Oct 9, 2008

Scientist, or philosopher?

One of the many ultra famous scientists is Michael Faraday. (let's face it, you know you've made it big time in science when they name a metric unit after you. 1 Faraday (F)=96485 coulombs per electron.) We are still studying and admiring his works actually 150 years later.

I came across this glorious SINGLE sentence in one of his papers.

"That wonderful production of the human mind, the undulatory theory of light, with the phenomena for which it strives to account, seems to me, who am only an experimentalist, to stand midway between what we may conceive to be the coarser mechanical actions of matter, with their explanatory philosophy, and that other branch which includes, or should include, the physical idea of forces acting at a distance; and admitting for the time the existence of the ether, I have often struggled to perceive how far that medium might account for or mingle in with such actions, generally; and to what experimental trials might be devised which, with their results and consequences, might contradict, confirm, enlarge or modify the idea we form of it, always with the hope that the corrected or instructed idea would approach more and more to the truth of nature, and in the fulness of time coincide with it."

scientist? or prolific exceedingly eloquant philosopher? (with a slight tendency towards run-on sentences)

his paper I took the sentence from is found here.


  1. Huh?????? I am really feeling uneducated after reading that. It is one of those things I would have to ponder and ponder and then ask Ron what it means. You are one smart cookie. Send me some of those brain cells Taytay.

  2. Slow week huh, had to bust out the Faraday post.

  3. michelle, i thought you, of all people, after having proof-read so many papers of yours truly, the comma-splice king, would have a deep appreciation of another scientist who excelled in manipulating experiments to understand his surrounds while simultaneously slapping grammar and the rules of the english language in its proverbial mouth.

  4. Wow, now I feel remember why I'm in business and not science