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Page 459 - ... communicated to me by Mr. Jenkin, which is as follows. If an ordinary wire of short length be used as the medium of communication between the two plates of an electromotor consisting of a single pair of metals, no management will enable the experimenter to obtain an electric shock from this wire; but if the wire which surrounds an electro-magnet be used, a shock is felt each time the contact with the electromotor is broken, provided the ends of the wire be grasped one in each hand.
Page 228 - ... using all the present means of accurate reduction, from a well-observed opposition of a planet, for example, their error is as manifest and certain now as an error exceeding a minute was, in a former state of astronomy — and the discrepancies between the present tables and observations are not uncommonly outside that limit. The case is doubtful.
Page 307 - ... that the roots of plants do, to a certain extent at least, possess a power of selection, and that the earthy constituents which form the basis of their solid parts are determined as to quality by some primary law of nature, although their amount may depend upon the more or less abundant supply of the principles presented to them from without.
Page 229 - I must waive what, indeed, is properly a subject for your general committee — the consideration whether anything can be done, or left undone, to increase still more the usefulness of this Association, and the respect and good will with which it is already regarded by the other institutions of this and of other countries. As an Irishman, and a native of Dublin, I may be suffered in conclusion to add my own to the many voices which welcome this goodly company of English, and Scottish, and foreign...
Page 229 - We indeed cannot dream that gravitation shall ever become obsolete ; perhaps it is about to receive some new and striking confirmation ; but Newton never held that the law of the inverse square was the only law of the action of body upon body ; and the question is, whether some other law or mode of action, coexisting with this great and principal one, may not manifest some sensible effect in the heavens to the delicacy of modern observation, and especially of modern reduction. It was worthy of the...
Page 224 - ... have his attention guided to the many wants that remain, can he look on the gaps which are still unfilled, even in the most rich and costly of those edifices (like the unfinished window that we read of in the palace of eastern story), without longing to see those wants supplied, that palace raised to a still more complete perfection ; without burning to draw forth all his own old treasures of thought, and to elaborate them all into one new and precious offering...
Page 403 - ... &c., with a variety of astronomical calculations, which were mostly inserted in the Philosophical Transactions, to which he became a constant contributor. About this time also he says, ' I wrote a small tract in English concerning the true diameters of all the planets, and their visible, when at the nearest distance from our earth, or their greatest remove from it ; which I sent to Mr. Newton in the year 1685, who has made use of it in the fourth book of his Principia.
Page 227 - ... members. It not only helps to diffuse through the community at large, a respect and interest for the pursuits of scientific men, but ventures even to approach the throne, and to lay before the King the expression of the wishes of this his parliament of science, on whatever subject of national importance belongs to science only, and is unconnected with the predominance in the state of any one political party. It was judged that the reduction of the astronomical observations on the sun, and moon,...
Page 228 - ... hold in my hand. In the introduction to this volume of Tables, Bessel remarks, that " the present knowledge of the solar system has not made all the progress which might have been expected from the great number and goodness of the observations made on the sun, and moon, and planets, from the times of Bradley down. It may, indeed, be said with truth, that astronomical tables do not err now by so much as whole minutes from the heavens ; but if those tables differ by more than five seconds now...
Page 226 - British public, the important office of reviewing and reporting upon those researches of Laplace, Poisson, and Gauss, respecting the connexion of molecular attraction, and of the repulsion of heat, with the ascent of fluids in tubes, which give to his report so much of that foreign character which I have already ventured to ascribe to it; yet, it is just to add, and, indeed, Mr. Challis does so, that as Newton first resolved the mathematical problem of gravitation, in its bearings on the motion of...