Simplicity

Bailey, Janet

It is an article of faith in physics that the world's bewildering mask of complexity hides an ultimate simplicity.

The Good Servant Chapter 4 (p. 110)

Chandrasekhar, Subrahmanyan

The simple is the seal of the true and beauty is the splendour of truth.

In Tore Frangsmyr (ed.)

Nobel Lectures Physics 1981-90 Nobel Acceptance Speech 8 December 1983

Einstein, Albert

In every important advance the physicist finds that the fundamental laws are simplified more and more as experimental research advances. He is astonished to notice how sublime order emerges from what appeared to be chaos. And this cannot be traced back to the workings of his own mind but is due to a quality that is inherent in the world of perception. Leibniz well expressed this quality by calling it a pre-established harmony.

In Max Planck Where is Science Going Introduction (p. 13)

Gore, George

Simplicity, whether truthful or not, is often attractive to unphilosophical minds, because it requires less intellectual exertion.

The Art of Scientific Discovery Chapter IV (p. 29)

In scientific thought we adopt the simplest theory which will explain all the facts under consideration and enable us to predict new facts of the same kind. The catch in this criterion lies in the word "simplest." It is really an aesthetic canon such as we find implicit in our criticisms of poetry or painting. The layman finds such a law as dx/dt = k(S2x/By2) less simple than "it oozes," of which it is the mathematical statement. The physicist reverses this judgment.

On Being the Right Size and Other Essays Science and Theology as Art-Forms (pp. 33-4)

Heisenberg, Werner

You may object that by speaking of simplicity and beauty I am introducing aesthetic criteria of truth, and I frankly admit that I am strongly attracted by the simplicity and beauty of the mathematical schemes which nature presents us. You must have felt this too: the almost frightening simplicity and wholeness of the relationships, which nature suddenly spreads out before us...

Physics and Beyond Chapter 5 (pp. 68-9)

Poincare, Henri

...it is because simplicity, because grandeur, is beautiful that we preferably seek simple facts, sublime facts, that we delight now to follow the majestic courses of the stars, now to examine with the microscope that prodigious littleness which is also grandeur, now to seek in geologic time the traces of a past which attracts because it is far away.

The Foundations of Science Science and Method Book I Chapter I (p. 367)

Reid, Thomas

Men are often led into errors by the love of simplicity, which disposes us to reduce things to few principles, and to conceive a greater simplicity in nature than there really is.

Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man

Essay VI Chapter VIII (p. 696)

Wheeler, John

Some day a door will surely open and expose the glittering central mechanism of the world in all its beauty and simplicity.

In Charles W, Misner, Kip W. Thorne and John Wheeler

Gravitation (p. 1197)

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