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The Machinery of the Universe Mechanical Conceptions of Physical Phenomena   By: (1837-1910)

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First Page:

THE ROMANCE OF SCIENCE

THE MACHINERY OF THE UNIVERSE

MECHANICAL CONCEPTIONS OF PHYSICAL PHENOMENA

BY A. E. DOLBEAR, A.B., A.M., M.E., PH.D.

PROFESSOR OF PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY, TUFTS COLLEGE, MASS.

PUBLISHED UNDER GENERAL LITERATURE COMMITTEE.

LONDON: SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE, NORTHUMBERLAND AVENUE, W.C.; 43, QUEEN VICTORIA STREET, E.C.

BRIGHTON: 129, NORTH STREET.

NEW YORK: E. & J. B. YOUNG & CO.

1897.

PREFACE

For thirty years or more the expressions "Correlation of the Physical Forces" and "The Conservation of Energy" have been common, yet few persons have taken the necessary pains to think out clearly what mechanical changes take place when one form of energy is transformed into another.

Since Tyndall gave us his book called Heat as a Mode of Motion neither lecturers nor text books have attempted to explain how all phenomena are the necessary outcome of the various forms of motion. In general, phenomena have been attributed to forces a metaphysical term, which explains nothing and is merely a stop gap, and is really not at all needful in these days, seeing that transformable modes of motion, easily perceived and understood, may be substituted in all cases for forces.

In December 1895 the author gave a lecture before the Franklin Institute of Philadelphia, on "Mechanical Conceptions of Electrical Phenomena," in which he undertook to make clear what happens when electrical phenomena appear. The publication of this lecture in The Journal of the Franklin Institute and in Nature brought an urgent request that it should be enlarged somewhat and published in a form more convenient for the public. The enlargement consists in the addition of a chapter on the " Contrasted Properties of Matter and the Ether ," a chapter containing something which the author believes to be of philosophical importance in these days when electricity is so generally described as a phenomenon of the ether.

A. E. DOLBEAR.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER I

Ideas of phenomena ancient and modern, metaphysical and mechanical Imponderables Forces, invented and discarded Explanations Energy, its factors, Kinetic and Potential Motions, kinds and transformations of Mechanical, molecular, and atomic Invention of Ethers, Faraday's conceptions p. 7

CHAPTER II

Properties of Matter and Ether compared Discontinuity versus Continuity Size of atoms Astronomical distances Number of atoms in the universe Ether unlimited Kinds of Matter, permanent qualities of Atomic structure; vortex rings, their properties Ether structureless Matter gravitative, Ether not Friction in Matter, Ether frictionless Chemical properties Energy in Matter and in Ether Matter as a transformer of Energy Elasticity Vibratory rates and waves Density Heat Indestructibility of Matter Inertia in Matter and in Ether Matter not inert Magnetism and Ether waves States of Matter Cohesion and chemism affected by temperature Shearing stress in Solids and in Ether Ether pressure Sensation dependent upon Matter Nervous system not affected by Ether states Other stresses in Ether Transformations of Motion Terminology p. 24

CHAPTER III

Antecedents of Electricity Nature of what is transformed Series of transformations for the production of light Positive and negative Electricity Positive and negative twists Rotations about a wire Rotation of an arc Ether a non conductor Electro magnetic waves Induction and inductive action Ether stress and atomic position Nature of an electric current Electricity a condition, not an entity p. 94

CHAPTER I

Ideas of phenomena ancient and modern, metaphysical and mechanical Imponderables Forces, invented and discarded Explanations Energy, its factors, Kinetic and Potential Motions, kinds and transformations of Mechanical, molecular, and atomic Invention of Ethers, Faraday's conceptions... Continue reading book >>




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