Top Laplace Quotes

Browse top 13 famous quotes and sayings about Laplace by most favorite authors.

Favorite Laplace Quotes

1. "Biot, who assisted Laplace in revising it [The Mécanique Céleste] for the press, says that Laplace himself was frequently unable to recover the details in the chain of reasoning, and if satisfied that the conclusions were correct, he was content to insert the constantly recurring formula, 'Il est àisé avoir' [it is easy to see]."
Author: Biot
2. "The first effect of the mind growing cultivated is that processes once multiple get to be performed in a single act. Lazarus has called this the progressive 'condensation' of thought. ... Steps really sink from sight. An advanced thinker sees the relations of his topics is such masses and so instantaneously that when he comes to explain to younger minds it is often hard ... Bowditch, who translated and annotated Laplace's Méchanique Céleste, said that whenever his author prefaced a proposition by the words 'it is evident,' he knew that many hours of hard study lay before him."
Author: Bowditch
3. "How did Biot arrive at the partial differential equation? [the heat conduction equation] . . . Perhaps Laplace gave Biot the equation and left him to sink or swim for a few years in trying to derive it. That would have been merely an instance of the way great mathematicians since the very beginnings of mathematical research have effortlessly maintained their superiority over ordinary mortals."
Author: Clifford A. Truesdell
4. "Unlike earlier thinkers, who had sought to improve their accuracy by getting rid of error, Laplace realized that you should try to get more error: aggregate enough flawed data, and you get a glimpse of the truth. "The genius of statistics, as Laplace defined it, was that it did not ignore errors; it quantified them," the writer Louis Menand observed. "…The right answer is, in a sense, a function of the mistakes."
Author: Kathryn Schulz
5. "The great masters of modern analysis are Lagrange, Laplace, and Gauss, who were contemporaries. It is interesting to note the marked contrast in their styles. Lagrange is perfect both in form and matter, he is careful to explain his procedure, and though his arguments are general they are easy to follow. Laplace on the other hand explains nothing, is indifferent to style, and, if satisfied that his results are correct, is content to leave them either with no proof or with a faulty one. Gauss is as exact and elegant as Lagrange, but even more difficult to follow than Laplace, for he removes every trace of the analysis by which he reached his results, and studies to give a proof which while rigorous shall be as concise and synthetical as possible."
Author: Lagrange
6. "The genius of Laplace was a perfect sledge hammer in bursting purely mathematical obstacles; but, like that useful instrument, it gave neither finish nor beauty to the results. In truth, in truism if the reader please, Laplace was neither Lagrange nor Euler, as every student is made to feel. The second is power and symmetry, the third power and simplicity; the first is power without either symmetry or simplicity. But, nevertheless, Laplace never attempted investigation of a subject without leaving upon it the marks of difficulties conquered: sometimes clumsily, sometimes indirectly, always without minuteness of design or arrangement of detail; but still, his end is obtained and the difficulty is conquered."
Author: Laplace
7. "Whenever I meet in Laplace with the words 'Thus it plainly appears', I am sure that hours and perhaps days, of hard study will alone enable me to discover how it plainly appears."
Author: Laplace
8. "In his theory Perrow recognized that modern systems are made up of thousands of parts, including fallible human decision makers, which interrelate in ways that are, like Laplace´s atoms, impossible to track and anticipate individually. Yet one can bet on the fact that just as atoms executing a drunkard´s walk will eventually get somewhere, so too will accidents eventually occur. Called normal accident theory, Perrow´s doctrine describes how that happens – how accidents can occur without clear causes, without those glaring errors and incompetent villains sought by corporate or government commission."
Author: Leonard Mlodinow
9. "Napoleon, when hearing about Laplace's latest book, said, 'M. Laplace, they tell me you have written this large book on the system of the universe, and have never even mentioned its creator.'Laplace responds, 'Je n'avais pas besoin de cette hypothèse-là. (I had no need of that hypothesis.)"
Author: Napoleon
10. "I often asked Laplace what he thought of God. He owned that he was an atheist."
Author: Napoleon
11. "Assume that someone tells you that the probability of an event is exactly zero. You ask him where he got this from. "Baal told me" is the answer. In such case, the person is coherent, but would be deemed unrealistic by non-Baalists. But if on the other hand, the person tells you "I estimated it to be zero," we have a problem. The person is both unrealistic and inconsistent. Something estimated needs to have an estimation error. So probability cannot be zero if it is estimated, its lower bound is linked to the estimation error; the higher the estimation error, the higher the probability, up to a point. As with Laplace's argument of total ignorance, an infinite estimation error pushes the probability toward ½."
Author: Nassim Nicholas Taleb
12. "I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer, born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace and propelled by compressible flow."
Author: Neil Armstrong
13. "Willard Gibbs did for statistical mechanics and for thermodynamics what Laplace did for celestial mechanics and Maxwell did for electrodynamics, namely, made his field a well-nigh finished theoretical structure."
Author: Willard Gibbs

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