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Hermann von Helmholtz - Quotes

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Windmills, which are used in the great plains of Holland and North Germany to supply the want of falling water, afford another instance of the action of velocity. The sails are driven by air in motion - by wind. ---->>>

Iron which is brought near a spiral of copper wire, traversed by an electrical current, becomes magnetic, and then attracts other pieces of iron, or a suitably placed steel magnet. ---->>>

Reason we call that faculty innate in us of discovering laws and applying them with thought. ---->>>

A moving body whose motion was not retarded by any resisting force would continue to move to all eternity. ---->>>

A raised weight can produce work, but in doing so it must necessarily sink from its height, and, when it has fallen as deep as it can fall, its gravity remains as before, but it can no longer do work. ---->>>

Heat can also be produced by the impact of imperfectly elastic bodies as well as by friction. This is the case, for instance, when we produce fire by striking flint against steel, or when an iron bar is worked for some time by powerful blows of the hammer. ---->>>

I then endeavoured to show that it is more especially in the thorough conformity with law which natural phenomena and natural products exhibit, and in the comparative ease with which laws can be stated, that this difference exists. ---->>>

Not that I wish by any means to deny, that the mental life of individuals and peoples is also in conformity with law, as is the object of philosophical, philological, historical, moral, and social sciences to establish. ---->>>

The law in question asserts, that the quantity of force which can be brought into action in the whole of Nature is unchangeable, and can neither be increased nor diminished. ---->>>

What appeared to the earlier physicists to be the constant quantity of heat is nothing more than the whole motive power of the motion of heat, which remains constant so long as it is not transformed into other forms of work, or results afresh from them. ---->>>

You all know how powerful and varied are the effects of which steam engines are capable; with them has really begun the great development of industry which has characterised our century before all others. ---->>>

The older view of the nature of heat was that it is a substance, very fine and imponderable indeed, but indestructible, and unchangeable in quantity, which is an essential fundamental property of all matter. ---->>>

Each individual fact, taken by itself, can indeed arouse our curiosity or our astonishment, or be useful to us in its practical applications. ---->>>

But heat can also be produced by the friction of liquids, in which there could be no question of changes in structure, or of the liberation of latent heat. ---->>>

Now, the external work of man is of the most varied kind as regards the force or ease, the form and rapidity, of the motions used on it, and the kind of work produced. ---->>>

Biography

Nationality: German
Born: August 31, 1821
Birthplace:
Die: September 8, 1894
Occupation: Physicist
Website:

Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz (August 31, 1821 – September 8, 1894) was a German physician and physicist who made significant contributions in several scientific fields. The largest German association of research institutions, the Helmholtz Association, is named after him. In physiology and psychology, he is known for his mathematics of the eye, theories of vision, ideas on the visual perception of space, color vision research, and on the sensation of tone, perception of sound, and empiricism (wikipedia)