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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index A > Svante Arrhenius Quotes

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Svante Arrhenius
(19 Feb 1859 - 2 Oct 1927)

Swedish physical chemist.

Science Quotes by Svante Arrhenius (7 quotes)

At first sight nothing seems more obvious than that everything has a beginning and an end, and that everything can be subdivided into smaller parts. Nevertheless, for entirely speculative reasons the philosophers of Antiquity, especially the Stoics, concluded this concept to be quite unnecessary. The prodigious development of physics has now reached the same conclusion as those philosophers, Empedocles and Democritus in particular, who lived around 500 B.C. and for whom even ancient man had a lively admiration.
— Svante Arrhenius
'Development of the Theory of Electrolytic Dissociation', Nobel Lecture, 11 December 1903. In Nobel Lectures: Chemistry 1901-1921 (1966), 45.
Science quotes on:  |  Democritus of Abdera (12)  |  Empedocles (6)  |  Philosopher (65)  |  Physics (153)

Chemistry works with an enormous number of substances, but cares only for some few of their properties; it is an extensive science. Physics on the other hand works with rather few substances, such as mercury, water, alcohol, glass, air, but analyses the experimental results very thoroughly; it is an intensive science. Physical chemistry is the child of these two sciences; it has inherited the extensive character from chemistry. Upon this depends its all-embracing feature, which has attracted so great admiration. But on the other hand it has its profound quantitative character from the science of physics.
— Svante Arrhenius
In Theories of Solutions (1912), xix.
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Humanity stands ... before a great problem of finding new raw materials and new sources of energy that shall never become exhausted. In the meantime we must not waste what we have, but must leave as much as possible for coming generations.
— Svante Arrhenius
Chemistry in Modern Life (1925), trans. Clifford Shattuck-Leonard, vii.
Science quotes on:  |  Conservation (40)  |  Energy (101)

I was led to the conclusion that at the most extreme dilutions all salts would consist of simple conducting molecules. But the conducting molecules are, according to the hypothesis of Clausius and Williamson, dissociated; hence at extreme dilutions all salt molecules are completely disassociated. The degree of dissociation can be simply found on this assumption by taking the ratio of the molecular conductivity of the solution in question to the molecular conductivity at the most extreme dilution.
— Svante Arrhenius
Letter to Van’t Hoff, 13 April 1887. In J. R. Partington, A History of Chemistry (1961), Vol. 4, 678.
Science quotes on:  |  Conductivity (2)  |  Electrolyte (3)

In a great number of the cosmogonic myths the world is said to have developed from a great water, which was the prime matter. In many cases, as for instance in an Indian myth, this prime matter is indicated as a solution, out of which the solid earth crystallized out.
— Svante Arrhenius
In Theories of Solutions (1912), 1.
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The theoretical side of physical chemistry is and will probably remain the dominant one; it is by this peculiarity that it has exerted such a great influence upon the neighboring sciences, pure and applied, and on this ground physical chemistry may be regarded as an excellent school of exact reasoning for all students of the natural sciences.
— Svante Arrhenius
In Theories of Solutions (1912), xx.
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The title affixed to it is “The Chemical Theory of Electrolytes,” but it is a bigger thing than this: it really is an attempt at an electrolytic theory of chemistry.
On Svante Arrhenius’ Theorie Chemique des Electrolytes, abstract and report by Oliver Lodge.
— Svante Arrhenius
56th Report of The British Association for the Advancement of Science, 1886, 362.
Science quotes on:  |  Electrolyte (3)

Quotes by others about Svante Arrhenius (3)

We can distinguish three groups of scientific men. In the first and very small group we have the men who discover fundamental relations. Among these are van't Hoff, Arrhenius and Nernst. In the second group we have the men who do not make the great discovery but who see the importance and bearing of it, and who preach the gospel to the heathen. Ostwald stands absolutely at the head of this group. The last group contains the rest of us, the men who have to have things explained to us.
'Ostwald', Journal of Chemical Education, 1933, 10, 612, as cited by Erwin N. Hiebert and Hans-Gunther Korber in article on Ostwald in Charles Coulston Gillespie (ed.), Dictionary of Scientific Biography Supplement 1, Vol 15-16, 466, which also says Wilder Bancroft "received his doctorate under Ostwald in 1892."
Science quotes on:  |  Men Of Science (90)  |  Walther Hermann Nernst (4)  |  Jacobus Henricus Van't Hoff (4)

There is no sharp boundary line separating the reactions of the immune bodies from chemical processes between crystalloids, just as in nature there exists every stage between crystalloid and colloid. The nearer the colloid particle approximates to the normal electrolyte, the nearer its compounds must obviously come to conforming to the law of simple stoichiometric proportions, and the compounds themselves to simple chemical compounds. At this point, it should be recalled that Arrhenius has shown that the quantitative relationship between toxin and antitoxin is very similar to that between acid and base.
Landsteiner and Nicholas von Jagic, 'Uber Reaktionen anorganischer Kolloide und Immunkorper', Münchener medizinischer Wochenschrift (1904), 51, 1185-1189. Trans. Pauline M. H. Mazumdar.
Science quotes on:  |  Acid (15)  |  Antitoxin (2)  |  Base (10)  |  Colloid (5)  |  Compound (35)  |  Crystal (21)  |  Electrolyte (3)  |  Immunology (12)  |  Reaction (47)  |  Toxin (4)

The description of some of the experiments, which are communicated here, was completely worked out at my writing-table, before I had seen anything of the phenomena in question. After making the experiments on the following day, it was found that nothing in the description required to be altered. I do not mention this from feelings of pride, but in order to make clear the extraordinary ease and security with which the relations in question can be considered on the principles of Arrhenius' theory of free ions. Such facts speak more forcibly then any polemics for the value of this theory .
Philosophical Magazine (1891), 32, 156.
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See also:
  • todayinsci icon 19 Feb - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Arrhenius's birth.
  • book icon Arrhenius: From Ionic Theory to the Greenhouse Effect, by Elisabeth Crawford. - 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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