Frasi di William Thomson

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William Thomson

Data di nascita: 26. Giugno 1824
Data di morte: 17. Dicembre 1907
Altri nomi: Lord William Thomson Kelvin, William Kelvin, William Thomson, 1. Baron Kelvin

Lord William Thomson, I barone Kelvin, comunemente noto come Lord Kelvin , è stato un fisico e ingegnere britannico.

All'Università di Glasgow compì importanti lavori nell'analisi matematica dell'elettricità e della termodinamica, e diede un ampio contributo per unificare l'emergente disciplina della fisica nella sua forma moderna. È conosciuto per aver sviluppato la scala Kelvin, che misura la temperatura assoluta. Il titolo di Barone Kelvin gli fu conferito per merito delle sue scoperte, e deriva dal fiume Kelvin, che scorre presso la sua università scozzese di Glasgow.

In seguito fece carriera come ingegnere ed inventore del telegrafo elettrico, che gli procurò una maggiore considerazione da parte dell'opinione pubblica e gli assicurò fama e ricchezza.

Frasi William Thomson

„[Ultime parole famose] Sono spiacente ma non sono convinto della "navigazione aerea". Io ero molto interessato al vostro lavoro con i palloni; ma non ho la minima molecola di fede nella navigazione aerea diversa da quella aerostatica né nelle aspettative di buoni risultati di qualsiasi altra prova di cui sentiamo parlare. Così voi comprenderete che non m'importa di essere membro della Società Aeronautica.
I am afraid I am not in the flight for "aerial navigation."“

—  William Thomson

I was greatly interested in your work with kites; but I have not the smallest molecule of faith in aerial navigation other than ballooning or of expectation of good results from any of the trials we hear of. So you will understand that I would not care to be a member of the aëronautical Society.
Origine: Dalla lettera di risposta al maggiore B.F.S. Baden Powell's che gli chiedeva di associarsi all'Aeronautical Society, 8 dicembre 1896; riportata su Zapatopi.net http://zapatopi.net/kelvin/papers/letters.html#baden-powell.
Origine: Citato anche in una forma più sintetica: «Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible» («Macchine volanti più pesanti dell'aria sono impossibili»). Christopher Cerf e Victor Navasky, The Experts Speak, New York, Villard, 1998, p. 256. ISBN 0-679-77806-3

„The beauty and clearness of the dynamical theory, which asserts heat and light to be modes of motion, is at present obscured by two clouds.“

—  William Thomson

From a 1900, April 27, , Sixth Series, 2, 1–40 (1901).
Thermodynamics quotes
Contesto: The beauty and clearness of the dynamical theory, which asserts heat and light to be modes of motion, is at present obscured by two clouds. I. The first came into existence with the undulatory theory of light, and was dealt with by Fresnel and Dr. Thomas Young; it involved the question, how could the earth move through an elastic solid, such as essentially is the luminiferous ether? II. The second is the Maxwell–Boltzmann doctrine regarding the partition of energy.

„I have not the smallest molecule of faith in aerial navigation other than ballooning“

—  William Thomson

As a response to Major B. F. S. Baden Powell's request to join the Aeronautical Society, December 8, 1896 http://zapatopi.net/kelvin/papers/letters.html#baden-powell.
Often reproduced out of context and without citation to any primary source as "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible", like in The Experts Speak : The Definitive Compendium of Authoritative Misinformation (1984) by Christopher Cerf and Victor Navasky, p. 236
Contesto: I am afraid I am not in the flight for “aerial navigation”. I was greatly interested in your work with kites; but I have not the smallest molecule of faith in aerial navigation other than ballooning or of expectation of good results from any of the trials we hear of. So you will understand that I would not care to be a member of the aëronautical Society.

„Quaternions came from Hamilton after his really good work had been done, and though beautifully ingenious, have been an unmixed evil to those who have touched them in any way.“

—  William Thomson

Letter to Robert Baldwin Hayward (1892), as quoted in Energy and Empire : A Biographical Study of Lord Kelvin (1989) by Crosbie Smith and M. Norton Wise

„There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement.“

—  William Thomson

Misattributed to Kelvin since the 1980s, either without citation or stating that it was made in an address to the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1900. There is no evidence that Kelvin said this, and the quote is instead a paraphrase of Albert A. Michelson, who in 1894 stated: "… it seems probable that most of the grand underlying principles have been firmly established … An eminent physicist remarked that the future truths of physical science are to be looked for in the sixth place of decimals." The attribution to Kelvin giving an address in 1900 is presumably a confusion with his “Two clouds” speech, delivered to the Royal Society in 1900 (see above), and which on the contrary pointed out areas that would subsequently see revolutions.
Misattributed
Origine: Superstring: A theory of everything? (1988) by Paul Davies and Julian Brown
Origine: Rebuilding the Matrix : Science and Faith in the 21st Century (2003) by Denis Alexander
Origine: Einstein (2007) by Walter Isaacson, page 575
Origine: The End of Science (1996), by , p. 19 https://books.google.com/books?id=S1Lmqh79dOoC&pg=PA19

„It is impossible by means of inanimate material agency, to derive mechanical effect from any portion of matter by cooling it below the temperature of the coldest of the surrounding objects. [Footnote: ] If this axiom be denied for all temperatures, it would have to be admitted that a self-acting machine might be set to work and produce mechanical effect by cooling the sea or earth, with no limit but the total loss of heat from the earth and sea, or in reality, from the whole material world.“

—  William Thomson

Mathematical and Physical Papers, Vol.1 http://books.google.com/books?id=nWMSAAAAIAAJ p. 179 (1882) "On the Dynamical Theory of Heat with Numerical Results Deduced from Mr Joule's Equivalent of a Thermal Unit and M. Regnault's Observations on Steam" originally from Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, March, 1851 and Philosophical Magazine iv, 1852
Thermodynamics quotes

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„To live among friends is the primary essential of happiness.“

—  William Thomson

Lord Kelvin’s Replies to Addresses given on the Celebration of the Jubilee of his Professorship (June 15-17, 1896). Quoted in Lord Kelvin, Professor of Natural Philosophy in the University of Glasgow 1846-1899 (1899) by George F. Fitzgerald http://historical.library.cornell.edu/cgi-bin/cul.math/docviewer?did=03620002

„Mathematics is the only true metaphysics.“

—  William Thomson

As quoted by Silvanus Phillips Thompson, The Life of William Thomson, Baron Kelvin of Largs (1910) Vol. 2 https://books.google.com/books?id=S_PPAAAAMAAJ, p. 1124
Variante: Mathematics is the only good metaphysics.

„Tesla has contributed more to electrical science than any man up to his time.“

—  William Thomson

Statement of 1896, as quoted in Prodigal Genius : The Life of Nikola Tesla (2007) by James J. O'Neill

„Symmetrical equations are good in their place, but 'vector' is a useless survival, or offshoot from quaternions, and has never been of the slightest use to any creature.“

—  William Thomson

Letter to G. F. FitzGerald (1896) as quoted in A History of Vector Analysis : The Evolution of the Idea of a Vectorial System (1994) by Michael J. Crowe, p. 120

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