A Quote by H. L. Mencken on catholicism, mathematics, physics, pregnancy, and women

It is now quite lawful for a Catholic woman to avoid pregnancy by a resort to mathematics, though she is still forbidden to resort to physics and chemistry.

H.L. Mencken (1880 - 1956)

Source: Notebooks, "Minority Report". Mermin, Norman David (1935 -)

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Herbert E. Ives on constancy, day, direction, facts, genius, history, physics, principles, technology, theory, time, work, and world

Although Einstein enjoyed almost universal acclaim in his day, history has exalted his genius still further by forgetting those few detractors who did exist. . . . Herbert Ives, a physicist for Bell Laboratories, remained unshakeably opposed to relativity, though the Ives-Stillwell experiment which bears his name is generally interpreted as a direct corroboration of Einstein's theory: "His [Ives'] work on the so-called tranverse Doppler effect, performed with Stillwell in the period 1938-41, is one of three crucial optical experiments which, taken together, lead inductively to the Lorentz transformations as used in the special theory of relativity; in a sense it, more than either of the two, may be considered as the cornerstone of the special principle of relativity, as formulated years before by Einstein. . . ." (Howard P. Robertson, professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology, 1956) "The 'principle' of the constancy of the velocity of light is not merely 'ununderstandable', it is not supported by 'objective matters of fact'; it is untenable, and, as we shall see, unnecessary. . . . Also of philosophical import is that with the abandonment of the 'principle' of the constancy of the velocity of light, the geometries which have been based on it, with their fusion of space and time, must be denied their claim to be a true description of the physical world."

Herbert E. Ives

Source: "Revisions of the Lorentz Transformations", October 27, 1950

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Henry Eyring on communication, eternity, history, hope, knowledge, laws, mortality, physics, reflection, travel, and universe

Consider now that the universe is so large that the best reflecting telescopes enable us to see stars by light which started journeying toward us so long ago. The subsequent history of these stars is completely unknown. They may long since have ceased to exist. There seems no reasonable alternative to the conclusion that the Creator has methods of communication which travel by other means and at speeds unknown and perhaps unknowable to mortal man. Somehow, the universe is coordinated and regulated by influences which transcend the known laws of physics. Nor should this seem strange if one remembers that such marvels as radar, radio, and the telegraph were unimaginable a century and a half ago. What wonders can we hope to unravel in the endless eternity ahead? . . . Though our knowledge of the universe is always expanding, the fundamentals of the gospel endure unchanged.

Henry Eyring (1901 - 19)

Source: Science and Your Faith in God

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Henry David Thoreau on behavior, biography, discovery, ethics, exercise, facts, idleness, interest, laws, learning, life, mathematics, mind, physics, rest, science, study, and sympathy

He is not a true man of science who does not bring some sympathy to his studies, and expect to learn something by behavior as well as by application. It is childish to rest in the discovery of mere coincidences, or of partial and extraneous laws. The study of geometry is a petty and idle exercise of the mind, if it is applied to no larger system than the starry one. Mathematics should be mixed not only with physics but with ethics; that is mixed mathematics. The fact which interests us most is the life of the naturalist. The purest science is still biographical.

Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862)

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by George Polyá on mathematics, needs, physics, and science

Mathematics is the cheapest science. Unlike physics or chemistry, it does not require any expensive equipment. All one needs for mathematics is a pencil and paper.

George Polya

Source: D. J. Albers and G. L. Alexanderson, Mathematical People, Boston: Birkhäuser, 1985.

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Freeman Dyson on awareness, divorce, endings, facts, marriage, mathematics, past, and physics

I am acutely aware of the fact that the marriage between mathematics and physics, which was so enormously fruitful in past centuries, has recently ended in divorce.

Freeman Dyson

Source: Missed Opportunities, 1972. (Gibbs Lecture?)

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Francis Harry Compton Crick on ability, age, careers, certainty, change, choice, difficulty, effort, enthusiasm, expertise, good, investment, knowledge, mathematics, physics, radicals, scientists, time, and war

When the war finally came to an end, I was at a loss as to what to do. . . . I took stock of my qualifications. A not-very-good degree, redeemed somewhat by my achievements at the Admiralty. A knowledge of certain restricted parts of magnetism and hydrodynamics, neither of them subjects for which I felt the least bit of enthusiasm. No published papers at all. . . . Only gradually did I realize that this lack of qualification could be an advantage. By the time most scientists have reached age thirty they are trapped by their own expertise. They have invested so much effort in one particular field that it is often extremely difficult, at that time in their careers, to make a radical change. I, on the other hand, knew nothing, except for a basic training in somewhat old-fashioned physics and mathematics and an ability to turn my hand to new things. . . . Since I essentially knew nothing, I had an almost completely free choice. . . .

Francis Crick (1916 -)

Source: Francis Crick, What Mad Pursuit, Basic Books, New York, 1988, pp 15-16.

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Ernest Rutherford on physics and science

All science is either physics or stamp collecting.

Ernest Rutherford (1871 - 1937)

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A Quote by Dr. Linus Carl Pauling on interest, people, physics, and thought

I recognize that many physicists are smarter than I am-most of them theoretical physicists. A lot of smart people have gone into theoretical physics, therefore the field is extremely competitive. I console myself with the thought that although they may be smarter and may be deeper thinkers than I am, I have broader interests than they have.

Dr. Linus Carl Pauling (1901 - 1994)

Source: Linus Pauling, The Meaning of Life Edited by David Friend, Life,Little Brown, NY, 1990

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by David Hilbert on physics


Physics is much too hard for physicists.

David Hilbert (1862 - 1943)

Source: C. Reid Hilbert, London: Allen and Unwin, 1970.

Contributed by: Zaady

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