Talk:William Thomson

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Quote frequently attributed to Lord Kelvin, mostly on Christian websites[edit]

"If you study science deep enough and long enough it will force you to believe in God." -- 08:03, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

"To measure is to know."[edit]

Does anybody know if "To measure is to know" is misattributed? -- 20:58, 10 November 2010 (UTC)


It says in the introduction of the article that Lord Kelvin was Scottish. The Wikipedia page for Lord Kelvin clearly states that he was born in Belfast and therefore could not be Scottish.

"Radio has no future"[edit]

That quote is usually attributed to him, but I could not find a primary source, and Radio does not cover it either. --Daniel Mietchen (talk) 06:37, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

"X-rays will prove to be a hoax"[edit]

As above, usually attributed to him, but no clear primary source. Sometimes the two are said to have been stated together. --Daniel Mietchen (talk) 06:45, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

"If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it"[edit]

This quote is attributed to Lord Kelvin in innumerable places on the Web (sometimes with "can't" or "can not" in place of "cannot"), but curiously, it does not appear here on his Wikiquote page. It would be interesting to learn whether the quote is accurately attributed to him. — Jaydiem (talk) 14:47, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

Here is what Lord Kelvin actually said:
"In physical science the first essential step in the direction of learning any subject is to find principles of numerical reckoning and practicable methods for measuring some quality connected with it. I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely in your thoughts advanced to the state of Science, whatever the matter may be."
Source: "Electrical Units of Measurement" (1883) ~ DanielTom (talk) 17:18, 8 October 2014 (UTC)