Profound study of nature is the most fertile source of mathematical discoveries.
Ch. 1, p. 7
Mathematical analysis is as extensive as nature itself; it defines all perceptible relations, measures times, spaces, forces, temperatures:;; this difficult science is formed slowly, but it preserves every principle which it has once acquired; it grows and strengthens itself incessantly in the midst of the many variations and errors of the human mind. It's chief attribute is clearness; it has no marks to express confused notations. It brings together phenomena the most diverse, and discovers the hidden analogies which unite them.Joseph Fourier
The effects of heat are subject to constant laws which cannot be discovered without the aid of mathematical analysis. The object of the theory is to demonstrate these laws; it reduces all physical researches on the propagation of heat, to problems of the integral calculus, whose elements are given by experiment. No subject has more extensive relations with the progress of industry and the natural sciences; for the action of heat is always present, it influences the processes of the arts, and occurs in all the phenomena of the universe.Joseph Fourier