Michael Faraday was an English scientist renowned for his contribution to the study of electrochemistry and electromagnetism. Faraday left school at an early age and joined a local book binder and during his leisure time he used to engage in teaching himself new scientific methods. The first step towards his success came when he built the first electric motor. Having deep interest in Chemistry, he developed one of the most useful equipments in chemistry - the ‘Bunsen Burner’, which is still used in the laboratories. He has made path-breaking discoveries and developments in electricity and electromagnetism which include popularizing terms like ion, cathode, anode and electrode. Faraday grew to become one of the greatest scientists the world knows today. His later discoveries and findings lead to the foundation of electromagnetic theory. He inspired hundreds of scientists and common man through his dicoveries and inventions. We have accumulated some notable quotes and thoughts by the great scientist. Let us browse through the sayings and quotations by Michael Faraday on self-education, natural-philosophy, desire, common-sense, opposition, chemistry, electricity, memory and infinity.
I will simply express my strong belief, that that point of self-education which consists in teaching the mind to resist its desires and inclinations, until they are proved to be right, is the most important of all, not only in things of natural philosophy, but in every department of dally life.
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.
No wonder that my remembrance fails me, for I shall complete my 70 years next Sunday (the 22); - and during these 70 years I have had a happy life; which still remains happy because of hope and content.
Who would not have been laughed at if he had said in 1800 that metals could be extracted from their ores by electricity or that portraits could be drawn by chemistry.
Chemistry is necessarily an experimental science: its conclusions are drawn from data, and its principles supported by evidence from facts.
What a weak, credulous, incredulous, unbelieving, superstitious, bold, frightened, what a ridiculous world ours is, as far as concerns the mind of man. How full of inconsistencies, contradictions and absurdities it is. I declare that taking the average of many minds that have recently come before me ... I should prefer the obedience, affections and instinct of a dog before it.
A centre of excellence is, by definition, a place where second class people may perform first class work.
It is the great beauty of our science, chemistry, that advancement in it, whether in a degree great or small, instead of exhausting the subjects of research, opens the doors to further and more abundant knowledge, overflowing with beauty and utility.
If the term education may be understood in so large a sense as to include all that belongs to the improvement of the mind, either by the acquisition of the knowledge of others or by increase of it through its own exertions, we learn by them what is the kind of education science offers to man. It teaches us to be neglectful of nothing - not to despise the small beginnings, for they precede of necessity all great things in the knowledge of science, either pure or applied.
What a delight it is to think that you are quietly & philosophically at work in the pursuit of science... rather than fighting amongst the crowd of black passions & motives that seem now a days to urge men every where into action. What incredible scenes every where, what unworthy motives ruled for the moment, under high sounding phrases and at the last what disgusting revolutions.
The world little knows how many of the thoughts and theories which have passed through the mind of a scientific investigator, have been crushed in silence and secrecy by his own severe criticism and adverse examination!
All are sure in their days except the most wise ... He is the wisest philosopher who holds his theory with some doubt.
Since peace is alone in the gift of God; and since it is He who gives it, why should we be afraid? His unspeakable gift in His beloved Son is the ground of no doubtful hope.
But I must confess I am jealous of the term atom; for though it is very easy to talk of atoms, it is very difficult to form a clear idea of their nature, especially when compounded bodies are under consideration.
Magnetic lines of force convey a far better and purer idea than the phrase magnetic current or magnetic flood: it avoids the assumption of a current or of two currents and also of fluids or a fluid, yet conveys a full and useful pictorial idea to the mind.
With respect to Committees as you would perceive I am very jealous of their formation. I mean working committees. I think business is always better done by few than by many. I think also the working few ought not to be embaras[s]ed by the idle many and further I think the idle many ought not to be honoured by association with the working few.-I do not think that my patience has ever come nearer to an end than when compelled to hear ... long rambling malapropros enquiries of members who still have nothing in consequence to propose that shall advance the business.
As when on some secluded branch in forest far and wide sits perched an owl, who, full of self-conceit and self-created wisdom, explains, comments, condemns, ordains and order things not understood, yet full of importance still holds forth to stocks and stones around - so sits and scribbles Mike.
I have taken your advice, and the names used are anode cathode anions cations and ions; the last I shall have but little occasion for. I had some hot objections made to them here and found myself very much in the condition of the man with his son and ass who tried to please every body; but when I held up the shield of your authority, it was wonderful to observe how the tone of objection melted away.
I have been so electrically occupied of late that I feel as if hungry for a little chemistry: but then the conviction crosses my mind that these things hang together under one law & that the more haste we make onwards each in his own path the sooner we shall arrive, and meet each other, at that state of knowledge of natural causes from which all varieties of effects may be understood & enjoyed.
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.
A man in twenty-four hours converts as much as seven ounces of carbon into carbonic acid; a milch cow will convert seventy ounces, and a horse seventy-nine ounces, solely by the act of respiration. That is, the horse in twenty-four hours burns seventy-nine ounces of charcoal, or carbon, in his organs of respiration to supply his natural warmth in that time ..., not in a free state, but in a state of combination.
Although we know nothing of what an atom is, yet we cannot resist forming some idea of a small particle, which represents it to the mind ... there is an immensity of facts which justify us in believing that the atoms of matter are in some way endowed or associated with electrical powers, to which they owe their most striking qualities, and amongst them their mutual chemical affinity.
All your names I and my friend approve of or nearly all as to sense & expression, but I am frightened by their length & sound when compounded. As you will see I have taken deoxide and skaiode because they agree best with my natural standard East and West. I like Anode & Cathode better as to sound, but all to whom I have shewn them have supposed at first that by Anode I meant No way.
When I consider the multitude of associated forces which are diffused through nature - when I think of that calm balancing of their energies which enables those most powerful in themselves, most destructive to the world's creatures and economy, to dwell associated together and be made subservient to the wants of creation, I rise from the contemplation more than ever impressed with the wisdom, the beneficence, and grandeur, beyond our language to express, of the Great Disposer of us all.
I propose to distinguish these bodies by calling those anions which go to the anode of the decomposing body; and those passing to the cathode, cations; and when I have occasion to speak of these together, I shall call them ions.
I think chemistry is being frittered away by the hairsplitting of the organic chemists; we have new compounds discovered, which scarcely differ from the known ones and when discovered are valueless-very illustrations perhaps of their refinements in analysis, but very little aiding the progress of true science.
Whereas, according to the declaration of that true man of the world Talleyrand, the use of language is to conceal the thoughts; this is to declare in the present instance, when I say I am not able to bear much talking, it means really, and without any mistake, or equivocation, or oblique meaning, or implication, or subterfuge, or omission, that I am not able; being at present rather weak in the head, and able to work no more.
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.
I have long held an opinion, almost amounting to conviction, in common I believe with many other lovers of natural knowledge, that the various forms under which the forces of matter are made manifest have one common origin; or, in other words, are so directly related and mutually dependent, that they are convertible, as it were, one into another, and possess equivalents of power in their action.
Your remarks upon chemical notation with the variety of systems which have arisen, &c., &c., had almost stirred me up to regret publicly that such hindrances to the progress of science should exist. I cannot help thinking it a most unfortunate thing that men who as experimentalists & philosophers are the most fitted to advance the general cause of science & knowledge should by promulgation of their own theoretical views under the form of nomenclature, notation, or scale, actually retard its progress.
You can hardly imagine how I am struggling to exert my poetical ideas just now for the discovery of analogies & remote figures respecting the earth, Sun & all sorts of things-for I think it is the true way (corrected by judgement) to work out a discovery.
When a mathematician engaged in investigating physical actions and results has arrived at his own conclusions, may they not be expressed in common language as fully, clearly, and definitely as in mathematical formulae? If so, would it not be a great boon to such as well to express them so -- translating them out of their hieroglyphics that we might also work upon them by experiment?
In place of practising wholesome self-abnegation, we ever make the wish the father to the thought: we receive as friendly that which agrees with, we resist with dislike that which opposes us; whereas the very reverse is required by every dictate of common sense.
Occasionally and frequently the exercise of the judgment ought to end in absolute reservation. It may be very distasteful, and great fatigue, to suspend a conclusion; but as we are not infallible, so we ought to be cautious; we shall eventually find our advantage, for the man who rests in his position is not so far from right as he who, proceeding in a wrong direction, is ever increasing his distance.
When I came to know Mrs. Marcet personally; how often I cast my thoughts backward, delighting to connect the past and the present; how often, when sending a paper to her as a thank you offering, I thought of my first instructress.
Tyndall, ... I must remain plain Michael Faraday to the last; and let me now tell you, that if accepted the honour which the Royal Society desires to confer upon me, I would not answer for the integrity of my intellect for a single year.