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    james clerk maxwell Quotes

    Colour as perceived by us is a function of three independent variables at least three are I think sufficient, but time will show if I thrive.
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    tags: time 
     
    In your letter you apply the word imponderable to a molecule. Don't do that again. It may also be worth knowing that the aether cannot be molecular. If it were, it would be a gas, and a pint of it would have the same properties as regards heat, etc., as a pint of air, except that it would not be so heavy.
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    tags: knowing  property  worth 
     
    I have the capacity of being more wicked than any example that man could set me.
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    tags: men  example 
     
    The chief philosophical value of physics is that it gives the mind something distinct to lay hold of, which, if you don't, Nature at once tells you you are wrong.
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    Gin a body meet a bodyFlyin' through the air,Gin a body hit a body,Will it fly? and where?
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    tags: body 
     
    In speaking of the Energy of the field, however, I wish to be understood literally. All energy is the same as mechanical energy, whether it exists in the form of motion or in that of elasticity, or in any other form. The energy in electromagnetic phenomena is mechanical energy.
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    tags: energy  wishes 
     
    The popularisation of scientific doctrines is producing as great an alteration in the mental state of society as the material applications of science are effecting in its outward life. Such indeed is the respect paid to science, that the most absurd opinions may become current, provided they are expressed in language, the sound of which recals [sic] some well-known scientific phrase.
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    Heat may be generated and destroyed by certain processes, and this shows that heat is not a substance.
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    tags: process 
     
    It is of great advantage to the student of any subject to read the original memoirs on that subject, for science is always most completely assimilated when it is in the nascent state.
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    tags: memoir  read  advantage 
     
    Science is incompetent to reason upon the creation of matter itself out of nothing. We have reached the utmost limit of our thinking faculties when we have admitted that because matter cannot be eternal and self-existent it must have been created.
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    tags: creation  thinking 
     
    At quite uncertain times and places,The atoms left their heavenly path,And by fortuitous embraces,Engendered all that being hath.And though they seem to cling together,And form 'associations' here,Yet, soon or late, they burst their tether,And through the depths of space career.
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    tags: time  space  career 
     
    Mathematicians may flatter themselves that they possess new ideas which mere human language is as yet unable to express.
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    tags: language  human  ideas 
     
    Faraday is, and must always remain, the father of that enlarged science of electromagnetism.
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    tags: father 
     
    We can scarcely avoid the inference that light consists in the transverse undulations of the same medium which is the cause of electric and magnetic phenomena.
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    tags: media 
     
    The only laws of matter are those that our minds must fabricate and the only laws of mind are fabricated for it by matter.
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    tags: law  mind 
     
    In every branch of knowledge the progress is proportional to the amount of facts on which to build, and therefore to the facility of obtaining data.
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    tags: progress  facts 
     
    Thoroughly conscious ignorance is the prelude to every real advance in science.
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    The true logic of this world is in the calculus of probabilities.
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    tags: world  true  logic 
     
    I have looked into most philosophical systems and I have seen that none will work without God.
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    tags: work  god  philosophical 
     
    In Science, it is when we take some interest in the great discoverers and their lives that it becomes endurable, and only when we begin to trace the development of ideas that it becomes fascinating.
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    All the mathematical sciences are founded on relations between physical laws and laws of numbers, so that the aim of exact science is to reduce the problems of nature to the determination of quantities by operations with numbers.
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    Every existence above a certain rank has its singular points; the higher the rank the more of them. At these points, influences whose physical magnitude is too small to be taken account of by a finite being may produce results of the greatest importance.
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    The University of Cambridge, in accordance with that law of its evolution, by which, while maintaining the strictest continuity between the successive phases of its history, it adapts itself with more or less promptness to the requirements of the times, has lately instituted a course of Experimental Physics.
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    ... that, in a few years, all great physical constants will have been approximately estimated, and that the only occupation which will be left to men of science will be to carry these measurements to another place of decimals.
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    tags: men  occupation  year 
     
    But I should be very sorry if an interpretation founded on a most conjectural scientific hypothesis were to get fastened to the text in Genesis... The rate of change of scientific hypothesis is naturally much more rapid than that of Biblical interpretations, so that if an interpretation is founded on such an hypothesis, it may help to keep the hypothesis above ground long after it ought to be buried and forgotten.
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    tags: help  sorry 
     
    Science appears to us with a very different aspect after we have found out that it is not in lecture rooms only, and by means of the electric light projected on a screen, that we may witness physical phenomena, but that we may find illustrations of the highest doctrines of science in games and gymnastics, in travelling by land and by water, in storms of the air and of the sea, and wherever there is matter in motion.
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    tags: water  games 
     
    What's the go of that? What's the particular go of that?
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    If we betake ourselves to the statistical method, we do so confessing that we are unable to follow the details of each individual case, and expecting that the effects of widespread causes, though very different in each individual, will produce an average result on the whole nation, from a study of which we may estimate the character and propensities of an imaginary being called the Mean Man.
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    tags: character  men 
     
    The mathematical difficulties of the theory of rotation arise chiefly from the want of geometrical illustrations and sensible images, by which we might fix the results of analysis in our minds.
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    tags: mind 
     
    The theory I propose may therefore be called a theory of the Electromagnetic Field because it has to do with the space in the neighbourhood of the electric or magnetic bodies, and it may be called a Dynamical Theory, because it assumes that in the space there is matter in motion, by which the observed electromagnetic phenomena are produced.
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    tags: body  space 
     
    Francis Galton, whose mission it seems to be to ride other men's hobbies to death, has invented the felicitous expression 'structureless germs'.
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    tags: death 
     
    The mind of man has perplexed itself with many hard questions. Is space infinite, and in what sense? Is the material world infinite in extent, and are all places within that extent equally full of matter? Do atoms exist or is matter infinitely divisible?
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    tags: men  world  space  questions  mind 
     
    The 2nd law of thermodynamics has the same degree of truth as the statement that if you throw a tumblerful of water into the sea, you cannot get the same tumblerful of water out again.
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    tags: truth  law  water 
     
    My soul is an entangled knot,Upon a liquid vortex wroughtBy Intellect in the Unseen residing,And thine doth like a convict sit,With marline-spike untwisting it,Only to find its knottiness abiding;Since all the tools for its untyingIn four-dimensional space are lying,Wherein they fancy interspersesLong avenues of universes,While Klein and Clifford fill the voidWith one finite, unbounded homoloid,And think the Infinite is now at last destroyed.
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    tags: soul  space 
     
    Whether this vast homogeneous expanse of isotropic matter is fitted not only to be a medium of physical interaction between distant bodies, and to fulfil other physical functions of which perhaps we have as yet no conception, but also to constitute the material organism of beings exercising functions of life and mind as high or higher than ours are at present is a question far transcending the limits of physical speculation.
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    tags: present  body  questions  media  mind 
     
    The vast interplanetary and vast interstellar regions will no longer be regarded as waste places in the universe. We shall find them to be already full of this wonderful medium; so full that no human power can remove it from the smallest portion of space or produce the slightest flaw in its infinite continuity.
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    tags: power  human  space  universe 
     
    An Experiment, like every other event which takes place, is a natural phenomenon; but in a Scientific Experiment the circumstances are so arranged that the relations between a particular set of phenomena may be studied to the best advantage.
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    tags: advantage 
     
    It was a great step in science when men became convinced that, in order to understand the nature of things, they must begin by asking, not whether a thing is good or bad, noxious or beneficial, but of what kind it is? And how much is there of it? Quality and Quantity were then first recognised as the primary features to be observed in scientific inquiry.
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    tags: nature  men  bad  quantity  quality 
     
    What, then, is light according to the electromagnetic theory? It consists of alternate and opposite rapidly recurring transverse magnetic disturbances, accompanied with electric displacements, the direction of the electric displacement being at the right angles to the magnetic disturbance, and both at right angles to the direction of the ray.
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    tags: right 
     
    The equations at which we arrive must be such that a person of any nation, by substituting the numerical values of the quantities as measured by his own national units, would obtain a true result.
    — James Clerk Maxwell
    tags: people  true  value  quantity 
     
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    james clerk maxwell
    Birth    : June 13, 1831
    Death  : November 5, 1879
    Occupation  : Physicist