Theodore von Kármán

Theodore von Kármán (von Sköllöskislaki Kármán Tódor) (11 May 18816 May 1963) was a Hungarian-born engineer and physicist who was active primarily in the fields of aeronautics during the seminal era in the 1940s and 1950s. He is personally responsible for many key advances in aerodynamics, notably his work on supersonic and hypersonic airflow characterization.

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  • I came to realize that exaggerated concern about what others are doing can be foolish. It can paralyze effort, and stifle a good idea. One finds that in the history of science almost every problem has been worked out by someone else. This should not discourage anyone from pursuing his own path.
    • The Wind and Beyond, 1967
  • 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 Kármán from New York City to lead a secret symposium on space flight in Cloudcroft, NM. Sputnik had been launched a month before and every branch of the US military had a separate space program and were desperately trying to get off a successful launch.
    • The Life and Times of Joe Gordon (To the Best of My Recollection) by Joseph G. Martin (self published, 2007)

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  • Scientists study the world as it is; engineers create the world that never has been.
Last modified on 15 April 2014, at 13:33