An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





For me chemistry represented an indefinite cloud of future potentialities which enveloped my life to come in black volutes torn by fiery flashes, like those which had hidden Mount Sinai. Like Moses, from that cloud I expected my law, the principle of order in me, around me, and in the world. I would watch the buds swell in spring, the mica glint in the granite, my own hands, and I would say to myself: "I will understand this, too, I will understand everything."


Primo Levi (1919-1987, Italian chemist, author)


We think there is color, we think there is sweet, we think there is bitter, but in reality there are atoms and a void.

Democritus, c. 460 €“ c. 370 BC

I saw that people trying to synthesize gold and silver were working in ignorance, and by false methods; I then perceived that they belonged to two classes, the dupers and the duped. I pitied both of them.

Geber, c. 712 €“ c. 815 AD

Every aspect of the world today €“ even politics and international relations €“ is affected by chemistry.

Linus Pauling, 1901 to 1994

Chemistry is necessarily an experimental science: its conclusions are drawn from data, and its principles supported by evidence from facts.

Michael Faraday, 1791 to 1867

The country which is in advance of the rest of the world in chemistry will also be foremost in wealth and in general prosperity.

William Ramsay, 1852 to 1916

Chemists do not usually stutter. It would be very awkward if they did, seeing that they have at times to get out such words as methylethylamylophenylium.

Sir William Crookes, 1832 to 1919


The physical chemists never use their eyes and are most lamentably lacking in chemical culture. It is essential to cast out from our midst, root and branch, this physical element and return to our laboratories.
Henry Edward Armstrong, 1848 to 1937

Chemistry begins in the stars. The stars are the source of the chemical elements, which are the building blocks of matter and the core of our subject.

Peter Atkins, 1940 to present

The chemists are a strange class of mortals, impelled by an almost insane impulse to seek their pleasures amid smoke and vapor, soot and flame, poisons and poverty; yet among all these evils I seem to live so sweetly that may I die if I were to change places with the Persian king.

Johann Joachim Becher, 1635 to 1682

Chemistry, unlike other sciences, sprang originally from delusions and superstitions, and was at its commencement exactly on a par with magic and astrology.

Thomas Thomson, 1773 to 1852


There's nothing colder than chemistry.


Anita Loos (1893-1981, American novelist, screenwriter)


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