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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index M > Guglielmo Marconi Quotes

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Guglielmo Marconi
(25 Apr 1874 - 20 Jul 1937)

Italian electrical engineer and inventor.


Science Quotes by Guglielmo Marconi (4 quotes)

If we consider what science already has enabled men to know—the immensity of space, the fantastic philosophy of the stars, the infinite smallness of the composition of atoms, the macrocosm whereby we succeed only in creating outlines and translating a measure into numbers without our minds being able to form any concrete idea of it—we remain astounded by the enormous machinery of the universe.
— Guglielmo Marconi
Address (10 Sep 1934) to the International Congress of Electro-Radio Biology, Venice. In Associated Press, 'Life a Closed Book, Declares Marconi', New York Times (11 Sep 1934), 15.
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In the new era, thought itself will be transmitted by radio.
— Guglielmo Marconi
In 'Quotation Marks', New York Times (11 Oct 1931), XX2.
Science quotes on:  |  Era (6)  |  New (107)  |  Radio (16)  |  Thought (170)  |  Transmission (18)

It was shortly after midday on December 12, 1901, [in a hut on the cliffs at St. John's, Newfoundland] that I placed a single earphone to my ear and started listening. The receiver on the table before me was very crude—a few coils and condensers and a coherer—no valves [vacuum tubes], no amplifiers, not even a crystal. I was at last on the point of putting the correctness of all my beliefs to test. ... [The] answer came at 12:30. ... Suddenly, about half past twelve there sounded the sharp click of the “tapper” ... Unmistakably, the three sharp clicks corresponding to three dots sounded in my ear. “Can you hear anything, Mr. Kemp?” I asked, handing the telephone to my assistant. Kemp heard the same thing as I. ... I knew then that I had been absolutely right in my calculations. The electric waves which were being sent out from Poldhu [Cornwall, England] had travelled the Atlantic, serenely ignoring the curvature of the earth which so many doubters considered a fatal obstacle. ... I knew that the day on which I should be able to send full messages without wires or cables across the Atlantic was not far distant.
— Guglielmo Marconi
Quoted in Degna Marconi, My Father, Marconi (2000), 93.
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The mystery of life is certainly the most persistent problem ever placed before the thought of man. There is no doubt that from the time humanity began to think it has occupied itself with the problem of its origin and its future which undoubtedly is the problem of life. The inability of science to solve it is absolute. This would be truly frightening were it not for faith.
— Guglielmo Marconi
Address (10 Sep 1934) to the International Congress of Electro-Radio Biology, Venice. In Associated Press, 'Life a Closed Book, Declares Marconi', New York Times (11 Sep 1934), 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (32)  |  Certainty (59)  |  Doubt (67)  |  Faith (73)  |  Future (110)  |  Humanity (46)  |  Inability (3)  |  Life (460)  |  Mankind (111)  |  Mystery (74)  |  Occupation (28)  |  Origin (36)  |  Origin Of Life (11)  |  Persistence (10)  |  Problem (180)  |  Science (875)  |  Science And Religion (159)  |  Solution (109)  |  Thinking (166)



Quotes by others about Guglielmo Marconi (1)

Professor Ayrton said that we were gradually coming within thinkable distance of the realization of a prophecy he had ventured to make four years before, of a time when, if a person wanted to call to a friend he knew not where, he would call in a very loud electromagnetic voice, heard by him who had the electromagnetic ear, silent to him who had it not. “Where are you?” he would say. A small reply would come, “I am at the bottom of a coalmine, or crossing the Andes, or in the middle of the Atlantic.” Or, perhaps in spite of all the calling, no reply would come, and the person would then know that his friend was dead. Think of what this would mean ... a real communication from a distance based on true physical laws.
[His prophecy of cell phones, as a comment on Marconi's paper, 'Syntonic Wireless Telegraphy,' read before the Society of Arts, 15 May 1901, about his early radio signal experiments.]
From Engineering Magazine (Jul 1901) as described in 'Marconi and his Transatlantic Signal', The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine (1902), Vol. 63, 782.
Science quotes on:  |  Cell Phone (2)  |  Communication (37)  |  Electromagnetism (14)  |  Invention (174)  |  Physical Law (3)  |  Prediction (48)  |  Radio (16)


See also:
  • todayinsci icon 25 Apr - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Marconi's birth.
  • todayinsci icon Guglielmo Marconi - the first paid Marconigram - from The Fortnightly (1902).
  • booklist icon Booklist for Marconi.

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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