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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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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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Truth is an absolute notion that science, which is not concerned with any such permanency, had better leave alone.
Hyman Levy
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There are some current 'theories' that, when divested of begged questions, reduce to the non-controversial statement, 'Here are some facts and there may be some relation between them.'
Harold Jeffreys
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To make every event depend upon the twinkling of a star, is an absurdity equal to that of the Lapland witches, who pretend to regulate the course of the winds by tying knots in a string.
John Bonnycastle
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Change is a perichoretical synechy of pamparallagmatic and porroteroporeumatical differentiations and integrations.
Thomas Kirkman
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Very few people realize the enormous bulk of contemporary mathematics. Probably it would be easier to learn all the languanges of the world than to master all mathematics at present known.
Walter Warwick Sawyer
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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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The poetic beauty of Davy's mind never seems to have left him. To that circumstance I would ascribe the distinguishing feature in his character, and in his discoveries,—a vivid imagination sketching out new tracts in regions unexplored, for the judgement to select those leading to the recesses of abstract truth.
Of Humphry Davy
Davies Gilbert
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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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[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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There is a largeness about mathematics that transcends race and time: mathematics may humbly help in the market-place, but it also reaches to the stars.
Herbert Turnbull
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In order that a mathematical science of any importance may be founded upon conventional definitions, the entities created by them must have properties which bear some affinity to the properties of existing things.
J. H. C. Whitehead
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The unity of mathematics... is often invoked in a rather imprecise way.
Jeremy Gray
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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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I think I perceive or remember something but am not sure; this would seem to give me some ground for believing it, contrary to Mr. Keynes' theory, by which the degree of belief in it which it would be rational for me to have is that given by the probability relation between the proposition in question and the things I know for certain.
Frank P. Ramsey
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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 product - a discovery - of the human mind. It enables us to see the incredible, simple, elegant, beautiful, ordered structure that lies beneath the universe we live in. It is one of the greatest creations of mankind - if it is not indeed the greatest.
Keith Devlin
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A new idea may be likened to a new-born babe: it is to be carefully nurtured and given every consideration rather than attacked with the choking diet of a multitude of so-called facts because it cannot prove at once that it will one day grow into a Samson.
Raymond Lyttleton
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Gravitation simply represents a continual effort of the universe to straighten itself out.
E. T. Whittaker
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I am always surprised when a young man tells me he wants to work at cosmology; I think of cosmology as something that happens to one, not something one can choose.
William McCrea (astronomer)
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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 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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Time figures as the mortar which binds the bricks of matter together.
James Jeans
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When I was on the train from Liverpool to Cambridge to become a student, it occurred to me that no one at Cambridge knew I was painfully shy, so I could become an extrovert instead of an introvert.
John Horton Conway
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You're neither unnatural, nor abominable, nor mad; you're as much a part of what people call nature as anyone else; only you're unexplained as yet—you've not got your niche in creation.
Radclyffe Hall
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