Quotes by Antoine Lavoisier

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We must trust to nothing but facts: These are presented to us by Nature, and cannot deceive. We ought, in every instance, to submit our reasoning to the test of experiment, and never to search for truth but by the natural road of experiment and observation. more...

As ideas are preserved and communicated by means of words, it necessarily follows that we cannot improve the language of any science, without at the same time improving the science itself; neither can we, on the other hand, improve a science without improving the language or nomenclature which belongs to it. more...

The impossibility of separating the nomenclature of a science from the science itself, is owing to this, that every branch of physical science must consist of three things; the series of facts which are the objects of the science, the ideas which represent these facts, and the words by which these ideas are expressed. Like three impressions of the same seal, the word ought to produce the idea, and the idea to be a picture of the fact. more...

If everything in chemistry is explained in a satisfactory manner without the help of phlogiston, it is by that reason alone infinitely probable that the principle does not exist; that it is a hypothetical body, a gratuitous supposition; indeed, it is in the principles of good logic, not to multiply bodies without necessity. more...

We may lay it down as an incontestible axiom, that, in all the operations of art and nature, nothing is created; an equal quantity of matter exists both before and after the experiment; the quality and quantity of the elements remain precisely the same; and nothing takes place beyond changes and modifications in the combination of these elements. Upon this principle the whole art of performing chemical experiments depends: We must always suppose an exact equality between the elements of the body examined and those of the products of its analysis. more...

This theory [the oxygen theory] is not as I have heard it described, that of the French chemists, it is mine (elle est la mienne); it is a property which I claim from my contemporaries and from posterity. more...

Imagination, on the contrary, which is ever wandering beyond the bounds of truth, joined to self-love and that self-confidence we are so apt to indulge, prompt us to draw conclusions which are not immediately derived from facts. more...

Mathematicians come to the solution of a problem by the simple arrangement of the data, and reducing the reasoning to such simple operations, to judgments so brief, that they never lose sight of the evidence that serves as their guide. more...

The art of drawing conclusions from experiments and observations consists in evaluating probabilities and in estimating whether they are sufficiently great or numerous enough to constitute proofs. This kind of calculation is more complicated and more difficult than it is commonly thought to be. . . . more...

It is impossible to disassociate language from science...To call forth a concept, a word is needed. more...

I have had a fairly long life, above all a very happy one, and I think that I shall be remembered with some regrets and perhaps leave some reputation behind me. What more could I ask? The events in which I am involved will probably save me from the troubles of old age. I shall die in full possession of my faculties, and that is another advantage that I should count among those that I have enjoyed. If I have any distressing thoughts, it is of not having done more for my family; to be unable to give either to them or to you any token of my affection and my gratitude is to be poor indeed. more...

In every combustion there is disengagement of the matter of fire or of light. A body can burn only in pure air [oxygen]. There is no destruction or decomposition of pure air and the increase in weight of the body burnt is exactly equal to the weight of air destroyed or decomposed. The body burnt changes into an acid by addition of the substance that increases its weight. Pure air is a compound of the matter of fire or of light with a base. In combustion the burning body removes the base, which it attracts more strongly than does the matter of heat, which appears as flame, heat and light. more...

Perhaps... some day the precision of the data will be brought so far that the mathematician will be able to calculate at his desk the outcome of any chemical combination, in the same way, so to speak, as he calculates the motions of celestial bodies. more...

I consider nature a vast chemical laboratory in which all kinds of composition and decompositions are formed. more...

Languages are true analytical methods. more...

Vegetation is the basic instrument the creator uses to set all of nature in motion. more...

We must trust to nothing but facts: these are presented to us by nature and cannot deceive. We ought, in every instance, to submit our reasoning to the test of experiment, and never to search for truth but by the natural road of experiment and observation. more...

It took them only an instant to cut of that head, but it is unlikely that a hundred years will suffice to reproduce a singular one. more...

It is almost possible to predict one or two days in advance, within a rather broad range of probability, what the weather is going to be; it is even thought that it will not be impossible to publish daily forecasts, which would be very useful to soci. more...

One succeeds in obtaining an equivalent production at a lower price by improving the arts, trades and agriculture and by developing the physical and moral qualities of workers, farmers and craftsmen. more...

A wealthy landowner cannot cultivate and improve his farm without spreading comfort and well-being around him. Rich and abundant crops, a numerous population and a prosperous countryside are the rewards for his efforts. more...

We may lay it down as an incontestible axiom, that, in all the operations of art and nature, nothing is created; an equal quantity of matter exists both before and after the experiment; the quality and quantity of the elements remain precisely the same; and nothing takes place beyond changes and modifications in the combination of these elements. more...

While I thought myself employed only in forming a nomenclature, and while I proposed to myself nothing more than to improve the chemical language, my work transformed itself by degrees, without my being able to prevent it, into a treatise upon the Elements of Chemistry. more...

I am young and avid for glory. more...

Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed more...

Nothing is born, nothing dies. more...

Vegetables are organized bodies that grow on the dry areas of the globe and within its waters. Their function is to combine immediately the four elements and to serve as food for animals. more...

We think only through the medium of words. Languages are true analytical methods. Algebra, which is adapted to its purpose in every species of expression, in the most simple, most exact, and best manner possible, is at the same time a language and an analytical method. The art of reasoning is nothing more than a language well arranged. more...

The whole art of making experiments in chemistry is founded on the principle: we must always suppose an exact equality or equation between the principles of the body examined and those of the products of its analysis. more...

It is almost possible to predict one or two days in advance, within a rather broad range of probability, what the weather is going to be; it is even thought that it will not be impossible to publish daily forecasts, which would be very useful to society. more...

Diminish the mass of evils that afflict the human species, increase enjoyment and well-being. And even if the new routes opened up could prolong the average life of mankind by only a few hours, or even a few days, then the scientist, too could aspire. more...

Since it is the very substance of the animal, it is the blood which transports the fuel.If the animal did not habitually replace, through nourishing themselves,what they losethrough respiration, the lamp would very soon run out of oil and the animal would perish, just as the lamp goes out when it lacks fuel. more...

It is not only by the pores of the skin that this aqueous emaciation takes place. A considerable quantity of humidity is also exhaled by the lungs at each expiration. more...

Sulfur, when burning, absorbs oxygen gas; the resulting acid is considerably heavier than the sulfur burned; its weight is equal to the sum of weights of the sulfur burned and the oxygen absorbed. more...

In performing experiments, it is necessary... that they be simplified as much as possible, and that every circumstance that could complicate the results should be completely removed. more...

It required 85 parts by weight of oxygen and 15 parts of hydrogen to compose 100 parts of water. more...

Experiments upon vegetation give reason to believe that light combines with certain parts of vegetables, and that the green of their leaves, and the various colors of flowers, is chiefly owing to this combination. more...

Thus, while I thought myself employed only in forming a Nomenclature, and while I proposed to myself nothing more than to improve the chemical language, my work transformed itself by degrees, without my being able to prevent it, into a treatise upon the Elements of Chemistry. more...


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