Quotes about Archimedes
49 Sourced Quotes
If any man could have discovered the utmost powers of the cannon, in all its various forms and have given such a secret to the Romans, with what rapidity would they have conquered every country and have vanquished every army, and what reward could have been great enough for such a service! Archimedes indeed, although he had greatly damaged the Romans in the siege of Syracuse, nevertheless did not fail of being offered great rewards from these very Romans; and when Syracuse was taken, diligent search was made for Archimedes; and he being found dead greater lamentation was made for him by the Senate and people of Rome than if they had lost all their army; and they did not fail to honour him with burial and with a statue.
I think there is nothing that so exalts the mind, or so raises one man above his fellow-creatures, as the researches of Science. Who would not rather have the fame of Archimedes than that of his conqueror Marcellus, or than any of those learned commentators on the Classics, whose highest ambition was to be familiar with the thoughts of other men?
Surely with as good reason as had Archimedes to have the cylinder, cone and sphere engraved on his tombstone might our distinguished countrymen leave testamentary directions for the cubic eikosiheptagram to be engraved on theirs. Spirit of the Universe! wither are we drifting, and when, where, and how is all this to end?
The value of [pi] has engaged the attention of many mathematicians and calculators from the time of Archimedes to the present day, and has been computed from so many different formulae, that a complete account of its calculation would almost amount to a history of mathematics.
It is needless for us again to say that in science and the arts there is a dependence which is the source of their progression and importance. In a well organized country, power is always compound: Archimedes could not have made machines which terrified the Roman soldiers without the assistance of good carpenters and good workers in metal.
Two years ago I told this body that the United States had proposed, and was willing to sign, a limited test ban treaty. Today that treaty has been signed. It will not put an end to war. It will not remove basic conflicts. It will not secure freedom for all. But it can be a lever, and Archimedes, in explaining the principles of the lever, was said to have declared to his friends: "Give me a place where I can stand—and I shall move the world." My fellow inhabitants of this planet: Let us take our stand here in this Assembly of nations. And let us see if we, in our own time, can move the world to a just and lasting peace.
Wallis was in sympathy with Greek mathematics and astronomy, editing parts of the works of Archimedes, Eutocius, Ptolemy, and Aristarchus; but at the same time he recognized the fact that the analytic method was to replace the synthetic, as when he defined a conic as a curve of the second degree instead of as a section of a cone, and treated it by the aid of coordinates.
But the owls themselves are not hard to find, silent and on the wing, with their ear tufts flat against their heads as they fly and their huge wings alternately gliding and flapping as they maneuver through the trees. Athena's owl of wisdom and Merlin's companion, Archimedes, were screech owls surely, not this bird with the glassy gaze, restless on the bough, nothing but blood on its mind.
In a manner which matches the fortuity, if not the consequence, of Archimedes' bath and Newton's apple, the [3.6 million year old] fossil footprints were eventually noticed one evening in September 1976 by the paleontologist Andrew Hill, who fell while avoiding a ball of elephant dung hurled at him by the ecologist David Western.
The absolute scholar is in fact a rather uncanny being. He is instinct with Nietzsche's finding that to be interested in something, to be totally interested in it, is a libidinal thrust more powerful than love or hatred, more tenacious than faith or friendship — not infrequently, indeed, more compelling than personal life itself. Archimedes does not flee from his killers, he does not even turn his head to acknowledge their rush into his garden when he is immersed in the algebra of conic sections.
We shed as we pick up, like travellers who must carry everything in their arms, and what we let fall will be picked up by those behind. The procession is very long and life is very short. We die on the march. But there is nothing outside the march so nothing can be lost to it. The missing plays of Sophocles will turn up piece by piece, or be written again in another language. Ancient cures for diseases will reveal themselves once more. Mathematical discoveries glimpsed and lost to view will have their time again. You do not suppose, my lady, that if all of Archimedes had been hiding in the great library of Alexandria, we would be at a loss for a corkscrew?
I have no health for a soldier, and as I have no expectation of serving my country in that way, I am spending my time in the old trifling manner, and am so taken with optics, that I do not know whether, if the enemy should invade this part of the country, as Archimedes was slain while making geometrical figures on the sand, so I should die making a telescope.