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Candle Quotes (9 quotes)

I ... express a wish that you may, in your generation, be fit to compare to a candle; that you may, like it, shine as lights to those about you; that, in all your actions, you may justify the beauty of the taper by making your deeds honourable and effectual in the discharge of your duty to your fellow-men.
[Concluding remarks for the final lecture (Christmas 1860-61) for children at the Royal Institution. These six lectures were the first series in the tradition of Christmas lectures continued to the present day.]
A Course of Six Lectures on the Chemical History of a Candle (1861), 183.
Science quotes on:  |  Lecture (31)  |  Light (117)

I purpose, in return for the honour you do us by coming to see what are our proceedings here, to bring before you, in the course of these lectures, the Chemical History of a Candle. I have taken this subject on a former occasion; and were it left to my own will, I should prefer to repeat it almost every year—so abundant is the interest that attaches itself to the subject, so wonderful are the varieties of outlet which it offers into the various departments of philosophy. There is not a law under which any part of this universe is governed which does not come into play, and is touched upon in these phenomena. There is no better, there is no more open door by which you can enter the study of natural philosophy, than by considering the physical phenomena of a candle.
A Course of Six Lectures on the Chemical History of a Candle (1861), 13-4.
Science quotes on:  |  Lecture (31)

I say it is impossible that so sensible a people [citizens of Paris], under such circumstances, should have lived so long by the smoky, unwholesome, and enormously expensive light of candles, if they had really known that they might have had as much pure light of the sun for nothing.
[Describing the energy-saving benefit of adopting daylight saving time. (1784)]
'An Economical Project', The Life and Miscellaneous Writings of Benjamin Franklin (1839), 58. A translation of this letter appeared in one of the Paris daily papers about 1784. He estimated, during six months, a saving of over 64 million pound weight of candles, worth over 96 million livres tournois.
Science quotes on:  |  Circumstance (25)  |  Daylight Saving Time (8)  |  Energy (103)  |  Expense (5)  |  Free (13)  |  Impossibility (32)  |  Light (117)  |  Nothing (89)  |  Paris (4)  |  People (72)  |  Saving (12)  |  Sense (104)  |  Smoke (7)  |  Sun (115)

I took a glass retort, capable of containing eight ounces of water, and distilled fuming spirit of nitre according to the usual method. In the beginning the acid passed over red, then it became colourless, and lastly again all red: no sooner did this happen, than I took away the receiver; and tied to the mouth of the retort a bladder emptied of air, which I had moistened in its inside with milk of lime lac calcis, (i.e. lime-water, containing more quicklime than water can dissolve) to prevent its being corroded by the acid. Then I continued the distillation, and the bladder gradually expanded. Here-upon I left every thing to cool, tied up the bladder, and took it off from the mouth of the retort.— I filled a ten-ounce glass with this air and put a small burning candle into it; when immediately the candle burnt with a large flame, of so vivid a light that it dazzled the eyes. I mixed one part of this air with three parts of air, wherein fire would not burn; and this mixture afforded air, in every respect familiar to the common sort. Since this air is absolutely necessary for the generation of fire, and makes about one-third of our common air, I shall henceforth, for shortness sake call it empyreal air, [literally fire-air] the air which is unserviceable for the fiery phenomenon, and which makes abut two-thirds of common air, I shall for the future call foul air [literally corrupted air].
Chemische Abhandlung von der Luft und dem Feuer (1777), Chemical Observations and Experiments on Air and Fire (1780), trans. J. R. Forster, 34-5.
Science quotes on:  |  Acid (14)  |  Air (84)  |  Bladder (2)  |  Burning (13)  |  Corrosion (3)  |  Dazzling (7)  |  Distillation (7)  |  Fire (59)  |  Flame (13)  |  Fume (5)  |  Generation (56)  |  Glass (19)  |  Light (117)  |  Mixture (11)  |  Nitric Acid (2)  |  Oxygen (34)  |  Receiver (4)  |  Retort (2)  |  Spirit (52)  |  Vivid (8)  |  Water (122)

If Thomas Edison had gone to business school, we would all be reading by larger candles.
What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School (1984).
Science quotes on:  |  Thomas Edison (29)  |  Reading (25)

My experiences with science led me to God. They challenge science to prove the existence of God. But must we really light a candle to see the sun?
In letter to California State board of Education (14 Sep 1972).
Science quotes on:  |  Challenge (15)  |  Existence (150)  |  Experience (132)  |  God (234)  |  Leading (8)  |  Light (117)  |  Proof (136)  |  Science (875)  |  Science And Religion (159)  |  Sun (115)

Now I must take you to a very interesting part of our subject—to the relation between the combustion of a candle and that living kind of combustion which goes on within us. In every one of us there is a living process of combustion going on very similar to that of a candle, and I must try to make that plain to you. For it is not merely true in a poetical sense—the relation of the life of man to a taper; and if you will follow, I think I can make this clear.
A Course of Six Lectures on the Chemical History of a Candle (1861), 155-6.
Science quotes on:  |  Combustion (10)  |  Life (460)

Oh Diamond! Diamond! thou little knowest the mischief done! [Apocryphal]
Purportedly a rebuke to his pet dog, Diamond, which, in Newton's absence, upset a candle and set alight the papers recording much of Newton's work and 'destroyed the almost finished labours of some years'. The only source for this is Thomas Maude, in his poem, Wensley-Dale; or, Rural Contemplation (1780) written a half-century after Newton's death. According to D. Gjertsen, in The Newton Handbook (1986), 177, Maude's story must be regarded as baseless since no corroboration of such a dog's action exists in the writings of Newton's associates at the time.
Science quotes on:  |  Dog (24)  |  Fire (59)  |  Mischief (4)  |  Paper (25)  |  Work (198)

You will be astonished when I tell you what this curious play of carbon amounts to. A candle will burn some four, five, six, or seven hours. What, then, must be the daily amount of carbon going up into the air in the way of carbonic acid! ... Then what becomes of it? Wonderful is it to find that the change produced by respiration ... is the very life and support of plants and vegetables that grow upon the surface of the earth.
In A Course of Six Lectures on the Chemical History of a Candle (1861), 117.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (84)  |  Astonishment (14)  |  Atmosphere (42)  |  Burning (13)  |  Carbon (28)  |  Carbon Dioxide (14)  |  Carbonic Acid (3)  |  Change (133)  |  Curiosity (52)  |  Daily (5)  |  Growth (70)  |  Life (460)  |  Plant (96)  |  Play (22)  |  Respiration (10)  |  Support (26)  |  Vegetable (12)  |  Wonder (64)


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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