The achievement of the objective in itself cannot but thrill all chemists, who even before they know the details of the journey can apprehend from their own experience the joys and elations, the disappointments and false hopes, the obstacles overcome, the frustrations subdued, which they experienced who traversed a road to the goal.
At the moment I am occupied by an investigation with Kirchhoff which does not allow us to sleep. Kirchhoff has made a totally unexpected discovery, inasmuch as he has found out the cause for the dark lines in the solar spectrum and can produce these lines artificially intensified both in the solar spectrum...
There is no more elevating spectacle than to contemplate the sky with its thousands of stars on a clear night. When we send our thoughts to those lights glittering in infinite distance, the question forces itself upon us, whether there are not out there planets like our own that will sustain organic life.
No one can predict how far we shall be enabled by means of our limited intelligence to penetrate into the mysteries of a universe immeasurably vast and wonderful; nevertheless, each step in advance is certain to bring new blessings to humanity and new inspiration to greater endeavor.
One observer will relate an event with the most extravagant encomiums; another will detract from its real merit; a third, by some oblique insinuation, will cast suspicion on the motive; and a fourth will represent it as a crime of the blackest dye. These different descriptions represent the character of the respective observers.
Scientists are in fact imaginers and artists; they are not free with their ideas; they can work well and hard only at what their thinking accepts and what their feelings are drawn to. Ideas alternate; impossible and often mad ones appear; they swarm and whirl, fuse and sparkle. Scientists live among these ideas and work for them.
To those of us who spend our lives working on scientific problems, science is a great intellectual adventure of such interest that nothing else we ever do can compare with it. We are attempting to understand the order of a physical universe, vast in extent in space and time, and most complicated and beautiful in its details.
There is not a "pure" science. By this I mean that physics impinges on astronomy, on the one hand, and chemistry and biology on the other. And not only does each support neighbors, but derives sustenance from them. The same can be said of chemistry. Biology is, perhaps, the example par excellence today of an "impure" Science.