Scientists tend to resist interdisciplinary inquiries into their own territory. In many instances, such parochialism is founded on the fear that intrusion from other disciplines would compete unfairly for limited financial resources and thus diminish their own opportunity for research.

— Hannes Alfven

The most unbelievable Hannes Alfven quotes to discover and learn by heart

We have to learn again that science without contact with experiments is an enterprise which is likely to go completely astray into imaginary conjecture.

42

I have always believed that astrophysics should be the extrapolation of laboratory physics, that we must begin from the present universe and work our way backward to progressively more remote and uncertain epochs.

25

I have no trouble publishing in Soviet astrophysical journals, but my work is unacceptable to the American astrophysical journals.

6

It is only myth that attempts to say how the universe came to be, either four thousand or twenty billion years ago.

5

I have never thought that you could obtain the extremely clumpy, heterogeneous universe we have today, strongly affected by plasma processes, from the smooth, homogeneous one of the Big Bang, dominated by gravitation.

5

Gravitational systems are the ashes of prior electrical systems.

3

I have no trouble publishing in Soviet astrophysical journals, but my work is unacceptable to the American astrophysical journals. [Referring to the trouble he had with the peer reviewers of Anglo-American astrophysical journals because his ideas often conflicted with the generally accepted or “standard"” theories.]

2

In order to understand the phenomena in a certain plasma region, it is necessary to map not only the magnetic but also the electric field and the electric currents. Space is filled with a network of currents which transfer energy and momentum over large or very large distances. The currents often pinch to filamentary or surface currents. The latter are likely to give space, as also interstellar and intergalactic space, a cellular structure.

0

We should remember that there was once a discipline called natural philosophy.

Unfortunately, this discipline seems not to exist today. It has been renamed science, but science of today is in danger of losing much of the natural philosophy aspect.

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There is no rational reason to doubt that the universe has existed indefinitely, for an infinite time. It is only myth that attempts to say how the universe came to be, either four thousand or twenty billion years ago.

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Most people today still believe, perhaps unconsciously, in the heliocentric universe every newspaper in the land has a section on astrology, yet few have anything at all on astronomy.

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I was there when Abbe Georges Lemaître first proposed this [Big Bang] theory.

... There is no rational reason to doubt that the universe has existed indefinitely, for an infinite time. .... It is only myth that attempts to say how the universe came to be, either four thousand or twenty billion years ago.

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About Hannes Alfven

Quotes 15 sayings
Nationality Swedish
Profession Scientist
Birthday October 16

To try to write a grand cosmical drama leads necessarily to myth.

To try to let knowledge substitute ignorance in increasingly larger regions of space and time is science.

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If a problem is too difficult to solve, one cannot claim that it is solved by pointing at all the efforts made to solve it.

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