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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index A > André-Marie Ampère Quotes

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André-Marie Ampère
(22 Jan 1775 - 10 Jun 1836)

French mathematician, physicist and chemist.


Science Quotes by André-Marie Ampère (4 quotes)

Either one or the other [analysis or synthesis] may be direct or indirect. The direct procedure is when the point of departure is known-direct synthesis in the elements of geometry. By combining at random simple truths with each other, more complicated ones are deduced from them. This is the method of discovery, the special method of inventions, contrary to popular opinion.
— André-Marie Ampère
Ampère gives this example drawn from geometry to illustrate his meaning for “direct synthesis” when deductions following from more simple, already-known theorems leads to a new discovery. In James R. Hofmann, André-Marie Ampère (1996), 159. Cites Académie des Sciences Ampère Archives, box 261.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (82)  |  Combination (37)  |  Complication (16)  |  Contrary (6)  |  Deduction (39)  |  Departure (3)  |  Direct (9)  |  Discovery (360)  |  Element (68)  |  Geometry (68)  |  Indirect (3)  |  Invention (174)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Method (73)  |  Opinion (81)  |  Point (29)  |  Popular (10)  |  Procedure (11)  |  Random (11)  |  Simple (25)  |  Special (25)  |  Synthesis (23)  |  Truth (450)

Ordinarily logic is divided into the examination of ideas, judgments, arguments, and methods. The two latter are generally reduced to judgments, that is, arguments are reduced to apodictic judgments that such and such conclusions follow from such and such premises, and method is reduced to judgments that prescribe the procedure that should be followed in the search for truth.
— André-Marie Ampère
Ampére expresses how arguments have a logical structure which he expected should be applied to relate scientific theories to experimental evidence. In James R. Hofmann, André-Marie Ampère (1996), 158. Cites Académie des Sciences Ampère Archives, École Normale lecture 15 notes, box 261.
Science quotes on:  |  Argument (26)  |  Conclusion (74)  |  Division (19)  |  Examination (47)  |  Following (12)  |  Generality (14)  |  Idea (226)  |  Judgment (39)  |  Latter (2)  |  Logic (132)  |  Method (73)  |  Ordinary (19)  |  Premise (7)  |  Prescription (10)  |  Procedure (11)  |  Reduction (22)  |  Search (40)  |  Truth (450)

The future science of government should be called 'la cybernétique' (1843)
Coining the French word to mean 'the art of governing,' from the Greek (Kybernetes = navigator or steersman), subsequently adopted as cybernetics by Norbert Weiner for the field of control and communication theory.
— André-Marie Ampère
Essai sur la philosophie des sciences, ou Exposition analytique d'une classification naturelle de toutes les connaissances humaines (1834). Quoted http://www.control.lth.se/news/cyber.html. Information for English origin from Oxford English Dictionary.
Science quotes on:  |  Cybernetics (3)  |  Government (50)  |  Nomenclature (102)

There is synthesis when, in combining therein judgments that are made known to us from simpler relations, one deduces judgments from them relative to more complicated relations.
There is analysis when from a complicated truth one deduces more simple truths.
— André-Marie Ampère
In James R. Hofmann, André-Marie Ampère (1996), 158. Cites Académie des Sciences Ampère Archives, lecture notes, box 261.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (82)  |  Combination (37)  |  Complication (16)  |  Deduction (39)  |  Judgment (39)  |  Relation (35)  |  Simplicity (92)  |  Synthesis (23)  |  Truth (450)



Quotes by others about André-Marie Ampère (5)

Ampère was a mathematician of various resources & I think might rather be called excentric [sic] than original. He was as it were always mounted upon a hobby horse of a monstrous character pushing the most remote & distant analogies. This hobby horse was sometimes like that of a child ['s] made of heavy wood, at other times it resembled those [?] shapes [?] used in the theatre [?] & at other times it was like a hypogrif in a pantomime de imagie. He had a sort of faith in animal magnetism & has published some refined & ingenious memoirs to prove the identity of electricity & magnetism but even in these views he is rather as I said before excentric than original. He has always appeared to me to possess a very discursive imagination & but little accuracy of observation or acuteness of research.
'Davy’s Sketches of his Contemporaries', Chymia, 1967, 12, 135-6.
Science quotes on:  |  Mathematician (110)  |  Personality (19)

Ohm found that the results could be summed up in such a simple law that he who runs may read it, and a schoolboy now can predict what a Faraday then could only guess at roughly. By Ohm's discovery a large part of the domain of electricity became annexed by Coulomb's discovery of the law of inverse squares, and completely annexed by Green's investigations. Poisson attacked the difficult problem of induced magnetisation, and his results, though differently expressed, are still the theory, as a most important first approximation. Ampere brought a multitude of phenomena into theory by his investigations of the mechanical forces between conductors supporting currents and magnets. Then there were the remarkable researches of Faraday, the prince of experimentalists, on electrostatics and electrodynamics and the induction of currents. These were rather long in being brought from the crude experimental state to a compact system, expressing the real essence. Unfortunately, in my opinion, Faraday was not a mathematician. It can scarely be doubted that had he been one, he would have anticipated much later work. He would, for instance, knowing Ampere's theory, by his own results have readily been led to Neumann’s theory, and the connected work of Helmholtz and Thomson. But it is perhaps too much to expect a man to be both the prince of experimentalists and a competent mathematician.
From article 'Electro-magnetic Theory II', in The Electrician (16 Jan 1891), 26, No. 661, 331.
Science quotes on:  |  Charles-Augustin de Coulomb (2)  |  Electromagnetism (14)  |  Experimentalist (7)  |  Michael Faraday (58)  |  Hermann von Helmholtz (17)  |  Law (273)  |  Mathematician (110)  |  Georg Simon Ohm (2)  |  Siméon-Denis Poisson (2)  |  Sir J.J. Thomson (4)

Always preoccupied with his profound researches, the great Newton showed in the ordinary-affairs of life an absence of mind which has become proverbial. It is related that one day, wishing to find the number of seconds necessary for the boiling of an egg, he perceived, after waiting a minute, that he held the egg in his hand, and had placed his seconds watch (an instrument of great value on account of its mathematical precision) to boil!
This absence of mind reminds one of the mathematician Ampere, who one day, as he was going to his course of lectures, noticed a little pebble on the road; he picked it up, and examined with admiration the mottled veins. All at once the lecture which he ought to be attending to returned to his mind; he drew out his watch; perceiving that the hour approached, he hastily doubled his pace, carefully placed the pebble in his pocket, and threw his watch over the parapet of the Pont des Arts.
Popular Astronomy: a General Description of the Heavens (1884), translated by J. Ellard Gore, (1907), 93.
Science quotes on:  |  Anecdote (15)  |  Boil (4)  |  Egg (27)  |  Forgetfulness (4)  |  Mind (272)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (176)  |  Pebble (8)  |  Research (360)  |  Watch (16)

The experimental investigation by which Ampere established the law of the mechanical action between electric currents is one of the most brilliant achievements in science. The whole theory and experiment, seems as if it had leaped, full grown and full armed, from the brain of the 'Newton of Electricity'. It is perfect in form, and unassailable in accuracy, and it is summed up in a formula from which all the phenomena may be deduced, and which must always remain the cardinal formula of electro-dynamics.
A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism (1873), Vol. 2, 162.
Science quotes on:  |  Accuracy (34)  |  Achievement (73)  |  Brain (106)  |  Cardinal (3)  |  Current (16)  |  Deduction (39)  |  Electricity (82)  |  Electrodynamics (3)  |  Experiment (369)  |  Formula (29)  |  Investigation (83)  |  Law (273)  |  Leap (6)  |  Mechanics (27)  |  Perfection (43)  |  Phenomenon (114)  |  Summary (2)  |  Theory (353)

True greatness is when your name is like ampere, watt, and fourier—when it's spelled with a lower case letter.
'You and Your Research', Bell Communications Research Colloquium Seminar, 7 Mar 1986.
Science quotes on:  |  Baron Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Fourier (5)  |  Greatness (24)  |  Letter (16)  |  Name (58)  |  Spelling (2)  |  James Watt (6)


See also:
  • todayinsci icon 22 Jan - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Ampère's birth.
  • book icon André-Marie Ampère: Enlightenment and Electrodynamics, by James R. Hofmann. - book suggestion.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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