Medal to Byrd...', New York Times (21 Jun 1930), 1.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  America (127)  |  Antarctic (6)  |  Barrier (32)  |  Base (117)  |  Bowl (3)  |  Breath (59)  |  Coldness (2)  |  Degree (276)  |  Dreariness (3)  |  Edge (47)  |  Freezing (16)  |  Hear (139)  |  Hearing (49)  |  Ice (54)  |  Little (707)  |  Low (80)  |  Temperature (79)  |  Winter (44)

It is known that there are an infinite number of worlds, simply because there is an infinite amount of space for them to be in. However, not every one of them is inhabited. Therefore, there must be a finite number of inhabited worlds. Any finite number divided by infinity is as near to nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero. From this it follows that the population of the whole Universe is also zero, and that any people you may meet from time to time are merely the products of a deranged imagination.
In The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (1980, 2005), 142-143. Slightly revised from 'Fit the Fifth', The Original Hitchhiker Radio Scripts (1985), 102. The show was recorded for the BBC on 21 Feb 1978.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Amount (151)  |  Average (82)  |  Deranged (3)  |  Divided (50)  |  Division (65)  |  Finite (59)  |  Follow (378)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Infinite (231)  |  Infinity (90)  |  Inhabitant (49)  |  Known (454)  |  Meet (31)  |  Merely (316)  |  Must (1526)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Number (699)  |  People (1005)  |  Planet (356)  |  Population (110)  |  Product (160)  |  Space (500)  |  Time (1877)  |  Universe (857)  |  Whole (738)  |  World (1774)

It is of interest to inquire what happens when the aviator’s speed… approximates to the velocity of light. Lengths in the direction of flight become smaller and smaller, until for the speed of light they shrink to zero. The aviator and the objects accompanying him shrink to two dimensions. We are saved the difficulty of imagining how the processes of life can go on in two dimensions, because nothing goes on. Time is arrested altogether. This is the description according to the terrestrial observer. The aviator himself detects nothing unusual; he does not perceive that he has stopped moving. He is merely waiting for the next instant to come before making the next movement; and the mere fact that time is arrested means that he does not perceive that the next instant is a long time coming.
In Space, Time and Gravitation: An Outline of the General Relativity Theory (1920, 1921), 26.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  According (237)  |  Approximate (25)  |  Become (815)  |  Coming (114)  |  Detect (44)  |  Difficulty (196)  |  Dimension (61)  |  Direction (175)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Flight (98)  |  Happen (274)  |  Himself (461)  |  Inquire (23)  |  Instant (45)  |  Interest (386)  |  Life (1795)  |  Light (607)  |  Long (790)  |  Making (300)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Merely (316)  |  Movement (155)  |  Next (236)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Object (422)  |  Shrink (23)  |  Speed (65)  |  Speed Of Light (17)  |  Terrestrial (61)  |  Time (1877)  |  Two (937)  |  Unusual (37)  |  Velocity (48)  |  Waiting (43)

It is very desirable to have a word to express the Availability for work of the heat in a given magazine; a term for that possession, the waste of which is called Dissipation. Unfortunately the excellent word Entropy, which Clausius has introduced in this connexion, is applied by him to the negative of the idea we most naturally wish to express. It would only confuse the student if we were to endeavour to invent another term for our purpose. But the necessity for some such term will be obvious from the beautiful examples which follow. And we take the liberty of using the term Entropy in this altered sense ... The entropy of the universe tends continually to zero.
Sketch of Thermodynamics (1868), 100-2.
Science quotes on:  |  Alter (62)  |  Alteration (30)  |  Altered (32)  |  Application (242)  |  Applied (177)  |  Availability (10)  |  Beautiful (258)  |  Call (769)  |  Rudolf Clausius (9)  |  Confusion (57)  |  Connection (162)  |  Continuity (38)  |  Desirable (33)  |  Desire (204)  |  Dissipation (2)  |  Endeavour (63)  |  Entropy (44)  |  Example (94)  |  Excellence (39)  |  Express (186)  |  Expression (175)  |  Follow (378)  |  Heat (174)  |  Idea (843)  |  Introduce (63)  |  Invention (369)  |  Liberty (25)  |  Magazine (24)  |  Most (1731)  |  Necessity (191)  |  Negative (63)  |  Nomenclature (146)  |  Obvious (126)  |  Possession (65)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Sense (770)  |  Student (300)  |  Tend (124)  |  Term (349)  |  Unfortunately (38)  |  Universe (857)  |  Waste (101)  |  Will (2355)  |  Wish (212)  |  Word (619)  |  Work (1351)

It will be noticed that the fundamental theorem proved above bears some remarkable resemblances to the second law of thermodynamics. Both are properties of populations, or aggregates, true irrespective of the nature of the units which compose them; both are statistical laws; each requires the constant increase of a measurable quantity, in the one case the entropy of a physical system and in the other the fitness, measured by m, of a biological population. As in the physical world we can conceive the theoretical systems in which dissipative forces are wholly absent, and in which the entropy consequently remains constant, so we can conceive, though we need not expect to find, biological populations in which the genetic variance is absolutely zero, and in which fitness does not increase. Professor Eddington has recently remarked that “The law that entropy always increases—the second law of thermodynamics—holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of nature.” It is not a little instructive that so similar a law should hold the supreme position among the biological sciences. While it is possible that both may ultimately be absorbed by some more general principle, for the present we should note that the laws as they stand present profound differences—-(1) The systems considered in thermodynamics are permanent; species on the contrary are liable to extinction, although biological improvement must be expected to occur up to the end of their existence. (2) Fitness, although measured by a uniform method, is qualitatively different for every different organism, whereas entropy, like temperature, is taken to have the same meaning for all physical systems. (3) Fitness may be increased or decreased by changes in the environment, without reacting quantitatively upon that environment. (4) Entropy changes are exceptional in the physical world in being irreversible, while irreversible evolutionary changes form no exception among biological phenomena. Finally, (5) entropy changes lead to a progressive disorganization of the physical world, at least from the human standpoint of the utilization of energy, while evolutionary changes are generally recognized as producing progressively higher organization in the organic world.
The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection (1930), 36.
Science quotes on:  |  Absorb (49)  |  Aggregate (23)  |  All (4108)  |  Bear (159)  |  Being (1278)  |  Biological (137)  |  Both (493)  |  Change (593)  |  Conceive (98)  |  Consider (416)  |  Constant (144)  |  Contrary (141)  |  Difference (337)  |  Different (577)  |  Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington (130)  |  End (590)  |  Energy (344)  |  Entropy (44)  |  Environment (216)  |  Exception (73)  |  Exceptional (18)  |  Existence (456)  |  Expect (200)  |  Extinction (74)  |  Find (998)  |  Force (487)  |  Form (959)  |  Fundamental (250)  |  General (511)  |  Genetic (108)  |  Human (1468)  |  Improvement (108)  |  Increase (210)  |  Irreversible (12)  |  Law (894)  |  Lead (384)  |  Little (707)  |  Meaning (233)  |  Method (505)  |  More (2559)  |  Must (1526)  |  Natural Selection (96)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Occur (150)  |  Organic (158)  |  Organism (220)  |  Organization (114)  |  Other (2236)  |  Permanent (64)  |  Physical (508)  |  Physical World (28)  |  Population (110)  |  Possible (552)  |  Present (619)  |  Principle (507)  |  Professor (128)  |  Profound (104)  |  Quantity (132)  |  Remain (349)  |  Require (219)  |  Resemblance (38)  |  Science (3879)  |  Second Law Of Thermodynamics (14)  |  Species (401)  |  Stand (274)  |  Standpoint (28)  |  Statistics (155)  |  Supreme (71)  |  System (537)  |  Temperature (79)  |  Theorem (112)  |  Thermodynamics (40)  |  Think (1086)  |  Ultimately (55)  |  Utilization (15)  |  Variance (12)  |  Wholly (88)  |  Will (2355)  |  World (1774)

It’s an advantage up here for older folks because in Zero-g you can move around much more easily.
Replying to a Delta Middle School students’ question during a school forum held using a downlink with the Discovery Space Shuttle mission 31 Oct 1998. On NASA web page 'STS-95 Educational Downlink'. Jeff Butz, Matt Lewis, Dawn VanDyke and Jessica Burger asked “Senator Glenn, do you feel younger when you are in space?”
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Advantage (134)  |  Easily (35)  |  Folk (8)  |  More (2559)  |  Move (216)  |  Older (7)  |  Zero Gravity (2)

Kriegman says … “Think binary. When matter meets antimatter, both vanish, into pure energy. But both existed; I mean, there was a condition we’ll call ‘existence.’ Think of one and minus one. Together they add up to zero, nothing, nada, niente, right? Picture them together, then picture them separating—peeling apart. … Now you have something, you have two somethings, where once you had nothing.”
In Roger's Version (1986), 304.
Science quotes on:  |  Anti-Matter (4)  |  Binary (12)  |  Both (493)  |  Call (769)  |  Condition (356)  |  Energy (344)  |  Exist (443)  |  Existence (456)  |  Matter (798)  |  Mean (809)  |  Minus One (4)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Picture (143)  |  Pure (291)  |  Right (452)  |  Say (984)  |  Separation (57)  |  Something (719)  |  Think (1086)  |  Together (387)  |  Two (937)  |  Vanishing (11)

Laws of Thermodynamics
1) You cannot win, you can only break even.
2) You can only break even at absolute zero.
3) You cannot reach absolute zero.
Anonymous
Folklore amongst physicists.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (145)  |  Break (99)  |  Law (894)  |  Reach (281)  |  French Saying (67)  |  Thermodynamics (40)  |  Win (52)

Leibnitz believed he saw the image of creation in his binary arithmetic in which he employed only two characters, unity and zero. Since God may be represented by unity, and nothing by zero, he imagined that the Supreme Being might have drawn all things from nothing, just as in the binary arithmetic all numbers are expressed by unity with zero. This idea was so pleasing to Leibnitz, that he communicated it to the Jesuit Grimaldi, President of the Mathematical Board of China, with the hope that this emblem of the creation might convert to Christianity the reigning emperor who was particularly attached to the sciences.
In 'Essai Philosophique sur les Probabiliés', Oeuvres (1896), t. 7, 119.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Arithmetic (136)  |  Attach (56)  |  Attached (36)  |  Being (1278)  |  Belief (578)  |  Binary (12)  |  Board (12)  |  Character (243)  |  China (23)  |  Christianity (11)  |  Communicate (36)  |  Convert (22)  |  Creation (327)  |  Emblem (4)  |  Emperor (6)  |  Employ (113)  |  Express (186)  |  God (757)  |  Hope (299)  |  Idea (843)  |  Image (96)  |  Imagine (164)  |  Jesuit (2)  |  Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (49)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (141)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Number (699)  |  Particular (76)  |  Please (65)  |  President (31)  |  Reign (23)  |  Represent (155)  |  Saw (160)  |  Science (3879)  |  See (1081)  |  Supreme (71)  |  Supreme Being (8)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Two (937)  |  Unity (78)

Men cannot be treated as units in operations of political arithmetic because they behave like the symbols for zero and the infinite, which dislocate all mathematical operations.
In The God That Failed: Six Studies in Communism (1965), 60.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Arithmetic (136)  |  Behave (17)  |  Infinite (231)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Operation (213)  |  Operations (107)  |  Political (121)  |  Political Arithmetic (3)  |  Symbol (93)  |  Treat (35)  |  Unit (33)

Most discussions of the population crisis lead logically to zero population growth as the ultimate goal, because any growth rate, if continued, will eventually use up the earth... Turning to the actual measures taken we see that the very use of family planning as the means for implementing population policy poses serious but unacknowledged limits the intended reduction in fertility. The family-planning movement, clearly devoted to the improvement and dissemination of contraceptive devices, states again and again that its purpose is that of enabling couples to have the number of children they want.
With the publication of this article 'zero population growth' and the acronym 'ZPG' came into general use.
'Population Policy: Will Current Programs Succeed?', Science, 1967, 158, 732.
Science quotes on:  |  Actual (117)  |  Children (200)  |  Crisis (24)  |  Device (70)  |  Devoted (59)  |  Discussion (72)  |  Dissemination (3)  |  Earth (996)  |  Eventually (65)  |  Family (94)  |  Fertility (19)  |  General (511)  |  Goal (145)  |  Growth (187)  |  Improvement (108)  |  Lead (384)  |  Limit (280)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Measure (232)  |  Most (1731)  |  Movement (155)  |  Number (699)  |  Planning (20)  |  Population (110)  |  Population Growth (8)  |  Publication (101)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Reduction (51)  |  See (1081)  |  Serious (91)  |  State (491)  |  Ultimate (144)  |  Use (766)  |  Want (497)  |  Will (2355)

My expectations were reduced to zero when I was 21. Everything since then has been a bonus.
Interview with Deborah Solomon, 'The Science of Second-Guessing', in New York Times Magazine (12 Dec 2004), 37.
Science quotes on:  |  Age (499)  |  Bonus (2)  |  Everything (476)  |  Expectation (65)  |  Reduction (51)

Neutrinos ... win the minimalist contest: zero charge, zero radius, and very possibly zero mass.
In Leon Lederman and Dick Teresi, The God Particle: If the Universe is the Answer, What is the Question (1993, 2006), xiii.
Science quotes on:  |  Charge (59)  |  Contest (6)  |  Mass (157)  |  Neutrino (11)  |  Possibly (111)  |  Radius (4)  |  Win (52)

One of my inventions was a large thermometer made of an iron rod, … The expansion and contraction of this rod was multiplied by a series of levers … so that the slightest change in the length of the rod was instantly shown on a dial about three feet wide multiplied about thirty-two thousand times. The zero-point was gained by packing the rod in wet snow. The scale was so large that … the temperature read while we were ploughing in the field below the house.
From The Story of My Boyhood and Youth (1913), 258-259. One of the inventions made while growing up on his father’s farm, before he left the year after he was 21.
Science quotes on:  |  Change (593)  |  Contraction (15)  |  Dial (9)  |  Expansion (41)  |  Field (364)  |  Gain (145)  |  House (140)  |  Instantly (19)  |  Invention (369)  |  Iron (96)  |  Large (394)  |  Lever (13)  |  Melting Point (3)  |  Multiply (37)  |  Ploughing (3)  |  Point (580)  |  Read (287)  |  Rod (5)  |  Scale (121)  |  Series (149)  |  Snow (37)  |  Temperature (79)  |  Thermometer (11)  |  Thousand (331)  |  Time (1877)  |  Two (937)  |  Wide (96)

One-sixth gravity on the surface of the moon is just delightful. It’s not like being in zero gravity, you know. You can drop a pencil in zero gravity and look for it for three days. In one-sixth gravity, you just look down and there it is.
In Houston Chronicle (2004) as cited in Will Dunham, 'John Young, “most experienced” U.S. astronaut, dies at 87', on Reuters website (6 Jan 2018).
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Being (1278)  |  Delightful (17)  |  Down (456)  |  Drop (76)  |  Gravity (132)  |  Know (1518)  |  Look (582)  |  Look Down (3)  |  Moon (237)  |  Pencil (20)  |  Surface (209)  |  Zero Gravity (2)

Sarcastic Science, she would like to know,
In her complacent ministry of fear,
How we propose to get away from here
When she has made things so we have to go
Or be wiped out. Will she be asked to show
Us how by rocket we may hope to steer
To some star off there, say, a half light-year
Through temperature of absolute zero?
Why wait for Science to supply the how
When any amateur can tell it now?
The way to go away should be the same
As fifty million years ago we came—
If anyone remembers how that was
I have a theory, but it hardly does.
'Why Wait for Science?' In Edward Connery Latham (ed.), The Poetry of Robert Frost: The Collected Poems, Complete and Unabridged (1979), 395.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (145)  |  Ask (411)  |  Fear (197)  |  Hope (299)  |  Know (1518)  |  Light (607)  |  Remember (179)  |  Rocket (43)  |  Say (984)  |  Science (3879)  |  Show (346)  |  Space Flight (25)  |  Star (427)  |  Supply (93)  |  Tell (340)  |  Temperature (79)  |  Theory (970)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Through (849)  |  Way (1217)  |  Why (491)  |  Will (2355)  |  Year (933)

Some of Feynman’s ideas about cosmology have a modern ring. A good example is his attitude toward the origin of matter. The idea of continuous matter creation in the steady state cosmology does not seriously offend him (and he notes … that the big bang cosmology has a problem just as bad, to explain where all the matter came from in the beginning). … He emphasizes that the total energy of the universe could really be zero, and that matter creation is possible because the rest energy of the matter is actually canceled by its gravitational potential energy. “It is exciting to think that it costs nothing to create a new particle, …”
In John Preskill and Kip S. Thorne, 'Foreword to Feynman Lectures on Gravitation' (15 May 1995). Feynman delivered his lectures in 1962–63.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Attitude (82)  |  Bad (180)  |  Bang (29)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Big Bang (39)  |  Cancel (3)  |  Continuous (82)  |  Continuous Creation (2)  |  Cosmology (25)  |  Cost (86)  |  Create (235)  |  Creation (327)  |  Emphasize (23)  |  Energy (344)  |  Exciting (47)  |  Explain (322)  |  Explanation (234)  |  Richard P. Feynman (122)  |  Good (889)  |  Gravitation (70)  |  Idea (843)  |  Matter (798)  |  Modern (385)  |  New (1216)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Offend (7)  |  Origin (239)  |  Particle (194)  |  Possible (552)  |  Potential (69)  |  Potential Energy (5)  |  Problem (676)  |  Rest (280)  |  State (491)  |  Steady (44)  |  Steady State (6)  |  Think (1086)  |  Total (94)  |  Universe (857)

The neutral zone of selective advantage in the neighbourhood of zero is thus so narrow that changes in the environment, and in the genetic constitution of species, must cause this zone to be crossed and perhaps recrossed relatively rapidly in the course of evolutionary change, so that many possible gene substitutions may have a fluctuating history of advance and regression before the final balance of selective advantage is determined.
'The Distribution of Gene Ratios for Rare Mutations', Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 1930, 50, 219.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (280)  |  Advantage (134)  |  Balance (77)  |  Cause (541)  |  Change (593)  |  Constitution (76)  |  Course (409)  |  Environment (216)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Final (118)  |  Gene (98)  |  Genetic (108)  |  History (673)  |  Must (1526)  |  Narrow (84)  |  Neutral (13)  |  Possible (552)  |  Rapidly (66)  |  Regression (2)  |  Selective (19)  |  Species (401)

The point about zero is that we do not need to use it in the operations of daily life. No one goes out to buy zero fish. It is the most civilized of all the cardinals, and its use is only forced on us by the needs of cultivated modes of thought.
In An Introduction to Mathematics (1911), 63.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Buy (20)  |  Cardinal (9)  |  Civilized (18)  |  Cultivated (7)  |  Daily (87)  |  Daily Life (17)  |  Do (1908)  |  Fish (120)  |  Life (1795)  |  Mode (41)  |  Most (1731)  |  Need (290)  |  Operation (213)  |  Operations (107)  |  Point (580)  |  Thought (953)  |  Use (766)

The radius of space began at zero; the first stages of the expansion consisted of a rapid expansion determined by the mass of the initial atom, almost equal to the present mass of the universe. If this mass is sufficient, and the estimates which we can make indicate that this is indeed so, the initial expansion was able to permit the radius to exceed the value of the equilibrium radius. The expansion thus took place in three phases: a first period of rapid expansion in which the atom-universe was broken into atomic stars, a period of slowing-down, followed by a third period of accelerated expansion. It is doubtless in this third period that we find ourselves today, and the acceleration of space which followed the period of slow expansion could well be responsible for the separation of stars into extra-galactic nebulae.
From 'La formation des Nebuleuses dans l’Univers en Expansion', Comptes Rendus (1933), 196, 903-904. As translated in Helge Kragh, Cosmology and Controversy: The Historical Development of Two Theories of the Universe (1996), 52.
Science quotes on:  |  Acceleration (12)  |  Atom (355)  |  Big Bang (39)  |  Broken (56)  |  Consist (223)  |  Down (456)  |  Equilibrium (33)  |  Estimate (57)  |  Expansion (41)  |  Find (998)  |  First (1283)  |  Follow (378)  |  Galactic (6)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Indicate (61)  |  Mass (157)  |  Origin Of The Universe (16)  |  Ourselves (245)  |  Period (198)  |  Permit (58)  |  Phase (36)  |  Present (619)  |  Separation (57)  |  Slow (101)  |  Space (500)  |  Stage (143)  |  Star (427)  |  Stars (304)  |  Sufficient (128)  |  Today (314)  |  Universe (857)  |  Value (365)

There are something like ten million million million million million million million million million million million million million million (1 with eighty zeroes after it) particles in the region of the universe that we can observe. Where did they all come from? The answer is that, in quantum theory, particles can be created out of energy in the form of particle/antiparticle pairs. But that just raises the question of where the energy came from. The answer is that the total energy of the universe is exactly zero. The matter in the universe is made out of positive energy. However, the matter is all attracting itself by gravity. Two pieces of matter that are close to each other have less energy than the same two pieces a long way apart, because you have to expend energy to separate them against the gravitational force that is pulling them together. Thus, in a sense, the gravitational field has negative energy. In the case of a universe that is approximately uniform in space, one can show that this negative gravitational energy exactly cancels the positive energy represented by the matter. So the total energy of the universe is zero.
A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes (1988), 129.
Science quotes on:  |  Against (332)  |  All (4108)  |  Answer (366)  |  Antiparticle (4)  |  Energy (344)  |  Field (364)  |  Force (487)  |  Form (959)  |  Gravity (132)  |  Long (790)  |  Matter (798)  |  Negative (63)  |  Nuclear Particle (2)  |  Observe (168)  |  Other (2236)  |  Particle (194)  |  Positive (94)  |  Quantum (117)  |  Quantum Theory (66)  |  Question (621)  |  Represent (155)  |  Sense (770)  |  Separate (143)  |  Show (346)  |  Something (719)  |  Space (500)  |  Theory (970)  |  Together (387)  |  Total (94)  |  Two (937)  |  Universe (857)  |  Way (1217)

There was a loudspeaker that reported on the time left before the blast: “T-minus ten minutes”—something like that. The last few seconds were counted off one by one. We had all turned away. At zero there was the flash. I counted and then turned around. The first thing I saw was a yellow-orange fireball that kept getting larger. As it grew, it turned more orange and then red. A mushroom-shaped cloud of glowing magenta began to rise over the desert where the explosion had been. My first thought was, “My God, that is beautiful!”
(1982).
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Atomic Bomb (111)  |  Beautiful (258)  |  Blast (13)  |  Cloud (104)  |  Count (105)  |  Desert (56)  |  Explosion (44)  |  Fireball (3)  |  First (1283)  |  Flash (49)  |  Glow (14)  |  God (757)  |  Last (426)  |  Minute (125)  |  More (2559)  |  Mushroom (4)  |  Orange (14)  |  Rise (166)  |  Saw (160)  |  Something (719)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Thought (953)  |  Time (1877)  |  Turn (447)  |  Yellow (30)

Today scientists describe the universe in terms of two basic partial theories—the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. They are the great intellectual achievements of the first half of this century. The general theory of relativity describes the force of gravity and the large-scale structure of the universe, that is, the structure on scales from only a few miles to as large as a million million million million (1 with twenty-four zeros after it) miles, the size of the observable universe. Quantum mechanics, on the other hand, deals with phenomena on extremely small scales, such as a millionth of a millionth of an inch. Unfortunately, however, these two theories are known to be inconsistent with each other—they cannot both be correct.
A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes (1988), 11-2.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (179)  |  Basic (138)  |  Both (493)  |  Century (310)  |  Deal (188)  |  Describe (128)  |  First (1283)  |  Force (487)  |  General (511)  |  Gravity (132)  |  Great (1574)  |  Intellectual (255)  |  Known (454)  |  Large (394)  |  Mechanic (119)  |  Mechanics (131)  |  Observable (21)  |  Other (2236)  |  Quantum (117)  |  Quantum Mechanics (46)  |  Quantum Physics (18)  |  Relativity (88)  |  Scale (121)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Small (477)  |  Structure (344)  |  Term (349)  |  Terms (184)  |  Theory (970)  |  Theory Of Relativity (33)  |  Today (314)  |  Two (937)  |  Unfortunately (38)  |  Universe (857)

You know the formula m over naught equals infinity, m being any positive number? [m/0 = ∞]. Well, why not reduce the equation to a simpler form by multiplying both sides by naught? In which case you have m equals infinity times naught [m = ∞ × 0]. That is to say, a positive number is the product of zero and infinity. Doesn't that demonstrate the creation of the Universe by an infinite power out of nothing? Doesn't it?
In Point Counter Point (1928), 162.
Science quotes on:  |  Being (1278)  |  Both (493)  |  Creation (327)  |  Demonstrate (76)  |  Equal (83)  |  Equation (132)  |  Form (959)  |  Formula (98)  |  Infinite (231)  |  Infinity (90)  |  Know (1518)  |  Multiply (37)  |  Naught (10)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Number (699)  |  Positive (94)  |  Power (746)  |  Product (160)  |  Reduce (94)  |  Say (984)  |  Side (233)  |  Simplify (13)  |  Time (1877)  |  Universe (857)  |  Why (491)

Zero-g and I feel fine. Capsule is turning around. … Oh, that view is tremendous!
From the transcript of in-flight communications, 5 min 12 sec after launch, about his view through the porthole.
Science quotes on:  |  Capsule (6)  |  Feel (367)  |  Tremendous (26)  |  View (488)

“But in the binary system,” Dale points out, handing back the squeezable glass, “the alternative to one isn’t minus one, it’s zero. That’s the beauty of it, mechanically.” “O.K. Gotcha. You’re asking me, What’s this minus one? I’ll tell you. It’s a plus one moving backward in time. This is all in the space-time foam, inside the Planck duration, don’t forget. The dust of points gives birth to time, and time gives birth to the dust of points. Elegant, huh? It has to be. It’s blind chance, plus pure math. They’re proving it, every day. Astronomy, particle physics, it’s all coming together. Relax into it, young fella. It feels great. Space-time foam.”
In Roger's Version: A Novel (1986), 304.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Alternative (29)  |  Asking (73)  |  Astronomy (229)  |  Back (390)  |  Backward (9)  |  Beauty (299)  |  Binary (12)  |  Birth (147)  |  Blind (95)  |  Chance (239)  |  Coming (114)  |  Dust (64)  |  Elegance (37)  |  Elegant (36)  |  Feel (367)  |  Foam (3)  |  Forget (115)  |  Glass (92)  |  Great (1574)  |  Mechanics (131)  |  Minus One (4)  |  Moving (11)  |  Particle (194)  |  Particle Physics (13)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Max Planck (64)  |  Plus (43)  |  Point (580)  |  Proof (287)  |  Pure (291)  |  Pure Mathematics (67)  |  Space (500)  |  Space-Time (17)  |  System (537)  |  Tell (340)  |  Time (1877)  |  Together (387)  |  Young (227)


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.