Quotations by D'Arcy Thompson


Cell and tissue, shell and bone, leaf and flower, are so many portions of matter, and it is in obedience to the laws of physics that their particles have been moved, moulded and conformed. They are no exceptions to the rule that God always geometrizes. Their problems of form are in the first instance mathematical problems, their problems of growth are essentially physical problems, and the morphologist is, ipso facto, a student of physical science.

Sagging wrinkles, hanging breasts and many another sign of age are part of gravitation's slow relentless handiwork.

We call a thing big or little with reference to what it is wont to be, as we speak of a small elephant or a big rat.
On Growth and Form (Cambridge 1917)

The harmony of the world is made manifest in Form and Number, and the heart and soul and all the poetry of Natural Philosophy are embodied in the concept of mathematical beauty.


JOC/EFR February 2006

The URL of this page is:
http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Quotations/Thompson_D'Arcy.html