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British Mathematician Quotes
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From the same principles, I now demonstrate the frame of the System of the World.
Isaac Newton
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Opinions derived from long experience are exceedingly valuable, and outweigh all others, while they are consistent with facts and with each other; but they are worse than useless when they lead, as in this instance, to directly opposite opinions.
Peter Barlow
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In our daily walks we tread with heedless step upon the apparently uninteresting objects of which it [geology] treats; but could we rightly interrogate the rounded pebble in our path, it would tell us of the convulsions by which it was wrenched from its parent rock, and of the floods by which it was abraded and placed beneath our feet.
David Brewster
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Discovery is a double relation of analysis and synthesis together. As an analysis, it probes for what is there; but then, as a synthesis, it puts the parts together in a form by which the creative mind transcends the bare limits, the bare skeleton, that nature provides.
Jacob Bronowski
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A physicist builds theories with mathematical materials, because the mathematics enables him to imagine more than he can clearly think.
Freeman Dyson
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Particulars are frequently fallible, but universals never. Occult philosophy lays bare Nature in her complete nakedness, and alone contemplates the wisdom of universals by the eyes of intelligence. Accustomed to partake of the rivers which flow from the Fountain of Life, it is unacquainted with grossness and with clouded waters.
Robert Fludd
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A mathematical proof should resemble a simple and clear-cut constellation, not a scattered cluster in the Milky Way.
G. H. Hardy
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Time figures as the mortar which binds the bricks of matter together.
James Jeans
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Scientific theory and its application to the growing needs of mankind advance hand in hand.
Cargill Gilston Knott
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I had expressed my wish to have a thermometer of probability, with impossibility at one end, as 2 plus 2 makes 5, and necessity at the other as 2 plus 2 make 4.
Augustus De Morgan
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As to the propriety and justness of representing sums of money, and time, by parts of space, tho' very readily agreed to by most men, yet a few seem to apprehend there may possibly be some deception in it, of which they are not aware...
William Playfair
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[The Riemann] zeros did not appear to be scattered at random. Riemann's calculations indicated that they were lining up as if along some mystical ley line running through the landscape.
Marcus du Sautoy
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One thing at least they have not forgotten, that geometry is nothing if it be not rigorous, and that the whole educational value of the study is lost, if strictness of demonstration be trifled with. The methods of Euclid are, by almost universal consent, unexceptionable in point of rigor. Opening Address by the President, Section A
Henry John Stephen Smith
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That mathematics, in common with other art forms, can lead us beyond ordinary existence, and can show us something of the structure in which all creation hangs together, is no new idea. But mathematical texts generally begin the story somewhere in the middle, leaving the reader to pick up the thread as best he can.
G. Spencer-Brown
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I am almost inclined to coin a word and call the appearance fluorescence, from fluor-spar, as the analogous term opalescence is derived from the name of a mineral.
Sir George Stokes, 1st Baronet
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To [the scientific man] the discovery of a new law of nature, or even of a new experimental fact, or the invention of a novel mathematical method, no matter who has been the first to reach it, is an event of an order altogether different from, and higher than, those which are so profusely chronicled in the newspapers.
Peter Guthrie Tait
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Mathematics... is a bit like discovering oil... But mathematics has one great advantage over oil, in that no one has yet... found a way that you can keep using the same oil forever.
Andrew Wiles
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Stephen Wolfram is the creator of Mathematica and is widely regarded as the most important innovator in scientific and technical computing today.
Stephen Wolfram
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No theory, however attractive, merits scientific consideration unless it sticks out its neck sufficiently to be disproved by experiment or observation.
Hermann Bondi
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No number of facts or aphorisms learned by heart makes a man a thinker, or does him much intellectual service.
Joshua Girling Fitch
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A great department of thought must have its own inner life, however transcendent may be the importance of its relations to the outside. No department of science, least of all one requiring so high a degree of mental concentration as Mathematics, can be developed entirely, or even mainly, with a view to applications outside its own range.
E. W. Hobson
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I must warn you that Gurdjieff is far more of an enigma than you can imagine. I am certain that he is deeply good, and that he is working for the good of mankind. But his methods are often incomprehensible. For example, he uses disgusting language, especially to ladies who are likely to be squeamish about such things. He has the reputation of behaving shamelessly over money matters, and with women also. At his table we have to drink spirits, often to the point of drunkenness. People have said that he is a magician, and that he uses his powers for his own ends... I do not believe that the scandalous tales told of Gurdjieff are true: but you must take into account that they may be true and act accordingly.
John G. Bennett
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That a formal science like algebra, the creation of our abstract thought, should thus, in a sense, dictate the laws of its own being, is very remarkable. It has required the experience of centuries for us to realize the full force of this appeal.
George Ballard Mathews
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The history of natural philosophy is characterized by the interplay of two rival philosophies of time — one aiming at its "elimination" and the other based on the belief that it is fundamental and irreducible.
Gerald James Whitrow
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I think it is said that Gauss had ten different proofs for the law of quadratic reciprocity. Any good theorem should have several proofs, the more the better. For two reasons: usually, different proofs have different strengths and weaknesses, and they generalize in different directions - they are not just repetitions of each other.
Michael Atiyah
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