10 Invaluable Patrick Blackett Quotes

Patrick Blackett was an English experimental physicist best known for his work on cloud chambers, cosmic rays, and paleomagnetism. As the winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1948, he was a major contributor to advising military strategy and research during World War II. Blackett published the book, ‘Fear, War, and the Bomb: The Military and Political Consequences of Atomic Energy.’ Here is a look at some of the most influential Patrick Blackett quotes to know.

“A first-rate laboratory is one in which mediocre scientists can produce outstanding work.”

“Blackett came one morning, deep in thought, into the G (technical) Office at Stanmore. It was a bitterly cold day, and the staff were shivering in a garret warmed over only with an oil-stove. Without a word of greeting, Blackett stepped silently up on to the table and stood there pondering with his feet among the plans.”

“In fact the wise operational research worker attempts to concentrate his efforts in finding results which are so obvious as not to need elaborate statistical methods to demonstrate their truth.”


“In this sense advanced probability theory is something one has to know about in order to avoid having to use it.”

“Let us sum up the three possible explanations of the decision to drop the bomb and its timing.”

“May every young scientist remember and not fail to keep his eyes open for the possibility that an irritating failure of his apparatus to give consistent results may once or twice in a lifetime conceal an important discovery.”

“The problems of analyzing war operations are … rather nearer, in general, to many problems, say of biology or of economics, than to most problems of physics, where usually a great deal of numerical data are ascertainable about relatively simple phenomena.”

“There is a story which shows his ready wit, dating from the meeting of the British Association in Canada before the war. Tizard and a colleague inadvertently crossed over into the United States, near Niagara. When challenged by a policeman, and not having their passports with them, they produced their British Association membership cards.”

“We really try to have only one new particle per paper.”

“Well! That’s that problem solved.”

Here is a look at a Blackett Lecture as the presenter discusses machines that learn and how big data plays an integral part in making strategy and tactics.

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