Qian Xuesen

“An engineering science aims to organize the design principles used in engineering practice into a discipline and thus to exhibit the similarities between different areas of engineering practice and to emphasize the power of fundamental concepts. In short, an engineering science is predominated by theoretical analysis and very often uses the tool of advanced mathematics.” […]

Qian Xuesen

“I do not plan to come back. I have no reason to come back. I plan to do my best to help the Chinese people build up the nation to where they can live with dignity and happiness.” Qian (1955) to reporters after returning to China. Cited in: “Qian Xuesen dies at 98; rocket scientist […]

John von Neumann

“If you say why not bomb them tomorrow, I say why not today? If you say today at five o’ clock, I say why not one o’ clock?” John von Neumann As quoted in “The Passing of a Great Mind” by Clay Blair, Jr., in LIFE Magazine (25 February 1957), p. 96

Richard T. Whitcomb

“We built airplane models with Coke bottle-shaped fuselages and lo and behold the drag of the wing just disappeared. The wind tunnel showed it worked perfectly.” Richard T. Whitcomb https://www.nasa.gov/topics/people/features/ richard_whitcomb.html

Theodore von Karman

Introduction to Compressible Flow “We call the speed range just below and just above the sonic speed – Mach number nearly equal to one – the transonic range. Hugh Dryden and I invented the word transonic. We had found that a word was needed to denote the critical speed range of which we were talking. […]

John von Neumann

“Young man, in mathematics you don’t understand things. You just get used to them.” Reply, according to Dr. Felix T. Smith of Stanford Research Institute, to a physicist friend who had said “I’m afraid I don’t understand the method of characteristics,” as quoted in The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics […]

Dr. von Karman

“Everyone knows it takes a woman nine months to have a baby. But you Americans think if you get nine women pregnant, you can have a baby in a month.,” November 1957 – Told to Joseph G. Martin, then Aide-de-Camp to Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Hooks, as Lt. Martin escorted Dr. von Karman from New […]

Telegram for Meyer

“Mythologists and experimental theologians are needed for the development of a new method of attack” Telegram to Meyer while in trenches after recovery which was mistranslated from “Meteorologists and experimental physicists” where Meyer then traveled and met Fritz Haber (german Gas warfar pioneer)

Meyer

“It would be difficult to create the right mood under the present circumstances, but perhaps by accident another beautiful differential equation will come along again, as it once did when I worked with you.” Letter from Meyer to Prandtl, May 5, 1918. Ref. no. GOAR:2647, DLR-Gottingen Archives