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A collection of quotes and sayings by Pierre-Simon Laplace on astronomy, humor, atheism, science, universe, motion, past, physics, space, time and mathematics.

26 Inspiring Quotes By Pierre-Simon Laplace, The Celebrated Mathematician

Famous As: Scientist
Born On: March 23, 1749
Died On: March 5, 1827
Born In: Beaumont-en-Auge
Died At Age: 77

Pierre-Simon Laplace was a prominent French scholar who made significant contributions to the development of astronomy, mathematics, physics and statistics. Laplace started his professional career at the age of 19 and worked as a professor of mathematics at ‘Ecole Militaire’ for 7 years. Meanwhile, he also published his views and thoughts on mechanics, physical anatomy and calculus in many papers and journals. He also simultaneously focused on the philosophical and mathematical concepts of statistics and probability. ‘Celestial Mechanics’ is one of his notable books in which he has extended and summarized the work of his antecedents. Laplace’s method for approximating integrals and solution of the linear partial difference equation are few others of his most used contributions in the mathematics. Here are some notable quotes and thoughts by one of the greatest scientists of all time which have been excerpted from his works, life, journals, research papers and books. Following are some famous quotations and sayings by Pierre-Simon Laplace which are still quoted and followed by people.

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Read Euler, read Euler, he is the master of us all.

Pierre Simon Laplace

What we know is not much. What we don't know is enormous.

Pierre Simon Laplace

His last words, according to De Morgan: Man follows only phantoms.

Pierre Simon Laplace

All the effects of Nature are only the mathematical consequences of a small number of immutable laws.

Pierre Simon Laplace

What we know here is very little, but what we are ignorant of is immense.

Pierre Simon Laplace

Given for one instant an intelligence which could comprehend all the forces by which nature is animated and the respective positions of the beings which compose it, if moreover this intelligence were vast enough to submit these data to analysis, it would embrace in the same formula both the movements of the largest bodies in the universe and those of the lightest atom; to it nothing would be uncertain, and the future as the past would be present to its eye.

Pierre Simon Laplace

Probability theory is nothing but common sense reduced to calculation.

Pierre Simon Laplace

To Napoleon on why his works on celestial mechanics make no mention of God: Your Highness, I have no need of this hypothesis.

Pierre Simon Laplace

It is India that gave us the ingenious method of expressing all numbers by means of ten symbols, each symbol receiving a value of position as well as an absolute value; a profound and important idea which appears so simple to us now that we ignore its true merit. But its very simplicity and the great ease which it has lent to computations put our arithmetic in the first rank of useful inventions; and we shall appreciate the grandeur of the achievement the more when we remember that it escaped the genius of Archimedes and Apollonius, two of the greatest men produced by antiquity.

Pierre Simon Laplace

Napoleon: You have written this huge book on the system of the world without once mentioning the author of the universe. Laplace: Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis. Later when told by Napoleon about the incident, Lagrange commented: Ah, but that is a fine hypothesis. It explains so many things.

Pierre Simon Laplace

Your Highness, I have no need of this hypothesis.

Pierre Simon Laplace

The telescope sweeps the sky without finding God.

Pierre Simon Laplace

I have lived long enough to know what I did not at one time believe--that no society can be upheld in happiness and honor without the sentiment of religion.

Pierre Simon Laplace

The weight of evidence for an extraordinary claim must be proportioned to its strangeness.

Pierre Simon Laplace

Je n'avais pas besoin de cette hypothèse-là.

Pierre Simon Laplace

Do you believe in god? I have no need for that hypothesis, he may be around though.

Pierre Simon Laplace

The most important questions of life are indeed, for the most part, really only problems of probability.

Pierre Simon Laplace

Nature laughs at the difficulties of integration.

Pierre Simon Laplace

Truth and justice are the immutable laws of social order.

Pierre Simon Laplace

Ce que nous connaissons est peu de chose; ce que nous ignorons est immense. What we know is not much. What we do not know is immense.

Pierre Simon Laplace

...by shortening the labours doubled the life of the astronomer. {On the benefit of John Napier's logarithms.}

Pierre Simon Laplace

The theory of probabilities is at bottom nothing but common sense reduced to calculus; it enables us to appreciate with exactness that which accurate minds feel with a sort of instinct for which of times they are unable to account.

Pierre Simon Laplace

The simplicity of nature is not to be measured by that of our conceptions. Infinitely varied in its effects, nature is simple only in its causes, and its economy consists in producing a great number of phenomena, often very complicated, by means of a small number of general laws.

Pierre Simon Laplace

If an event can be produced by a number n of different causes, the probabilities of the existence of these causes, given the event (prises de l'événement), are to each other as the probabilities of the event, given the causes: and the probability of each cause is equal to the probability of the event, given that cause, divided by the sum of all the probabilities of the event, given each of the causes.

Pierre Simon Laplace

We are so far from knowing all the forces of nature and their various modes of action that it would be unworthy of the philosopher to deny phenomena simply because they are inexplicable at the present state of our knowledge. The more difficult it is to acknowledge their existence, the greater the care with which we must study these phenomena.

Pierre Simon Laplace

Without any doubt, the regularity which astronomy shows us in the movements of the comets takes place in all phenomena. The trajectory of a simple molecule of air or vapour is regulated in a manner as certain as that of the planetary orbits; the only difference between them is that which is contributed by our ignorance. Probability is relative in part to this ignorance, and in part to our knowledge.

Pierre Simon Laplace