Saturday, November 28, 2009

Physics Quote of the Day (November 22 - November 28)

"The relationship between science and the humanities is two-way. Science changes our view of the world and our place in it. In the other direction, the humanities provide the store of ideas and images and language available to us in understanding the world. The exploding star of A.D. 1054, the Crab Nebula, was sighted and documented by the Chinese, but nowhere mentioned in the West, where the Aristotelian notion of the immortality of stars still held sway. We often do not see what we do not expect to see." Alan Lightman, born 28 November 1948.

"It's unnecessary to introduce magic into the explanation of physical and biological phenomenon when in fact there is every likelihood that the continuation of research as it is now practiced will indeed fill all the gaps..." John Maddox, born 27 November 1925.

"Physics is at present a mass of partial theories which no man has yet been able to render truly and clearly consistent. It has been well said that the modern physicist is a quantum theorist on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and a student of gravitational relativity theory on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. On Sunday he is praying. . . that someone will find the reconciliation between the two views." Norbert Wiener, born 26 November 1894.

"Nature has put itself the problem of how to catch in flight light streaming to the Earth and to store the most elusive of all powers in rigid form. The plants take in one form of power, light; and produce another power, chemical difference." Julius Robert von Mayer, born 25 November 1814.

"Above all, it's creative thinking that lies at the basis of discoveries. You must dare to think differently, see things from different sides, in order to come across fortuitous new ideas frequently. You should develop even the most stupid ideas and when you do this systematically, there will always come something useful out of it." Simon van der Meer, born 24 November 1925.

"Every object in the Universe with a temperature above absolute zero radiates in the infrared, so this part of the spectrum contains a great deal of information." Frank J. Low, born 23 November 1933.

"... in science, we often have predecessors much further back in time than we think a priori." Louis Néel, born 22 November 1904.

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