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.

— Hermann von Helmholtz

The most glamorous Hermann von Helmholtz quotes that will activate your desire to change

All that science can achieve is a perfect knowledge and a perfect understanding of the action of natural and moral forces.

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Whoever, in the pursuit of science, seeks after immediate practical utility, may generally rest assured that he will seek in vain.

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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.

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

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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.

9

What we see is the solution to a computational problem, our brains compute the most likely causes from the photon absorptions within our eyes.

7

The smallest quantity of alcohol scares away novel ideas.

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Just as a physicist has to examine the telescope and galvanometer with which he is working; has to get a clear conception of what he can attain with them, and how they may deceive him; so, too, it seemed to me necessary to investigate likewise the capabilities of our power of thought.

6

Black is real sensation, even if it is produced by entire absence of light.

The sensation of black is distinctly different from the lack of all sensations.

5

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.

4

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

4

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.

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About Hermann von Helmholtz

Quotes 31 sayings
Nationality German
Profession Physicist
Birthday August 31, 1821

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

3

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.

3

The most startling result of Faraday's Law is perhaps this.

If we accept the hypothesis that the elementary substances are composed of atoms, we cannot avoid concluding that electricity also, positive as well as negative, is divided into definite elementary portions, which behave like atoms of electricity.

3

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.

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A metaphysical conclusion is either a false conclusion or a concealed experimental conclusion.

0

Music stands in a much closer connection with pure sensation than any of the other arts.

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In speaking of the work of machines and of natural forces we must, of course, in this comparison eliminate anything in which activity of intelligence comes into play. The latter is also capable of the hard and intense work of thinking, which tries a man just as muscular exertion does.

0

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.

0

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.

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There is a kind, I might almost say, of artistic satisfaction, when we are able to survey the enormous wealth of Nature as a regularly ordered whole a kosmos, an image of the logical thought of our own mind.

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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.

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I think the facts leave no doubt that the very mightiest among the chemical forces are of electric origin. The atoms cling to their electric charges, and opposite electric charges cling to each other.

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Isolated facts and experiments have in themselves no value, however great their number may be. They only become valuable in a theoretical or practical point of view when they make us acquainted with the law of a series of uniformly recurring phenomena, or, it may be, only give a negative result showing an incompleteness in our knowledge of such a law, till then held to be perfect.

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The formation of scales and of the web of harmony is a product of artistic invention, and is in no way given by the natural structure or by the natural behaviour of our hearing, as used to be generally maintained hitherto.

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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.

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The originator of a new concept...finds, as a rule, that it is much more difficult to find out why other people do not understand him, than it was to discover the new truth.

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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.

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Music strikes the ear as a perfectly undisturbed uniform sound which remains unaltered as long as it exists.

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