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A History of Science, Volume 3(of 5)_Henry Smith Williams

A History of Science, Volume 3(of 5)_Henry Smith Williams

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of A History of Science, Volume 3(of 5), byHenry Smith WilliamsThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and withalmost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away orre-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License includedwith this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.orgTitle: A History of Science, Volume 3(of 5)Author: Henry Smith WilliamsRelease Date: April, 1999 [Etext #1707]Posting Date: November 18, 2009Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK HISTORY OF SCIENCE, V3 ***Produced by Charles KellerA HISTORY OF SCIENCEMODERN DEVELOPMENT OF THE PHYSICAL SCIENCESBy Henry Smith Williams, M.D., Ll.D.Assisted By Edward H. Williams, M.D.In Five VolumesVolume III.CONTENTSBOOK IIICHAPTER I. THE SUCCESSORS OF NEWTON IN ASTRONOMYThe work of Johannes Hevelius--Halley and Hevelius--Halley'sobservationof the transit of Mercury, and his method of determining the parallaxof
the planets--Halley's observation of meteors--His inability toexplain these bodies--The important work of James Bradley--Lacaille'smeasurement of the arc of the meridian--The determination of thequestion as to the exact shape of the earth--D'Alembert and hisinfluence upon science--Delambre's History of Astronomy--Theastronomical work of Euler.CHAPTER II. THE PROGRESS OF MODERN ASTRONOMYThe work of William Herschel--His discovery of Uranus--His discoverythat the stars are suns--His conception of the universe--His deductionthat gravitation has caused the grouping of the heavenly bodies--Thenebula, hypothesis,--Immanuel Kant's conception of the formation of theworld--Defects in Kant's conception--Laplace's final solution of theproblem--His explanation in detail--Change in the mental attitude oftheworld since Bruno--Asteroids and satellites--Discoveries of Olbersl--Themathematical calculations of Adams and Leverrier--The discovery of theinner ring of Saturn--Clerk Maxwell's paper on the stability ofSaturn'srings--Helmholtz's conception of the action of tidal friction--ProfessorG. H. Darwin's estimate of the consequences of tidal action--Cometsand meteors--Bredichin's cometary theory--The final solution of thestructure of comets--Newcomb's estimate of the amount of cometary dustswept up daily by the earth--The fixed stars--John Herschel's studiesof double stars--Fraunhofer's perfection of the refractingtelescope--Bessel's measurement of the parallax of a star,--Henderson'smeasurements--Kirchhoff and Bunsen's perfection of thespectroscope--Wonderful revelations of the spectroscope--Lord Kelvin'sestimate of the time that will be required for the earth to becomecompletely cooled--Alvan Clark's discovery of the companion star ofSirius--The advent of the photographic film in astronomy--Dr. Huggins'sstudies of nebulae--Sir Norman Lockyer's "cosmogonic guess,"--Croll'spre-nebular theory.CHAPTER III. THE NEW SCIENCE OF PALEONTOLOGYWilliam Smith and fossil shells--His discovery that fossil rocks arearranged in regular systems--Smith's inquiries taken up by Cuvier--HisOssements Fossiles containing the first description of hairyelephant--His contention that fossils represent extinct speciesonly--Dr. Buckland's studies of English fossil-beds--Charles Lyellcombats catastrophism,--Elaboration of his ideas with reference tothe rotation of species--The establishment of the doctrine ofuniformitarianism,--Darwin's Origin of Species--Fossil man--Dr.Falconer's visit to the fossil-beds in the valley of theSomme--Investigations of Prestwich and Sir John Evans--Discovery of theNeanderthal skull,--Cuvier's rejection of human fossils--The findingof prehistoric carving on ivory--The fossil-beds of America--ProfessorMarsh's paper on the fossil horses in America--The Warren mastodon,--TheJava fossil, Pithecanthropus Erectus.CHAPTER IV. THE ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT OF MODERN GEOLOGY
James Hutton and the study of the rocks--His theory of the earth--Hisbelief in volcanic cataclysms in raising and forming the continents--Hisfamous paper before the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 1781---Hisconclusions that all strata of the earth have their origin at thebottomof the sea---His deduction that heated and expanded matter caused theelevation of land above the sea-level--Indifference at first shown thisremarkable paper--Neptunists versus Plutonists--Scrope's classical workon volcanoes--Final acceptance of Hutton's explanation of the originof granites--Lyell and uniformitarianism--Observations on the gradualelevation of the coast-lines of Sweden and Patagonia--Observations onthe enormous amount of land erosion constantly taking place,--Agassizand the glacial theory--Perraudin the chamois-hunter, and hisexplanation of perched bowlders--De Charpentier's acceptance ofPerraudin's explanation--Agassiz's paper on his Alpine studies--Hisconclusion that the Alps were once covered with an ice-sheet--Finalacceptance of the glacial theory--The geological ages--The work ofMurchison and Sedgwick--Formation of the American continents--Past,present, and future.CHAPTER V. THE NEW SCIENCE OF METEOROLOGYBiot's investigations of meteors--The observations of Brandes andBenzenberg on the velocity of falling stars--Professor Olmstead'sobservations on the meteoric shower of 1833--Confirmation of Chladni'shypothesis of 1794--The aurora borealis--Franklin's suggestion thatit is of electrical origin--Its close association with terrestrialmagnetism--Evaporation, cloud-formation, and dew--Dalton'sdemonstrationthat water exists in the air as an independent gas--Hutton's theory ofrain--Luke Howard's paper on clouds--Observations on dew, by ProfessorWilson and Mr. Six--Dr. Wells's essay on dew--His observationson several appearances connected with dew--Isotherms and oceancurrents--Humboldt and the-science of comparative climatology--Hisstudies of ocean currents--Maury's theory that gravity is the causeof ocean currents--Dr. Croll on Climate and Time--Cyclones andanti-cyclones,--Dove's studies in climatology--Professor Ferrel'smathematical law of the deflection of winds--Tyndall's estimate ofthe amount of heat given off by the liberation of a pound ofvapor--Meteorological observations and weather predictions.CHAPTER VI. MODERN THEORIES OF HEAT AND LIGHTJosiah Wedgwood and the clay pyrometer--Count Rumford and the vibratorytheory of heat--His experiments with boring cannon to determine thenature of heat--Causing water to boil by the friction of the borer--Hisfinal determination that heat is a form of motion--Thomas Young and thewave theory of light--His paper on the theory of light and colors--Hisexposition of the colors of thin plates--Of the colors of thickplates, and of striated surfaces,--Arago and Fresnel champion the wavetheory--opposition to the theory by Biot--The French Academy's tacitacceptance of the correctness of the theory by its admission of Fresnelas a member.CHAPTER VII. THE MODERN DEVELOPMENT OF ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM

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