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Auguste Comte

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The mathematical thermology created by Fourier may tempt us to hope that, as he has estimated the temperature of the space in which we move, me may in time ascertain the mean temperature of the heavenly bodies: but I regard this order of facts as for ever excluded from our recognition. We can never learn their internal constitution, nor, in regard to some of them, how heat is absorbed by their atmosphere. We may therefore define Astronomy as the science by which we discover the laws of the geometrical and mechanical phenomena presented by the heavenly bodies.
Book II: Astronomy, Ch. I: General View

Auguste Comte

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Science Of Energetics. Although the mechanical hypothesis just mentioned may be useful and interesting as a means of anticipating laws, and connecting the science of thermodynamics with that of ordinary mechanics, still it is to be remembered that the science of thermodynamics is by no means dependent for its certainty on that or any other hypothesis, having been now reduced, to a system of principles, or general facts, expressing strictly the results of experiment as to the relations between heat and motive power. In this point of view the laws of thermodynamics may be regarded as particular cases of more general laws, applicable to all such states of matter as constitute Energy, or the capacity to perform work, which more general laws form the basis of the science of energetics, a science comprehending, as special branches, the theories of motion, heat, light, electricity, and all other physical phenomena.

William John Macquorn Rankine

The danger is that global warming may become self-sustaining, if it has not done so already. The melting of the Arctic and Antarctic ice caps reduces the fraction of solar energy reflected back into space, and so increases the temperature further. Climate change may kill off the Amazon and other rain forests, and so eliminate once one of the main ways in which carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere. The rise in sea temperature may trigger the release of large quantities of carbon dioxide, trapped as hydrides on the ocean floor. Both these phenomena would increase the greenhouse effect, and so global warming further. We have to reverse global warming urgently, if we still can.

Stephen Hawking

I see the expression of... economy clearly in the gradual reduction of the statical laws of machines to a single one, viz. , the principle of virtual work: in the replacement of Kepler's laws by Newton's single law... and in the [subsequent] reduction, simplification and clarification of the laws of dynamics. I see clearly the biological-economical adaptation of ideas, which takes place by the principles of continuity (permanence) and of adequate definition and splits the concept 'heat' into the two concepts of 'temperature' and 'quantity of heat'; and I see how the concept 'quantity of heat' leads on to 'latent heat', and to the concepts of 'energy' and 'entropy'.

Ernst Mach

The design of this Memoir is to deduce strictly from a few principles, obtained chiefly by experiment, the rationale of those electrical phenomena which are produced by the mutual contact of two or more bodies, and which have been termed galvanic; its aim is attained if by means of it the variety of facts be presented as unity to the mind.

Georg Ohm

I can calculate the motions of the heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people.

Isaac Newton
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