Zitate von Arthur Stanley Eddington

Arthur Stanley Eddington Foto
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Arthur Stanley Eddington

Geburtstag: 28. Dezember 1882
Todesdatum: 22. November 1944
Andere Namen:Sir Arthur Eddington, Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington

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Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington war ein britischer Astrophysiker. Er war der Erste, dem die Modellierung des inneren Aufbaus von Sternen gelang. Weitere Schwerpunkte seiner Forschungen waren Dynamik der Sternbewegungen, astronomische Anwendungen der Relativitätstheorie und die Philosophie der Naturwissenschaften.

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Zitate Arthur Stanley Eddington

„Die Mathematik ist nicht da, solange wir sie nicht da hinstellen.“

—  Arthur Stanley Eddington
Zitiert von Robert B. Laughlin: Abschied von der Weltformel, Deutsch von Helmut Reuter, 10. Kap. "Das Gewebe der Raumzeit", S. 179, Piper Verlag, 2007, ISBN 978-3492047180

„Das Universum ist nicht nur seltsamer, als wir es uns vorstellen, es ist seltsamer, als wir es uns vorstellen können.“

—  Arthur Stanley Eddington
Zitiert von Robert B. Laughlin: Abschied von der Weltformel, Deutsch von Helmut Reuter, Widmungsblatt für Laughlings Frau Anita, S. 5, Piper Verlag, 2007, ISBN 978-3492047180

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„He arrives at two generalisations: No sea-creature is less than two inches long. (2) All sea-creatures have gills. These are both true of his catch, and he assumes tentatively that they will remain true however often he repeats it.“

—  Arthur Stanley Eddington
Context: Let us suppose that an ichthyologist is exploring the life of the ocean. He casts a net into the water and brings up a fishy assortment. Surveying his catch, he proceeds in the usual manner of a scientist to systematise what it reveals. He arrives at two generalisations: No sea-creature is less than two inches long. (2) All sea-creatures have gills. These are both true of his catch, and he assumes tentatively that they will remain true however often he repeats it. In applying this analogy, the catch stands for the body of knowledge which constitutes physical science, and the net for the sensory and intellectual equipment which we use in obtaining it. The casting of the net corresponds to observation; for knowledge which has not been or could not be obtained by observation is not admitted into physical science. An onlooker may object that the first generalisation is wrong. "There are plenty of sea-creatures under two inches long, only your net is not adapted to catch them." The icthyologist dismisses this objection contemptuously. "Anything uncatchable by my net is ipso facto outside the scope of icthyological knowledge. In short, what my net can't catch isn't fish." Or — to translate the analogy — "If you are not simply guessing, you are claiming a knowledge of the physical universe discovered in some other way than by the methods of physical science, and admittedly unverifiable by such methods. You are a metaphysician. Bah!"

„It is to this background that our own personality and consciousness belong, and those spiritual aspects of our nature not to be described by any symbolism... to which mathematical physics has hitherto restricted itself.“

—  Arthur Stanley Eddington
Context: It remains a real world if there is a background to the symbols—an unknown quantity which the mathematical symbol x stands for. We think we are not wholly cut off from this background. It is to this background that our own personality and consciousness belong, and those spiritual aspects of our nature not to be described by any symbolism... to which mathematical physics has hitherto restricted itself.<!--III, p.37-38

„For the truth of the conclusions of physical science, observation is the supreme Court of Appeal.“

—  Arthur Stanley Eddington
Context: For the truth of the conclusions of physical science, observation is the supreme Court of Appeal. It does not follow that every item which we confidently accept as physical knowledge has actually been certified by the Court; our confidence is that it would be certified by the Court if it were submitted. But it does follow that every item of physical knowledge is of a form which might be submitted to the Court. It must be such that we can specify (although it may be impracticable to carry out) an observational procedure which would decide whether it is true or not. Clearly a statement cannot be tested by observation unless it is an assertion about the results of observation. Every item of physical knowledge must therefore be an assertion of what has been or would be the result of carrying out a specified observational procedure. <!-- p. 9

„The present revolution of scientific thought follows in natural sequence on the great revolutions at earlier epochs in the history of science“

—  Arthur Stanley Eddington
Context: ... The present revolution of scientific thought follows in natural sequence on the great revolutions at earlier epochs in the history of science. Einstein's special theory of relativity, which explains the indeterminateness of the frame of space and time, crowns the work of Copernicus who first led us to give up our insistence on a geocentric outlook on nature; Einstein's general theory of relativity, which reveals the curvature or non-Euclidean geometry of space and time, carries forward the rudimentary thought of those earlier astronomers who first contemplated the possibility that their existence lay on something which was not flat. These earlier revolutions are still a source of perplexity in childhood, which we soon outgrow; and a time will come when Einstein's amazing revelations have likewise sunk into the commonplaces of educated thought. The Theory of Relativity and its Influence on Scientific Thought (1922), p. 31-32

„It is the reciprocity of these appearances—that each party should think the other has contracted—that is so difficult to realise.“

—  Arthur Stanley Eddington
Context: It is the reciprocity of these appearances—that each party should think the other has contracted—that is so difficult to realise. Here is a paradox beyond even the imagination of Dean Swift. Gulliver regarded the Lilliputians as a race of dwarfs; and the Lilliputians regarded Gulliver as a giant. That is natural. If the Lilliputians had appeared dwarfs to Gulliver, and Gulliver had appeared a dwarf to the Lilliputians—but no! that is too absurd for fiction, and is an idea only to be found in the sober pages of science.... It is not only in space but in time that these strange variations occur. If we observed the aviator carefully we should infer that he was unusually slow in his movements; and events in the conveyance moving with him would be similarly retarded—as though time had forgotten to go on. His cigar lasts twice as long as one of ours.... But here again reciprocity comes in, because in the aviator's opinion it is we who are travelling at 161,000 miles a second past him; and when he has made all allowances, he finds that it is we who are sluggish. Our cigar lasts twice as long as his.<!--pp.23-24

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„To understand the phenomena of the physical world it is necessary to know the equations which the symbols obey but not the nature of that which is being symbolised.“

—  Arthur Stanley Eddington
Context: If to-day you ask a physicist what he has finally made out the æther or the electron to be, the answer will not be a description in terms of billiard balls or fly-wheels or anything concrete; he will point instead to a number of symbols and a set of mathematical equations which they satisfy. What do the symbols stand for? The mysterious reply is given that physics is indifferent to that; it has no means of probing beneath the symbolism. To understand the phenomena of the physical world it is necessary to know the equations which the symbols obey but not the nature of that which is being symbolised.... this newer outlook has modified the challenge from the material to the spiritual world.<!--III, p.30

„The idealistic tinge in my conception of the physical world arose out of mathematical researches on the relativity theory. In so far as I had any earlier philosophical views, they were of an entirely different complexion.“

—  Arthur Stanley Eddington
Context: The idealistic tinge in my conception of the physical world arose out of mathematical researches on the relativity theory. In so far as I had any earlier philosophical views, they were of an entirely different complexion. From the beginning I have been doubtful whether it was desirable for a scientist to venture so far into extra-scientific territory. The primary justification for such an expedition is that it may afford a better view of his own scientific domain. Preface http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Extras/Eddington_Gifford.html

„The man in the street is always making this demand for concrete explanation of the things referred to in science; but of necessity he must be disappointed.“

—  Arthur Stanley Eddington
Context: Science aims at constructing a world which shall be symbolic of the world of commonplace experience. It is not at all necessary that every individual symbol that is used should represent something in common experience or even something explicable in terms of common experience. The man in the street is always making this demand for concrete explanation of the things referred to in science; but of necessity he must be disappointed. It is like our experience in learning to read. That which is written in a book is symbolic of a story in real life. The whole intention of the book is that ultimately a reader will identify some symbol, say BREAD, with one of the conceptions of familiar life. But it is mischievous to attempt such identifications prematurely, before the letters are strung into words and the words into sentences. The symbol A is not the counterpart of anything in familiar life. Introduction http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Extras/Eddington_Gifford.html

„Some mechanism seems to be needed, whereby either gravitation creates matter, or all the matter in the universe conspires to define a law of gravitation.“

—  Arthur Stanley Eddington
Context: We can see that, the constant in the law of gravitation being fixed, there may be some upper limit to the amount of matter possible; as more and more matter is added in the distant parts, space curves round and ultimately closes; the process of adding more matter must stop, because there is no more space, and we can only return to the region already dealt with. But there seems nothing to prevent a defect of matter, leaving space unclosed. Some mechanism seems to be needed, whereby either gravitation creates matter, or all the matter in the universe conspires to define a law of gravitation.<!--p.163

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„If God is as real as the shadow of the Great War on Armistice Day, need we seek further reason for making a place for God in our thoughts and lives?“

—  Arthur Stanley Eddington
Context: If God is as real as the shadow of the Great War on Armistice Day, need we seek further reason for making a place for God in our thoughts and lives? We shall not be concerned if the scientific explorer reports that he is perfectly satisfied that he has got to the bottom of things without having come across either.<!--VI, p.67

„We are saved the difficulty of imagining how the processes of life can go on in two dimensions, because nothing goes on.“

—  Arthur Stanley Eddington
Context: It is of interest to inquire what happens when the aviator's speed... approximates to the velocity of light. Lengths in the direction of flight become smaller and smaller, until for the speed of light they shrink to zero. The aviator and the objects accompanying him shrink to two dimensions. We are saved the difficulty of imagining how the processes of life can go on in two dimensions, because nothing goes on. Time is arrested altogether. This is the description according to the terrestrial observer. The aviator himself detects nothing unusual; he does not perceive that he has stopped moving. He is merely waiting for the next instant to come before making the next movement; and the mere fact that time is arrested means that he does not perceive that the next instant is a long time coming.<!--p.26

„In the world of physics we watch a shadowgraph performance of the drama of familiar life.“

—  Arthur Stanley Eddington
Context: In physics we have outgrown archer and apple-pie definitions of the fundamental symbols. To a request to explain what an electron really is supposed to be we can only answer, "It is part of the A B C of physics". The external world of physics has thus become a world of shadows. In removing our illusions we have removed the substance, for indeed we have seen that substance is one of the greatest of our illusions. Later perhaps we may inquire whether in our zeal to cut out all that is unreal we may not have used the knife too ruthlessly. Perhaps, indeed, reality is a child which cannot survive without its nurse illusion. But if so, that is of little concern to the scientist, who has good and sufficient reasons for pursuing his investigations in the world of shadows and is content to leave to the philosopher the determination of its exact status in regard to reality. In the world of physics we watch a shadowgraph performance of the drama of familiar life. The shadow of my elbow rests on the shadow table as the shadow ink flows over the shadow paper. It is all symbolic, and as a symbol the physicist leaves it. Then comes the alchemist Mind who transmutes the symbols. The sparsely spread nuclei of electric force become a tangible solid; their restless agitation becomes the warmth of summer; the octave of aethereal vibrations becomes a gorgeous rainbow. Nor does the alchemy stop here. In the transmuted world new significances arise which are scarcely to be traced in the world of symbols; so that it becomes a world of beauty and purpose — and, alas, suffering and evil. The frank realisation that physical science is concerned with a world of shadows is one of the most significant of recent advances. Introduction

„You will understand the true spirit neither of science nor of religion unless seeking is placed in the forefront.“

—  Arthur Stanley Eddington
Context: You will understand the true spirit neither of science nor of religion unless seeking is placed in the forefront.<!--IX, p.88

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