Jeff asked in Science & MathematicsPhysics · 1 month ago

Which influential scientist was urged not to go into science because "everything was known"?

I'm thinking it was a physicist that helped with quantum theory, but my memory fails me

1 Answer

  • 1 month ago

    I don't know about any scientist who was urged not to go into science because "everything was known", but here are examples of some naysayers who were proven wrong:

    "Everything that can be invented has been invented."

    -- Attributed to Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899

    “There has been a great deal said about a 3,000-mile high-angle rocket. The people who have been writing these things that annoy me, have been talking about a 3,000-mile high-angle rocket shot from one continent to another, carrying an atomic bomb and so directed as to be a precise weapon which would land exactly on a certain target, such as a city.

    I say, technically, I don't think anyone in the world knows how to do such a thing, and I feel confident it will not be done for a very long period to come. I think we can leave that out of our thinking. I wish the American public would leave that out of their thinking.”

    — Dr. Vannevar Bush, President of the Carnegie Institute, December, 1945

    "The more important fundamental laws and facts of physical science have all been discovered, and these are now so firmly established that the possibility of their ever being supplanted in consequence of new discoveries is exceedingly remote. Our future discoveries must be looked for in the sixth place of decimals. "

    Albert A. Michelson, 1894

    American physicist

    and co-developer, along with Edward Morley,

    of the Michelson-Morley experiment, which

    failed to prove the existence of the

    luminiferous aether, long-standing paradigm

    of 19th Century physics

    "There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will."

    -- Albert Einstein, 1932

    "The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives."

    -- Admiral William Leahy, on the U.S. Atomic Bomb Project

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