Saturday, March 28, 2009

In the Mind's Eye for Four

“. . . Faraday, in his mind's eye, saw lines of force traversing all space where the mathematicians saw centres of force attracting at a distance: Faraday saw a medium where they saw nothing but distance: Faraday sought the seat of the phenomena in real actions going on in the medium, they were satisfied that they had found it in a power of action at a distance impressed on the electric fluids.” James Clerk Maxwell, A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism, 1891, pp. ix-x.

“In examining the influences of gravitation on light, he declared, making another breach in Newtonian physics, that a light ray undergoes a deviation in proportion to the gravitation, so that it acquires the shape of a parabola. He wrote this from his desk--perhaps he looked up at an exceptionally bright night sky as he did so, perhaps his eyes remained fixed on his paper, but it wouldn't have mattered: there was a picture of the star-studded sky in his mind's eye. By thought alone . . . he established the laws that govern this inaccessible world.” Antonina Vallentin, The Drama of Albert Einstein, 1954, p. 55.

“We think that the same mind's eye that can justly survey and appraise and prescribe beforehand the values of a truly great picture in one all-embracing regard, in one flash of simultaneous and homogeneous comprehension, would also . . . be able to pronounce with sureness upon any other high activity of the human intellect." Winston Churchill, "Painting As A Pastime," in Thoughts and Adventures, 1932, p. 312.

“In the mind's eye, a fractal is a way of seeing infinity.” James Gleick, Chaos: Making a New Science, 1987, p. 98.

No comments:

Post a Comment