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Source for Hilbert's famous quote "Mathematics in Göttingen? There really is none anymore"

The following is how far we get from the direct English and German Wikipedia references. I had a look at the German Wikipedia reference wythagoras pointed out. In D. Nachmansohn, R. Schmidt: Die große ...
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16 votes
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Did Grothendieck really say that he felt "clumsy, even oafish, wandering painfully up an arduous track"?

Yes, the quote is essentially authentic. This is from a typeset version "Récoltes et Semailles", specfically from "2.2 L’importance d’être seul." (To find the document online should be possible ...
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15 votes
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Which physicist is this quote attributed to?

Max Planck, Scientific Autobiography and Other Papers (Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1949), pp. 33-34:A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but ...
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12 votes
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Galois quote about his refused work

This is a scanned PDF of Evariste's work, that includes the memoir you're mentioning (parent page): See the left part of page #3: The only explanation I could find is here (French). Galois wrote this ...
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  • 348
12 votes
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Did Michel Rolle say that the calculus is "a collection of ingenious fallacies"?

"Did Rolle ever say/write any such thing (as that the calculus was 'a collection of ingenious fallacies')?" Michel Rolle (France, 1652-1719) certainly did attack the mathematical basis of the ...
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12 votes
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Who said that math or statistics is not free from class interest?

The quote is from Lenin, in his instructions to Popov when discussing the project of organizing Soviet statistics in summer of 1918:"Statistics, as any other scientific discipline, poses problems ...
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11 votes

Source for Hilbert's famous quote "Mathematics in Göttingen? There really is none anymore"

In my grandfather's book, lately translated from German: Recollections of a Jewish Mathematician in Germany, by Abraham A. Fraenkel, edited by Jiska Cohen-Mansfield, translated by Allison Brown. ...
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11 votes

Did Einstein say "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used to create them"?

I am afraid there is no original source. Wikipedia has talk pages where sourcing is discussed, and its editors did extensive searches on this one and its variants. It is listed under the heading ...
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11 votes
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Quotation about $\pi$ and the number of deaths

Almost. E P Wigner (1960), Communications on Pure and Applied Mathematics 13 1–14 The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences THERE IS A story about two friends, who were ...
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10 votes

Is the "ques­tions that can’t be an­swered over an­swers that can’t be ques­tioned" quote by Feynman authentic?

This is all I have found for now: “You see, one thing is, I can live with doubt, and uncertainty, and not knowing. I think it’s much more interesting to live, not knowing, than to have answers which ...
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Who did say that anyone who discover a new particle should be fined instead of receiving a prize?

According to a slide deck I found, it was Willis Lamb. Quote from said deck: In 1955, Willis Lamb started his Nobel Prize acceptance speech by saying that “maybe physicists discovering a new ...
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10 votes

Source for this story about Einstein learning algebra from his uncle

The story is genuine. Isaacson retells it in his scientific biography Einstein: His Life and Universe based on recollections of his younger sister Maja, along with other evidence that dispels the ...
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10 votes

Gauss on philosophers

The quote is not accurate but Gauss actually wrote something similar to Schumacher in the letter of 1 November 1844 cited here, where he complains about concepts and definitions given in math books by ...
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10 votes
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What was Richard Courant's saying about mathematical research apart from applications?

There is river imagery in a passage from the preface (written by Courant) to Courant-Hilbert's Methods of Mathematical Physics, vol. 1, but the point of the metaphor is somewhat different. It is ...
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8 votes

What is the source of Hermann Weyl's remark about "near-sighted policemen" with respect to compact spaces?

The closest match I could find is in H. Weyl, "Harmonics on homogeneous manifolds." Annals of Mathematics, Second Series, Vol. 35, No. 3, July 1934, pp. 486-499, as reproduced in K. ...
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8 votes
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What is the mysterious expression mentioned by Hadamard that Riemann derived properties of zeta function from?

The mysterious expression, that Riemann did not "simplify enough to publish", is mentioned in his letter to Weierstrass published by Weber in 1876. It is reminiscent of Fermat's "...
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8 votes

Number theory: a quote

"It has been estimated that, at the present stage of our knowledge, one could give a 200 semester course on commutative algebra and algebraic geometry without ever repeating himself." These ...
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7 votes
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Paul Erdos' quote "Mathematics is not yet ready for such problems"

An annotated bibliography by Lagarias on the 3x+1 problem shows a couple mentions of papers by Erdős that touch on related topics, but seems to trace the quote as follows: Richard K. Guy (1983a) Don’...
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  • 386
7 votes

Checking a Gödel quote on *Principia Mathematica*

In responding to your question, I hope that I can convince you of the following two claims: Gödel held that the formal system of the actual Principia was that of ramified type thoery (simple type ...
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7 votes
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Source for Felix Klein quote about curves

Elementarmathematik vom höheren Standpunkte aus, Bd.2 Was eine Kurve ist, glaubt jeder Mensch zu wissen, bis er so viel Mathematik gelernt hat, daß ihn die unzähligen möglichen Abnormitäten ...
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  • 2,267
7 votes

Substantiating claimed Fourier quote about “an arbitrarily capricious graph”

You can find the quote (or something similar) in multiple places in the Théorie analytique de la chaleur, for example in Chapter I, paragraph (article) 14: "L'examen de cette condition fait ...
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7 votes
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Did Kronecker's "ganzen Zahlen" refer to whole numbers as natural numbers or integers?

TL; DR: the "ganzen Zahlen" refers to positive integers. Gauss, Dedekind and Cantor were reifying new mathematical objects obtained by explicit or implicit procedures, and then forgetting ...
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6 votes
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Is the "ques­tions that can’t be an­swered over an­swers that can’t be ques­tioned" quote by Feynman authentic?

I have my doubts, although Feynman, like many others, expressed similar sentiments. Dennett in the first chapter of Breaking the Spell (2006) writes:"Philosophy is questions that may never be answered....
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6 votes
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Which physicist defended the Superconducting Super Collider?

Fermilab director R. R. Wilson’s Congressional Testimony (April 17, 1969, p. 113): SENATOR PASTORE. Is there anything connected in the hopes of this accelerator that in any way involves the security ...
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6 votes
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Did Darwin say that the human menstrual cycle length was influenced by the tides?

Yes. The menstrual cycle is surely one of the "some of our functions" that Darwin speaks of in this passage from Chapter VI of The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex: The ...
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6 votes
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What was Copernicus trying to mean with 'Mathematics is Written for Mathematicians'?

“Mathemata mathematicis scribuntur.” is the original Latin of Copernic which is easily translated as “Mathematics is written for mathematicians.” but Edward Rosen chose to translate this famous ...
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  • 2,267
6 votes
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Source of a quote typically attributed to Proclus Lycaeus

The common source of all modern quotes is probably Kline, Mathematical Thought from Ancient to Modern Times (1972), or Terence Tao, Solving Mathematical Problems, a personal perspective (1992), anyway,...
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6 votes

What was Richard Courant's saying about mathematical research apart from applications?

I quote from the book Physically Speaking A Dictionary of Quotations on Physics and Astronomy by Carl C Gaither. In the entry for Courant, there is discussion of rivulets drying up... Courant, ...
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5 votes
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A peculiar quote from Oliver Heaviside

Since I have no shame, I screen-shotted the reference that J.G. found:
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5 votes

What did Farcas Bolyai write to his son?

The wikiquote site gives the original quote from a letter of 4, April 1820: A parallelákat azon az útan ne próbáld: tudom én azt az utat is mind végig — megmértem azt a feneketlen éjszakát én, és ...
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