Frases de William John Macquorn Rankine

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William John Macquorn Rankine

Data de nascimento: 5. Julho 1820
Data de falecimento: 24. Dezembro 1872

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William John Macquorn Rankine foi um polímata escocês com nacionalidade britânica, que trabalhou nos setores da engenharia civil, auxiliando nos trabalhos da engenharia mecânica e naval, além de físico.Ele com o trabalho científico de Rudolf Clausius e William Thomson fundou a termodinâmica. Seus trabalhos mais conhecidos estão na formulação da Primeira Lei da Termodinâmica e na construção do motor a vapor, além de diversos manuais de engenharia, no desenvolvimento de conceitos de hidrodinâmica que são aplicado até hoje. Publicou centenas de artigos e notas sobre ciência e engenharia, a partir de 1842. Com interesses diversificados, estudou botânica e a teoria da música, passando pelos ramos da matemática, ciência e engenharia. Ele era um cantor amador entusiástico que compunha suas próprias músicas.

Em virtude ao seu trabalho científico, ele teve algumas honras durante a sua vida e depois da sua morte, como na participação da Sociedade Real de Edimburgo e como membro da Royal Society.

Citações William John Macquorn Rankine

„In treating of the practical application of scientific principles, an algebraical formula should only be employed when its shortness and simplicity are such as to render it a clearer expression of a proposition or rule than common language would be, and when there is no difficulty in keeping the thing represented by each symbol constantly before the mind.“

—  William John Macquorn Rankine
Context: In treating of the practical application of scientific principles, an algebraical formula should only be employed when its shortness and simplicity are such as to render it a clearer expression of a proposition or rule than common language would be, and when there is no difficulty in keeping the thing represented by each symbol constantly before the mind.<!--p. 177

„The most absurd of all their delusions commonly called the“

—  William John Macquorn Rankine
Context: The most absurd of all their delusions commonly called the, or to speak more accurately, the inexhaustible source of power—is, in various forms, the subject of several patents in each year.<!--p. 176

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„The evil influence of the supposed inconsistency of theory and practice upon speculative science“

—  William John Macquorn Rankine
Context: The evil influence of the supposed inconsistency of theory and practice upon speculative science, although much less conspicuous than it was in the ancient and middle ages, is still occasionally to be traced. This it is which opposes the mutual communication of ideas between men of science and men of practice, and which leads scientific men sometimes to employ, on problems that can only be regarded as ingenious mathematical exercises, much time and mental exertion that would be better bestowed on questions having some connection with the arts, and sometimes to state the results of really important investigations on practical subjects in a form too abstruse for ordinary use; so that the benefit which might be derived from their application is for years lost to the public; and valuable practical principles which might have been anticipated by reasoning, are left to be discovered by slow and costly experience.<!--pp. 175

„The ascertainment and illustration of truth are the objects; and structures and machines are looked upon merely as natural bodies“

—  William John Macquorn Rankine
Context: The ascertainment and illustration of truth are the objects; and structures and machines are looked upon merely as natural bodies are; namely, as furnishing experimental data for the ascertaining of principles and examples for their application.<!--p. 176

„In thermodynamics as well as in other branches of molecular physics, the laws of phenomena have to a certain extent been anticipated, and their investigation facilitated, by the aid of hypotheses as to occult molecular structures and motions with which such phenomena are assumed to be connected.“

—  William John Macquorn Rankine
Context: Hypothesis Of Molecular Vortices. In thermodynamics as well as in other branches of molecular physics, the laws of phenomena have to a certain extent been anticipated, and their investigation facilitated, by the aid of hypotheses as to occult molecular structures and motions with which such phenomena are assumed to be connected. The hypothesis which has answered that purpose in the case of thermodynamics, is called that of "molecular vortices," or otherwise, the "centrifugal theory of elasticity. (On this subject, see the Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, 1849; Edinburgh Transactions, vol. xx.; and Philosophical Magazine, passim, especially for December, 1851, and November and December, 1855.) p. 31

„Another evil, and one of the worst which arises from the separation of theoretical and practical knowledge, is the fact that a large number of persons“

—  William John Macquorn Rankine
Context: Another evil, and one of the worst which arises from the separation of theoretical and practical knowledge, is the fact that a large number of persons, possessed of an inventive turn of mind and of considerable skill in the manual operations of practical mechanics, are destitute of that knowledge of scientific principles which is requisite to prevent their being misled by their own ingenuity. Such men too often spend their money, waste their lives, and it may be lose their reason in the vain pursuits of visionary inventions, of which a moderate amount of theoretical knowledge would be sufficient to demonstrate the fallacy; and for want of such knowledge, many a man who might have been a useful and happy member of society, becomes a being than whom it would be hard to find anything more miserable. The number of those unhappy persons — to judge from the patent-lists, and from some of the mechanical journals — must be much greater than is generally believed.<!--p. 176

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„A physical theory, like an abstract science, consists of definitions and axioms as first principles, and of propositions, their consequences; but with these differences:—first, That in an abstract science, a definition assigns a name to a class of notions derived originally from observation, but not necessarily corresponding to any existing objects of real phenomena, and an axiom states a mutual relation amongst such notions, or the names denoting them; while in a physical science, a definition states properties common to a class of existing objects, or real phenomena, and a physical axiom states a general law as to the relations of phenomena; and, secondly,—That in an abstract science, the propositions first discovered are the most simple; whilst in a physical theory, the propositions first discovered are in general numerous and complex, being formal laws, the immediate results of observation and experiment, from which the definitions and axioms are subsequently arrived at by a process of reasoning differing from that whereby one proposition is deduced from another in an abstract science, partly in being more complex and difficult, and partly in being to a certain extent tentative, that is to say, involving the trial of conjectural principles, and their acceptance or rejection according as their consequences are found to agree or disagree with the formal laws deduced immediately from observation and experiment.“

—  William John Macquorn Rankine
p. 121; Second paragraph

„The objects of instruction in purely scientific mechanics and physics are, first, to produce in the student that improvement of the understanding which results from the cultivation of natural knowledge, and that elevation of mind which flows from the contemplation of the order of the universe“

—  William John Macquorn Rankine
Context: The objects of instruction in purely scientific mechanics and physics are, first, to produce in the student that improvement of the understanding which results from the cultivation of natural knowledge, and that elevation of mind which flows from the contemplation of the order of the universe; and secondly, if possible, to qualify him to become a scientific discoverer.<!--p. 176

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