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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index S > G. Johnstone Stoney Quotes

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G. Johnstone Stoney
(15 Feb 1826 - 5 Jul 1911)

Irish physicist who identified a fundamental unit of electricity in electrolyis (Aug 1874), and subsequently coined the word “electron” for it. When J.J. Thomson discovered the particles in cathode rays, 23 years later in 1897 (which he called “corpuscles,” the name electron was also applied them.


Science Quotes by G. Johnstone Stoney (1 quote)

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George Johnstone Stoney
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A theory is a supposition which we hope to be true, a hypothesis is a supposition which we expect to be useful; fictions belong to the realm of art; if made to intrude elsewhere, they become either make-believes or mistakes.
— G. Johnstone Stoney
As quoted by William Ramsay, in 'Radium and Its Products', Harper’s Magazine (Dec 1904), 52. The first part, about suppositions, appears in a paper read by G. Johnson Stoney to the American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia (3 Apr 1903), printed in 'On the Dependence of What Apparently Takes Place in Nature Upon What Actually Occurs in the Universe of Real Existences', Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society Held at Philadelphia for Promoting Useful Knowledge (Apr-May 1903) 42, No. 173, 107. If you know a primary source for the part on fictions and mistakes, please contact Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (205)  |  Belief (400)  |  Expect (27)  |  Fiction (16)  |  Hope (129)  |  Hypothesis (227)  |  Intrude (2)  |  Mistake (107)  |  Realm (40)  |  Science And Art (157)  |  Supposition (33)  |  Theory (582)  |  True (120)  |  Useful (66)


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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
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- 90 -
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- 80 -
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- 70 -
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