Top 340 Quotes & Sayings by Famous Chemists

Explore popular quotes by famous chemists.
Chocolate is a perfect food, as wholesome as it is delicious, a beneficent restorer of exhausted is the best friend of those engaged in literary pursuits.
I, as a responsible adult human being, will never concede the power to anyone to regulate my choice of what I put into my body, or where I go with my mind. From the skin inwards is my jurisdiction, is it not? I choose what may or may not cross that border. Here I am the Customs Agent. I am the Coast guard. I am the sole legal and spiritual government of this territory, and only the laws I choose to enact within myself are applicable
Four years after the death of Justinian, A.D. 569, was born at Mecca, in Arabia the man who, of all men exercised the greatest influence upon the human race . . . Mohammed . . .
A wise man in China asked his gardener to plant a shrub. The gardener objected that it only flowered once in a hundred years. "In that case," said the wise man, "plant it immediately." [On the importance of fundamental research.]
Any argument that asserts that 'God did it' is a sign of a lazy mind. — © Peter Atkins
Any argument that asserts that 'God did it' is a sign of a lazy mind.
[I shall not] discuss scientific method, but rather the methods of scientists. We proceed by common sense and ingenuity. There are no rules, only the principles of integrity and objectivity, with a complete rejection of all authority except that of fact.
The future is uncertain... but this uncertainty is at the very heart of human creativity.
Chemists do not usually stutter. It would be very awkward if they did, seeing that they have at times to get out such words as methylethylamylophenylium.
People must understand that science is inherently neither a potential for good nor for evil. It is a potential to be harnessed by man to do his bidding.
In the advance of civilization, it is new knowledge which paves the way, and the pavement is eternal.
Hypotheses like professors, when they are seen not to work any longer in the laboratory, should disappear.
What we call matter is only a complex of energies which we find together in the same place.
Science owes more to the steam engine than the steam engine owes to science.
In arranging the bodies in order of their electrical nature, there is formed an electro-chemical system which, in my opinion, is more fit than any other to give an idea of chemistry.
A chemist who is not a physicist is nothing at all. — © Robert Bunsen
A chemist who is not a physicist is nothing at all.
There is no safe dose of radiation since radiation is cumulative. Harm in the form of excess human cancer occurs at all doses of ionizing radiation, down to the lowest conceivable dose and dose rate.
There is always the danger in scientific work that some word or phrase will be used by different authors to express so many ideas and surmises that, unless redefined, it loses all real significance.
Let us learn to dream, gentlemen; then we shall perhaps find the truth.
Appreciation of works of art requires organized effort and systematic study. Art appreciation can no more be absorbed by aimless wandering in galleries than can surgery be learned by casual visits to a hospital.
Progress is made by trial and failure; the failures are generally a hundred times more numerous than the successes ; yet they are usually left unchronicled.
Within a hundred years of physical and chemical science, men will know what the atom is. It is my belief when science reaches this stage, God will come down to earth with His big ring of keys and will say to humanity, 'Gentlemen, it is closing time.'
In the natural sciences, and particularly in chemistry, generalities must come after the detailed knowledge of each fact and not before it.
I have seen many phases of life; I have moved in imperial circles, I have been a Minister of State; but if I had to live my life again, I would always remain in my laboratory, for the greatest joy of my life has been to accomplish original scientific work, and, next to that, to lecture to a set of intelligent students.
Liebig taught the world two great lessons. The first was that in order to teach chemistry it was necessary that students should be taken into a laboratory. The second lesson was that he who is to apply scientific thought and method to industrial problems must have a thorough knowledge of the sciences. The world learned the first lesson more readily than it learned the second.
[Science is] an imaginative adventure of the mind seeking truth in a world of mystery.
Knowledge is the death of research.
[Fritz Haber's] greatness lies in his scientific ideas and in the depth of his searching. The thought, the plan, and the process are more important to him than the completion. The creative process gives him more pleasure than the yield, the finished piece. Success is immaterial. "Doing it was wonderful." His work is nearly always uneconomical, with the wastefulness of the rich.
What the ocean was to the child, the Periodic Table is to the chemist.
A nice adaptation of conditions will make almost any hypothesis agree with the phenomena. This will please the imagination but does not advance our knowledge.
The significance and joy in my science comes in those occasional moments of discovering something new and saying to myself, 'So that's how God did it.' My goal is to understand a little corner of God's plan.
You ask whether I am going over to the history of science... no, I am not as old as that.
There is one experiment which I always like to try, because it proves something whichever way it goes. A solution of iodine in water is shaken with bone-black, filtered and tested with starch paste. If the colorless solution does not turn the starch blue, the experiment shows how completely charcoal extracts iodine from aqueous solution. If the starch turns blue, the experiment shows that the solution, though apparently colorless, still contains iodine which can be detected by means of a sensitive starch test.
A scientist strives to understand the work of Nature. But with our insufficient talents as scientists, we do not hit upon the truth all at once. We must content ourselves with tracking it down, enveloped in considerable darkness, which leads us to make new mistakes and errors. By diligent examination, we may at length little by little peel off the thickest layers, but we seldom get the core quite free, so that finally we have to be satisfied with a little incomplete knowledge.
It's a pity we're still officially living in an age called the Holocene. The Anthropocene - human dominance of biological, chemical and geological processes on Earth - is already an undeniable reality.
In order to change a color it is enough to change the color of its background.
There is no agreement on the extent to which metabolism could develop independently of a genetic material. In my opinion, there is no basis in known chemistry for the belief that long sequences of reactions can organize spontaneously -- and every reason to believe that they cannot. The problem of achieving sufficient specificity, whether in aqueous solution or on the surface of a mineral, is so severe that the chance of closing a cycle of reactions as complex as the reverse citric acid cycle, for example, is negligible.
Minds are like parachutes, they only function when they are open.
A famous name has this peculiarity that it becomes gradually smaller especially in natural sciences where each succeeding discovery invariably overshadows what precedes.
Great Power, capable of everything and only temporarily handicapped by economic difficulties. We are not a great power and never will be again. We are a great nation, but if we continue to behave like a Great Power we shall soon cease to be a great nation. Let us take warning from the fate of the Great Powers of the past and not burst ourselves with pride .
There is no need to argue if an experiment can be made. — © Henri Etienne Sainte-Claire Deville
There is no need to argue if an experiment can be made.
Organic chemistry just now is enough to drive one mad. It gives me the impression of a primeval forest full of the most remarkable things, a monstrous and boundless thicket, with no way of escape, into which one may well dread to enter.
A physicist shirking measurement plays, different from children only in the nature of his game and ... his toys.
There are no limits to what science can explore.
God is Truth. There is no incompatibility between science and religion. Both are seeking the same truth. Science shows that God exists.
From this time everything was copulated. Acetic, formic, butyric, margaric, &c., acids, alkaloids, ethers, amides, anilides, all became copulated bodies. So that to make acetanilide, for example, they no longer employed acetic acid and aniline, but they re-copulated a copulated oxalic acid with a copulated ammonia. I am inventing nothing-altering nothing. Is it my fault if, when writing history, I appear to be composing a romance?
I will listen to any hypothesis but on one condition-that you show me a method by which it can be tested.
The primary cause of disease is in us, always in us.
It is a fair question whether the results of these things have induced among us in a large class of well-to-do people, with little muscular activity, a habit of excessive eating [particularly fats and sweets] and may be responsible for great damage to health, to say nothing of the purse.
Living in the midst of abundance we have the greatest difficulty in seeing that the supply of natural wealth is limited and that the constant increase of population is destined to reduce the American standard of living unless we deal more sanely with our resources.
It often happens that the mind of a person who is learning a new science has to pass through all the phases which the science itself has exhibited in its historical evolution.
If you mix up chirality, a protein's properties change enormously. Life couldn't operate with just random mixtures of stuff. — © Ronald Breslow
If you mix up chirality, a protein's properties change enormously. Life couldn't operate with just random mixtures of stuff.
Synthesis..., perhaps in greater measure than activities in any other area of organic chemistry, provides a measure of the condition and power of science. For synthetic undertakings are seldom if ever undertaken by chance, nor will the most painstaking, or inspired, purely observational activities suffice. Synthesis must always be carried out by plan.
If a problem is clearly stated, it has no further interest to the physicist.
[Pitchblende] consists of a peculiar, distinct, metallic substance. Therefore its former denominations, Pechblende, pitch-iron-ore, &c. are no longer applicable, and must be supplied by another more appropriate name. I have chosen that of Uranium, as a kind of memorial, that the chemical discovery of this new metal happened in the period of astronomical discovery of the new planet Uranus.
To comprehend a man's life, it is necessary to know not merely what he does but also what he purposely leaves undone. There is a limit to the work that can be got out of a human body or a human brain, and he is a wise man who wastes no energy on pursuits for which he is not fitted; and he is till wiser who, from among the things that he can do well, chooses and resolutely follows the best.
In the design of fission reactors man was not an innovator but an unwitting imitator of nature.
Briefly, in the act of composition, as an instrument there intervenes and is most potent, fire, flaming, fervid, hot; but in the very substance of the compound there intervenes, as an ingredient, as it is commonly called, as a material principle and as a constituent of the whole compound the material and principle of fire, not fire itself. This I was the first to call phlogiston.
A couple of months in the laboratory can frequently save a couple of hours in the library.
The phosphorous smell which is developed when electricity (to speak the profane language) is passing from the points of a conductor into air, or when lightning happens to fall upon some terrestrial object, or when water is electrolysed, has been engaging my attention the last couple of years, and induced me to make many attempts at clearing up that mysterious phenomenon. Though baffled for a long time, at last, I think, I have succeeded so far as to have got the clue which will lead to the discovery of the true cause of the smell in question.
To explain new phenomena, that is my task; and how happy is the scientist when he finds what he so diligently sought, a pleasure that gladdens the heart.
This site uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. More info...
Got it!