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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index S > C. Guy Suits Quotes

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C. Guy Suits
(12 Mar 1905 - 14 Aug 1991)

American electrical engineer and research director who was a director of the General Electric research laboratory.

Science Quotes by C. Guy Suits (6 quotes)

Although the cooking of food presents some unsolved problems, the quick warming of cooked food and the thawing of frozen food both open up some attractive uses. ... There is no important reason why the the housewife of the future should not purchase completely frozen meals at the grocery store just as she buys quick frozen vegetables. With a quick heating, high-frequency unit in her kitchen, food preparation from a pre-cooked, frozen meal becomes a simple matter.
[Predicting home kitchen appliances could be developed from the radionic tube employed to jam enemy radar in World War II.]
— C. Guy Suits
In 'Physics of Today Become the Engineering of Tomorrow', Proceedings of the National Electronics Conference (1947), Vols. 1-2, 24-25. Note: by 1947 Ratheon was able to demonstrate a refrigerator-sized commercial microwave oven.
Science quotes on:  |  Cooking (7)  |  Microwave (4)  |  Oven (4)  |  Warming (3)

Occurrences that other men would have noted only with the most casual interest became for Whitney exciting opportunities to experiment. Once he became disturbed by a scientist's seemingly endless pursuit of irrelevant details in the course of an experiment, and criticized this as being as pointless as grabbing beans out of a pot, recording the numbers, and then analyzing the results. Later that day, after he had gone home, his simile began to intrigue him, and he asked himself whether it would really be pointless to count beans gathered in such a random manner. Another man might well have dismissed this as an idle fancy, but to Whitney an opportunity to conduct an experiment was not to be overlooked. Accordingly, he set a pot of beans beside his bed, and for several days each night before retiring he would take as many beans as he could grasp in one hand and make a note of how many were in the handful. After several days had passed he was intrigued to find that the results were not as unrewarding as he had expected. He found that each handful contained more beans than the one before, indicating that with practice he was learning to grasp more and more beans. “This might be called research in morphology, the science of animal structure,” he mused. “My hand was becoming webbed … so I said to myself: never label a real experiment useless, it may reveal something unthought of but worth knowing.”
— C. Guy Suits
'Willis Rodney Whitney', National Academy of Sciences, Biographical Memoirs (1960), 358-359.
Science quotes on:  |  Bean (3)  |  Count (48)  |  Criticism (60)  |  Detail (85)  |  Dismissal (2)  |  Experiment (600)  |  Fancy (24)  |  Grab (3)  |  Hand (141)  |  Idleness (9)  |  Irrelevance (3)  |  Knowledge (1293)  |  Label (11)  |  Morphology (18)  |  Pot (3)  |  Practice (92)  |  Revelation (34)  |  Simile (4)  |  Uselessness (22)

The stories of Whitney’s love for experimenting are legion. At one time he received a letter asking if insects could live in a vacuum. Whitney took the letter to one of the members of his staff and asked the man if he cared to run an experiment on the subject. The man replied that there was no point in it, since it was well established that life could not exist without a supply of oxygen. Whitney, who was an inveterate student of wild life, replied that on his farm he had seen turtles bury themselves in mud each fall, and, although the mud was covered with ice and snow for months, emerge again in the spring. The man exclaimed, “Oh, you mean hibernation!” Whitney answered, “I don't know what I mean, but I want to know if bugs can live in a vacuum.”
He proceeded down the hall and broached the subject to another member of the staff. Faced with the same lack of enthusiasm for pursuing the matter further, Whitney tried another illustration. “I've been told that you can freeze a goldfish solidly in a cake of ice, where he certainly can't get much oxygen, and can keep him there for a month or two. But if you thaw him out carefully he seems none the worse for his experience.” The second scientist replied, “Oh, you mean suspended animation.” Whitney once again explained that his interest was not in the terms but in finding an answer to the question.
Finally Whitney returned to his own laboratory and set to work. He placed a fly and a cockroach in a bell jar and removed the air. The two insects promptly keeled over. After approximately two hours, however, when he gradually admitted air again, the cockroach waved its feelers and staggered to its feet. Before long, both the cockroach and the fly were back in action.
— C. Guy Suits
'Willis Rodney Whitney', National Academy of Sciences, Biographical Memoirs (1960), 357-358.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (188)  |  Answer (249)  |  Burial (7)  |  Cockroach (6)  |  Emergence (25)  |  Enthusiasm (41)  |  Experiment (600)  |  Fall (119)  |  Fly (99)  |  Freeze (5)  |  Hibernation (2)  |  Ice (33)  |  Illustration (28)  |  Insect (64)  |  Interest (235)  |  Laboratory (131)  |  Legion (3)  |  Letter (50)  |  Life (1124)  |  Love (221)  |  Mud (15)  |  Oxygen (55)  |  Pursuit (76)  |  Question (404)  |  Removal (11)  |  Snow (24)  |  Spring (70)  |  Term (120)  |  Thaw (2)  |  Turtle (8)  |  Vacuum (34)  |  Willis R. Whitney (17)

Tungsten, X-rays, and Coolidge form a trinity that has left an indelible impression upon our life and times. The key word in this triad is Coolidge, for his work brought the element tungsten from laboratory obscurity to the central role of the industrial stage and gave the X-ray a central role in the progress of medicine throughout the world.
— C. Guy Suits
In National Academy of Sciences, Biographical Memoirs, Vol. 53, 141.
Science quotes on:  |  Central (33)  |  Element (162)  |  Impression (69)  |  Industry (108)  |  Laboratory (131)  |  Medicine (343)  |  Obscurity (25)  |  Progress (362)  |  Role (49)  |  Stage (54)  |  Trinity (7)  |  Tungsten (2)  |  X-ray (18)

Willis Rodney Whitney ... once compared scientific research to a bridge being constructed by a builder who was fascinated by the construction problems involved. Basic research, he suggested, is such a bridge built wherever it strikes the builder's fancy—wherever the construction problems seem to him to be most challenging. Applied research, on the other hand, is a bridge built where people are waiting to get across the river. The challenge to the builder's ingenuity and skill, Whitney pointed out, can be as great in one case as the other.
— C. Guy Suits
'Willis Rodney Whitney', National Academy of Sciences, Biographical Memoirs (1960), 351.
Science quotes on:  |  Basic Research (10)  |  Bridge (30)  |  Builder (12)  |  Challenge (61)  |  Comparison (61)  |  Construction (83)  |  Fancy (24)  |  Fascination (28)  |  Ingenuity (27)  |  Problem (490)  |  Research (589)  |  River (79)  |  Skill (65)  |  Wait (57)  |  Willis R. Whitney (17)

[The surplus of basic knowledge of the atomic nucleus was] largely used up [during the war with the atomic bomb as the dividend.] We must, without further delay restore this surplus in preparation for the important peacetime job for the nucleus - power production. ... Many of the proposed applications of atomic power - even for interplanetary rockets - seem to be within the realm of possibility provided the economic factor is ruled out completely, and the doubtful physical and chemical factors are weighted heavily on the optimistic side. ... The development of economic atomic power is not a simple extrapolation of knowledge gained during the bomb work. It is a new and difficult project to reach a satisfactory answer. Needless to say, it is vital that the atomic policy legislation now being considered by the congress recognizes the essential nature of this peacetime job, and that it not only permits but encourages the cooperative research-engineering effort of industrial, government and university laboratories for the task. ... We must learn how to generate the still higher energy particles of the cosmic rays - up to 1,000,000,000 volts, for they will unlock new domains in the nucleus.
— C. Guy Suits
Addressing the American Institute of Electrical Engineering, in New York (24 Jan 1946). In Schenectady Gazette (25 Jan 1946),
Science quotes on:  |  Application (166)  |  Atomic Bomb (107)  |  Atomic Power (7)  |  Cooperation (30)  |  Cosmic Ray (6)  |  Delay (11)  |  Dividend (3)  |  Economics (34)  |  Engineering (141)  |  Extrapolation (3)  |  Government (93)  |  Industry (108)  |  Job (43)  |  Laboratory (131)  |  Legislation (10)  |  Nucleus (33)  |  Optimism (12)  |  Particle (99)  |  Peacetime (2)  |  Possibility (116)  |  Power (358)  |  Preparation (41)  |  Production (115)  |  Project (31)  |  Rocket (34)  |  Satisfaction (56)  |  Surplus (2)  |  Task (83)  |  University (80)  |  Unlocking (2)  |  World War II (8)

See also:
  • 12 Mar - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Suits's birth.

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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