81 Lord Kelvin Quotes

It is only a dream
Radio has no future
To measure is to know
X-rays will prove to be a hoax
Fourier is a mathematical poem
If you can not measure it, you can not improve it
Mathematics is the only good metaphysics
With three parameters, I can fit an elephant
The steam-engine is passing away
All by one and the same dynamical action
All science is either physics or stamp collecting
At what time does the dissipation of energy begin?
Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible
You can understand perfectly, if you give your mind to it
To live among friends is the primary essential of happiness
One half of hypnotism is fraud and the rest bad observation
The atheistic idea is so nonsensical that I cannot put it into words
Trust you will avoid the gigantic mistake of alternating current
Mr. X of the seventh tier, you may report to me after the lecture
It is no greater mystery at all events than the shoemakers wax
I see Dr. Campbell's conclusions don't agree with my premises
The vector has never been of the slightest use to any creature
The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he would never be caught
When you are face to face with a difficulty, you are up against a discovery
War is a relic of babarism probably destined to become as obsolete as duelling
We know that light is propagated like sound through pressure and motion
I have no satisfaction in formulas unless I feel their numerical magnitude
Overwhelming strong proofs of intelligent and benevolent design lie around us
Physicists are not wholly incapable of appreciating geological difficulties
Work while it is yet Day, for the Knight cometh when no man can work
Wireless telegraphy is all very well but I'd rather send a message by a boy on a pony!
A great reform in geological speculation seems now to have become necessary
The steam engine has given more to science than science has given to the steam engine
Creative Power is the only feasible answer to the origin of life from a scientific perspective
The more you understand what is wrong with a figure, the more valuable that figure becomes
The more thoroughly I conduct scientific research, the more I believe that science excludes atheism
If only we had thirty hours in a day instead of twenty-four, we might get some of our work done
There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now, All that remains is more and more precise measurement
Vortices of pure energy can exist and, if my theories are right, can compose the bodily form of an intelligent species
The telephone is one of the most interesting inventions that has ever been made in the history of science
There is at present in the material world a universal tendency to the dissipation of mechanical energy
Blow a soap bubble and observe it. You may study it all your life and draw one lesson after another in physics from it
A university is a place that fits some men for earning a livelihood, and that makes life better worth living for all men
Science is bound, by the everlasting vow of honour, to face fearlessly every problem which can be fairly presented to it
Large increases in cost with questionable increases in performance can be tolerated only in race horses and fancy women
The mystery of radium, no doubt we shall solve it one day, but the freedom of the will, that is a mystery of another kind
Mechanical models of molecules are more a help or corrective to brain sluggishness than a means of observation or discovery
No cyclic process is possible whose sole result is a flow of heat from a single reservoir and the performance of equivalent work
I believe that the more thoroughly science is studied, the further does it take us from anything comparable to atheism
Photography in natural colors will soon be an established fact, although it will necessitate a lot of study to get it perfected
The assumption of atoms can explain no property of body which has not previously been attributed to the atoms themselves
A most remarkable invention. I believe that Marconi will soon establish Transatlantic wireless telegraphy on a firm commercial basis
We have shown that it is possible to get on well together under separate flags, but I wish we were all under one flag and under one government
I have nothing to do with borderland. I believe that nearly everything in hypnotism and clairvoyance is imposture, and the rest bad observation
I have been a student of the University of Glasgow fifty-five years to-day, and I hope to continue a student of the University as long as I live
Do not imagine that mathematics is hard and crabbed, and repulsive to common sense. It is merely the etherealisation of common sense
It is not utterly chimerical to think of wind superseding coal in some places for a very important part of its present duty, that of giving light
It is absolutely certain that there is a definite dynamical theory for waves and light, to be enriched not abolished by electromagnetic theory
It is quite certain that a great mistake has been made, that British popular geology at the presents time is in direct opposition to the principles of Natural Philosophy
I am never content until I have constructed a mechanical model of the subject I am studying. If I succeed in making one, I understand, otherwise I do not
It is going to be a most valuable, practical affair, as valuable as water-cisterns to people whether they had or had not systems of water-pipes and water-supply
The phenomena of light can be explained without going beyond the elastic-solid theory. We have now our answer: every thing non-magnetic, nothing magnetic
It seems to me that there must be something in this molecular hypothesis and that as a mechanical symbol, it is certainly not a mere hypothesis, but a reality
I call any geometrical figure, or any group of points, chiral, and say it has chirality, if its image in a plane mirror, ideally realized, cannot be brought to coincide with itself
I have given careful consideration to this subject and I do not believe the shareholders of your company need be alarmed at the prospect of wireless telegraphy
In four hundred years the oxygen now virtually free in our atmosphere will be used up, and the inhabitants of the earth will die of suffocation from carbonic acid gas
Beautiful as that wonderful work of nature is, it would be more beautiful still if those waters fell upon turbine wheels every one of which was turning the wheels of industry
The fact that mathematics does such a good job of describing the Universe is a mystery that we don't understand. And a debt that we will probably never be able to repay
As the demand goes on increasing, so the amount of horse-power developed will increase, until the whole water power of Niagara will be used for doing mechanical work
In the present state of physical science, therefore, a question of extreme interest arises: Is there any principle on which an absolute thermometric scale can be founded?
The hypothesis that life originated on this earth through moss-grown fragments from the ruins of another world may seem wild and visionary, all I maintain is that it is not unscientific
It is, however, conceivable that animal life might have the attribute of using the heat of surrounding matter, at its natural temperature, as a source of energy for mechanical effect
From twenty to twenty-five years ago, I had no belief in the reality of this theory, but I did not then know that motion is the very essence of what has hitherto been called matter
It is impossible by means of inanimate material agency to derive a mechanical effect from a portion of matter by cooling it below the temperature of the coldest surrounding bodies
Belief that no other theory of matter is possible is the only ground for anticipating that there is in store for the world another beautiful book to be called Elasticity, a Mode of Motion
Modern biologists are coming, I believe, once more to a firm acceptance of something beyond mere gravitational, chemical, and physical forces, and that unknown thing is a vital principle
Do you know what a mathematician is? "Integral from - infinty to + infinity of exp(-x^2)dx = sqrt(pi)". A mathematician is one to whom that is as obvious as that twice two makes four is to you
All the properties of matter are so connected that we can scarcely imagine one thoroughly explained, without our seeing its relation to all the others, without, in fact, having the explanation of all
Nothing can be more fatal to progress than a too confident reliance on mathematical symbols, for the student is only too apt to take the easier course, and consider the formula not the fact as the physical reality
I have not the smallest molecule of faith in aerial navigation other than ballooning or of the expectation of good results from any of the trials we hear of. I would not care to be a member of the Aeronautical 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, including Maxwell