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William Crookes

Dátum narodenia: 17. jún 1832
Dátum úmrtia: 4. apríl 1919

Reklama

William Crookes, bol anglický chemik a fyzik.

V roku 1861 objavil dovtedy neznámy prvok s jasnou zelenou emisnou čiarou v spektre a tento prvok nazval tálium, z gréckeho thallos, zelený. Prvýkrát popísal v roku 1879 plazmu, a volal ju „radiant matter“ – žiarivé skupenstvo. Crookes tiež ako prvý identifikoval prvú vzorku hélia v roku 1895. Vynašiel prístroj – takzvaný Crookesov mlynček, ktorý je poháňaný len svetelnými lúčmi a ktorý sa dodnes predáva ako kuriozita.

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Citáty William Crookes

„I shall try to utilize this temper of mind today by clearing away, so far as I can, certain presuppositions, on one side or on the other, which seem to me to depend upon a too hasty assumption that we know more about the universe than as yet we really can know.“

—  William Crookes
Context: I am not disposed to bewail the limitations imposed by human ignorance. On the contrary, I feel ignorance is a healthful stimulant; and my enforced conviction that neither I nor anyone can possibly lay down beforehand what does not exist in the universe, or even what is not going on all round us everyday of our lives, leaves me with a cheerful hope that something very new and very arresting may turn up anywhere at any minute. … I shall try to utilize this temper of mind today by clearing away, so far as I can, certain presuppositions, on one side or on the other, which seem to me to depend upon a too hasty assumption that we know more about the universe than as yet we really can know.

„I will point out a curious, inveterate, and widespread illusion — the illusion that our earthly bodies are a kind of norm of humanity, so that ethereal bodies, if such there be, must correspond to them in shape and size.“

—  William Crookes
Context: I will point out a curious, inveterate, and widespread illusion — the illusion that our earthly bodies are a kind of norm of humanity, so that ethereal bodies, if such there be, must correspond to them in shape and size. When we take a physical view of a human being in his highest form of development, he is seen to consist essentially of a thinking brain, the brain itself, among its manifold functions, being a transformer whereby intelligent will power is enabled to react on matter. To communicate with the external world, the brain requires organs by which it can be transported from place to place, and other organs by means of which energy is supplied to replace that expended in the exercise of its own special functions.

Reklama

„Popular imagination presupposes spiritual beings to be utterly independent of gravitation, while retaining shapes and proportions which gravitation originally determined, and only gravitation seems likely to maintain.
When and if spiritual beings make themselves visible either to our bodily eyes or to our inward vision, their object would be thwarted were they not to appear in a recognizable form; so that their appearance would take the shape of the body and clothing to which we have been accustomed.“

—  William Crookes
Context: Popular imagination presupposes spiritual beings to be utterly independent of gravitation, while retaining shapes and proportions which gravitation originally determined, and only gravitation seems likely to maintain. When and if spiritual beings make themselves visible either to our bodily eyes or to our inward vision, their object would be thwarted were they not to appear in a recognizable form; so that their appearance would take the shape of the body and clothing to which we have been accustomed. Materiality, form, and space, I am constrained to believe, are temporary conditions of our present existence. It is difficult to conceive the idea of a spiritual being having a body like ours, conditioned by the exact gravitating force exerted by the earth, and with organs which presuppose the need for food and necessity for the removal of waste products. It is equally difficult, hemmed in and bound round as we are by materialistic ideas, to think of intelligence, thought, and will existing without form or matter and untrammeled by gravitation or space.

„It can scarcely be denied that the fundamental phenomena which first led mankind into chemical inquiries are those of combustion.“

—  William Crookes
Context: It can scarcely be denied that the fundamental phenomena which first led mankind into chemical inquiries are those of combustion. But, as we have just seen, minimized beings would be unable to produce fire at will, except by certain chemical reactions, and would have little opportunity of examining its nature. They might occasionally witness forest fires, volcanic eruptions, etc.; but such grand and catastrophic phenomena, though serving to reveal to our supposed Lilliputians the existence of combustion, would be ill suited for quiet investigation into its conditions and products. Moreover, considering the impossibility they would experience of pouring water from one test tube to another, the ordinary operations of analytical chemistry and of all manipulations depending on the use of the pneumatic trough would remain forever a sealed book.

„It is curious that the popular conceptions of evil and malignant beings are of the type that would be produced by increased gravitation“

—  William Crookes
Context: It is curious that the popular conceptions of evil and malignant beings are of the type that would be produced by increased gravitation — toads, reptiles, and noisome creeping things — while the arch fiend himself is represented as perhaps the ultimate form which could be assumed by a thinking brain and its necessary machinery were the power of gravitation to be increased to the highest point compatible with existence — a serpent crawling along the ground. On the other hand, our highest types of beauty are those which would be common under decreased gravitation. The "daughter of the gods, divinely tall," and the leaping athlete, please us by the slight triumph over the earthward pull which their stature or spring implies.

„It has been said that "Nothing worth the proving can be proved, nor yet disproved."“

—  William Crookes
Context: It has been said that "Nothing worth the proving can be proved, nor yet disproved." True though this may have been in the past, it is true no longer. The science of our century has forged weapons of observation and analysis by which the veriest tyro may profit. Science has trained and fashioned the average mind into habits of exactitude and disciplined perception, and in so doing has fortified itself for tasks higher, wider, and incomparably more wonderful than even the wisest among our ancestors imagined. Like the souls in Plato's myth that follow the chariot of Zeus, it has ascended to a point of vision far above the earth. It is henceforth open to science to transcend all we now think we know of matter and to gain new glimpses of a profounder scheme of Cosmic law.

„Is it inconceivable that intense thought concentrated toward a sensitive with whom the thinker is in close sympathy may induce a telepathic chain of brain waves, along which the message of thought can go straight to its goal without loss of energy due to distance?“

—  William Crookes
Context: It may be objected that brain waves, like any other waves, must obey physical laws. Therefore, transmission of thought must be easier or more certain the nearer the agent and recipient are to each other, and should die out altogether before great distances are reached. Also it can be urged that if brain waves diffuse in all directions they should affect all sensitives within their radius of action, instead of impressing only one brain. The electric telegraph is not a parallel case, for there a material wire intervenes to conduct and guide the energy to its destination. These are weighty objections, but not, I think, insurmountable. Far be it from me to say anything disrespectful of the law of inverse squares, but I have already endeavored to show we are dealing with conditions removed from our material and limited conceptions of space, matter, form. Is it inconceivable that intense thought concentrated toward a sensitive with whom the thinker is in close sympathy may induce a telepathic chain of brain waves, along which the message of thought can go straight to its goal without loss of energy due to distance? And is it also inconceivable that our mundane ideas of space and distance may be superseded in these subtle regions of unsubstantial thought, where "near" and "far" may lose their usual meaning?

„The task I am called upon to perform today is to my thinking by no means a merely formal or easy matter. It fills me with deep concern to give an address, with such authority as a president's chair confers, upon a science which, though still in a purely nascent stage, seems to me at least as important as any other science whatever. Psychical science, as we here try to pursue it, is the embryo of something which in time may dominate the whole world of thought.“

—  William Crookes
Context: The task I am called upon to perform today is to my thinking by no means a merely formal or easy matter. It fills me with deep concern to give an address, with such authority as a president's chair confers, upon a science which, though still in a purely nascent stage, seems to me at least as important as any other science whatever. Psychical science, as we here try to pursue it, is the embryo of something which in time may dominate the whole world of thought. This possibility — nay, probability — does not make it the easier to me now. Embryonic development is apt to be both rapid and interesting; yet the Prudent man shrinks from dogmatizing on the egg until he has seen the chicken.

Reklama

„A view of the constitution of matter which recommended itself to Faraday as preferable to the one ordinarily held appears to me to be exactly the view I endeavor to picture as the constitution of spiritual beings. Centers of intellect, will, energy, and power, each mutually penetrable, while at the same time permeating what we call space, but each center retaining its own individuality, persistence of self, and memory.“

—  William Crookes
Context: A view of the constitution of matter which recommended itself to Faraday as preferable to the one ordinarily held appears to me to be exactly the view I endeavor to picture as the constitution of spiritual beings. Centers of intellect, will, energy, and power, each mutually penetrable, while at the same time permeating what we call space, but each center retaining its own individuality, persistence of self, and memory. Whether these intelligent centers of the various spiritual forces which in their aggregate go to make up man's character or karma are also associated in any way with the forms of energy which, centered, form the material atom — whether these spiritual entities are material, not in the crude, gross sense of Lucretius, but material as sublimated through the piercing intellect of Faraday — is one of those mysteries which to us mortals will perhaps ever remain an unsolved problem. My next speculation is more difficult, and is addressed to those who not only take too terrestrial a view, but who deny the plausibility — nay, the possibility — of the existence of an unseen world at all. I reply we are demonstrably standing on the brink, at any rate, of one unseen world. I do not here speak of a spiritual or immaterial world. I speak of the world of the infinitely little, which must be still called a material world, although matter as therein existing or perceptible is something which our limited faculties do not enable us to conceive. It is the world — I do not say of molecular forces as opposed to molar, but of forces whose action lies mainly outside the limit of human perception, as opposed to forces evident to the gross perception of human organisms. I hardly know how to make clear to myself or to you the difference in the apparent laws of the universe which would follow upon a mere difference of bulk in the observer. Such an observer I must needs imagine as best I can.

„Let it be assumed that these rays, or rays even of higher frequency, can pass into the brain and act on some nervous center there.“

—  William Crookes
Context: These rays, as generated in the vacuum tube, are not homogeneous, but consist of bundles of different wave-lengths, analogous to what would be differences of colour could we see them as light. Some pass easily through flesh, but are partially arrested by bone, while others pass with almost equal facility through bone and flesh. It seems to me that in these rays we may have a possible mode of transmitting intelligence which, with a few reasonable postulates, may supply a key to much that is obscure in psychical research. Let it be assumed that these rays, or rays even of higher frequency, can pass into the brain and act on some nervous center there. Let it be conceived that the brain contains a center which uses these rays as the vocal chords use sound vibrations (both being under the command of intelligence), and sends them out, with the velocity of light, to impinge on the receiving ganglion of another brain. In this way some, at least, of the phenomena of telepathy, and the transmission of intelligence from one sensitive to another through long distances, seem to come into the domain of law and can be grasped. A sensitive may be one who possesses the telepathic transmitting or receiving ganglion in an advanced state of development, or who, by constant practice, is rendered more sensitive to these high-frequency waves. Experience seems to show that the receiving and the transmitting ganglions are not equally developed; one may be active, while the other, like the pineal eye in man, may be only vestigial. By such an hypothesis no physical laws are violated; neither is it necessary to invoke what is commonly called the supernatural.

„But difficulties are things to be overcome even in the elusory branch of research known as experimental psychology.“

—  William Crookes
Context: A formidable range of phenomena must be scientifically sifted before we effectually grasp a faculty so strange, so bewildering, and for ages so inscrutable as the direct action of mind on mind. This delicate task needs a rigorous employment of the method of exclusion — a constant setting aside of irrelevant phenomena that could be explained by known causes, including those far too familiar causes, conscious and unconscious fraud. The inquiry unites the difficulties inherent in all experimentation connected with mind, with tangled human temperaments, and with observations dependent less on automatic record than on personal testimony. But difficulties are things to be overcome even in the elusory branch of research known as experimental psychology.

„Telepathy, the transmission of thought and images directly from one mind to another without the agency of the recognized organs of sense, is a conception new and strange to science.“

—  William Crookes
Context: Let me specially apply this general conception of the impossibility of predicting what secrets the universe may still hold, what agencies undivined may habitually be at work around us. Telepathy, the transmission of thought and images directly from one mind to another without the agency of the recognized organs of sense, is a conception new and strange to science. To judge from the comparative slowness with which the accumulated evidence of our society penetrates the scientific world, it is, I think, a conception even scientifically repulsive to many minds. We have supplied striking experimental evidence; but few have been found to repeat our experiments, We have offered good evidence in the observation of spontaneous cases, — as apparitions at the moment of death and the like, — but this "evidence has failed to impress the scientific world in the same way as evidence less careful and less coherent has often done before. Our evidence is not confronted and refuted; it is shirked and evaded as though there were some great a priori improbability which absolved the world of science from considering it. I at least see no a priori improbability whatever. Our alleged facts might be true in all kinds of ways without contradicting any truth already known. I will dwell now on only one possible line of explanation, — not that I see any way of elucidating all the new phenomena I regard as genuine, but because it seems probable I may shed a light on some of those phenomena. All the phenomena of the universe are presumably in some way continuous; and certain facts, plucked as it were from the very heart of nature, are likely to be of use in our gradual discovery of facts which lie deeper still.

Reklama

„A formidable range of phenomena must be scientifically sifted before we effectually grasp a faculty so strange, so bewildering, and for ages so inscrutable as the direct action of mind on mind.“

—  William Crookes
Context: A formidable range of phenomena must be scientifically sifted before we effectually grasp a faculty so strange, so bewildering, and for ages so inscrutable as the direct action of mind on mind. This delicate task needs a rigorous employment of the method of exclusion — a constant setting aside of irrelevant phenomena that could be explained by known causes, including those far too familiar causes, conscious and unconscious fraud. The inquiry unites the difficulties inherent in all experimentation connected with mind, with tangled human temperaments, and with observations dependent less on automatic record than on personal testimony. But difficulties are things to be overcome even in the elusory branch of research known as experimental psychology.

„I have nothing to retract. I adhere to my already published statements.“

—  William Crookes
Context: No incident in my scientific career is more widely known than the part I took many years ago in certain psychic researches. Thirty years have passed since I published an account of experiments tending to show that outside our scientific knowledge there exists a Force exercised by intelligence differing from the ordinary intelligence common to mortals. This fact in my life is, of course, well understood by those who honored me with the invitation to become your president. Perhaps among my audience some may feel curious as to whether I shall speak out or be silent. I elect to speak, although briefly. … To ignore the subject would be an act of cowardice — an act of cowardice I feel no temptation to commit. To stop short in any research that bids fair to widen the gates of knowledge, to recoil from fear of difficulty or adverse criticism, is to bring reproach on science. There is nothing for the investigator to do but to go straight on; "to explore up and down, inch by inch, with the taper his reason; "to follow the light wherever it may lead, even should it at times resemble a will-o'-the-wisp. I have nothing to retract. I adhere to my already published statements. Indeed, I might add much thereto. I regret only a certain crudity in those early expositions which, no doubt justly, militated against their acceptance by the scientific world. My own knowledge at that time scarcely extended beyond the fact that certain phenomena new to science had assuredly occurred, and were attested by my own sober senses and, better still, by automatic record. I was like some two-dimensional being who might stand at the singular point of a Riemann's surface, and thus find himself in infinitesimal and inexplicable contact with a plane of existence not his own. I think I see a little farther now. I have glimpses of something like coherence among the strange elusive phenomena; of something like continuity between those unexplained forces and laws already known. This advance is largely due to the labors of another association, of which I have also this year the honor to be president — the Society for Psychical Research. And were I now introducing for the first time these inquiries to the world of science I should choose a starting point different from that of old. It would be well to begin with telepathy; with the fundamental law, as I believe it to be, that thoughts and images may be transferred from one mind to another without the agency of the recognized organs of sense — that knowledge may enter the human mind without being communicated in any hitherto known or recognized ways.

„Steadily, unflinchingly, we strive to pierce the inmost heart of Nature, from what she is to reconstruct what she has been, and to prophesy what she yet shall be. Veil after veil we have lifted, and her face grows more beautiful, august, and wonderful with every barrier that is withdrawn.“

—  William Crookes
Context: In old Egyptian days a well known inscription was carved over the portal of the temple of Isis: "I am whatever hath been, is, or ever will be; and my veil no man hath yet lifted." Not thus do modern seekers after truth confront nature — the word that stands for the baffling mysteries of the universe. Steadily, unflinchingly, we strive to pierce the inmost heart of Nature, from what she is to reconstruct what she has been, and to prophesy what she yet shall be. Veil after veil we have lifted, and her face grows more beautiful, august, and wonderful with every barrier that is withdrawn.

„Here we use the vibrations of the material molecules of the atmosphere to transmit intelligence from one brain to another.“

—  William Crookes
Context: Ordinarily we communicate intelligence to each other by speech. I first call up in my own brain a picture of a scene I wish to describe, and then, by means of an orderly transmission of wave vibrations set in motion by my vocal chords through the material atmosphere, a corresponding picture is implanted in the brain of anyone whose ear is capable of receiving such vibrations. If the scene I wish to impress on the brain of the recipient is of a complicated character, or if the picture of it in my own brain is not definite, the transmission will be more or less imperfect; but if I wish to get my audience to picture to themselves some very simple object, such as a triangle or a circle, the transmission of ideas will be well-nigh perfect, and equally clear to the brains of both transmitter and recipient. Here we use the vibrations of the material molecules of the atmosphere to transmit intelligence from one brain to another.

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