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Josiah Willard Gibbs (1839 – 1903)


American theoretical physicist, chemist and mathematician.
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Josiah Willard Gibbs
His true monument lies not on the shelves of libraries, but in the thoughts of men, and in the history of more than one science.
Gibbs quotes
The whole is simpler than its parts.
Gibbs
Unassuming in manner, genial and kindly in his intercourse with his fellow-men, never showing impatience or irritation, devoid of personal ambition of the baser sort or of the slightest desire to exalt himself, he went far toward realizing the ideal of the unselfish, Christian gentleman. In the minds of those who knew him, the greatness of his intellectual achievements will never overshadow the beauty and dignity of his life.




Gibbs Josiah Willard quotes
In all these papers we see a love of honest work, an aversion to shams, a caution in the enunciation of conclusions, a distrust of rash generalizations and speculations based on uncertain premises. He was never anxious to add one more guess on doubtful matters in the hope of hitting the truth, or what might pass as such for a time, but was always ready to take infinite pains in the most careful testing of every theory. With these qualities was united a modesty which forbade the pushing of his own claims and desired no reputation except the unsought tribute of competent judges.
Gibbs Josiah Willard
If I have had any success in mathematical physics, it is, I think, because I have been able to dodge mathematical difficulties.
Josiah Willard Gibbs quotes
A mathematician may say anything he pleases, but a physicist must be at least partially sane.
Josiah Willard Gibbs
Anyone having these desires will make these researches.
Gibbs Josiah Willard quotes
In the last generation, this country produced one of the most eminent men of science in the whole world. His name was quite unknown among us while he lived, and it is still unknown. Yet I may say without too great exaggeration that when I heard it mentioned in a professional assembly in the Netherlands two years ago, everybody got down under the table and touched their foreheads to the floor. His name was Josiah Willard Gibbs.
Gibbs
I wish to know systems.
Gibbs Josiah Willard
One of the principal objects of theoretical research is to find the point of view from which the subject appears in the greatest simplicity.
Josiah Willard Gibbs
Willard Gibbs is the type of the imagination at work in the world. His story is that of an opening up which has had its effect on our lives and our thinking; and, it seems to me, it is the emblem of the naked imagination which is called abstract and impractical, but whose discoveries can be used by anyone who is interested, in whatever "field" an imagination which for me, more than that of any other figure in American thought, any poet, or political, or religious figure, stands for imagination at its essential points.




Josiah Willard Gibbs quotes
Mathematics is a language.
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