Inventors at Work: With Chapters on Discovery
Doubleday, Page, 1906 - 503 pages
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Page 362 - The thing that hath been is that which shall be ; and that which is done is that which shall be done ; and there is no new thing under the sun.
Page 217 - Accurate and minute measurement seems to the non-scientific imagination a less lofty and dignified work than looking for something new. But nearly all the grandest discoveries of science have been but the rewards of accurate measurement and patient long-continued labour in the minute sifting of numerical results.
Page 369 - In our conceptions and reasonings regarding the forces of nature, we perpetually make use of symbols which, when they possess a high representative value we dignify with the name of theories. Thus, prompted by certain analogies we ascribe electrical phenomena to the action of a peculiar fluid, sometimes flowing, sometimes at rest. Such conceptions have their advantages and their disadvantages ; they afford peaceful lodging to the intellect for a time, but they also circumscribe it, and by-and-by,...
Page 403 - ... to be transmitted through the mass of the substance in order to affect the ear. It was therefore supposed that, if we could lead to the ear air that was directly in contact with the illuminated surface, louder sounds might be obtained, and solid masses be found to be as sonorous as thin diaphragms.
Page 368 - Bounded and conditioned by cooperant Reason, imagination becomes the mightiest instrument of the physical discoverer. Newton's passage from a falling apple to a falling moon was, at the outset, a leap of the imagination.
Page 370 - should be a man willing to listen to every suggestion, but determined to judge for himself. He should not be biased by appearances ; have no favourite hypothesis ; be of no school ; and in doctrine have no master. He should not be a respecter of persons, but of things. Truth should be his primary object. If to these qualities be added industry, he may indeed hope to walk within the veil of the temple of nature.
Page 267 - In filling up her nest she put her head down into it and bit away the loose earth from the sides, letting it fall to the bottom of the burrow, and then, after a quantity had accumulated, jammed it down with her head. Earth was then brought from the outside and pressed in, and then more was bitten from the sides. When, at last, the filling was level with the ground, she brought a quantity of fine grains of dirt to the spot, and picking up a small pebble in her mandibles, used as it a hammer in pounding...
Page 218 - Andrews' discovery of the continuity between the gaseous and liquid states was worked out by many years of laborious and minute measurement of phenomena scarcely sensible to the naked eye.
Page 285 - It is the essence of the act of observing ; for the observer is not he who merely sees the thing which is before his eyes, but he who sees what parts that thing is composed of. To do this well is a rare talent. One person, from inattention, or attending only in the wrong place, overlooks half of what he sees ; another sets down much more than he sees, confounding it with what he imagines, or with what he infers; another takes note of the kiad of all the circumstances, but being inexpert in estimating...
Page 370 - The philosopher should be a man willing to listen to every suggestion, but determined to judge for himself. He should not be biased by appearances ; have no favorite hypothesis ; be of no school ; and in doctrine have no master. He should not be a respecter of persons, but of things. Truth should be his primary object. If to these qualities be added industry, he may indeed hope to walk within the veil of the temple of nature.