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THE SCIENTIFIC PAPERS OF

JAMES CLERK MAXWELL


Edited by W. D.

NIVEN, M.A., F.R.S,

Two Volumes Bound As One

DOVER PUBLICATIONS,

INC.,

NEW YORK

THE SCIENTIFIC PAPERS OF

JAMES CLERK MAXWELL


Edited by W. D.

NIVEN,

Volume Two

M.A., F.R.S.

TABLE OF CONTENTS.
PAGE

XXVII.

On

XXVIII.

On
On

Viscosity

the

InternaZ

or

Friction

of Air

and

(The

Gases

other

Bakerian Lecture)

XXIX.

the

-6

Dynamical Theory of Gases

the

Theory of

tJie

Maintenance

of Electric

by Mechanical

Currents

Work

XXX.
XXXI.
XXXII.
XXXIII.

On
On

without the use of Permanent Magnets


the Equilibrium of a Spherical Envelope

7,9

86

Arrangement for producing a Pure Spectrum on a

the best

The Construction of Stereograms of Surfaces


On Reciprocal Diagrams in Space and their relation

Sci'een

to Aii-y's

Function of

102

Stress

XXXIV.

On

XXXV.

"Experiment

105

Governors
in

Magneto- Electric Induction"

(in

letter to

W. R. Grove,
121

F.RS.)

XXXVI.

On a Method of Making a

Direct Comparison of Electrostatic wiHi Electrowith a Note on the Electromagnetic Theory of Light

magnetic Force;

XXXVII.
XXXVIII.
XXXIX.
XL.
XLI.

On

On a Bow seen on the Surface of Ice


On Reciprocal Figures, Frames, and Diagrams of
On the Displacement in a Case of Fluid Motion
Address

to

tJie

XLIII.

160
Forces

.161
208

Mathematical and Physical Sections of

the British Associa-

215

On Colour-Vision at
On Hills and Dales

different points

230

of the Retina

233

XLIV.
XLV.

Introductory Lecture on Experimeivtal Physics

On

the Solution

XLVI.
XLVII.

On

the

XLVIII.

On
On

241

of Electrical Problems by the Transformation of Conjugate

Functions

XLIX.

Mathematical Classification of Physical Quantities


On Colour Vision
tlie

Geometrical

Mean

Distance of

Induction of Electric
uniform Conductivity

Uie

125

144

the Cyclide

tion (1870)

XLII.

96
101

....

in

an

Infinite

257
267

Two Figures on a Plane

Currents

256

Plane Sheet

280

of

286

TABLE OF CONTENTS.

On

Conditim that, in the Traiisf&rmation of any Figure by Curvilinear


Co-ordinates in Three Dimensions, every angle in the new Figure shall
be equal to the corresponding angle in the original Figure

the

LII.

LIII.

LI.

Reprint of Papers on Electrostatics and Magnetism. By Sir W. Thomson.


(Review)
On the Proof of the Equations of Motion of a Connected System
On a Problem in the Calcidus of Variations in which the solution is dis.

LVI.

On

the

LVII.

On

the

LVIIL

An

Focal Lines of a Refracted Pencil


Essay on the Mathematical Principles of Physics.
(Review)
Challis, M.A., dx.

LIX.

On

Loschmidt's Experiments on DiffvMon. in relation

LX.

On

the Final State

By

Professors Sir

Thomson and

W.

.324

(Revieuj)

....

Theory of a System of Electrified Conductors, and other Physical


Theories involving Homogeneoxis Quadratic Functions

LXIV.
LXV.

By

the Rev.

James
338

to the

Kinetic Theory

343
of a System of Molecules in motion subject

to

forces of

351

any kind
Faraday
Molecules (A Lecture)

On Double Refraction in a Viscous Fluid in Motion


On Hamilton's Characteristic Function for a narrow Beam of Light
On the Relation of Geometrical Optics to other parts of Mathematics and
.

4JLyiL
LXVIII.

Plateau on Soap-Bubbles (Review)


"
Groves Correlation of Physical Forces

On

the

"

the Solu-

to

406

a Geometrical Problem

Van der Waals on the Continuity of the Gaseous and Liquid States
On the Centre of Motion of the Eye
On the Dynamical Evidence of the Molecular Constitution of Bodies (A

LXXII.

On

LXXIIL

Atom

I^QCIV.

Attraction

LXXV.

On

Bern's

LXXVI.
LXXVII.

On

the Equilibrium of Heterogeneous Substances

407
416

Lec-

418

ture)

LXXVIII.

381

400

(Review)

LXIX.
LXX.
LXXI.

of Hamilton's Characteristic Function


an Optical Instrument symmetrical about its aods

the Application

tions

379

391
393

application of Kirchhoff's Rules for Electric Circuits

tion of

355
361

Physics

LXVI.

329

332

of Gases

LXI.
LXII.
LXIII.

308

311

LV?-

a Distance
Elements of Natural Philosophy.
at

P. G. Tait.

'"^01

3^0

continuous

On Action

297

to the

Theory of

method of drauring diagrams in Graphical Statics with


from Peaucelliers Linkage

Diffusion of Gases through Absorbing Substances


General considerations concerning Scientific Apparatus

439
445

485

illustra-

492
498
501

505

TABLE OF CONTENTS.

Vll

PAGE

LXXIX.

Itistruments connected vnth Fluids

523

LXXX.
LXXXI.

Wheiuells Writings and Correspondence {Review)

528

On Ohm's Law
On the protection of

538

LXXXII.
LXXXIII.

LXXXIV.
^

' LXil^ X A^.

LXXXVI.

LXXX VII.
LXXXVIII.

LXXXIX.
XC.
XCI.
XCII.

533
buildings

XCIV.

XCV.
XCVI.
XCVII.
- XCVIII.
XCIX.

lightning

Capillary Action

541

Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand Hehnholtz


On a Paradox in the Theory of Attraction

592
599

On Approximate Multiple Integration between Limits by Summation


On the Unpublished Electrical Papers of the Hon. Henry Cavendish

Diffusion

Diagrams
Tait's Thermodynamics (Review)

On

the

Electrical

On
On

660

Capacity of a long
.

604
612
616
625
647

Constitution of Bodies

of sensible thickness

XCIII.

from

Stresses in Rarified Gases arising

narrow Cylinder and of a Disk

from

Inequalities of Temperature

.672
.

681

Boltzniann's Theorem on the average distribution of energy in a system

713
742

of material points
{Rede Lecture)

The. Telephone

Paradoxical Philosophy {A Review)

756

Ether

763

Thomson and
Faraday

Tait's

Natural Philosophy {A Revieio)

C.

Reports on Special Branches of Science

CI.

Harmonic Analysis

....

776
786
.

794
797

ERRATA.

3,

73,

line

5,

read

^^~~^
10, insert

is

the

the

value

radius
of

of

the

each

of

diameter

values of the quantity

in

(PF

"

^dxdy'

after the diflferential operator in equation (18).

the
as

p. (189).

,.

dPF
dydz

In the Bakerian Lecture at page


r

76.

(181)

p.

II.

instead of xxxi. p. 30.

60

14,

25

p.

i.

VOL,

18,

movable

given at

the

line

discs

page

21,

the

used
4,

in

line

value of

r*

is

given

the experiments on
14,

this

as

1112-8,

Viscosity.

number should be

where

But with
The

1220-8.

fourth line of the Table given at page 19 should therefore

all

be

The values of Q, the quantity in the fifth line, increase in the same proportion
Hence according to equations (23) and (24) the values of /x, the coefficient
as the values of A.
wiU approximate to those obtained
of Viscosity, will be smaller than they appear in the text and
reductions was pointed out by
by more recent experiments. The above inaccuracy in the numerical
Mr Leahy, Pembroke College, Cambridge.

increased by 108.

[From the Philosophical

The Bakerian Lecture.

XXVII.

Transactions, Vol. CLVI.]

On

the

Viscosity or Internal Friction

of Air and other Gases.

Received November 23, 1865, Read February

The

gaseous form

matter

of

distinguislied

is

8,

1866.

by the great

Bunplification

which occurs in the expression of the properties of matter when


that state from the solid or liquid form.

when

of molecules, seems to indicate that the molecules of bodies,


are less

state,

into
is

passes into

simplicity of the relations between

and temperature, and between the volume and the number

pressure,

density,

The

it

in the gaseous

impeded by any complicated mechanism than when they subside

The investigation of other properties of matter


more simple if we begin our research with matter

the liquid or soUd states.


likely

therefore

be

to

in the form of a gas.

The

viscosity

of a body

is

the resistance which

it

offers

change of form, depending on the rate at which that change


All bodies are capable
ficient

forces

is

to

a continuous

effected.

altered by the action


M. Kohlrausch* has shewn that

of having their form

during a sufficient time.

of suftorsion

applied to glass fibres produces a permanent set which increases with the time

and that when the

of action of the force,

slowly
Softer

untwists,

so

soHds exhibit

difficult,

its

removed the

do

as in most cases the state of the

actually impressed on

during

to

of the relations between the

investigation

force of torsion is

away with part of the set it had


the phenomena of plasticity in a greater degree
as

it,

but on

all

forces
solid

and their

effects

is

fibre

acquired.
;

but the

extremely

depends not only on the forces

the strains to which

it

has been subjected

previous existence.
*'

VOL. n.

TJeber die elastische

Nachwerktmg

bei der Toraion," Pogg. Ann. cxix. 1863.


1

ON THE VISCOSITY OR INTERNAL FRICTION

2
Professor

W. Thomson*
the

takes place in

friction

has shewn that something corresponding to internal


vibrations of wires, but that it is much

torsional

has been previously subjected to large vibrations. I have


after heating a steel wire to a temperature below 120", its

increased if the wire

found

also

elasticity

that,

was permanently diminished and

its internal friction increased.

by passing them through


of
by swinging pendulums in themj, and by the torsional vibrafluid
tions of an immersed disk, and of a sphere filled with the
The method of transpiration through tubes is very convenient, especially
Graham and Poiseuille it
for comparative measurements, and in the hands of
The

viscosity

fluids

been

has

investigated

capillary tubes t,

\\.

is
has given good results, but the measurement of the diameter of the tube
that
certain
be
cannot
we
bore
the
of
smallness
the
of
account
on
difficult, and
of the
the action between the molecules of the gas and those of the substance

not

does

tubes

accuracy,

and

afiect

the

The pendulum method

result.

that experiments are

believe

in

is

capable

by which

progress

of great

its

merits

tested.
as a means of determining the properties of the resisting medium will be
chief
direct.
The
and
sunple
is
fluid
the
in
disk
a
swinging
of
The method
difficulty is the determination of the motion of the fluid near the edge of the

which introduces very serious mathematical difficulties into the calculation


The method with the sphere is free from the mathematical
of the result.
makes it undifficulty, but the weight of a properly constructed spherical shell

disk,

suitable for experiments

on gases.

In the experiments on the viscosity of air and other gases which I propose
to describe, I have employed the method of the torsional vibrations of disks,
but instead of placing them in an open space, I have placed them each between
two parallel fixed disks at a small but easily measurable distance, in which

when the

case,

period of vibration

is

long, the mathematical difficulties of deter-

mining the motion of the fluid are greatly reduced.


Proceedings of the Royal Society, May 18, 1865.
Poiseuille, Mem. de Savants Strangers, 1846.

+ Liquids

1846 and

+ Baily, Phil. Trans. 1832

Bessel, Berlin Acad.

Motion of Pendulums," Cambridge Phil Trans,


Crelle's
II

Graham, Philosophical Transactions,

1849.'

these are discussed in Professor Stokes's paper

Gases

have also used three

Coulomb, Mem. de VInstUut national,

"On

1826

Dubuat, Principes d^Eydravligue, 1786.

All

the Effect of the Internal Friction of Fluids on the

vol. ix. pt. 2 (1850).

iii. p.

246; 0. E. Meyer, Pogg.

Ann

Journal, Bd, 59.

Helmholtz and Pietrowski, Sitzungsberichte der

k. k.

Akad, April, 1860.

cxiii.

(1861)

p. 55,

and

OF AIR AND OTHER GASES.


instead

disks

of one,

that there are six surfaces exposed to friction,

so

which

may

be reduced to two by placing the three disks in contact, without altering

the

weight

of

structed by

Mr

The apparatus was

the whole or the time of vibration.

con-

Becker, of Messrs Elliott Brothers, Strand.

Description of the Apparatus.

XXI.

Plate
actual

(MM)
MM. The
top

by

is

in the

represents the

vacuum apparatus one-eighth

of the

The

a strong three-legged stool supporting the whole.

form of a
is

EE, and

EE

ring.

is

a brass plate supported by the ring

ground truly plane, the upper surface

the same piece

in

the plate

into

fig.

is

under surface

cast

ribs

30,

p.

MQRS

size.

with

4 feet

is

in

is

strengthened

The suspension-tube ^C
height.
The glass receiver
it.

is

screwed

on a

rests

wooden ring PP with three projecting pieces which rest on the three brackets
QQ, of which two only are seen. The upper surfaces of the brackets and the
under surfaces of the projections are so bevilled

wooden ring

in

its

own plane

off,

that by slightly turning the

the receiver can be pressed up against the plate

EE.

F, G, H,

are

circular

of glass

plates

form represented in

of the

fig.

2.

Each has a hole in the centre 2 inches in diameter, and three holes near the
circumference, by which it is supported on the screws LL.
Fig.

LL

represents

upper part
is

the

mode

supporting and adjusting the glass plates.

of

one of the screws fixed under the plate

is

EE.

in

the hole in the glass plate F,

of larger diameter,

so

as to support the glass plate

turning

the

nut easily by hand.

a nut, of which the

>S is

easily

fits

These nuts occupy

while the under part

and

afford the
space,

little

means of

and enable

the glass disks to be brought very accurately to their proper position.

ACB,

fig.

1,

is

a siphon barometer, closed at

the interior of the suspension-tube at B.

The

scale

and communicating with


is

divided on both

sides,

so

that the difference of the readings gives the pressure within the apparatus.

is

a thermometer, lying on the upper glass plate.

pumice-stone soaked in sulphuric acid, to dry the


caustic potash, is not shewn.

pump

or the gas generator.

Z)

is

is

air.

is

a vessel containing

Another

vessel,

a tube with a stopcock, leading

containing
to the

air-

a glass window, giving a view of the suspended

mirror d.

For high and low temperatures the


the receiver was exhausted, the ring

tin vessel (fig. 10) was used.


When
was removed, and the tin vessel raised

12

ON THE VISCOSITY OR INTERNAL FRICTION

SO as

The

itself rested,

outside of the tin vessel

of

wooden support YY.


QQ. The
was then well wrapped up in blankets, and the top
covered with a feather cushion; and cold water, hot

to envelope the receiver, which then rested on the

tin vessel

the

brass

plate

EE

by means

of projections on the brackets

made to flow through the tin


seen through the window W, became stationary.
water, or steam was

The moveable parts

vessel

till

the thermometer T,

of the apparatus consist of

The suspension -piece a, fitting air-tight into the top of the tube and holding
the suspension- wire by a clip, represented in fig. 5.
The axis cdek, suspended to the wire by another cHp at C.
The wire was a hard-drawn steel wire, one foot of which weighed 2"6 grains.
The axis carries the plane mirror d, by which its angular position is observed
through the window C, and the three vibrating glass disks /, g, h, represented
Each disk is 10*56 inches diameter and about '076 thick, and has
in fig. 3.

75 diameter. They are kept in position on the axis by


means of short tubes of accurately known length, which support them on the
axis and separate them from each other.
The whole suspended system weighs three pounds avoirdupoise.
a hole in the centre

In erecting the

apparatus,

lower part of the axis ek

the

is

screwed

off".

The fixed disks are then screwed on, with a vibrating disk lying between each.
Tubes of the proper lengths are then placed on the lower part of the axia
The axis is then passed up from below through the
and between the disks.
The vibrating
disks and tubes, and is screwed to the upper part at e.
disks are now hanging by the wire and in their proper places, and the fixed
disks are brought to their proper distances from them by means of the adjusting
nuts.
715

is

a small piece of magnetized steel wire attached to the axis.

When

it

is

desired

N, and

placed under

so

disks in motion,

to set the

moved

as

to

bring the

initial

a battery of magnets

is

arc of vibration to the

proper value.
Fig.

centrically
it

exactly in
Fig.

it,

It is placed
is a brass ring whose moment
of inertia is known.
on the vibrating disk by means of three radial wires, which keep

its place.
is

a tube

containing two nearly equal

and whose position can be read

off

by

verniers.

weights,

which

slide

inside

OF AIR AND OTHER OASES.

The ring and the tube are used

in finding

the

moment

of inertia

of the

vibrating apparatus.

The extent and


way by means of a
The

mirror d.
axis

of the

on a

scale is

vibrations

are

shews the

which

observed in the ordinaryof

reflexion

scale

in

the

with the

circular arc of six feet radius, concentric

The extremities of the scale correspond to an arc of


and the divisions on the scale to 17. The readings are

instrument.

of 19 36',

vibration

duration of the
telescope,

usually taken to tenths of a division.

Method of Observation.

When

instrument

the

below

placed on a board
vibration

was properly adjusted, a battery of magnets was


and reversed at proper intervals till the arc of

iV",

extended slightly beyond the limits of the

then removed, and any accidental

scale.

were checked by applying the hand to the suspension-tube.

thermometer were then read

off,

and wrote down the extreme


on the

At

scale.

intervals

The magnets were

pendulous oscillations of the suspended disks

and the observer took

The barometer and

his seat at the telescope

limits of each vibration as

shewn by the numbers

of five complete vibrations, the time of the

of the middle point of the scale was observed (see Table

I.).

When

transits

the ampli-

tude decreased rapidly, the observations were continued throughout the experi-

ment
for

but when the decrement was small, the observer generally

an hour, or

till

the amplitude was

so

far

left

the room

reduced as to furnish the most

accurate results.

In
times,

observing

comparison of the
of e to

In

a quantity which

decreases

a geometrical

in

ratio

in

equal

the most accurate value of the rate of decrement will be deduced from a

1,

practice,

where
so

new

values

= 271828,

however,

vibrations are

beginning a

initial

it

much

is

with

values

which

are

the base of the Napierian

best to

stop

the

to

these in the ratio

system

of

logarithms.

experiment somewhat before the

reduced, as the time required would be better

spent in

experiment.

the observations, the sum of every five maxima and of the


minima was taken, and the differences of these were written as
the terms of the series the decrement of which was to be found.
In experiments where the law of decrement is uncertain, this rough method
is inapplicable, and Gauss's method must be applied
but the series of amplitudes

In

reducing

consecutive five

ON THE VISCOSITY OR INTERNAL FRICTION

in these

experiments

is

geometrical,

so accurately

that no appreciable difference

between the results of the two methods would occur.


series was then taken, and the mean
by taking the difference of the first and last,
of the second and last but one, and so on, multiplying each difference by the
interval of the terms, and dividing the sum of the products by the sum of

The logarithm

of each term

of the

logarithmic decrement ascertained

the squares of these intervals.

Thus,

if

extreme limits of vibration, these were


terms of a decreasing

five

observations were

combined by

tens,

taken of the
so

to form

as

The logarithms of these terms were then


of the first and fifth of these logarithms was then
the second and third, and the result divided by
series.

Twice the difference

taken.

fifty

first

added to the difference of

mean logarithmic decrement in five complete vibrations.


The times were then treated in the same way to get the mean time of
The numbers representing the logarithmic decrement, and the
vibrations.

ten for the

five

time for

five vibrations,

The

series

were entered as the result of each experiment*.

found from ten different experiments were examined to discover

any departure from uniformity in the logarithmic decrement depending on the


The logarithmic decrement was found to be constant
amplitude of vibration.
in

each experiment to within the limits of probable error; the deviations from

and sometimes in the opposite, and


of any law of increase
The
or diminution of the logarithmic decrement as the amplitudes decrease.
forces which retard the disks are therefore as the first power of the velocity,
uniformity were sometimes in one

the ten experiments

and there
such

as

no evidence of any force varying with the square of the velocity,

is

is

direction

when combined gave no evidence

produced

experiments the

when

maximum

move

bodies

was about -^ inch per second.

rapidly

through the

the circumference

of

velocity

In

air.

these

moving disks
the air between the

of

the

The changes of form in


and eddies were not produced t.

disks were therefore effected very slowly,

The retardation
to the action of the

of the motion
air,

since

of the

which must be estimated separately.


changes in the viscosity of
tudinal strain.

vrires

The wire used

disks

is,

however, not due entirely

the suspension wire has a viscosity of

in

Professor

after

W. Thomson

being subjected

to

its

own,

has observed great


torsion

and

these experiments had been hanging

longi-

up

for

See Table II.


t

The

total

of the disks.

moment

of the resistances never exceeded that of the weight of

-^ grain acting at the edge

OF AIR AND OTHER OASES.

some months

before,

weights attached to

and

torsion

and had been


to

it,

steam was employed to heat the lower


then increased, and

its

torsional

moment

its

of

vibrations

with

various

moment

Its

torsion.

of

seem to have remained afterwards nearly constant,

viscosity

its

into

set

determine

moment

of

part

the

of

apparatus.

diminished

torsion

Its

till

viscosity

permanently, but when

the apparatus was again heated, no further change seems to have taken place.

During each course of experiments, care was taken not to set the disks vibrating
beyond

the

of

limits

the

scale,

so

that

the

viscosity

of

the

may

wire

be

supposed constant in each set of experiments.


In order to determine how much of the total retardation of the motion is
due to the viscosity of the wire, the moving disks were placed in contact with
each other, and fixed disks were placed at a measured distance above and
below them.
The weight and moment of inertia of the system remained as
before,

but the part of the retardation of the motion due to the viscosity of
less, as there were only two surfaces exposed to the action of the

the air was

instead of

air

as

before,

Supposing the

six.

the difference of

additional strata of

air,

and

is

of the viscosity of the wire to remain

effect

retardation

is

that due to the action of the four

independent of the value of the viscosity of the

wire.

In the experiments which were used in determining the viscosity of


five different

Arrangement

1.

2.

,,

Three

disks, each

inch above and below.

0"5 inch.

,,

between two fixed disks at distance 0'683.

4.

0-425.

5.

0-18475.

By comparing
viscosity

Three disks in contact, fixed disks at

3.

,,

of

air,

arrangements were adopted.

the

results

of

these

different

was obtained, and the theory at the

arrangements,

same time

the

coeflScient

subjected

to

rigorous test.

Definition of the Coefficient of Viscosity.

The

final

result

of each set of experiments

was to determine the value of

the coefficient of viscosity of the gas in the apparatus.


best

defined by

considering a stratum

of

air

This coefficient

between two

parallel

may

be

horizontal

ON THE VISCOSITY OR INTERNAL FRICTION

planes of

indefinite

extent,

at a distance

a from one another.

Suppose the

upper plane to be set in motion in a horizontal direction with a velocity of


V feet per second, and to continue in motion till the air in the different parts
the stratum has taken up

of

increase

will

contact with the

in

air

uniformly as

we

its

velocity,

final

then the velocity of the

pass from the lower plane to the upper.

planes has the same velocity as the planes themselves,

then the velocity will increase - feet per second for every foot

The

between any two contiguous strata of

friction

between either surface and the

to that

this friction is equal to a tangential force

where

fi

is

air

If the

air

/ on

in

we

then be equal

will

air

contact with

every square

ascend.

Suppose that

it.

foot,

then

the coefficient of viscosity, v the velocity of the upper plane, and

a the distance between them.


If the experiment could be

we

should find

/it

made with the two

infinite planes as described,

at once, for

In the actual case the motion of the planes


linear,

oscillatory instead of

constant,

is

rotatory instead of recti-

and the planes are bounded instead of

infinite.

It will be

shewn that the rotatory motion may be

principles as rectilinear

calculated on the

introduces the consideration of the inertia of the air in motion,

the middle portions of the stratum to lag behind, as

is

shewn

in

which causes
fig.

the curves represent the successive positions of a line of particles of


if

same

motion; but that the oscillatory character of the motion

8,

air,

where
which,

there were no motion, would be a straight line perpendicular to the planes.

The

fact that the

moving planes are bounded by a

depending on the

another

difficulty,

different

from that of the rest of the

into

motion of the

air

circular

near

edge introduces
the

edge

being

air.

The lines of equal motion of the air are shewn in fig. 9.


The consideration of these two circumstances introduces
the calculations, as wiU be shewn hereafter.

certain corrections

In expressing the viscosity of the gas in absolute measure, the measures

OF AIR AND OTBER OASES.


of

forces,

velocities,

all

must be taken according to some consistent system

&c.

of measurement.

of/

sions
is

if

represent the units of length, mass, and time, then the dimen-

pressure

(a

/x

are

per unit of surface)

whose dimensions are

velocity

Thus
and

M,

If L,

LT~\

L~'MT~'; a
that

so

the

is

a length, and

dimensions

of

fi

are

be the viscosity of a gas expressed in inch-grain-second measure,

the same expressed in foot-pound-minute measure, then

fi'

/Lt
'

fi

According
of

velocity

to

the

inch

foot

pound

1
'

experiments

grain

second

minute

MM.

of

Helmholtz and

a fluid in contact with a surface

is

Pietrowski*,

not always equal to

that

the
of

but a certain amount of actual slipping takes place in certain


In the
cases between the surface and the fluid in immediate contact with it.
in
fluid
the
velocity
of
is
the
considering,
if
v^
case which we have been

the surface

itself,

contact with the fixed plane, and

where

o-

is

/ the

tangential force per unit of surface, then

the coefficient of superficial friction between the fluid and the par-

ticular surface over

which

and depends on the nature of the surface as


The coefficient cr is of the dimensions L~*MT~\
the fluid in contact with the plane which is moving
it

flows,

well as on that of the fluid.


If

be the velocity of

Vi

with velocity

v,

and

if o-'

be the coefficient of superficial friction for that plane,

f=<T\v-v,).

The

internal friction of the fluid itself

^=/(- + - +

Hence

If

is

we make - = S, and
cr

= ^,

then

cr

=/f-^
* SitzungabericlUe der k,

VOL.

II.

Akad. April 1860.

ON THE VISCOSITY OR INTERNAL FRICTION

10
or the fiiction

and

slipping,

equal to what

is

if

By changing the interval between


^ + ^ remains constant, and thus
the case of
ciable effect

on

rately as to give this value of

probability

and

air

)8

glass,

had

been

so small

no

^ + ^.

be made to vary while

+ yS' may
that

it

be determined.

In

produces no appre-

In the case of glass surfaces rubbing

surfaces

/8

= "0027

cannot be measured so accu-

The

the character of an ascertained quantity.

rather in favour of the theory that there

is

there

if

deduced from the experiments, was

The distance between the moving

inch.

is

on the results of experiments.


)8,

may

the planes, a
the value of

the amount of slipping

air,

the probable value of

air,

would have been

it

the interval between the planes had been increased by

is

no slipping between

and that the value of ^ given above results from accidental


observations.
I have therefore preferred to calculate the

discrepancy in the
value of.

yx

on the supposition that there

the glass in contact with

The value
condition.

that
at

/x

of

is

depends on the nature

fi

By making

no slipping between the

air

and

it.

experiments in gas

remains constant, so that

its

value

the

of
of

is

and on

gas

different

densities,

its
it

shewn

the same for air at 0"5 inch and

30 inches pressure, provided the temperature remains the same.

be seen by examining Table

physical
is

This will

decrement of arc in

where the value of L, the logarithm of the


ten single vibrations, is the same for the same temperature,

though the density

is

fact

IV.,

sixty times greater

in

some

cases

than

in

others.

the numbers in the column headed L' were calculated on the

that the viscosity

is

In

hypothesis

independent of the density, and they agree very well with

the observed values.


It

win be

seen,

however, that the value of

rises

temperature, as given in the second column of Table lY.

and

falls

with

range from 51" to 74" Fahr., and were the natural temperatures of the

on different days in
the viscosity
zero

of the

is

May

1865.

The

results

the

These temperatures

agree with the

hypothesis

room
that

proportional to (461" -H^), the temperature measured from absolute

air-thermometer.

In order to test this proportionality, the tempe-

by a current of steam sent round the space


vessel.
The temperature was kept up
for several hours, till the thermometer in the receiver became stationary, before
The ratio of the upper temperature (185" F.)
the disks were set in motion.
to the lower (51"), measured from 461"F., was
rature

was

raised

to

185"

Fahr.

between the glass receiver and the tin

1-2605.

OF AIR AND OTHER GASES.

The

11

upper temperature to that at the lower was

ratio of the viscosity at the

1-2624,

which shews that the viscosity

The

nearly.

simplicity

us in concluding that

proportional to the absolute temperature very

is

the other

of

the viscosity

is

known laws
really

relating

proportional

to

to

gases

the

warrants

temperature,

measured from the absolute zero of the air-thermometer.


These relations between the viscosity of

air

and

pressure and temperature

its

the results deduced


by Mr. Graham from experiments on the transpiration of gases through tubes

more to be depended

the

are

on,

since

they agree with

diameter.
The constancy of the viscosity for all changes of density
when the temperature is constant is a result of the Dynamical Theory of
Gases*, whatever hypothesis we adopt as to the mode of action between the
The relation between viscosity
molecules when they come near one another.
and temperature, however, requires us to make a particular assumption with
of small

respect to the force acting between the molecules.

If the molecules act on one

another only at a determinate distance by a kind of impact, the viscosity will


be as the square root of the absolute temperature.
not the actual law.
shew, the viscosity

as the experiments of

If,

is

as

the

the dynamical theory, which


that

the force

first

between two molecules

to give any explanation

is

certainly

those of this paper

power of the absolute temperature, then

framed to explain the

is

power of the distance between them.


profess

This, however,

Graham and

of the

is

proportional

The present

facts,

inversely

paper,

in

we must assume
to

the

fifth

however, does

cause of the viscosity of

air,

not

but only

to determine its value in different cases.

Experiments were made on a few other gases besides dry air.


Damp air, over water at 70" F. and 4 inches pressure, was found by the

mean

of three

air at

the same temperature..

experiments to be about one-sixtieth part

Dry hydrogen was found


its viscosity

A
large

small

proportion of

increase

of viscosity,

ratio

of the

'5

less

viscous

than

viscous than dry

air,

the

ratio

viscosity

-J^

of that of

air.

of dry carbonic acid to that of air was found

to be -859.
" Illustrations of the

of

15 6.

air mixed with hydrogen was found to produce a


and a mijxture of equal parts of air and hydrogen

has a viscosity nearly equal to

The

be much

to

to that of air being

less

Dynamical Theory of Gases," Philosophical Magazine, Jan. 1860.

22

ON THE VISCOSITY OR INTERNAL FRICTION

12

from the experiments

It appears

transpiration time

acid to air
I

of

air

the

that

*4855,

is

of

ratio

and that

the

carbonic

of

These numbers are both smaller than those of this paper.

"807.

think that

Mr. Graham

of

hydrogen to that of

the

from

discrepancy arises

the

being

gases

less

pure

in

experiments than in those of Graham, owing to the difficulty of preventing

my
air

from leaking into the receiver during the preparation, desiccation, and admission
the gas,

of

which always occupied at

an

least

hour

and

half

before

the

experiment on the moving disks could be begun.


It

appears to

transpiration

of

me

that for comparative estimates of viscosity, the method

the

is

best,

although

method here

the

adapted to determine the absolute value of the


the objection that in fine capillary tubes the

described

viscosity,

and

influence

of

is

molecular

between the gas and the surface of the tube may possibly have some

The actual value of the coefficient of


as determined by these experiments, is

62" F.

/u,

better
to

action

effect.

viscosity in inch-grain-second measure,

00001492(461' +

At

is

less liable

^).

= -007802.

Professor Stokes has deduced from the experiments of Baily on pendulums


^^ = 116,

Vp

which at ordinary pressures and temperatures gives


/A

or not

much more than

any means of explaining

half the

= -00417,

value as here determined.

have not found

this difference.

In metrical units and Centigrade degrees

^ = 01878(1 + -00365^).
M. 0. E. Meyer gives

as

the

value

of

/x

in

centimetres,

seconds, at 18' C.,

000360.
This,

when reduced

to metre-gramme-second measure, is
/x

make

/x,

at 18'

C,

= -0360.

=-0200.

grammes, and

OF AIR AND OTHER OASES.

Hence the value given by Meyer

1*8

is

13

than

times greater

adopted

that

in

this paper.

M. Meyer, however, has a

different

method of taking account of the

dis-

turbance of the air near the edge of the disk from that given in this paper.

He
of

when the

supposes that

proportional

supposition.

this

of the

disk

oscillating

be shewn that there will be a


disk due

a large extent of

in

even

if

the

think therefore that the difference between M.

be accounted

for,

at

least

the edge of the disk.


in

so

air,

in

The

part,

effect

disk

solution

can easily

it

by

his

disk were

infinitely

thin.

having under-estimated the

much

less in

is

to

effect of

water than

which are given

in

M. Meyer's very valuable

oscillates

disks,

the

in

its

own

amplitude

the

paper.

Experiment.

plane about a vertical axis between two fixed


of

oscillation

diminishing

in

geometrical

pro-

what part of the retardation is due to the viscosity of the


between it and the fixed disks.
That part of the surface of the disk which is not near the edge may be

gression,
air

but

fluid,

Meyer's result and mine

of the edge will be

Mathematical Theory of

is

that any deficiency in the correction will have less influence on the

results for liquids

horizontal

edge

Journal a vindication

increase of friction near the edge of the

finite

the want of continuity,

to

in Crelle's

have not been able to obtain a mathematical

of a disk

case

very thin the effect due to the

is

and he has given

to the thickness,

to

find

treated as part of an

infinite

disk,

and we may assume that

stratum of the fluid oscillates as a whole.

In

fact,

if

the

each

motion

horizontal

of

every

part of each stratum can be accounted for by the actions of the strata above

and below

it, there will be no mutual action between the parts of the stratum,
and therefore no relative motion between its parts.
Let 6 be the angle which defines the angular position of the stratum which

is

at

the distance y from the fixed disk, and let r be the distance of a point

of that stratum from the axis, then its velocity will be r


force

on

its

-i-

and the tangential

lower surfex^e arising from viscosity will be on unit of surface

-^'d^t=^

(')

ON THE VISCOSITY OR INTERNAL FRICTION

14

The tangential

on the upper surface

force

be

will

and the mass of the stratum per unit of surface


of motion of each stratum

is

pdy, so that the equation

is

d'O

d'd

Pde^-^mi
which

is

The
y=

independent of

r,

shewing that the stratum moves as a whole.

be satisfied are, that

conditions to

(2)'

when y = 0, ^ =

and that when

e=Ce-''co3{nt + a)

h,

(3).

The disk is suspended by a wire whose elasticity of torsion is such that


the moment of torsion due to a torsion 6 is Icj'^O, where / is the moment
The viscosity of the wire is such that an angular
of inertia of the disks.
velocity

disks

-j-

is

resisted

by a moment 2lk

-r-.

The equation of motion

then

is

w-

^(f-^^f-'f^-^Swhere

of the

A = j27rr'dr = ^7rr*,

number of

the

moment

of inertia of each surface,

surfaces exposed to friction of

The equation

for the

motion of the

air

$ = e"" {e^ cos {nt + qy)

may be

by the

is

the

and

q^-f =
the conditions (3) and

solution
(5),

2pq =

fulfil

satisfied

- e~^ cos {nt - qy)}

provided

and in order to

and iV

air.

(6),

P-

(7);

(4),

2ln{l-k)(e^ + e-'^-2cos2qh) = NAfi{{pn-lq)(^-e-'^) + (qn + lp)2Bm2qb}...{8).

Expanding the exponential and


2lh(l

circular functions,

we

find

-k)= NAii{l -icl + ic\n^ - 3?) + ^^^{nH - 1^) + ^\^n* + ^'nH^ - ^l')} (9),

where
Z

= 46>-

= observed

Napierian logarithmic

decrement

of

the

amplitude in unit of

time,
A;

= the

part of the decrement due t^ the viscosity of the wire.

OF AIR AND OTHER GASES.

When
are

the

slow as in these experiments,

are

oscillations

near one another, and

when the

density

small

is

the series on the right-hand side of the equation

When

15

is

and the

when the

disks

viscosity

large,

rapidly convergent.

the time from rest to rest was thirty-six seconds, and the interval

between the disks


terms of the series

then

inch,

for

29*9

of pressure

air

inches, the successive

were

+0-24866

l-0-0'00508

+0-00072

+0-00386 = 1-24816;

but when the pressure was reduced to 1*44 inch, the series became

- 0-0002448

1-0

the

made convergent by diminishing the

The

series

disks.

When the distance was -1847 inch, the first


When the pressure was 29*29, the series was
1- -000858 +-000278 = 1- -00058.

sensible.

is

also

The

motion

of

the

where the upper disk

air

is

disks,

will

3,

5,

small,

when

6.

or

if

disks

is

two disks

the

is

between

represented in
oscillates.

fig.

8,

row

at rest form a straight line perpendicular to the

motion assume in succession the forms of the curves

the ratio of the density to the viscosity of the air

If

the time of oscillation

very great, or

is

if

is

1,

2,

very

the interval between

very small, these curves approach more and more nearly to the

form of straight

The

in

between

supposed fixed and the lower one

when

of particles of air which

4,

distance

two terms only were

smaller pressures the series became sensibly =1.

At

the

+ -00000008 + '00000002 = 1-0003321.

-0005768

lines.

chief mathematical difficulty

in

treating the

case of the

moving disks

from the necessity of determining the motion of the air in the neighbourhood of the edge of the disk. If the disk were accompanied in its motion

arises

by an

indefinite

indefinite

ring surrounding

plane

the motion

surface,

the

of

extent; but

if

air

would

it

be

and forming a continuation of


the same as if the disk were

actual

on

effect

the

parts

of the air

of

the ring were removed, the motion of the air in the

neighbourhood of the edge would be diminished, and therefore the


viscosity

its

of

the

near the edge would

disk

on the disk

may

effect of its

be increased.

The

be considered equal to that on a disk

of greater radius forming part of an infinite plane.

Since the correction


diately

we have

to

consider

surrounding the edge of the disk,

is

we may

confined to

the space imme-

treat the edge as

if it

were

ON THE VISCOSITY OR INTERNAL FRICTION

16

the straight edge of an infinite plane parallel to


of

between two planes

in

infinite

the velocity of the fluid in the direction of

dw

xz,

oscillating in the direction

every direction at distance

Id^w

d^w\

i'lt=i'[T^ + df)

y=h

w;=(rwhen

and

w = Ccos nt when = 0,

and x

is

positive.

is

...

have not succeeded in finding the solution of the equation as

but in the actual experiments the time of oscillation


the

disks

that

we may

d?w

d^w

small,

so

is

(11),

3/

between

be

is*

(!)'

with the conditions

Let

h.

then the equation of motion

z,

so long,

is

neglect

(1 2).

it

stands,

and the space

and the equation

reduced to
^

,,^.

o
5S + d7- =

For the method of treating these conditions I

with the same conditions.


indebted
these

conditions

set

when y = 0, and x is greater than +1, and w= I


In this case we know that the lines of equal values

w=l
1

having their

hyperbolas,

are

the solution of the equation

loci

at the points y

= 0, x= 1, and

If

then

r^

are the distances fi:om the

we put

the

lines

</

for

which

that

is

w^-sin-'"^'
where r

am

who has shewn me how to transform


with which we are more familiar, namely,

Thomson,

another

into

w = when x = 0, and
when X is less than
of

W.

Professor

to

(13)

<f>

(14)

foci.

= - log y(r, + r,Y - 4 + r, + r,}


is

constant

will

be

ellipses

(15),

orthogonal to the

hyperbolas, and

^Mh-'
and the resultant of the
* Professor Stokes "
Phil.

Tram. VoL

viii.

On

friction

^''^'

on any arc of a curve will be proportional

the Theories of the Internal Friction of Fluids in Motion,

(fee,"

Cambridge

OF AIR AND OTHER GASES.


to

where

(f>,-<f)^,

value

the

is

(/>

of

at

(ft

17

beginning, and

the

the end

at

<^,

of the given arc.

In the plane y =

fk

18

= -\og

whole

that the

so

2,

when x

0,

very

is

great,

between

friction

= -log4a:, and when

<^

x=l

x='[,

and a very distant point

2,

-log2x.
TT

Now

let

and

be expressed

<^

When 0=-, w = 0.
= 11 and

r greater than

Now

x\ y

let

w=

and r greater than

let

and

and

(13)

y=0

and

= -hQ and

x'

x'

is

friction

will

be

still

true;

(17).

x' and y
and when y

the differential equa-

w = 0,

h,

great,

= j-+-logi, and when

<f)

x'

= 0,

(f>

= -\og2,

on the surface

the same aa

to the surface at

The

curves

+ ^g2

(18),

a portion whose breadth

if

its

edge.

of

equal

velocity

are

represented

They
totes

/,

W, X, Y, arranged

The curves of equal

so that the

is

pass round the edge of the moving disk


F,

and when

TT

2h
is

When

w = l.

|'

which

iv=l.

TT

TT

whole

1,

= -61ogr

be expressed in terms of

(16)

positive,

x'

When

(j)

be stated thus

I.

IT

tions

may

be rectangular co-ordinates, and let


y'

and

the polar co-ordinates

6,

then the conditions

^=

When

1,

terms of r and

in

with respect to the origin as the pole

friction

is

in

log, 2

fig.

AB, and have

had been added

at

u, v, w, x, y.

a set of asymp-

at equal distances parallel to the disks.

are

of these curves approximates to that

represented at

o,

of straight lines

p, q,
as

r,

we

s,

t.

pass

The form
to

the

of the edge of the disk.


VOL.

II.

left

ON THE VISCOSITY OR INTERNAL FRICTION

18

The dotted
of the

0, P, Q, R, S,

straight lines

vertical

corresponding lines of equal friction

panied by an extension of

its

the disk

if

represent the position

AB

had been accom-

The

surface in the direction of B.

or on any of the curves u,

w,

total friction

that on a surface

equal to

on AB,
extending to the point C, on the supposition that the moving surface has an
accompanying surface which completes the infinite plane.

In

the

the moving disk

case

actual

v,

of a certain thickness terminated

by a

&c.,

is

is

not a mere surface, but a plate

rounded edge.

slightly

therefore be compared to the curve uu" rather than to the axis

The

on the curve

friction

total

is

still

AB.

thickness of

the

If

disks

the

= 26,

disk

is

2/3,

AB.

equal to that on a straight line

extending to C, but the velocity corresponding to the curve


corresponding to the line

may

Its section

is

less

than that

and the distance between the fixed

so that the distance of the surfaces

is

6- A

the breadth of the strip

which must be supposed to be added to the surface at the edge will be


,

= 5log.lo{log2+log..sm^^i|=^}*

In calculating the moment of Section on this

strip,

(19).

we must suppose

be at the same distance from the axis as the actual edge of the disk.
of

^ = -r* m

of h

equation

we must put

It

of

therefore

put A=^'r^ + 2'irr*a, and instead

of z

r* for

in inches

each surface in inches = 1112*8.

and grains was 175337.

was determined by comparing the times of

disks without the


of the

we must

6-/8.

The actual value


The value

(9),

it to

Instead

little

tube and weights

oscillation of

the axis and

magnet, with the times of the brass ring


(fig.

7).

Four

difierent suspension wires

(fig.

4)

and

were used in

these experiments.

The

following Table gives the numbers required for the calculation of each

of the five arrangements of the disks.


This result
disk between

two

is

applicable to the calculation of the electrical capacity of a condenser in the form of a

larger disks at equal distance

from

it.

OF AIR AND OTHER GABES.

Arrangement

19

ON THE VISCOSITY OR INTERNAL FRICTION

20

6,

The values

of

for the five

that

it

is

easy to eliminate

12, so

that the value of

believe

when steam was


duced two values

cases are roughly in the proportions of

and

and K^,

of K, K^

/x^.

had

1,

2,

4,

reason, however, to

was altered at a certain stage of the experiments

used to heat the

first

find

air

in the receiver.

therefore intro-

the experiments before and after this

into

The values of K^ and K^ deduced from these experiments

change respectively.
were

In ten single vibrations.

^1 = -01568

Z,= -01901.
The value of
is

in

/x

inch-grain-second measure at temperature

Fahrenheit

6P

for air
fi

The value

of

was then calculated

way

(461"+^).

for

each experiment and compared with

mean square of a single experiThe probable error of fi, as determined from the equations,
from this and found to be 0-36 per cent, of its value.
In this

the observed value.

ment was

= -00001492

the error of

found.

was calculated

In order to estimate the value of the evidence in favour of there being a


finite

amount of

the value of

slipping between

for

the disks and the air in contact with them,

each of the forty experiments was found on the

supposition

that

^ = 0027
The

error

of

inch and

mean square

for

/x

= (-000015419)

(461-!-^).

each observation was found to

greater than in the former case; the probable error of

that of
I

fi

= l*6

be

40 per

slightly

cent.,

and

per cent.

have no doubt that the true value of

slipping,

^ was

and that the

original value of

yx

is

/8

is

zero,

that

is,

there

is

no

the best.

As the actual observations were very numerous, and the reduction of them
would occupy a considerable space in this paper, I have given a specimen of
the actual working of one experiment.
Table
observation,

I.

shews the readings of the scale as taken down at the time of


with the times of transit of the middle point of the scale after

OF AIR AND OTHER GASES.


the

21

and sixth readings, with the sum of ten successive ampHtudes deduced

fifth

therefrom.

Table

shews the results of this operation as extended to the rest of

II.

experiment 62, and gives the logarithmic decrement


of ten semivibrations, with the

for

each successive period

mean time and corresponding mean

logarithmic

decrement.

shews the method of combining forty experiments of


The observed decrement depends on two unknown quantities, the

Table III.
kinds.

different

viscosity

of air and that of the wire.

The experiments

and

are grouped

together

according

when the

that enter into them, and

the decrements are calculated and

The

calculated

the

to

results

final

compared with the


sums of the decrements are given in the

coefficients

results
last

ment.
it

as

They

LU

fifth

the value of x in the

column.

fifth

arrange-

and

air,

are as independent of the pressure

the calculated values, in which the pressure

calculating

observation.

of

arranged in groups according to the pressure of the

will be seen that the observed values of

fi

column.

Table IV. shews the results of the twelve experiments with the
are

of

have been obtained,

taken into account only in

is

By

arranging

the

values

of

was found that within the range of atmospheric temperature during the course of the experiments the relation between
the viscosity of air and its temperature does not perceptibly differ from that
in

assumed

order of temperature,

in

the calculation.

it

Finally, the experiments were arranged in order of

time, to determine whether the viscosity of the wire increased during the experi-

ments, as

it

did

when steam was

first

used to heat the apparatus.

There did

not appear any decided indication of any alteration in the wire.


Table V. gives the resultant value of

which are employed

Note,

in scientific

added February

experiments, I

made use

6,

fi

in

terms of the different

unit

measurements.

1866.

In

the calculation

of an erroneous value of the

of the results

moment

of

the

of inertia of the

and axi8 = l"012 of the true value, as determined by six series of experiThe
ments with four suspension wires and two kinds of auxiliary weights.

disks

ON THE VISCOSITY OR INTERNAL FRICTION

22

numbers

the coefficients of

in

the value of

/x

is

in

Table IV.

also too large in the

are

therefore all too large, and

same proportion, and should be

^ = 00001492(461' + ^).
The same

error

ran through

all

the absolute values in other parts of the

paper as sent in to the Royal Society, but to save trouble to the

reader

have corrected them where they occur.

Table

I.

Experiment

62.

Arrangement

Temperature 68" F.

Greater
scale reading

5.

May

Dry
9,

air at pressure 0*55 inch.

1865.

OF AIR

AND OTHER

Table
Equations from which

Number

of

experiments

/x

for air

23

GASES.

III.

was determined

'A6V + e

ON THE VISCOSITY OR INTERNAL FRICTION

24

Table V.
Coefficient

of viscosity in dry

air.

Results.
Units the

and second, and

inch, grain,

Fahrenheit temperature,
/I

At

60" F.

the

= -00001492 (461 + 0) = "006876 + "0000149^.


mean temperature

the foot as unit instead of


(metre,

/x

experiments,

= '000179

(461

^ = -007763.

+ ^).

Taking

In metrical units

gramme, second, and Centigrade temperature),


/x

The

coefficient

= -01878(1 + -00365^).

of viscosity of other gases

to be found from that of air

is

by the ratio of the transpiration time of the gas to that of


determined by Graham*.

by multiplying
air as

of the

the inch,

/x

Postscript.

Received December

7,

1865.

Since the above paper was communicated to the Royal

my

Stokes has directed

Society, Professor

attention to a more recent memoir of M. 0. E. Meyer,

"Ueber die innere Reibung der Case," in Poggendorff's Annalen, cxxv. (1865).
M. Meyer has compared the values of the coefficient of viscosity deduced from
the experiments of Baily by Stokes, with those deduced from the experiments
These values are -000104, -000275, and -000384
of Bessel and of Girault.
respectively, the units being the centimetre, the gramme, and the second.
M. Meyer's own experiments were made by swinging three disks on a vertical
The disks were sometimes placed in contact, and
axis in an air-tight vessel.
sometimes separate, so as to expose either two or six surfaces to the action

The diflference of the logarithmic decrement of oscillation


air.
two arrangements was employed to determine the viscosity of the air.

of the

The

effects

of

the resistance of the air on the axis, mirror,

&c.,

in these

and of

the viscosity of the suspending wires are thus eliminated.

The
so

far

calculations

are

made on the

supposition that the

from each other and from the surface

them, that the

effect

of

the air upon each

of
is

the

moving disks are


which contains
if it were in an

receiver

the same as

infinite space.

At the

distance of 30 millims.,

seconds, the mutual effect of the

and with a period of oscillation of fourteen


would be very small in air at the

disks

* Philosophical Transactions, 1849.

\'i)L.

//

riATi: IX

F^-^lffil

VOL.

Kg.

9.

II.

PLATE

IX.

OF AIR AND OTHER GASES.


In November 1863

ordinary pressure.

arrangement

M.

of

three

disks

brass

except that

Meyer's experiments,

made a

placed
I

on

25
of experiments with an

series

axis

vertical

had then

no

air-tight

exactly

as

in

and

apparatus,

the disks were protected from currents of air by a wooden box only.
I attempted to determine the viscosity of air by means of the observed
I obtained the values
mutual action between the disks at various distances.
of this mutual action for distances under 2 inches, but I found that the results

were so much involved with the unknown motion of the air near the edge of
no dependence on the results unless I had a

the disks, that I could place

complete mathematical theory of the motion near the edge.

In M. Meyer's experiments the time of vibration

effect,

but in rarefied

much

are

of the

disks

is

This,

both the mutual action and the

air

In his calcidations, however, the

increased.

rated.
for

shorter than in most

is

This will diminish the effect of the edge in comparison with the total

of mine.

effect

of the

edge

of the three edges

effect

supposed to be the same, whether they are in contact or sepathink,

account for the large value which he has obtained

will

the viscosity, and for the fact that with the brass disks which vibrate in

14 seconds, he finds the apparent viscosity diminish as the pressure diminishes,


while with the

disks which vibrate in 8 seconds

gla.ss

it

first

increases

and then

diminishes.

M. Meyer concludes that the viscosity varies much less than the pressure,
and that it increases sHghtly with increase of temperature. He finds the value
of

fi

in metrical units (centimetre-gramme-second) at various temperatures,


Temperatare.

my

Viscosity.

8'-3 C.

-000333

2r-5 C.

-000323

34'-4 C.

-000366

experiments,

in

which fixed disks are

ones, the calculation

is

not involved in so great

In

is

interposed
difficulties

between
;

the

moving

and the value of

/x

deduced directly from the observations, whereas the experiments of ML Meyer

give only the value of


reasons

prefer the

-Jfjip,

results

from which

must be determined.

For

these

deduced from experiments with fixed disks

inter-

/x

posed between the moving ones.

M. Meyer has
gases, founded

also

given a mathematical theory of the internal friction of

on the dynamical theory of gases.

this part of his paper, as I

VOL.

II.

shall

not say anything of

wish to confine myself to the results of experiment.


4

[From the Philosophical Transactions, Vol.

XXVIII.

Chi

(Received

the

clvii.]

Dynamical Theory of Gases.

May 16, Read May

31, 1866.)

Theories of the constitution of bodies suppose them either to be continuous


and homogeneous, or to be composed of a finite number of distinct particles or
molecules.

In certain applications of mathematics to physical questions,


to suppose bodies
differential

homogeneous

in order to

make the quantity

element a function of the co-ordinates, but I

theory of this kind has been proposed to account


of bodies.

may

for

am

it is

convenient

of matter in each

not aware that any

the different properties

Indeed the properties of a body supposed to be a uniform plenum

be affirmed dogmatically, but cannot be explained mathematically.


Molecular theories suppose that all bodies, even when they appear to our

senses

homogeneous, consist

of

multitude

of

particles,

or

small

parts

mechanical relations of which constitute the properties of the bodies.

which suppose that the molecules are at rest

theories

be called

statical

even while

motion,

and

theories,

the

body

which

those

is

relative to the

the

suppose

apparently at

rest,

may

the

Those

body may

molecules to be in

be

called

dynamical

theories.

If
rest

in

we adopt a

statical theory,

their positions

of the lines joining their


of a
is

body

and suppose the molecules of a body kept at

of equilibrium
centres,

by the action of

forces in

the directions

we may determine the mechanical

properties

so constructed, if distorted so that the displacement of each molecule

a function of

matical theory
small change

its

co-ordinates

of

bodies

of form

of

when

this

in equilibrium.

kind,

It appears from the mathe-

that the forces called

must always bear a fixed proportion

a small chanofe of volume.

into

play by a

to those excited

by

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.

Now we know
that of volume

that in

the

fluids

elasticity

Hence such

considerable.

is

form

of

theories

while

evanescent,

is

not apply to

will

many

In solid bodies the elasticity of form appears in

27

cases

fluids.

be smaller in

to

volume than the theory gives*, so that we are forced


to give up the theory of molecules whose displacements are functions of their
proportion to

that of

when

co-ordinates

at rest, even in the case of solid bodies.

The theory of moving molecules, on the other hand, is not open to these
objections.
The mathematical difficulties in applying the theory are considerable,
and till they are surmounted we cannot fully decide on the appHcability of the

We

theory.

are able, however, to explain a great variety of

phenomena by the

dynamical theory which have not been hitherto explained otherwise.

The dynamical theory supposes that the molecules of


about their positions of equilibrium, but do not travel
another in the body.

moving

into

new

be always under the

action

to

constantly

In liquids the molecules are supposed

the

of

position

be

same molecule may travel from

relative positions, so that the

throughout their course, but in gases


molecule

bodies oscillate

one

In fluids the molecules are supposed to

one part of the fluid to any other part.


to

solid

from

forces

the

due

greater

neighbouring

to

part

molecules

path

the

of

of

each

supposed to be sensibly rectilinear and beyond the sphere of sensible

is

action of the neighbouring molecules.

propose in this paper to apply this theory to the explanation of various

of

properties
pressure,

gases,

density,

explanation of the
its

and to shew

and

that,

temperature

known chemical

equivalent weight,

commonly

in

accounting for the relations of

besides

single

relation

called the

gas,

it

affords

mechanical

between the density of a gas and

Law

of Equivalent Volumes.

It also

explains the diff'usion of one gas through another, the internal friction of a gas,

and the conduction of heat through

The opinion that the observed


are

due to the action of

Lucretius.

gases.

properties of visible bodies apparently at rest

invisible molecules in rapid

motion

modified by Epicurus, he describes the invisible atoms as

with

is

to be found in

In the exposition which he gives of the theories of Democritus as

equal

imperceptible

velocities,

which,

at

quite

uncertain

times

change, just enough to allow of occasional

all

moving downwards

and

places,

collisions

suffer

an

taking place

* In glass, according to Dr Everett's second series of experiments (1866), the i-atio of the elasticity of
form to that of volume is greater than that given by the theory.
In brass and steel it is less.

March

7,

1867.

42

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.

28

between the atoms.

These atoms he supposes to set small bodies in motion by

may form some

an action of which we

The language

a sunbeam.

conception by looking at the motes in


must of course be interpreted according
but we need not wonder that it suggested

of Lucretius

to

the physical ideas of his age,

to

Le Sage the fundamental conception

of his theory

as well

of gases,

as

his

doctrine of ultramundane corpuscles.

Professor

Clausius,

whom we owe

to

the most extensive

the dynamical theory of gases, has given* a


or

list

of authors

given countenance to any theory of invisible particles in

developments of

who have adopted


motion.
Of these,

Daniel Bernoulli, in the tenth section of his Hydrodynamics, distinctly explains


the pressure of air by the impact of
containing

Clausius also mentions a book entitled


publics par Pierre Prevost,

du

Geneve

second,

explains gravity
corpuscles

which

in

also

their

et

is

comme

Paris,

Deux

Traites de Physique MScanique,

comme Auteur
by G. Le Sage, who

simple Editeur du premier et

The

1818.

first

memoir

is

by the impact of "ultramundane corpuscles" on bodies. These


in motion the particles of light and various ethereal media,
turn act on the molecules of gases and keep up their motions.

set

His theory of impact


gases

on the sides of the vessel

particles

its

it.

essentially

is

but his explanation of the expansive force of

faulty,

the same as

in

the

theory as

dynamical

it

now

stands.

The second memoir, by Prevost, contains new applications of the principles of


Le Sage to gases and to light. A more extensive application of the theory of
His theory of the collisions of
moving molecules was made by Herapathf.
perfectly

hard

inasmuch as

it

bodies,

such

makes the

he

as

result

supposes

the

molecules

the bodies, so that by experiments on such hard bodies

we might determine the


earth
of

direction

be,

is

faulty,

we

(if

could get them)

and velocity of the motion of the

This author, however, has applied his theory to the numerical results

experiment

often

of

J.

absolute

to

depend on the absolute motion of

of impact

in

throw much

many

cases,

real light

and

his

speculations are

on the questions treated.

always ingenious, and

In particular, the theory

temperature and pressure in gases and the theory of diffusion are

clearly

pointed out.
Poggendorffs Anncdm, Jan. 1862.

Translated hj G. C. Foster, B.A,, Phil. Mag. June, 1862,

t MatheTnatical Physics, kc., by John Herapath, Esq.


Herapath's Railway Journal Office, 1847.
% Mathematical Physics,

(fee, p.

134.

2 vols.

London

Whittaker and

Co.,

and

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.

Dr Joule*
molecules,

29

has also explained the pressure of gases by the impact of their

the velocity which they must have in order to

and has calculated

produce the pressure observed in particular gases.


It

Professor

to

is

Clauslus,

of heat are well known,

of

we owe

that

Zurich,

most

the

complete

His other researches on the general dynamical theory

dynamical theory of gases.

and

his

memoirs On

the hind

of Motion which we

call

Heat, are a complete exposition of the molecular theory adopted in this paper.
After

reading

his

between successive

of

the

described

distance

by each molecule

some propositions J on the motions and

I published

of perfectly elastic spheres,

collisions

especially the
also

investigation -fcollisions,

and deduced

several

of

properties

law of equivalent volumes, and the nature of gaseous

gases,

friction.

gave a theory of diffusion of gases, which I now know to be erroneous,

and there were several

errors in

my

theory of the conduction of heat in gases

which M. Clausius has pointed out in an elaborate memoir on that subject

M. 0. E. Meyer" has

also

investigated

the

theory of internal friction on

the hypothesis of hard elastic molecules.

In the present paper I


as

elastic

propose

spheres of definite radius,

to

consider the molecules

of

a gas, not

but as small bodies or groups of smaller

molecules repelling one another with a force whose direction always passes very
nearly through the centres of gravity of the molecules,
is

and whose magnitude

represented very nearly by some function of the distance of the centres of

gravity.
results

of

have made this modification of the theory in consequence of the

my

experiments on the viscosity of

I have deduced from these


fifth

air at different temperatures,

experiments that the repulsion

is

and

inversely as the

power of the distance.


If

number

we suppose an imaginary plane drawn through a vessel containing a


of such molecules in motion, then a great many molecules will

the plane in either direction.

cross

The excess of the mass of those which traverse

the plane in the positive direction over that of those which traverse
negative direction, gives a measure of

the flow of gas through

it

* Some Remarks on Heat and

the Constitution of Elastic Fluids, Oct. 3, 1848.


t Phil. Mag. Feb. 1859.
" Illustrations of the Dynamical Theory of Gases," Phil. Mag. 1860, January and July.
X

Poggendorff, Jan. 1862; Phil. Mag. June, 1862.

II

"Ueber

Reibung der Gase"

(Poggendorflf, Vol. cxxv. 1865).

in the

the plane in

the positive direction.

die innere

great

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.

30
If the plane be

made

move with such a

to

of flow of molecules in one direction through


is

the

mean

There

velocity that there

it,

is

no excess

then the velocity of the plane

velocity of the gas resolved normal to the plane.

will

still

be molecules moving in both directions through the plane,

and carrying with them a certain amount of momentum into the portion of
gas which

lies

on the other side of the plane.

The quantity of momentum thus communicated


of the plane during a unit of time

side

by the

this gas

If the

This force

rest.

is

the

other

called the pressure of the gas.

of the molecules

velocities

the gas on

to

a measure of the force exerted on

is

moving

in different directions

were inde-

pendent of one another, then the pressure at any point of the gas need not
be the same in

all

and the pressure between two portions

directions,

need

separated by a plane

not

be

perpendicular

account for the observed equality of pressure in

that

to

gas

we must suppose

directions,

all

of

Hence, to

plane.

some cause equalizing the motion in all directions. This we find in the deflection
of the path of one particle by another when they come near one another.
Since,

however, this equalization of motion

in

directions

all

when the gas


pressures

rise

to

phenomena

the
in

all

strain

of

viscosity

thesis, as follows

A
F

distortion or

be written

kind of

F=ES,

strain.

may

of

equality in

perfect

or

viscosity

internal

friction.

the

The

be described, independently of hypo-

where

some kind, which we may

The

thus excited.

is

bodies

of

the body by displacement.


call

not instantaneous, the pressures

a state of motion, the want

in

is

gives

phenomena of

is

are perfectly equalized only in the case of a gas at rest, but

state
relation

is

of

stress

or

call

elastic

between the

stress

produced in

S, is

force

which we

and the

strain

may
may

the coefficient of elasticity for that particular

In a solid body free from viscosity,

will

remain

= ^>S, and

dF^-p^dS
'

dt
If,

however, the body

is

viscous,

dt

wUl not remain constant, but will tend to


of F, and on the nature of the

disappear at a rate depending on the value

body.

If

we suppose

this rate proportional to F, the equation

dF_j^dS_F
dt

dt

T'

may

be written

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF OASES.


which

indicate

will

the actual

phenomena

81

an empirical

in

For

manner.

if

*S'

be constant,

F=ESe'K
shewing that

gradually disappears,

gradually loses any internal stress,

that

so

if

the body

and the pressures are

is

to

left

finally

itself

it

distributed as

in a fluid at rest.

If

is

-J
at

constant, that

is,

if

there

a steady motion of the body which

is

continually increases the displacement,

shewing that

The quantity FT,

ment.

to get the force,

of a

tends to a constant value depending on the rate of

may

T may

F, and a time

of the elastic force.

of a second, and

is

In mobile

T may

the product

is

which may be called the ''time

T,

fluids

is

a very small fraction

not easily determined experimentally.

be several hours or days, and then

that in some bodies

It

be called the coeflScient of viscosity.

coefficient of elasticity,

of relaxation"

displax^e-

by which the rate of displacement must be multipUed

is

In viscous

easily measured.

It

be a function of F, and this would

is

solids

possible

account

for

the gradual untwisting of wires after being twisted beyond the limit of perfect
increases, the parts of the wire furthest
For if T diminishes as
elasticity.

from the axis will yield more rapidly than the parts near the axis during the
twisting process, and when the twisting force is removed, the wire will at first
there is equilibrium between the stresses in the inner and outer
These stresses will then undergo a gradual relaxation; but since the
actual value of the stress is greater in the outer layers, it will have a more
rapid rate of relaxation, so that the wire will go on gradually untwisting for

untwist

till

portions.

some houra or days, owing to the


itself

stress

longer than that of the outer parts.

on the interior

portions

maintaining

This phenomenon was observed by

in silk fibres, by Kohlrausch in glass fibres, and by myself in steel wires.


In the case of a collection of moving molecules such as we suppose a gas
be
to be, there is also a resistance to change of form, constituting what may
gives
resistance
this
called 'the linear elasticity, or "rigidity" of the gas, but

Weber

way and

diminishes at a rate depending on the amount of the force and on

the nature of the gas.

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.

32

Suppose the molecules to be confined in a rectangular vessel with


elastic

and that they have no action on one another,

sides,

strike one another, or cause

Then

perfectly-

so that they never

each other to deviate from their rectilinear paths.

can easily be shewn that the pressures on the sides of the vessel due

it

to the impacts of the molecules are perfectly independent of each other, so that

the mass of moving molecules will behave, not like a

Now

soHd.

Then

first

fluid,

but like an

elastic

equal in the three directions perpen-

the sides, and let the dimensions a,

dicular to

by small

suppose the pressures at

h,

of the

be altered

vessel

quantities, 8a, 86, Be.

the original pressure in the direction of a was p,

if

or if there

is

8a

86

it will

become

Be

no change of volume,

pa'

^=-2
shewing that in this case there
the coefficient

is

2p.

The

This rigidity, however,


continually deflect each

pressure in
great,

all

but not

a "longitudinal" elasticity of form of which

"Rigidity"

is

therefore =J9.

cannot be directly observed, because the

molecules

other from their rectilinear courses, and so equalize the

directions.
infinite;

is

coefficient of

The rate at which this equalization takes place is


and therefore there remains a certain inequahty of

phenomenon of viscosity.
by experiment that the coefficient of viscosity in a given gas
the density, and proportional to the absolute temperature, so

pressure which constitutes the


I have found
is

independent of

that

if

ET

be the viscosity,

But E=p,
and

is

ETa:^

therefore T, the time of relaxation, varies inversely as the density

independent of the temperature.

Hence the number of

ducing a given deflection which take place in unit of time

is

collisions pro-

independent of

is,
of the velocity of the molecules, and is proportional
If we suppose the molecules
number of molecules in unit of volume.
hard elastic bodies, the number of collisions of a given kind will be proportional
to the velocity, but if we suppose them centres of force, the angle of deflection
will be smaller when the velocity is greater; and if the force is inversely as
the fifth power of the distance, the number of deflections of a given kind will

the temperature, that


to

the

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF


be independent of the velocity.

Hence

GASES.

33

have adopted this law

in

making

my

calculations.

The
to

mutual action of the molecules

of the

effect

the pressure in

all

directions, but,

when molecules

communicate motion from the one kind

the

to

other.

that the final result in the case of hard elastic bodies


ins

viva of a molecule

Now

to be the

due

pressure

the

same

for all the

each molecule

to

is

not only to equalize

is

of different kinds are present,

formerly shewed

to cause the averaore


o

is

kinds of molecules.

different

proportional to

its

vis

hence

viva,

the whole pressure due to a given number of molecules in a given volume will

be the same whatever the mass of

the

different kinds are permitted freely to

When
is

the flow of vis viva from

the temperature

zero,

gases

different

is

said

to

molecules,

the

the

molecules

of

other.

kind of molecules to the other

one

the

be

Hence equal volumes


equal numbers

same.

equal pressures and temperatures

at

provided

communicate motion to each

contain

of
of

molecules.

This result of the dynamical theory affords the explanation of the "law of
equivalent volumes" in gases.

We

that this result

see

shall

of force.

centres

is

true in

the case of

law of the same general character

is

molecules acting as

probably to be found

connecting the temperatures of liquid and solid bodies with the energy possessed

by

although our ignorance

molecules,

their

between the molecules renders

The molecules
of force

by their

the

of

nature

of

the

connexions

to enunciate the precise form of the law.

gas in this theory are those portions of

of a

about as a single body.

velocity.

it difficult

These molecules

may

it

which move

be mere points, or pure centres

endowed with inertia, or the capacity of performing work whOe losing


They may be systems of several such centres of force, bound together
mutual actions, and in this case the different centres may either be

separated, so

form a group of points, or they

to

as

may

be actually coincident,

so as to form one point.


Finally,

if

necessary,

determinate form
the parts
of the

of these

small

second order.

two portions

we may suppose them

to

be

small

solid bodies of a

but in this case we must assume a new set of forces binding


bodies together,

The doctrines that

of matter

and
all

so

introduce a molecular theory

matter

is

extended, and that no

can coincide in the same place,

being deductions from


our experiments with bodies sensible to us, have no application to the theory
of molecules.

VOL. n.

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.

34

The actual energy of a moving body consists of two parts, one due to the
its centre of gravity, and the other due to the motions of its parts
If the body is of invariable form, the motions
relative to the centre of gravity.
motion of

parts

of its
if

relative

the centre of

to

gravity consist entirely of rotation,

may

the parts of the body are not rigidly connected, their motions

but

consist

of oscillations of various kinds, as well as rotation of the whole body.

The mutual interference of the molecules

courses will cause their

their

in

energy of motion to be distributed in a certain ratio between that due to the

motion of the centre of gravity and that due to the rotation, or other internal
motion.
If the molecules are pure centres of force, there can be no energy of
rotation,

and the whole energy

other cases

where
ratio

^ is
^ will

molecule

the whole

is

may be

for

dijBferent

with

another

molecule,

but

it

The value

specific heats of

is

can be determined

investigation which

determine the mean

to

if

we know

the

mean

(^) the

mean

velocities

The

shall

adopt in the following

paper,

velocity resolved parallel to each of the coordinate axes

values of

functions

of

two dimensions of these component

mean

values of functions of three dimensions of these velocities.

rate of translation of the gas, whether

another gas,

is

given by

(a),

of heat through the gas

is

by

itself,

the pressure of the

normal or tangential to the plane,

the

the

(y)

of

either

values of the following functions of the velocity of

the molecules of a given kind within, an element of volume


(a)

an

been shown

the gas, or the ratio between them.

The method of
all

of

have

will

average value depending on the nature of the molecules, as has

by Clausius.

The

translation.

every molecule, and will be different for the same

every encounter

after

all

represented by ^Mif^,

the ratio of the total energy to the energy of

be

but in

reduced to that of translation;

energy of the molecule

is

given by

given by

(/8),

or

gas on

by

diffusion

through

any plane, whether

and the rate of conduction

(y).

propose to determine the variations of these quantities, due,

1st,

to the

encounters of the molecules with others of the same system or of a different


and 3rd, to the
2nd, to the action of external forces such as gravity
system
;

passage of molecules through the boundary of the element of volume.


I shall then apply these calculations to the determination of the statical
caaes

of

the final

distribution

of

two gases under the action of

gravity,

the

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.


equilibrium

35

temperature between two gases, and the distribution of tempecolumn. These results are independent of the law of force

of

rature in a vertical

between the molecules.

shall

also

consider the

dynamical cases of

and conduction of heat, which involve the law of

viscosity,

diffusion,

between the

force

molecules.

On
Let

ry,,

of

Mutual Action of Two Molecules.


molecules

these

The components of the

4.

be

three directions at right angles

resolved in
^,,

masses

the

the

if,,

Jf,,

each

to

and

let

be

other

their
^,,

velocities

17,,

{,

velocity of the centre of gravity of the

and
two

molecules will be

+ ^A
M, + M,

rnMr+vM.
M, + M,

^,if,

'

The motion of the centre of gravity


action

of

therefore

moving

the molecules,

of

LM. + LM.
M,-^M,

'

not be altered by the

will

whatever nature

that

action

may

mutual

"We

be.

may

take the centre of gravity as the origin of a system of coordinates


parallel

to

itself

with uniform velocity, and consider the alteration of

the motion of each particle with reference to this point as origin.


If

we regard

the molecules as simple centres of force, then each molecule

curve about this centre of gravity,

and the two curves

will

describe a plane

will

be similar to each other and synmietrioal with respect to the line of apses.

If the molecules

move with

sufficient velocity to

carry

them out

of the sphere

of their mutual action, their orbits wiU each have a pair of asymptotes inclined
at an angle

7^

to the line

wlQ be at a distance
distance 6 where

b^

of apses.

from the

The asymptotes of the

centre

of

gravity,

and

those

of 3/,

orbit

of

M^

at

MA = M,b,.
The

distance between

two

parallel asymptotes,

one in each

orbit, will

be

b = b, + h,.
If,

while the two molecules are stiU beyond each other's action,

we draw

a straight line through J/, in the direction of the relative velocity of 3/, to

Mj, and draw from M, a perpendicular to this

line,

the length of this perpen-

52

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.

36
dicular will be

and the plane including

6,

When,

mutual action and

their

after

and the direction of

motion

relative

about the centre of gravity.

will be the plane of the orbits

reached a distance such that there

is

the molecules have

deflection,

no sensible action

between

again

them, each

be moving with the same velocity relative to the centre of gravity that
had before the mutual action, but the direction of this relative velocity will
be turned through an angle 2^ in the plane of the orbit.
The angle ^ is a function of the relative velocity of the molecules and of
b,
the form of the function depending on the nature of the action between
will
it

the molecules.

we suppose the

If

molecules to be bodies, or systems of bodies, capable of

internal vibration,

rotation,

any form of energy other than simple motion of

or

The value of 6 and the final velocities


amount of internal energy in each molecule

translation, these results will be modified.

of the molecules will depend on the


before the encounter,

and on the particular form of that energy at every instant


We have no means of determining such intricate

during the mutual action.

our knowledge of molecules,

the present state of

actions in

content ourselves with the assumption that the value of

so that
is,

we must

on an average,

the same as for pure centres of force, and that the final velocities differ from
the

only by quantities which

initial velocities

although in a great

many

energy of the molecules

which we

We

may now

in each collision be neglected,

by repeated small exchanges,

arrive,

suppose to be that of

shall

may

encounters the energy of translation and the internal

determine the

to

/3

at

a final

ratio,

1.

final velocity of

M^

beyond

after it has passed

the sphere of mutual action between itself and M^.

Let

be the velocity of

31^

relative to M^, then

#i^l^2,

The plane
inclined

the

<^

direction

while

of

is

is

turned

Calling

= ^^ +

it

that containing

find

the value of

^^

after the

^'i,

M!fw, ^^

- ^^)

are

V and b. Let this plane be


and parallel to the axis of x then, since
round an angle 2^ in the plane of the orbit,

plane containing

L-L-

magnitude remains the same, we may

its

encounter.

^'^

the orbit

of

to a

Vi-V2,

the components of

^ '"'^^ "^

Av.-V.Y + {L-LY sin

20cos<l>}

(1).

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.


There

be similar expressions for the components of the

will

of if, in the other coordinate

we know

If

37

the

positions

initial

final

velocity

3/,

we can

directions.

and

of

velocities

and

3f,

determine F, the velocity of M, relative to M^; h the shortest distance between


if, and il/j if they had continued to move with uniform velocity in straight
lines

and

From

<f)

and

problem

angle which

the
h

determines

we can determine

6,

if

plane

the

which

in

we know the law

and

lie.

of force, so that the

solved in the case of two molecules.

is

pass from this case to that of two systems of moving molecules,


suppose that the time during which a molecule is beyond the action
of other molecules is so great compared with the time during which it ia
deflected by that action, that we may neglect both the time and the distance

When we

we

shall

described

by the molecules during the encounter,

compared with the time

as

and the distance described while the molecules are free from disturbing force.
may also neglect those cases in which three or more molecules are within

We

each other's spheres of action at the same instant.

On

the

Mutual Action of Two Systems of Moving

Let the number of molecules of the


the

be

first

kind

in

Molecv.les.

unit of volume

mass of each being J/,. The velocities of these molecules will


Let us select those
different both in magnitude and direction.

the components of whose velocities

f and
,

^1

+ cZ^i

let

will

be very nearly equal and

On

account of

and

77,

+ d-q,

so

molecules

L and
The

^^

+ dt

velocities of these molecules

instant

have

molecules, the

velocities

within

nimiber of mole-

given 'limits

shall consider the

Let

the

y^, and let


C,

and

it

\\aLl

be

that

dN,=f{i,'n,Qdi4^Mr

We

^V,,

parallel.

the mutual actions of the

which at a given

definite,

-q^

be

general

between

the number of these molecules be dN^.

and

cules

lie

in

(^)-

form of this function aftei wards.

number of molecules of the second kind


dN^ of these have velocities between ^; and

+ d^, where
dX,=f(i,r).Z.)deM4L.

in
^,

unit of

+ c?^3,

i^;

volume be

and

t;,

c/t;.^


THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.

38

The

dN^ molecules

of any of the

velocity

system

the dNt molecules of the second


the time

describe a relative

St

is

of the

path Vdt among

Conceive a space bounded by the following surfaces.

surfaces

have the common axis

be drawn
let

and

Vht and radii b

Let two

+ dh.

Let

Vht perpendicular to

vsdll

in

the second

molecules of

the

system.

through the extremities of the line

system relative to

first

and each molecule M^

V,

cylindrical

two

planes
Finally,

it.

and
+ d({> with a plane
two planes be drawn through Vht making angles
V parallel to the axis of x. Then the volume included between the
(f)

(f>

through

will be Vbdbd<f>ht.
one of the molecules M,, then during the time

and the two cylindric surfaces

four planes

If this volume includes

there will be an encounter between


h

M^ and M^,

which b

in

ht

between b and

is

and
+ d(f>.
dN^ molecules similar to M^ and dN^ similar to M, in unit
volume, the whole number of encounters of the given kind between the two

+ db, and

between

(f)

<f)

<f)

Since there are

of

systems will be
Vbdbd<f>BtdN,dN,.

Now

be any property of the molecule M^, such as

let

its velocity in

any other property of the


a known manner by an encounter of the given

given direction, the square or cube of that velocity or

molecule which
kind,
certain

is

so that

number

in

altered

becomes Q' after

the

the time

during

then

encounter,

of the molecules of the first kind have

changed to

Q',

Bt

while

the remainder retain the original value of Q, so that

BQdN, = W-Q) Vbdbd<j>BtdN,dN

^-^^ = {Qf-Q)VbdU^dN,dN,

or

Here

29^^ refers

to the alteration in the

sum

(3).

of the values of

for the

ot

dNi molecules, due to


of the second sort.
alteration

of

dN^ molecules

their encounters of the given kind with the

order to determine the value of

In

Q among

'

all

the molecules of the

first

g^

kind,

the

rate

of

we must perform

the following integrations:


1st,

with respect to

2nd, with

respect

<j>

to

from
b

<;^

to

from 6 =

<^

= 2ir.

to

6=oo.

These

operations will give

39

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.


the results of the

encounters of every kind

between the dN^ and dN, mole-

cules.

3rd,

with respect to

4th,

with respect to

dN
dN

action between the

we

(a)

Let

molecules

shall first determine

making Q some function

Q = ^, and

of
Q'

knowledge of the forms of/i and/,.

Integration with respect to

1st.

Since the

(^^t?,^) c^^/Zr^.c?^,.

ov /^{^,rj^Qd^4vi<iLin general a

These operations require

takes place,

or /

^,

77,

= i\,

is

the

the value of

and

<f).

same
{Q'

in

whatever plane

Q)d<j>'m

several cases,

^.

then

jy.-Qd<f> = j^^{i.-l)^nsin'0
{^)

Let

Q = l' and

Q'

(4).

= e',

^'

+(^-LY-2{i,-^,y}7rsm^2d-]

By

transformation of coordinates

r V.V, - iv,)

'"

d<i>

we may

T^m' H^^'f* -

-'^'f''

(f-''"

+ f'''')} ^" ^">' ^

-3M.($,-l){v,-V,)]
with similar expressions

(5).

derive from this

+ i (^' - ^^=)

for the other quadratic

functions of

i,

t),

(6),

C-

Q = id^,' + + L% and Q' = ei{i7 + v' + i\'); then putting


^.'
1.' + L' = v,\
+ a, = u, a + + ^' = v^\
LL +
and (^,-^,)' + (^.-^0' + (^.-W=^^ ^e find
(y)

Let

'n,'

-n.'

ri.-n.,

^yj\^-Ly^)d<i>=^^^^.sm^e{(L-L)v,^^2UU-v,')]
+

[^^){^^ sin' e -

Stt sin'

29) 2 (f,

- Q ( U-

V^)
(7).

M,

(87rsin'^ + 27rsin'2^)f,F'

+ (^;^J(8^sin'^-2^sin' 2d) 2 {^.-QV^

it

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.

40

These are the principal functions of

we

consider;

function of the velocity

is

We

In

the

Integration with respect

to 6

oo

V,

which we

expressions

and

B,=

have

sin' 20.

We

to

shall

have to

or y, according as the

/8,

to b.

B^ and B^

be functions of

find the

known.

two values of
(8),

b.

only, the form of

we have found

a function
is

nbdbsm'^e

integrate all the expressions with respect to


will

is

under two forms

$ occurs

we can

and B,=

mind that ^

in

the law of force

deal with,

therefore,

If,

iTrhdhsm'd,

only in particular cases, after

which we can determine

^ as a function of b and V.

for certain laws of Force.

Determination of

sive

must bear

determined when

and can only be

only, namely, sin' 6

we can

a,

have next to multiply these expressions by hdb, and to integrate with


to b from h

and

of h

whose changes we

of one, two, or three dimensions.

2nd.

respect

rj,

^,

them by the symbols

indicate

shall

Let us assume that the force between the molecules M^ and M^ is repuland vanes inversely as the nth power of the distance between them, the

value of

the

moving

force

distance unity being K,

at

then

we

find

by the

equation of central orbits,


TT

1-'<

'\
n

J,
where x = -, or the ratio of
time
is

is

therefore

to

the

''''

/.v1 \a,

distance

a numerical quantity

is

of

the

molecules at a given

also a numerical quantity

and

given by the equation

-J. T^^a^^
The

limits of integration are

x Q and x = x', where

(10)

x' is

the least positive

root of the equation

i-^-4:(r=

(")

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.


It

may

evident that 6

is

and A,

will

given, and

which

will

is

known

^''^'

will

7rac?a sin'

be definite numerical quantities which


jBj

and

-B,

2^

(13),

may be

ascertained

may

be found by multiplying A^ and A, by

M,M,

when

to multiply by V, so that the form in


have to be integrated with respect
which
enter into the expressions

dN^ and dN,

It

A,=

47rac?a sin' ^,

Before integrating further

to

and when n

we put
^, =

is

of a and n,

function

'''={^m^r^^

30 that if

a,

be expressed as a function of a only.

^-

Ay^

la

41

will

we have

be

be shewn that

we have

reason from experiments

on the viscosity

In this case V will disappear from the expresof gases to believe that n = 5.
sions of the form (3), and they will be capable of immediate integration with
respect to dN^ and dN,.

If

we assume n = 5 and put

a*

f
= 2 cot' 2(f> and x = Jl- tan' <^ cos

y\iy

|-^ = ^"^'2'^jo7l-sin'<^8in'l,

(14),

Jcoa24F^i^4

where

-Fg^^

is

the complete elliptic function of the

Legendre's Tables.

asymptotes, the distance of the apse, the value of

summation leads to A^ and


VOL.

II.

first

kind and

is

given in

I have computed the following Table of the distance of the


6,

and of the quantities whose

A^.

42

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF

t),
&c., already determined, and f, is the
is some function of ^,
{,
which indicates the distribution of velocity among the molecules of the

where

43

GASES.

function

second kind.

In the case

which n =

in

5,

and

mean value of Q for all the molecules


the number of those molecules.

is

A^, is

not equal to

is

know the form

to

of

so that

5,

the

of

the

however, n

If,

require

result

Q^v

of integration

where

and we may write the

disappears,

second kind,

does not disappear,

the function f, before

we

we should

could proceed further

with the integration.

The

only

case

in

that of one or more

which I have determined the form of

this

function

is

kinds of molecules which have by their continual encoun-

brought about a distribution of velocity such that the number of molecules

ters

whose velocity

lies

In the Philosophical

within given limits remains constant.

I have given an investigation of this case, founded

Magazine

for January 1860,


on the assumption that the probability of a molecule having a velocity resolved

to

parallel

x lying between given

limits

is

way

not in any

knowledge that the molecule has a given velocity resolved


assumption

this

may

appear precarious, I shall

affected

parallel

now determine

to

by the
As

y.

the form of the

function in a different manner.

On

Final Distribution of Velocity among the Molecules of Two Systems acting


on one another according to any Law of Force.

the

From a
direction
either
will

given point

be drawn representing in

velocities

kind in unit of volume.

of

every

The extremities

molecule

of these

be distributed over space in such a way that

ment of volume
lines

let lines

and magnitude the

which

will

dV

OA = a

be

that of a molecule

dV

if

an

ele-

anywhere, the number of such

terminate within

r is the distance o{

Let

be taken

of

lines

dV

will

be f{r)dV,

where

from O.

the velocity of a molecule of the

first

kind,

and

OB = b

of the second kind before they encounter one another, then

62

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.

44

BA

he

will

the

velocity

of

relative

to

B; and

inversely as the masses of the molecules, and join

of the centre of gravity of the

Now

let

OG,

if

we

OG

divide

will

AB

in.

be the velocity

two molecules.

OA' = a' and OR = b' be the velocities of the two molecules after
GA = GA' and GB = GR, and A'GE is a straight Hne not

encounter,

the

the plane of

necessarily in

the relative velocity


molecules

of the

is

is

OAB.

AGA' = 20

Also

is

the angle through which

turned in the encounter in question.

completely defined

we know

if

The

relative

motion

BA the relative velocity


BA is turned during the

2$ the angle through which


and ^ the angle which defines the direction of the plane in which
BA and RA' lie. All encounters in which the magnitude and direction of BA,
and also 9 and <^, lie within certain almost contiguous limits, we shall class
The number of such encounters in unit of
as encounters of the given kind.
the

before

encounter,

encounter,

time will be

n^n^de
where

n,

and

Wj are

(17),

the numbers of molecules of each kind under consideration,


and of the angle 6, and de depends

i^ is a fiinction of the relative velocity

and

on the Umits of variation within which we class encounters as of the same kind.

and

Now let A
A'R move

describe

the boundary of an element of volume

parallel to themselves, then B,

A\ and

will

dV

while

also

AB

describe

equal and similar elements of volume.

The number of molecules


cities of

of the

first

which terminate in the element

kind, the

dV

n,=f,{a)dV
The number
to

OB

will

lines representing the

velo-

at A, will be
(18).

of molecules of the second kind which have velocities corresponding

be

n,=f._{h)dV

and the number of encounters of the

(19);

given kind between these two sets of

molecules will be

f,(a)Mb){dVYFdc

(20).

lines representing the velocities of these molecules after encounters of the


given kind will terminate within elements of volume at A' and R, each equal

The
to

dV.

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.


In

we should

manner

like

the number of

for

find

45

encounters

between

dV

described

molecules whose original velocities corresponded to elements equal to

about A' and B', and whose subsequent velocities correspond to elements equal
to c^F described

where F'

is

about

and B,

MaU(V)(dV)'Fde
RA' and A'GA

the same function of

is

of

is

BA

OB

OAy
OA,

to

the number of pairs of molecules which change their velocities from

OR

OA',

to

OB,

equal

is

then the

to

velocity

of

will

be

the only relation between

whence we obtain

a,

and

This will be the case

when

(23),

= Cy^

(24),

= C,e~^\

f,(b)

M,a' = MJ3"-

where

By

integrating

molecules

is

*'

jjjC^e'
C^.

and equating

didrj dC,

the

therefore,

If,

rf

and

rj

+ drj, and

dN,= ^\e~

This
also

of

distribution

this

velocities

among the molecules by


is

distribution

and
"'

aV

velocities

(25).

the

result

of velocities

to

xV

among

we
.V,

such that the number of molecules whose component velocities are

between i and ^+dC,

is

(22).

h' is

a',

M,a' + M,lf = M,a' + M.p,


f,{a)

obtain the value of

which

obtained,

fMMi)=fM)MV)
Now

OB

number which change from OA',

the

distribution

final

not be altered by subsequent exchanges.

then

AGA'.

and

therefore equal to F'.

When

will

(21),

that

therefore

only

the

+ dC

is

did-qdC

not

will

their

mutual

be

(26),

altered

by the exchange

a possible form of the final distribution of velocities.

form

for

if

there

of

action.

were any

other,

It

the exchange between

Suppose that the


represented by OA and OA' would not be equal.
number of molecules having velocity OA' increases at the expense of OA.
Then since the total number of molecules corresponding to OA' remains constant,
OA' must communicate as many to OA", and so on till they return to OA.

velocities

Hence

if

OA,

OA',

OA",

&c.

be a

series

of

velocities,

there will

be a

tendency of each molecule to assume the velocities OA, OA', OA", &c. in order,
returning to OA.

Now

it

is

impossible

to

assign a

reason

why

the successive

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.

46

of a molecule

velocities

reverse

order.

If,

the direct exchange between

equal,

the equality cannot be

direct

exchange between

determined

OA

velocity

and OA'

and OA'

equal,

is

not

is

Hence the

preserved by exchange in a cycle.

This final distribution of velocity

number of

had a great

each

succeed

encounters,

and the distribution we have

other

is

attained only

but the great


such

is

that

system except the most violent,

the gaseous

OA

the only one possible.

is

encounters

rather than in the

should be arranged in this cycle,

therefore,

in

the

all

when the

molecules have

with

rapidity

which the

motions and changes of

form

of the

distribution of

only slightly changed.

is

When the gas moves in mass, the velocities now determined are
pounded with the motion of translation of the gas.
When

com-

the differential elements of the gas are changing their figure, being

compressed or extended along certain axes, the values of the mean square of
the velocity will be different in different

directions.

It

is

probable

that the

form of the function will then be

Am)=-^ie-i^'''^^

(27),

apyrr

where

a,

$,

I have not, however, attempted to investi-

are slightly different.

gate the exact distribution of velocities in this case, as the theory of motion
of gases does not require

When
through

one gas
gas,

and negative

is

it.

diffusing through another, or

the distribution of velocities will

directions,

when heat

instead of being symmetrical,

as in

considered.

The want of symmetry, however, may be treated

most actual

cases.

The

principal

as follows.

conclusions which

being conducted

is

be different in the positive

we may draw from

this

the case
as

we have

very small in

investigation

Calling a the modulus of velocity,

1st.

The mean

2nd.

The mean square of the

3rd.

The mean value of

velocity

is

f* is

velocity

is

2
v -j=a

(28).

v'

= xa'

(29).

?*

= o**

(3^)-

are

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.


4th.

The mean value

5th.

The mean value of

6th.

When

of i*

^'

is

fV

is

is

mean

(31).

(32)-

f^' =

=MJ3'

M,v,' =

whence
the

= |a*

there are two systems of molecules

M,a'

or

vis

viva of

(33),

M,iw

(34),

be the same

a molecule will

in the theory of gases,

a very important result

nature of the action between the molecules, as are


the final distribution of velocities.

to

known

of gases

We

all

each system.

in
it

This

independent of the

is

the other results relating


that

it

leads

to

the law

as that of Equivalent Volumes.

may now

We

cases.

and

shall find

Valuation of Functions of the Velocity due

We

47

proceed

to

down

mean value

indicate the

shall

write

to

encounters between the Molecules.

SO
the

of -g-

values

the

in

diflferent

of any quantity for all the molecules

by placing a bar over the symbol which represents that quantity


to
for any particular molecule, but in expressions where all such quantities are
W"e
bar.
the
omit
convenience,
for
shall,
we
values,
mean
their
be taken at
shall use the symbols h, and S,- to indicate the eSect produced by molecules of

of one kind

the

since
is

kind

first

external
it

and

is

second

We

forces.

shall

kind respectively, and


also

confine

not only free from mathematical

83

ourselves to
difficulty,

the effect of

indicate

to

the case in which n

but

is

5,

the only case which

consistent with the laws of viscosity of gases.

In this case

on the

disappears,

and we have

for the

the second system

effect of

first,

<"'

'^-M^^^}''!:^''-''"'
where the functions of
values

for

all

the

^,

77,

C in

molecules,

sin'^ or sin* 2^ occurs

in

the

j{Q'-Q)d(f> must be put equal to their mean

and A, or A, must be put


expressions

in

equations

(4),

for
(5),

according as

(6),

(7).

thus obtain

^''^''

t^lEOT^F^-^-^-^^--^'*

We

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.

48

(37);

.(38);

(r)

8t

W(l4-i/J ^-^- [^.{S^r,+


Jf,

M^,

(2^^

2.

- ^^ J 2 (^. - ^0 ( C^^

t.- r)}

F,0
(39),

M,

using the symbol

S^

to

indicate variations arising

from

tlie

action of molecules

of the second system.

These
ii,

^i,

are

^{qi,

the values

and ^iFi^

for

of

the

rate

of

variation

the molecules of the

first

the

of

mean

values

of

kind due to their encounters

In all of them we must multiply up all


and take the mean values of the products so found. As
has to be done for all such functions, I have omitted the bar over each

with molecules of the second kind.


functions
this

of

^,

-q,

C,

function in these expressions.

To

find

the rate of variation due to the encounters

the same system,

change K, the
force

we have only

coefficient

to

of the force

between two molecules of the

W
<'^)

alter

first

the suffix

,j)

between M^ and
system.

We

among the

into

^j,

if, into K^, that of the

thus find

f =0
^=(m!f^'^^M%'+L'-2S,'-{v,-v.+iA.-2i,-m

-^ = {m})'^'^^^MZ.v,-(J:}

particles of

throughout, and to

,(40);

(41);

(42);

'

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.

49

^''>-

W^'=(2i?)^'^'^'-''("^-'^'-^''
These quantities must be added to those
to

get the rate of

variation

equations (30) to (39) in order

in

the

the molecules of

in

When

encounters with molecules of both systems.

first

there

kind due to their

is

only one

kind of

molecules, the latter equations give the rates of variation at once.

On
"We

the Action of

shall

External Forces on a System of Moving Molecules.

suppose the external force to be like the force of gravity, pro-

ducing equal acceleration on


in

the molecules.

all

Let the components of the

the variations of

^,

and

",

due to

^F"*

Tt =

(^)

On

8, refers

(")

%^-=2fX

(45);

^-^ = nX + ^Y

(16);

the

to variations

due to the action of external

<*)
forces.

Total rate of change of the different functions of the velocity of the mole-

cules of the first system

systems

To

for

this cause,

(r)^'=2f(fx+,,r+2)+;fp
where

force

Then we have by dynamics

the three coordinate directions be X, Y, Z.

and from

arising

from

their encounters with

find the total rate of change arising from these causes,

^=^

h9.
ht

the quantities

molecules of both

the action of external forces.

already found.

'

Bt

We

.r.A

'

^"""^

^3^

find

shall

we must add

it,

however, most convenient in

the remainder of this investigation to introduce a change in the notation, and


to substitute for
^,

VOL.

II.

7},

and

C,

u+

i,

r),

and

u'

+C

(^8),

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.

50

where

and

u, v,

are

so

ponents of the velocity of

chosen that they are the


all

neighbourhood of a given point.

We

and

p,

pj are

mass

We

Pj>

is,

the

shall also write

''-

^-^ (2?)' = ^

<^):

K> h> and k are quantities the absolute values of which can be deduced
have not as yet experimental data for determining
experiment*

We

from

M, N,

or

We

K.

thus find for the tate of bhange of the various ftlnctions of the velocity,

-^ = kA^,{u,-u,) + X

(a)

(51);

(52);

kp.

+
also

com-

(49),

two systems of molecules, that

{2|-)'=*" m,M,{M, + M,) )' =


{
Pi>

of the

M^, = p,

the densities of the

in unit of volume.

values

shall also write

M,N, = p,,
where

mean

molecules of the same system in the immediate

AM

(-n,^

+ C.' - 2^/ + r?/ + C: - 2^:)}

-^ = - ^KA,pJ^Vi + h^ W+M ^^^^ " ^^"^

'"'

^'^ ^^'

^
'^'^

.(53).

kp.

(y)

in

mixed

them,

As the

I shall

expressions for the

variation

and as we
give the case of a single medium,

media

are

complicated,

= - ^k,p,A, (^,' +
+
I (/ + U' U')

^,r},^

of functions
shall

of three

dimensions

not have occasion to

+ X (3^,^ + ^/ + L^)

+ 2Y^,'n, + 2Za.

(54).

use

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.

Medium composed

Theory of a

We

shall

51

of Moving Molecules.

suppose the position of every moving molecule referred to three

rectangular axes, and that the component velocities of any one of them, resolved
in the directions of x, y,

z,

are

W+
where

w,

v,

which are at a given instant


the components
to the

mean

The

of the

^,

w-\-t

mean

velocity

and

^,

are

t,

17,

u,

v,

w may
will

be treated as functions of

be expressed by the symbol

x,

and

z,

y,

The

d.

t,

Their variation with respect to

will

in

quantities
t

be indicated by the

8.
t,

17,

as

the molecules

for all

functions

of x, y,

2,

t.

If
V,

the molecules

all

molecules with respect

velocity of one of these

The mean values of ^* and other functions of ^,


the element of volume may, however, be treated

in

of

velocity.

quantities

each molecule.

symbol

u,

Tf,

being different for every molecule, must be regarded as functions of

4,

7),

a given element of volume, and

in

relative

which case differentiation

for

^,

the components of the

are

we consider an element of volume which always moves with the velocities


we shall find that it does not always consist of the same molecules,

w,

because

molecules

therefore

treat

it

are
as

hydrodynamics, but

passing

continually

through

its

a mass moving with the velocity

we must

consider

We

boundary.
u,

v,

w,

as

cannot

done

is

separately the motion of each

in

molecule.

When we

have occasion to consider the variation of the properties of this element

during

motion as a function of the time we shall use the symbol

its

We
and

^,

-q,

shall call the velocities u, v,


t,

the velocities of translation of the medium,

the velocities of agitation of the molecules.

N dx dy

Let the number of molecules

we may

call

d.

in the element dx dy dz be
number of molecules in unit of volume.
If
and p the density of the element, then

N the

of each molecule,

MN = p

is

dz,

then

the mass

(55).

Transference of Quantities across a Plane Area.

We

must next consider the molecules which pass through a given plane
of unit area in unit of time, and determine the quantity of matter, of momentum,

72

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.

52
of heat, &c. which

negative to the positive side of this

transferred from the

is

plane in unit of time.

We

shall

the

divide

first

molecules

unit

in

of

volume

into

classes

and ^ for each, and we shall suppose that the


number of molecules in unit of volume whose velocity in the direction of x lies
and i + dt, is dN, dN will then be a
between ^ and i+d^, -q and -q + d-q,
function of the component velocities, the sum of which being taken for all the

according to the value of

tj,

^,

t,

molecules will give

of this function for a

dN=,e~
aV
the

investigation

present

equiHbrium

in its state of
AT

In

The most probable form

the total number of molecules.

medium

is

PW+C
d^d-qdi

'

we do not

(56).

require

know

to

the

form

of

this

function.

Now

us consider a plane of unit area perpendicular to x moving with

let

a velocity of which the part resolved parallel to x is u\


plane relative to the molecules we have been considering is
there are

dN

of these molecules in unit of volume

it

The

velocity of the

u-{u + ^),

and

since

will overtake

{u'-{u^-^)]dN
such

molecules

unit

in

of

and

time,

number

the

of

such molecules passing

from the negative to the positive side of the plane, will be

{u-\-^-u)dN.

Now

let

momentum,

any

be
vis

viva,

belonging

property
&c.,

which

it

to

molecule,

the

with

carries

it

across

such as

the plane,

its

mass,

being

supposed a function of f or of ^, -q, and ^, or to vary in any way from one


molecule to another, provided it be the same for the selected molecules whose

number

is

dN,

then

the

quantity of

transferred

across

the plane in the

positive direction in unit of time is

l(u-u'+^)QdN,

{u-u)jQdN+jiQdN

or
If

we put

mean value

QN

of Q,

for

jQdN, and

JQ^

for

and ^Q the mean value of $Q,

element of volume, and

we may

write the

(57).

jiQdN, then we may


for

expression

all

for

call

the quantity of

which crosses the plane in unit of time

{u-u')QN + lQN

the

the particles in the

(58).

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.

Transference of Matter across a Plane

(a)

To determine the quantity


to

same kind,

sion

reduced to

is

M=M;

Velocity

of the Fluid.

make Q

of matter which crosses the plane,

the mass of each molecule

of the

53

then,

since

the same for

is

and since the mean value of f

the expres-

zero,

is

{u-u)MN={u-u)p
If

u = u, or

if

the plane moves with velocity

across the plane

transferred

is

zero

defined as the velocity whose components are u,

Transference of

(yS)

Momentum

across

The momentum of any


this

for

Q,

v,

may

get

for

therefore be

iv.

System

of Pressures at any

Fluid.

molecule in the direction of

one

we

the whole excess of matter

u,

a Plane

point of the

Substituting

(59).

the velocity of the fluid

equal

molecules

all

M{u + ^).

is

momentum

the quantity of

transferred

across the plane in the positive direction

(u-u)up + f'p
If the plane moves with

where

f' represents the

This

from

is

the whole
negative

the

the velocity

mean value

momentum

to

the

of

consists

partly

of

in the direction of

positive

the

this expression

u,

is

reduced to

^'p,

^'.

side

momentum

x of the molecules projected


The

the plane in unit of time.

of

mechanical action between the parts of the


plane

(60).

medium on

thus

sides

opposite

of the

and partly of the

transferred,

direct attractions or repulsions

between molecules on opposite sides of the plane.

The

must be very small

latter

part of the action

consider the pressure between the parts of the

plane

as

There

will

across the

and
where

^-q

entirely
also

same

due to the

in

constant bombardment

be a transference of

gases,

medium on

momentum

in

kept
the

so

that

we may

opposite sides of the

up between

directions

of y

them.

and

plane,

{u-u)vp-{-$r)p

(61),

(u-u)2vp +

(62),

Ep

and ^{ represent the mean values of these products.

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.

54
If the

it

mean

plane moves with the

exerted on the

medium on the

u of the fluid, the total


by the projection of molecules

force

velocity

positive side

into

from the negative side will be

a normal pressure

^p

in the direction of x,

a tangential pressure

^p

in the direction of y,

and a tangential pressure

^Cp in the direction of

z.

If X, Y, Z are the components of the pressure on unit of area of a plane


whose direction cosines are I, m, n,

X=U^p +m^p + 7i^^


Y^l^p+mrfp +n7)Cp
Z^liCp

When

a gas

is

-hTmilp

and ~Cp wiU

difier

+ nCp

not in a state of violent motion the pressures in

tions are nearly equal, in which case,

the quantity

,,,.(63),

all

direc-

we put

ep + ^p-^Cp = Sp
the mean pressure

will represent

from

if

(64),

at a given point, and

only by small quantities

rji^p,

C^p,

and

_
rj^p,

^'p,

^rjp will

then

be also small quantities with respect to p.

Energy in

the

Medium

Actual Heat.

energy of any molecule depends

The actual
centre of gravity,

and partly on

to the centre of gravity.

It

its

may

partly

on the velocity of

be written

^M{{u-\-iy + {v + rjY + {w + ^y} + ^EM


where

^EM

which

is

is

the internal

at present

the energy

unknown.

its

rotation or other internal motion with respect

part of the

Summing

(65),

energy of the molecule, the form of


for all the molecules in unit of volume,

is

^{u' + v' + yf)p + ^ie + v' + C)p + iEp

The first term gives the energy due to the motion of


medium in mass, the second that due to the agitation of the
of the molecules,

each molecule.

(66).

translation of the

centres of gravity

and the third that due to the internal motion of the parts of

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.


If

we assume with

motion to that of agitation tends

we may conclude

of the

Clausius that the ratio


continually

55

mean energy

except in very violent disturbances, this ratio

that,

of internal

towards a definite value (/3-1),


is

always

preserved, so that

E = {fi-l){^' + l' + C)
The

energy of the invisible agitation in unit of volume will then be

total

or

energy* being in

This

(67).

the

i^(f + ^' +

(68),

WP

(69).

form of invisible agitation, may be called the

total heat in the unit of volume of the medium.

(y)

Transference of Energy across

Putting

we

<?

= iy8(f +

7y'

+ r)^,

a Plane

Conduction

of Heat.

and u = u

(70),

for the quantity of heat carried over the unit of area by conduction

find

in unit of time

i^ii'+ff+mp
where

indicate

&c.

^,

mean

the

of

values

^,

(71)'

&c.

They

are

always small

quantities.

On

the

Rate of Variation of

in

an Element of Volume,

being

any property

of the Molecules in that Element.

Let
the

be the value of the quantity

mean value
The

element

of

quantity

may by

for all

their

may

any particular molecule, and

The molecules within the


two causes.
of external forces produce
action
or by the

vary from

mutual action

an alteration of Q, or molecules
so cause

for

the molecules of the same kind within the element.

may

pass into the element and

out of

it,

and

an increase or diminution of the value of ^ wathin it. If we employ


denote the variation of Q due to actions of the first kind on

the symbol S to

the individual molecules, and the symbol


in

an element moving with the mean

to denote the actual variation of

velocity of the system of molecules under

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.

56

then by the ordinary investigation of the increase or diminution

consideration,

of matter in an element of volume as contained in treatises on Hydrodynamics,

dQN = hQ

d
^N
g^-^---')^^+^^^

dt

.r

(72),

-^{(^-0 QN+y^QN}-^^ {(w-w) QN+iQN]


where

last three terms are derived from equation (59) and two similar
and denote the quantity of Q which flows out of an element of volume,
that element moving with the velocities u, v\ w'.
If we perform the differentiations and then make u=u, v=v, and w' = w, then the variation will be that

the

equations,

in

an element which moves with the actual

molecules,

mean

velocity

of

system of

the

and the equation becomes

Equation of Continuity.

Q-M

Put

the

mass of a

molecule;

unalterable,

is

and we have,

MN=p,

putting

dp

(du

dv

dw\

,^

which

is

the

ordinary

equation

of

continuity

in

being supposed to move with the velocity of the


tion with that from which

was obtained, we

it

,.

(^'^'

i+p[r.+Ty+dz)=''

hydrodynamics, the element


fluid.

Combining

this equa-

find

^f+|(?^^+|(^^)+rf4(^e^)=^f

(").

a more convenient form of the general equation.

Eqtiations of Motion (a).

To obtain the Equation


the

momentum

We

of Motion in the direction of x, put

^ = -M, (wj -f ^,),

of a molecule in the direction of x.

obtain the value of

SO
g--

firom equation

(51),

and the equation may be

written

P'lt'^dz

(^^^)

+ d^ ^P^^) + dz ^f"^^ = *^^^' (""' " ""'^ + ^/>i-

(5'6).

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF OASES.

57

In this equation the first term denotes the efficient force per unit of volume,
second the variation of normal pressure, the third and fourth the variations

the

of tangential pressure, the fifth the resistance due to the molecules of a different

system, and the sixth the external force acting on the system.

The investigation of the values of the second, third, and fourth terms
must be deferred till we consider the variations of the second degree.

Condition of Equilibrium of a Mixture of Gases.

In a state of equilibrium

u^

and

w,

vanish,

pi^,'

becomes

and the tan-

p^,

gential pressures vanish, so that the equation becomes


(^^>'

S=^''
which

the equation of equilibrium in ordinary hydrostatics.

is

This equation, being true of the system of molecules forming the first medium
of the presence of the molecules of the second system, shews

independently
that

if

several kinds

of molecules are

mixed together, placed

be the same as

mode

of

if

none of the other kinds had been present.

distribution

atmosphere in

that

as

Dalton

vessel

and

considered

to

This

is

the same
a

in

exist

mixed

equilibrium, the law of diminution of density of each constituent

gas being the same as

if

no other gases were present.

This result, however,


for

which

in

molecules of each kind will

acted on by gravity, the final distribution of the

can only

take

place

a considerable time perfectly undisturbed.

the gases have been


arise

so

as

to

left

mix

made more uniform throughout.

the strata, the composition of the gas will be

The result at which we have arrived


when left to themselves, is independent

after

If currents

as

of

to the final distribution of gases,

the

law

of

still

neglect the tangential

force

between

the

molecules.

Diffusion of Gases.
If

the

pressures.

motion of the

gases

is

slow,

The equation then becomes

we may

for the first

system of molecules

h^ + ^ = tA^M,-u,) + Xp
VOL. n.

(78),

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.

58

and

for the second.


du^
P^

In

If

quiet

of

cases

all

equation.

we then put

dp.^

+ '^ = kA,p,p,{u,-u,) + Xp,

(79).

dt

diffusion

p^ i-p^

we may

=p, and

/d,

neglect

+ pj = p, we

first term of each


by adding,

the

find

1=^"
If

we

(^)-

put p,u^+p.,u^=pu, then the volumes transferred in opposite direc-

also

moving with velocity u

tions across a plane

will be equal, so that

Mu.-u)=M'^-u,)=^^;^.(x^^
Here Pi(u,-u)
across

the volume of the

is

temperature; and p^{u u^)

same area

The external
in

vessels

in the opposite direction.

force

has very

We

of the coefficient of diffusion of

a vessel at

and at the actual

the equal volume of the second gas transferred

is

of moderate size^

When two

gas transferred in unit of time

plane reduced to pressure unity,

unit of area of the

across the

first

(81).

little

may

two

effect

on the quiet diffusion of gases

therefore leave it

out in our definition

gases.

by gravity are placed in different parts of


and temperatures, there will be mechanical equi-

gases not acted on

equal

librium from the

pressures
first,

and u

will

always be

This will also be approxi-

zero.

mately true of heavy gases, provided the denser gas is placed below the lighter.
Mr Graham has described in his paper on the Mobility of Gases*, experiments

which were made under these conditions. A vertical tube had its lower tenth
part filled with a heavy gas, and the remaining nine-tenths with a lighter gas.
After the lapse of a
off,

and the gas

known time the upper tenth

in it analyzed, so

part

of the tube

was shut

as to determine the quantity of the heavier

gas which had ascended into the upper tenth of the tube during the given time.

In this case

u=

we have
p,,=
^^
'

_J^l^.
p^pJcA^p dx

* Philosophical Transactions, 1863.

(82),

(83),
^
'

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF 6ASBB.

59

and by the equation of continuity,

W^i^r',u,) =

^. =

whence

or

D=

we put

if

^',

^Py

(84).

^.

(85);

^^^^-

dt-^d:^
The

solution of this equation

is

^, = C,+
If the length of the tube

in

the

which the

case in

which after a time


p,
^'

x=

la

ir'c

where

closed at both ends,

cos2 + &C

-^

(88),

-^<
*

gas originally extends from x =

first

the gas from x

to x

=c

is

''

first

gas

to

to x

= b, and

collected, is

^nb
irb
TTC
-4^^
sm
+e
sm
sm
sm
2'
a
a
a

Graham's experiments,

first

at the other

We

if it is

(87).

a +&c.

27rc

^
'^

,__.
(89),

the whole in the portion

from

tube was

filled

= c.

Mr

with the

the proportion of the

is

to x

In

= -+-7--e

where

and

+ a) + &c

C C, are to be determined by the condition that when t = 0, Pi=p,


from x = -^ to x = a. The general expression
to x = -^, and p^ =

C^,

from x =
for

a,

Q + C,e""^ cos^+C^

i?.=

where

is

C>-'"'^'cos(r2j;

find

gas,

end ascertained

for

in

which

and the proportion of the

series

after a time

of values

of

t,

-^^

one-tenth
first

of

the

gas in the tenth of the tube

this proportion will be

taken at equal intervals of time

tJ-^^^^
82

T.

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.

60

El

Time

P'

-01193
-02305

2T
ZT
4r
Sr
67
87

-03376
-04366

-05267

-06072
-07321

-08227

lOT
\2T

-08845

'10000

00

Mr

Graham's experiments on carbonic


give

Table,

T=500

acid

and

air,

when compared with

seconds nearly for a tube 0-57 metre long.

log^^
X)

whence
for carbonic acid

and

air,

this

Now
(91),

= -0235

in inch-grain-second measure.

Definition of the Coefficient of Diffusion,

is

the volume of gas reduced to unit of pressure which passes in unit


when the total pressure is uniform and equal to p,
pressure of either gas increases or diminishes by unity in unit of

of time through unit of area

and

the

distance.

may be

square of the

called the coefiBcient of diffusion.

It varies directly as

the

absolute temperature, and inversely as the total pressure p.

The dimensions
and time.

of

In

this

are evidently

DT~\ where L and T

are the standards

of length

air,

considering

we have assumed

experiment of the interdiffusion of carbonic acid and

that air

is

a simple gas.

Now

it

is

well

known

that

the constituents of air can be separated by mechanical means, such as passing


them through a porous diaphragm, as in Mr Graham's experiments on Atmolysis.


THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.

61

The discussion of the interdiffusion of three or more gases leads


more complicated equation than that which we have found for two

much

to

and

gases,

it

is

not easy to deduce the coefl&cients of interdiifusion of the separate gases.

It

is

therefore

diffusion

desired that

be

to

every

of

pair

chemically on each other,

experiments

should be made

on the

pure gases which

the more important

of

the temperature and pressure of the

inter-

do not act

mixture being

noted at the time of experiment.

Mr Graham
the

of

results

has also published in Brando's Journal for 1829,

pt.

2,

p.

74,

experiments on the diffusion of various gases out of a vessel

through a tube into

air.

The

coefl&cients

of diffusion

deduced from these ex-

periments are

Air and Hydrogen

-026216

Air and Marsh-gas

Air and

The

value

experiment

mixed gas

'00962

Air and defiant gas

'00771

Air and Carbonic acid

'00682

Air and Sulphurous acid

'00582

Air and Chlorine

'00486

for

carbonic

with the vertical


in

'010240

Ammonia

different

parts

acid

is

only one third of that deduced from

column.

The

of the vessel

of

inequality

is,

meter of the tube at the middle part, where

and the
was bent, was probably

however, neglected
it

the

composition of the
;

dialess

than that given.

Those experiments on
values

of

diflFusion

which lasted

ten

hours,

all

give

than those which lasted four hours, and this would

smaller

also

result

from the mixture of the gases in the vessel being imperfect.

Interdiffusion through

When

two

mixture

the

of

a small

hole.

vessels containing different gases are connected

gases

in

by a small

each vessel will be nearly uniform except

hole.

near the

and the inequality of the pressure of each gas will extend to a distance
from the hole depending on the diameter of the hole, and nearly proportional

hole

to that diameter.

THE DYNAMICAX THEORY OF GASBS.

62

Hence

in tlie equation

,^+^'=i^p^,K-.)+xp,
dx

^^

-, will vary inversely as the diameter of the hole, while u^ and u^

the term
will

.(92)

dt

dx

not vary considerably with the diameter.

Hence when the hole is very small the right-hand side of the equation
may be neglected, and the flow of either gas through the hole will be independent of the flow of the other gas, as the term kAp^^{u^-u^) becomes comparatively insignificant.

One gas
as

fast

as

therefore will escape through a very fine hole into another nearly

into

vacuum; and

if

the pressures are equal on both sides,

the

volumes difiused will be as the square roots of the specific gravities inversely,

which

is

the law of diffusion of gases established

by Graham*.

Variation of the invisible agitation

By

putting for

(y3).

in equation (75)

and eliminating by means of equations (76) and

(52),

we

find

...(94).

lu this equation the

first

term represents the variation of

or heat; the second, third, and fourth represent the cooling


* Trans.

Royal Society of Edinburgh, Vol.

xii. p. 222.

invisible agitation

by expansion; the

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.


sixth,

fifth,

and seventh the heating

of fluid

effect

The

by conduction.

of heat

the last the loss

the equation represent the thermal effects

63

friction

quantities

of diffusion,

or

viscosity

and

on the other side of

and the communication

of heat from one gas to the other.

The equation may be

simplified

various

in

cases,

which we

shall

take

in

order.

Ist.

Equilibrium of Temperature between two Gases.

We

shall

suppose that there

Volumes.

no motion of translation, and no transfer

is

by conduction through either

of heat

Law of Equivalent

The equation

gas.

(94)

is

then reduced

to the following form,

ip.

If

|-A(f,' +

= ;^^W(f^ +

V+

v:-

+ C;-) = Q

Q.-Q. = Ce--,

or

If,

and

^^^

(f,=

+ ,. + C,=) = ft

-{Q,-Q,)=-^^^(Mj>.A + M,p^,){Q,-Q,)

find

rapidly

+ -3/,(f,' + V + }....(95).

we put

j^^_ ii: +
we

'/='

therefore,

become

of invisible

the

gases

Now

equal.

agitation

where ^ =

is

Hence when two gases

are

in

(97),

^:f^j^M + ^-^.M) jg^^


contact and undisturbed,

(96),

Q^

(98).

and Q.

will

the state into which two bodies come by exchange

called

equilibrium

are at the

of heat

or

equality of

temperature-

same temperature,
Q.

Q.

1_2,_3/.(^,1+^,MJ^

Pt

(99),

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.

54

Hence

if

two
the pressures as well aa the temperatures be the same in

^^ = ^'
or

masses of the

the

(100),

Pi

individual molecules are proportional to the density of

the gas.
can be deduced
This result, by which the relative masses of the molecules
at by Gay-Lussac
the relative densities of the gases, was first arrived
necessary result of the
from chemical considerations. It is here shewn to be a
we adopt as to
theory
whatever
so,
it
is
Theory of Gases; and

from

Dynamical

molecules, as may be seen by


the nature of the action between the individual
assumptions as to the
general
perfectly
from
deduced
is
which
equation (34),

nature of the law of force.

We

therefore henceforth put

may

~,

for

where

Sj,

s,

are the

specific

gravities of the gases referred to a standard gas.

6 to denote the temperature reckoned from absolute zero of a


hydrogen, F,' its mean square
gas thermometer, M, the mass of a molecule of
of any other gas referred
gravity
specific
the
s
unity,
temperature
at
of velocity
If

we

use

of the other gas


to hydrogen, then the mass of a molecule

is

M=M,s
Its

mean square

of velocity,

^'~s

Pressure of the gas,

We

l>

may next determine

(101).

^^^

(102).

= ^7^^o'

(103).

the amoimt of cooling by expansion.

Cooling hy Expansion.

Let the expansion be equal in aU directions, then

dx~dy~dz~

dy

du
and

and

all

''

3p

dt

terms of unsymmetrical form will be

zero.

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.


If the

mass of gas

is

65

same temperature throughout there

of the

will

be

no conduction of heat, and the equation (94) will become

<^^).

*''^f-*^'l=

(lOG),

^'f-^fi^f^-Sfif
2 dp

3^

,,,,

T = 30J
which

gives

the

relation

C"^)'

the density and the temperature

between

expanding without exchange of heat with other bodies.


dp

dp

We

in

gas

also find

dO

-'-^'j

(-).

which gives the relation between the pressure and the density.

Specific

The

Heat of Unit of Mass

total energy of agitation of unit of

at Constant

mass

is

^)3F'

Volume^

= ^',

or

(m-

^=^f
If,

now, additional energy in the form of heat be communicated to

changing

its

^^=f? = ff|
Hence the

it

without

density,

specific

heat of unit

of

mass of constant volume

(no).

is

in

dynamical

measure

'^^^-^P-

VOL. u.

(111)

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.

66

Specific

By

Heat of Unit of Mass

the addition of the heat

pressure 9p.

Now,

sinks

pressure

to

let
its

Constant Pressure.

the temperature was raised

dp

3^

d'B

"r==
specific

+ 3)8

'

dd

^'

heat of unit of mass at constant pressure

is

(-)

fe-'-^fe
The
is

ratio of the

known

specific

heat at constant pressure to that of constant volume

in several cases from experiment.

We

(114),
^

3/8

whence

)8

specific

=f

(115).

heat of unit of volume in ordinary measure

is

at constant volume

(").

at constant pressure

^f.
where

is

From
and

'

y-i

,4t^
and

by

shall denote this ratio

y'^ = 2|^

The

the

+ d'0.

a^

e~ ~ 2 + 3y8 "^ ~ 2 + 3)8


^^^^^^^

till

by a quantity dd-d'0, such that

^S-d'B

and the

dd and the

the gas expand without communication of heat


former value, and let the final temperature be

will thus sink

The temperature

dE

at

has

("^)>

the mechanical equivalent of unit of heat.


these expressions

Dr Rankine* has

calculated the specific heat

of

air,

found the result to agree with the value afterwards determined ex-

perimentally by M. Regnaultt.
* Transactions of the Royal Sodtty of Edinburgh, Vol. xx. (1850).
t Comptes Rendus, 1853.

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.

67

Tfiermal Effects of Diffusion.

two gases are

If

ting

to

diffusing into one another, then, omitting the terras relaheat generated by friction and to conduction of heat, the equation (94)

gives

.(118).

By

comparison with equations

(78),

and

(79),

the right-hand side

of this equa-

tion becomes

(pi^i

+ p.u,) + Y {piVi + p,v,) + Z (p,u\ + p,w,)


dp,

/dp,

- ip. ^

{^x

\_(dp,

dp,

+ V,' + W,') - ip,

dp

dp,

- (U/ +

V,'

+ W',').

The equation (118) may now be written

d.pu

The whole
external
If

the

forces

d.pv

^
+ Y {p,v, -f p,v.) -f Z (p,u\ + pjv,) - (-^ +
-^

X{p,u, + p,u,)

increase

minus

of energy

the

cooling

is

therefore

,.(119).

d.pw
dz

that due to the action of the

due to the expansion of the mixed

the diffusion takes place without alteration of the volume of the

heat due

to

the mutual action of the gases

neutralized

by

where

dense to places where

it is

the

cooling

of

each gas as

it

in

diffusion

will

gases.

mixture,

be

exactly

expands in passing from places

it is rare.

92

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF

68

GASES.

Determination of the Inequality of Pressure in different directions due


Motion of the Medium.

Let us put

Pifi*=i'i

Then by equation

p^i'=p2 + q,

+ 5i and

to

the

(120).

(52),

...(121),

the kst term depending on diffusion; and

if

we omit

in equation

(75) terms

neglect
of three dimensions in i, -q, I, which relate to conduction of heat, and
coeffilarge
the
by
multiplied
not
when
and
p^-p,
quantities of the form ^p
cients

ky,

and

k^,

we get
du

dw\ _hq

dv

+ 2i>^-f/>(x;
j;^.+
dx + dy
If

except

the
that

motion
of

the

is

not subject

propagation

St

any very rapid changes,

to

of

(122).

dzl

we may

sound,

neglect

as

in

cases

all

In a single

system of molecules

-3kA^

=
2p

(du

/du

.(12a),

dv

dwW

whence

If

/Lt

will

we make

p
t^1

we

be the coefficient of viscosity, and

(dv

(dv)

=/a

(125),

shall

(du

(du

hare by equation (120),

dv
dv

dwW
dw\\

(125),;

69

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF OASES.


and by transformation of co-ordinates we obtain
^

(dv
dz

dvr'

fdw

du\

fdu

dv

dy
(127).

These are the values of the norittal and tangential stresses in a simple gas
variation of motion is not very rapid, and when /x, the coefficient

when the

of viscosity,

may

so small that its square

is

be neglected.

Equations cf Motion corrected for Viscosity.


Substituting these values in the equation of motion (76),

dp

du

w ith

two

from the theory of


a rate

ct'u

is

to

may

identical

elasticity,

proportional

d\]

equations wbich

other

of these equations

form

at

(d'u

its

d fdu

be

written

with,

that of

dv

we

dw\

find

down with symmetry. The


deduced by Poisson*

those

by supposing the strain to be continually relaxed


The ratio of the third and fourth terms

amount.

agrees with that given by Professor Stokes f.


If

we suppose the inequality of pressure which we have denoted by q to


the medium at any instant, and not to be maintained by the motion
medium, we find, from equation (123),

in

exist

of the

q^

= Ce-"''''^

= Ce~^
the stress q

is-

if

(129)

T=-j\- =

f^

therefore relaxed at a rate proportional to

1=1
We

may

call

Phil.

"

On

itself,

so that

(131).

the niodulus of the time of relaxation.

Journal de I'Ecole Poly technique, 1829, Tom.


t

(130);

xiii.

Cah. xx.

p.

139.

the Friction of Fluids in Motion and the Equilibrium and Motion of Elastic Solids^" Camhr'uhje

Tram. Vol.

viil.

(1845), p. 297, equation

(2).

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF

70

we next make

If

medium

will be

an

= 3,

that the stress q does not become relaxed, the

so

elastic solid,

GASES.

and the equation

(-)

^^^^-^^s-t^(i:4,-w)=

^ {(p-^) + 2^ ^-Jp (| + | + |)} =

n.ay be written

where
is

a,

/8,

y are the displacements of an element

the normal pressure in the direction of

of

quantity zero, and j>

this

originally

the medium, and

of

we suppose

If

x.

(133),

then,

equal to p,

the

initial

jt)

value

a small dis-

after

placement,

(-^)^

i'-i'-^(l+|+S)-i's
and bj transformation of co-ordinates the tangential pressure

(>-)

^^=-^(|4f)
The medium
which

rigidity of

if

now the mechanical

has
is

properties of

p, while the cubical elasticity

is

an

elastic

solid,

the

fp*.

The same result and the same ratio of the elasticities would be obtained
we supposed the molecules to be at rest, and to act on one another with

forces

depending on the distance, as in the

statical

theory of elas-

molecidar

The coincidence of the properties of a medium in which the molecules


held in equilibrium by attractions and repulsions, and those of a medium

ticity.

are
in

which

at

all,

the

molecules

move

deserve notice from those

The

fluidity

molecules, causing

The

medium

of our

them

in

straight

who
is

lines

therefore

due to the mutual action of the

to be deflected from their paths.

coefficient of instantaneous rigidity of

The modulus of the time of relaxation


The coefficient of viscosity is /x =pT

Now p

varies

without acting on each other

speculate on theories of physics.

a gas

is

therefore

is 2"

>....(136).
J

the density and temperature conjointly,

as

while

varies

inversely as the density.

Hence

ft

varies

as

the

absolute

temperature,

and

is

independent

density.
Camh.

Phil.

Trans. Vol.

viil.

(1845),

p.

311, equation (29).

of

the

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.


This result

confirmed by the experiments

is

my own

and by

of Gases*,

spiration

71

Mr Graham

of

on the Tran-

experiments on the Viscosity or Internal

Friction of Air and other Gases f.

The

that the viscosity

result

Theory

Dynamical

the

molecules.

was

It

by myself J

deduced

and M.

molecules,

0.

Meyer

E.

independent of the density, follows from

is

whatever be the law of force between the

Gases,

of

from the hypothesis of hard

elastic

has given a more complete investigation on

the same hypothesis.

The experimental
temperature,
as

of a

repulsive

force

molecules, which

Using the
for

is

proportional

to the absolute

make

it

vary

and to adopt the hypothesis


power of the distance between the

absolute temperature,

of the

square root

the

that the viscosity

result,

us to abandon this hypothesis, which would

requires

inversely as the

fifth

the only law of force which gives the observed result.

is

the grain,

foot,

and the second as

the temperature of 62* Fahrenheit, and in dry


ft

If the pressure

is

units,

my

experiments give

air,

= 0-0936.

30 inches of mercury,

we

using the same units,

find,

_p = 477360000.

pT=fi,

Since
rigidity

in

we

that

find

air of this pressure

time

This

of

sound we

is

the

may

of

exceedingly

small,

audible sounds

we have

time

even when compared with the period

of

of

is

of a second.

most acute

consider the

use the equations

the

of

5oa9Ao600

vibration

modulus

relaxation

the

and temperature

so

that

even in the theory of

motion as steady during this very short time, and

already found, as has been done by Professor Stokes

||.

Philosophical Transactions, 1846 and 1849.

t Proceedings of the Royal Society, February 8, 1866; Philosophical Transactions, 1866,


Magazine, January 1860.
[Vol. i. xx.]
X Philosophical

249.

Poggendorflf's AnruUen, 1865.

"
II

p.

On

the effect of the Internal Friction of Fluids on the motion of Pendulums," Cambridge Transac-

tions, Vol. IX. (1850), art. 79.

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.

72

Viscosity of

a Mixture of Gases,

In a complete mixture of gases, in which there


the velocity at any point

the same for

is

Putting

no diffusion going on,

is

the gases.

all

t(^rM-J)=^

(-^).

equation (122) becomes


p,

U= - 3M.Mi - m^^Tm, (^^'^^ + 3iM.)Mi - ^{3^, - 2^,) ^^^Mr- >(! 38),


Similarly,

pJI^ - 3M.M.{2MA.^mA.)p.q.-K^A,-^A,)
^;:p^^
Since

q = qi + q

p=Pi+Pi and

where

and q

j^^m

refer

to

(139).

the mixture,

we

have

shall

tiU=-q=-{q, + q,),
where

fx

and

the coefficient of viscosity of the mixture.

we put

If
to

is

Sj

and

for

5^

the specific gravities of the two gases,

a standard gas, in which the values of

and p at temperature

referred
0^

and

p,

pa,

'^

where

p,

is

pA

SAAs,Ep,' + IIp,p,+

'

ZAMGp.'

^'

the coefficient of viscosity of the mixture, and


! =

Jcs,

--^(25A + 3M,)

F= 3A,

{k,s,

+ k^s,) - {3A, - 2A,) k

25,,

Si

+ S,

(141),

11= ZA^,s, (Zk,k^, + 2}c'A,)


This expression

is

reduced to p^ when ^, =

other values of p^ and p^

we

require

to

know

0,

and

to p,

the value of

when Pi=0.
k,

For

the coefficient

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.


of

mutual

deduced
by

interference

of

molecules

the

from the observed values of

making experiments on the

of

two

the

interdiffusion

two

of the

This might

gases.

air,

give as values of

k^

Air

k,=

Hydrogen

^,

Carbonic

The

gases.

ments of Graham on the transpiration of gases, combined with


on the viscosity of

be

but a better method

mixtures,

for

/x

73

my

is

experi-

experiments

hydrogen, and carbonic acid,

for air,

4-81 xlO",
1

42'8

1 0'",

3-9

10".

acid... /:,=

The experiments of Graham in 1863, referred to at page 58, on the interof air and carbonic acid, give the coefficient of mutual interference

diffiision

of these gases,

Air and carbonic acid

and by taking

this

as

^=52xl0"';

the absolute value of

k,

and assuming that the

of the coefficients of interdiffusion given at page 76 are correct,

Air and hydrogen

we

^ = 29-8x10"'.

These numbers are to be regarded as doubtful, as we have supposed

we do not know the value


doubtful whether our method

be a simple gas in our calculations, and

oxygen

and

nitrogen.

It

is

also

applies to experiments such as the earlier observations of

have

also

examined the

hydrogen

mixtures

of

value of

k roughly,

the

scale.

bonic

acid

to

and

transpiration-times

carbonic

satisfy

the

both

determined

results

to

of calculation

Mr Graham.

and hydrogen and

experimental

air

of k between

by Graham
air,

about

assuming

the

for

middle of

It will

be seen that the calculated numbers for hydrogen and car-

exhibit

the

peculiarity

addition of hydrogen increases the


in

acid,

ratios

find

series

observed

in

the

experiments,

that

a small

transpiration-time of carbonic acid, and that

the times of mixtures depend more on the slower than on the

quicker gas.

The assumed values

of A in these calculations were

For hydrogen and carbonic acid ^=12-5x10"


For hydrogen and

and the

results of observation

air

and calculation

/:= 18'8 x 10";


are, for

the times of transpiration

of mixtures of

VOL. IL

10

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.

Hydrogen and Carbonic acid

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OP OASES.


sions in

rj,

^,

whose values

{,

will

depend on the distribution of velocity among


is that which we have proved to

If the distribution of velocity

the molecules.

when the system has no external


state, we shall have by equations

exist

75

its final

force

acting on

(29),

(31), (32),

and haa arrived

it

j^=3r.r=3^-

at

(144),

r?= ??=

^^

(145).

fP= e-C=

K
p

(146);

and the equation of conduction may be written

5^^^=-3V^^{^^ + ^^ +

(^^^)'

[Addition made December 17, 1866.]

[Final EquilihriiXm of Temperature.']

[The left-hand side of equation


tained a term
of

air,

when

2(/8

to

left

1)--/-,
itself,

(147),

as

sent to the Royal

Society,

con-

the result of which was to indicate that a column

would assume a temperature varying with the height,

and greater above than below.

The mistake arose from an error*

in

equation

Equation (147), as now corrected, shews that the flow of heat depends
on the variation of temperature only, and not on the direction of the variation
(143).

of pressure.

column would therefore, when

vertical

in

thermal equilibrium,

have the same temperature throughout.

When
not

the

I first

same

attempted this investigation

as

^% and so

diminishes as the height

when

air

is

carried

up

* The

as

overlooked the fact that


result

increases at a greater rate

in mass.

last

obtained

them

the

that
it

^*

is

temperature

does by expansion

This leads at once to a condition of instability,

term on the left-hand side was not multiplied by

/3.

102

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.

76

which
but

with the

inconsistent

Is

W. Thomson

Professor Sir

presently

second

about this

discovered

one of

law

my

thermodynamics.

of

and the

result,

and arrived

mistakes,

that the temperature would increase with

difficulty

the height.

But

it.

it

at

wrote to

had met with,


the

conclusion

This does not lead to

mechanical instability, or to any self-acting currents of


degree satisfied with

air,

and I was

some

in

equally inconsistent with the second law of

is

thermodynamics.

In fact, if the temperature of any substance, when in thermic


a function of the height, that of any other substance must be
the same function of the height.
For if not, let equal columns of the two
equiUbrium,

is

be

substances

enclosed in

communication
the

two

at

the

columns

are

by taking heat
refuse

from

heat would

at

the

when

round
in

thermal equilibrium,

in

temperatures, an

and

hotter

is

impermeable to heat, and put in thermal

If,

different

circulate

energy, which

mechanical

cylinders

bottom.

giving

the

up

it

system

contradiction

till

to

the tops of

engine might be worked


the cooler, and the
was aU converted into

to
it

the

law

of

thermo-

when

in

thermal

second

dynamics.

The

result

equilibrium,

is

as

that temperature

we

velocities

fore

is,

that temperature in gases,

is

follows from

it

independent of height in

all

what has been

we

result.

to

shall

find

that unless

Now

this

equation

is

f* = 3^.

and examine our

we should have

obtained a
f,
derived from the law of distribution of

which we were led by independent considerations.

regard this law of temperature,

said

other substances.

accept this law of temperature as the actual one,

assumptions,
different

now given

independent of height, and

if true,

as in

We

may

there-

some measure a confirmation

of the law of distribution of velocities.]

Coefficient

If

is

of Conductivity.

the coefficient of conductivity of the gas for heat, then the quantity

of heat which passes through unit


chanical energy,

of

area in

de_^ ^

^dx-'k^A,^
by equation

unit

of

time measured as me-

is

(147).

do
dx

^^^^^

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.


Substituting for
value in terms of

its

taneous pressure,

/3

by equation

density,

(125),

and temperature of the standard

we

gravity of the gas in question,

cific

of y by equation (115), and for A;,


and calling ^ p and Q^ the simul-

value in terms

its

\l

77

and

gas,

^=3(^.tJ
For

air

above

274'6C.

^ = 0"0936

have

y= 1*409,

absolute

zero,

we

in foot-grain-second

and

the spe-

<'^^)-

temperature

the

at

/^ = 918*6
measure.

find

per

feet

Hence

for

of

second,

air

at

melting

and at

ice,

or

16''6

C,

166C. the conduc-

tivity for heat is

(7=1172
That

surface

(150).

a horizontal stratum of air one foot thick, of which the upper

to say,

is

kept at 17" C, and the lower at 16" C, would

is

in

one second transmit

through every square foot of horizontal surface a quantity of heat the mechanical
energy of which

is

equal to that of 2344 grains moving at the rate of one foot

per second.
Principal

heat

in

surfaces
is

25"

bars,

Forbes* has deduced from his experiments on the conduction of


that a plate of wrought iron one foot thick, with its opposite

kept 1"C. different in temperature, would, when the mean temperature

C, transmit

in

one minute through every square foot of surface as

much

heat as would raise one cubic foot of water 0""0127 C.

Now

the

dynamical

equivalent

in

foot-^grain-second

required to raise a cubic foot of water 1"C.

appears from this that iron at

It

than

air at

M.
of

iron
far

is

25" C.

1 '91

57 x

conducts heat 3525 times better

Clausius, from a different form of the theory,

heat

and from a

different value

1400 times better than

M. Clausius

its

is

not

in actual value.

In reducing the value of the conductivity from one

we must remember that

Now

air.

twice as good a conductor of heat as lead, so that this estimate

different from that of

another,

measure of the heat

10'".

16"' 6 C.

found that lead should conduct

/x,

is

kind

of

measure to

dimensions are MLT"', when expressed in

absolute dynamical measure.


* " Experimental Inquiry into the Laws of the Conduction of Heat in Bars," Edinburgh Transactions,

186162.

THE DYNAMICAL THEORY OF GASES.

78
Since

except
it

/x,

the quantities which enter into the expression for


is

subject to the

same laws as the

are constant

viscosity,

that

is,

independent of the pressure, and varies directly as the absolute tempera-

is

The conductivity

ture.

Also,
oxide,
to

all

the conductivity

since

is

of iron diminishes as the temperature increases.

nearly

the same

the conductivity of these

the specific gravity.

for

gases will

Oxygen,

nitrogen,

air,

oxygen, hydrogen, and carbonic

vary as the ratio of the viscosity


carbonic

oxide,

and

air

will

have

equal conductivity, while that of hydrogen will be about seven times as great.

The

value

oxygen, and

its

acid for heat

is

of

for

viscosity

carbonic

acid

of that

is

1'27,

of oxygen.

therefore about ^ of that of

its

specific

gravity

is

of

The conductivity of carbonic

oxygen or of

air.

[From the Proceedings of

XXIX.

On

the

Society, No. 91, 1867.]

Royal

the

Theory of the Maintenance of Electric Currents by Mechanical


Work ivithout the use of Permanent Magnets.

The machines lately brought before the Royal Society by Mr Siemens


and Professor Wheatstone consist essentially of a fixed and a moveable electromagnet, the coils of which are put in connexion by means of a commutator.
The electromagnets
greatly

in

much

the expression of the theory as


the

coils

the

form

to

no

have

of

cores,

the

rings,

which

the actual machines have cores of soft iron,

the magnetic effects due to the

increase

and,

smaller

as

to fix

coils

possible,

begin by supposing

shall

we may suppose them in


the larger on a common

our ideas,

revolving

but, in order to simplify

within

diameter.

The

my

paper

equations of

"On

the

currents

two neighbouring

in

are

circuits

given in

the Electromagnetic Field*/' and are there numbered (4) and

(5),

^=Rx + ^^{Lx + My),


r)

= Sy + ^^{Mx + Ny\

where x and y are the currents, ^ and


the
of

resistances

self-induction

of

when the current


which

depends

the
is

on

circuit,

L may

be

two

unity,

their

measurement, X, M,
velocities.

rj

the electromotive forces, and

the two circuits respectively.

in

and

circuits,

and

relative

are

that
is

the

are

potentials

and

the coefficients

on themselves

of mutual

induction,

In the electromagnetic system of

position.

of

their

coefficient

their

metaphorically called

that of the second, and

is,

and

nature
the

L -f 2M-\- N

of

lines,

"electric

and

inertia"

and
of

the

that of the combined circuit.

Philosophical Transactions, 1865,

p.

469.

are
first

MAINTENANCE OF ELECTRIC CURRENTS BY MECHANICAL WORK.

80

Let us

take the case of the two circuits thrown into one, and the

first

so that

coils relatively at rest,

two

constant.

is

Then

(R^S)x + ^^(L + 2M+N)x =


x = x,e~^^^^'

whence
where

(1),

x^

the

is

value of the

initial

(2).

This expression shews that the

current.

current, if left to itself in a closed circuit, will gradually decay.

If

i + 2if+iV ^'''

we put

R-\-S

._.

'V'^^

_t

x = x,e

then

The value
as

inversely

sum

of the time

outward form,

similar

(4).

depends on the nature of the coils. In coils of


as the square of the linear dimension, and

varies

whose

the resistance of unit of length of a wire

section

is

the

of the sections of the wires passing through unit of section of the coil.

In the

much

large

greater,

experimental

coil

used in determining the B.A. unit

of re-

was about '01 second. In the coils of electromagnets


and when an iron core is inserted there is a still greater

1864,

in

sistance

is

in-

crease.

Let
secondary

us

next ascertain the

coil,

which

alters

effect

a sudden change

of

the value of

during which the current changes from


respect to t, we get

x^ to

from

x_.

M^

to

of position

M^

in a

we

suppose the time so short that


we find, as the

parison with the others,

we may
effect

may

the

t^,

neglect the

(5).

first

term in com-

of a sudden change of position,

{L-\-2M, + N)x,=={L+2M, + N)x,


This equation

t^

Integrating equation (1) with

{R + S) \l\dt + (L + 2M,-\-N)x,-{L + 2M, + N)x, =


If

in

time

(6).

be interpreted in the language of the dynamical theory,

by saying that the electromagnetic momentum of the circuit remains the same
To ascertain the effect of the commutator,
after a sudden change of position.
currents x and y exist in the two
instant,
given
a
at
that,
let us suppose
into
one circuit, and that x' is the
then
made
are
coils
two
the
that
coils,


MAINTENANCE OF ELECTRIC CURRENTS BY MECHANICAL WORK.

81

current in the circuit the instant after completion; then the same equation

(1)

gives

{L + 2M-\-N)x'

= (L^-M)x^-{N-\-M)y

(7).

The equation shews that the electromagnetic momentum of the completed


is equal to the sum of the electromagnetic momenta of the separate coils

circuit

just before completion.

The commutator may belong

to one of four different varieties, according to

the order in which the contacts are


of the

first

the parts

coil,

in

and

electric

following Table
(1)

C,

made and

connexion,

If A,

broken.

those of the second, and

we may express the

if

we

four

be the ends

enclose in brackets
varieties

as

in

the

MAINTENANCE OF ELECTRIC CURRENTS BY MECHANICAL WORK.

82

During the whole motion the current has also been decaying at a rate
which varies according to the value of L + 2M+N; but since
varies from
+ if to J/, we may, in a rough theory, suppose that in the expression for
the decay of the current M=0.

If the

secondary

the current
will

x^,

makes a semlrevolation

coil

in

time T, then the ratio of

after a semirevolution, to the current x^ before the semire volution,

be
^T
X,

=e

' r,

^^^^^

and r

'=R^

W'

''

a ratio depending on the kind of commutator.

is

For the

kind,

first

""-i-mTN
By

increasing

the

T may

speed,

(!")

be indefinitely diminished, so that the

question of the maintenance of the current depends ultimately on whether r

When

greater or less than unity.

may

current

is

be maintained by giving a

be always in one direction in the


in

greater than

and

or less

than

speed to the machine

sufficient

first case,

it will

is

1,

the

it

will

be a reciprocating current

the second

When

lies

between

Let there be
second, then

we may

+1 and -1,

no current can be maintained.

windings of wire in the

the

coil

and q windings

N = nq^

L = lp\ M=mpq,
where

first

in the

write
(11),

m, n are quantities depending on the shape and relative position of


coils.
Since L-^2M+N must always be a positive quantity, being the
Z,

coefficient

must be

of self-induction
positive.

When

of the

greater than unity, provided

whole

circuit,

commutator

the

pm

is

is

ln

m\ and

of the

greater than qn

first

therefore

kind,

LNM*

the ratio r

and when

f=('V-3-(i-^r
In
which

is

the

maximum

value of

r.

(12).

is

MAINTENANCE OF ELECTRIC CURRENTS BY MECHANICAL WORK.

When
r

lies

the ratio of

between

and

4- 1

p to q lies between that of n to m and that


1 and the current must decay but when

than qm, a reciprocating current

may be kept

up,

and

will

increase

of

pi

83

is

to

I,

less

most rapidly

when

p="
q

/l_"''
In

'-=-(1-3"'

-1
When

the commutator
as

so

circuits,
is

1_

m\
V
U^-J

is

of the second kind, the

first

step

it

is

thus stopped.

is

to close both

The second

render the currents in them independent.

to

then broken, and the current in

on the

<>3).

by induction determined by the equation

first circuit

Lx + My = Lx' -r My'
In this case

M=

M^, y = x, and y=0,

(14).

so that

(L-M)x^Lx
where x

is

the original, and x' the

The next

circuit

This produces an effect

step

is

new

to throw the

(15);

value of the current.

circuits

into one,

being

now

positive.

If x" be the current after this operation,

{L + M) X

The whole

of this

effect

=(L-\-2M+N)

commutator

is

therefore

x"
to

(16).

multiply the current by

the ratio

D-M'
L{L + 2M+N)'
The whole

effect of

the semirotation

is

to multiply the current

by the

ratio

L + 2M+N

L-2M+N'
The

total

effect

of a

semirevolution supposed

instantaneous

is

to

multiply

current by the ratio

V-M*
^''L{L-2M-^N)'
112

the


MAINTENANCE OF ELECTRIC CURRENTS BY MECHANICAL WORK.

84

and q be the number of windings


becomes

If

in the first

and second

coils

respec-

tively, the ratio r

'^~l{lp'-2mpq + nq')'
which

greater than

is

1,

provided 2lmp

we have

for the

maximum

\m

value of

is

greater than (ln + m^)q.

SJ

When

r,

I- + 2-experiment of Professor Wheatstone, in which the ends of the


were put in permanent connexion by a short wire, the equations
more complicated, as we have three currents instead of two to consider.

In

the

primary
are

coil

The equations

are

Rx + j^(Lx + My) = Sy + ^^{Mx + Ny) = Qz-^j^Kz


x+y+z=
where Q, K, and

The

wire.

true

(18),

the resistance, self-induction, and current in the short

are

resultant equations are

when the magnetism

of the

of the cores

is

second degree; but as they are only


considered rigidly connected with the

an elaborate discussion of them would be out of place


what professes to be only a rough explanation of the theory of the experi-

currents
in

(17),

the

in

coils,

ments.

Such a rough explanation appears to me to be as follows:

Without the shunt, the current


the

in

primary

the secondary

except

coil

is

always in rigid

when the commutator

connexion

with

that

changing.

With

the shunt, the two currents are in some degree independent;

and the secondary


the

primary,

in

coil,

can have

by the sluggish primary

whose
its

electric

current

coil.

coil,

inertia

is

small compared with that

is

of

reversed and varied without being clogged

MAINTENANCE OF ELECTRIC CURRENTS BY MECHANICAL WORK.

On

the other hand, the primary

coil

loses

that part of the total current

which passes through the shunt; hut we know that an iron


magnetized,

whereas

much

requires

great

increase

of

85

current

to

when highly

core,

increase

its

magnetism,

magnetism can be maintained at a considerable value by a current


powerful.
In this way the diminution in resistance and self-induction

its

less

due to the shunt may more than counterbalance the diminution of strength

in

the primary magnet.


Also, since

the self-induction of the shunt

currents will run through


therefore

it

will

receive

it

is

very small,

all

instantaneous

rather than through the electromagnetic

more of the heating

effect

of variable

a comparison of the resistances alone would lead us to expect.

coils,

and

currents than

[Extracted from The Quarterly Journal of Pure and Applied Mathematics, No. 32, 1867.]

On

XXX.
I PROPOSE

to

and inextensible
to it at

the

Equilibrium of a Spherical Envelope.

determine the distribution of stress in an indefinitely thin

spherical sheet, arising from the action of external forces applied

any number of points on

its surface.

Let two systems of lines, cutting each other at right angles, be


drawn upon any surface, and let their equations be
Notation.

<^ {xyz)

where each curve


bining

is

=G

and

found by putting

with the equation of the surface

it

^^ (xyz)

or

itself,

= H,
equal to a constant, and com-

which we may denote by

yl,{xyz)^S.

Now
of

let

length

which

of

be made constant, and

the curve

varies

((x

= constant)

by dH, then -j^

let

H vary,

and

let

dS^ be the element

intercepted between the two curves for

will be a function of

H and

G.

In the same way, making dS^ an element of the curve (1^= constant) we

may

determine -v^ as a function of

H and

G.

in
the element dS^ experience a stress, consisting of a force
inwhich
in
direction
the
in
and
increases,
G
which
the direction in
equal and
creases, acting on the positive side of the linear element dS^, and

Now

let

opposite

forces acting

on the negative

tension normal to dS^, which

we

shall

side.

These

denote by

_X_
^""'dS,'

will constitute

a longitudinal

EQUILIBRIUM OF A SPHERICAL ENVELOPE.

and a shearing

on the element, which we shall

force

87

call

Y
In like manner,
will

experience on

the

if

element dS^

positive

its

is

acted on by

Y' and

forces

a tension and a shearing

side

X'

it

the values

force,

of which will be

That the moments of these

forces

on the elements of area dS^, dS^ may-

vanish,

or the shearing force on dS^

When

at the

stresses

and

there

is

point,

(-ff= constant),

must be equal

no shearing

and

are

force,

if p^^

called

to that on

then

p,^

dS^

and p^ are

of principal stress.

lines

principal

called the

vanishes everywhere, the curves,

((?

= constant)

In this case the con-

ditions of equilibrium of the element dSidS^ are

^^

dp,,

dS,

d'S,

+ (i^n-i^.)5^^=0^
.

dp^dS,

d%

dHdG^^^'' ^'''UGdH'^

^'+P^ = N,-N,
The

first

(1),

^2^'

(3).

and second of these equations are the conditions of equilibrium


and second lines of principal tension respectively.

in the directions of the first

The
r,

and

third equation

r^

are

second lines of principal


curvature.

on which

r,

is

the condition of equilibrium normal to the surface

the radii of curvature of normal sections touching the


stress.

They

first

and

are not necessarily the principal radii of

N, is the normal pressure of any fluid on the surface from the side
and r, are reckoned positive, and N, is the normal pressure on the

other side.
If the systems of curves G and H, instead of being lines of principal stress,
had been lines of curvature, we should still have had the same equation (3),
but r, and r, would have been the principal radii of curvature, and p,, and p^.

A SPHERICAL ENVELOPE.

EQUILIBRIUM OF

88

the tensions in the principal planes of curvature,

been

have

would

and not

necessarily principal tensions.

the

In
r,

= i\, and

= iV, = 0,

surface

spherical

of

case

iV,

not acted on by any fluid pressure,

so that the third equation

becomes

Pn+P =
whence we obtain from the

(4),

and second equations

first

(^)-

-=--(sy=---'=-where C^

(IZ"= constant)

where {dhf

is

square of

lines,

equation

the

is,

will

principal

we may assume

of Hues,

so that they not only indicate lines

stress at

stresses

be inversely as the

will

of

stress.

Since this

the form of the functions

of stress,

is

and

but give the value of the

any point by the equations

[dG\

fdHy
where

tha,t

the distance between the consecutive lines

true of both sets

Hy

that

we draw two lines of


p^(dS^y = (dhy at any point
continue true through the whole
If then

of G.

(7,

such a distance

at

this

constant,

of these

length

H, and

a function of

is

the system

(^= constant)

is

line

of principal tension,

,.x

and

((t

= constant)

a line of

principal pressure.

spherical surface lines corresponding to values of

we now draw on the

differing

by

unity,

and

also

lines corresponding to values of

differing

by
and

these two systems of lines will intersect everywhere at right angles,


the distance between two consecutive lines of one system wiU be equal to the
distance between two consecutive Imes of the other, and the principal stresses
unity,

will

be

intervals

Now

in

the

directions

of

the

lines,

and inversely

as

the square of the

between them.
if

two systems

these conditions,

of

can be drawn on a siuface so as to fulfil


the theory of electrical conduction in a sheet

lines

we know from

equipotential
of uniform conductivity, that if one set of the curves are taken as
of lines
systems
the
two
that
and
flow,
lines
of
will
be
set
other
the
lines,
will give

a solution of some problem relating to the flow of electricity through


But we know that unless electricity be brought to some

a conducting sheet.
point of the

sheet,

and carried

off at

another point, there can be no flow of

EQUILIBRIUM OF A SPHERICAL ENVELOPE.

be some
-y^-

Hence,

sheet.

singular

points,

systems

such

if

which

at

the

all

of

lines

of

be

no

lines

there

exist,

meet,

flow

must

and at which

infinite.

is

and

the

in

electricity

89

If -j^

is

-j-^

is

if

nowhere

infinite,

any

at

infinite

there

point,

can

there

is

an

systems

of

stress

infinite

at

lines

at

all,

that point.

which can only be maintained by the action of an external force applied at that
point.

Hence

be free fi"om

This
equation

(3)

true

to

which no external

case

of

plane

and we have only two

the stresses at any point,

which are not

surface.

In a plane surface,

sufficient to

determine the distribution

we have some other conditions, such as the


by which the question may be rendered determinate.

The simplest
in

case of a

spherical surface acted on

which two equal and opposite forces


There

diameter.

evidently

will

must

differential equations connecting

equations of elas-

of stress, unless
ticity,

applied,

be only one system of stresses in the surface.


the

in

disappears,

are

forces

can easily be shewn from this that, when the external

it

there can

not

is

surface,

and

given,

are

forces

spherical

stress,

be

are

tension

by external

forces

is

that

applied at the extremities of a

along the meridian

lines,

com-

bined with an equal and opposite pressure along the parallels of latitude, and
the magnitude

of either of these stresses will be

P
(7),

2na sin^ 6
a

where

is

the

radius

of the

sphere,

the

force

at

angular distance of a point of the surface from the pole.

and

if

r^

respectively,

and
and

and

are

if

we make

will give

II.

poles,
is

and

the

the longitude,

(8),

the lines of principal stress, and

^~27ra\dsj ~27ra\dsj
VOL.

<f)

the rectilineal distances of a point from the two poles

G = log/^^ndH=<i>
then

the
If

*^''

EQUILIBRIUM OF A SPHERICAL ENVELOPE.

90

To

from

pass

I shall

any points,

the two forces are applied at

to that in which

case

this

use of the following property of inverse

make

surfaxies.

If a surface of any form is in equilibrium under any system of stresses,


and if lines of principal stress be drawn on it, then if a second surface be the
inverse of the first with respect to a given point, and if lines be drawn on
it
if

which are inverse to the lines of principal stress in the first surface, and
along these lines stresses are applied which are to those in the corresponding

point of the

from the point of


be

in

inversely

surface

first

invei-sion,

or

equilibrium,

the

as

squares of their respective distances

then every part of the second surface will either


be acted on by a resultant force in the direction

will

of the point of inversion.

For,

we compare

if

we

surfaces,

shall

find

in the two
them are in the same plane
and make equal angles with it.

corresponding elements of lines of stress


acting on

that the forces

with the line through the point of inversion,


The moment of the force on either element about the point
as

therefore

the

product

the

of

length

of

the

of

into

element,

inversion
its

is

distance

But the length


from the point of inversion into the intensity of the stress.
of the element is as its distance, and the stress is inversely as the square of
the distance, therefore the 'moments of the stresses about the point of inversion
If now any portion of the first surface is
are equal, and in the same plane.
in equilibrium as regards moments about the point
it will be
The corresponding portion of the second siirface will also be in
It is therefore
equilibrium as regards moments about the point of inversion.

equilibrium,

in

of inversion.

either

in

resultant

the

or

equilibrium,

force

acting on

it

passes through the

point of inversion.

Now
is

also

the

let

the

a sphere.

surface

is

surface

first

In the

^11+^^22

= 0.

be a sphere

first

In

surface

the

we know

that the second surface

the condition of equilibrium normal to

second

surface

the stresses are to those

Hence in
the inverse ratio of the squares of the distances.
the
direction
of
in
equilibrium
=
is
there
or
the second surface also, Pu-^P^ ^>
in
the
radius
is
any,
if
resultant,
the
that
have
seen
we
But
the normal.
Therefore, if we except the limiting case in which the radius vector
vector.

in

is

the

first

perpendicular to the normal, the equilibrium

We
a

in

sphere

may now, by
acted

on

inverting the

by a

pair

of

is

spherical

tensions

complete in
surface,

all directions.

pass from the case of

applied at the

extremities of a

EQUILIBRIUM OF A SPHERICAL ENVELOPE.


diameter

that

to

the forces are applied at the extremities of any

which

in

= 2a.

chord of the sphere, subtending at the centre an angle

be

will

which one of these


be

<f).

makes with the great

circles

The angle

lines of tension

Let the angle

through

circle

same as the corresponding angle

the

is

<f>

The

through the extremities of the chord.

passing

circles

91

points

these

in

the inverse

surface.

The
planes

distances

of

lines

orthogonal

being

polar

each of these

for

Hence,

the inverse surface.

and

if

and

give the lines of principal

will

any point

we draw tangent

if

qi,

r,

q.

are

on these planes,

H=

(10),

4>

and the absolute value of the

stress,

P sin a /c^ffy
2na

[dsj

If

any point of the spherical surface

easy to shew that at that point

any number of
points

of

forces,

acting

along

forces

chords

of

,._,

<''>

forming a system

spherical

decompose the system of


forces

planes to the sphere at the extremities of the chord,

perpendiculars from

the

it is

has in

it

Pa sin'
p=-2.^q:

different

be the

be

will

_Psin a fdGy _
27ra
[dsj ~

If

r,,

we make

P~

and

be circles whose

Let

chord.

the

and has the same value as

circles,

G = log/-^

stress at

will

these,

to

of

any point on the sphere from the extremities of the chord, then

of

constant

is

pressure,

produced pass through the

if

envelope,
into

the

we

in

may

a system of
sphere.

equilibrium,

be applied at

proceed

follows.

pairs

To do

this,

as

of equal
if

First

and opposite

there are

forces

must be at least 3(n 2),


Then determine the tension

applied at n points, draw a number of chords, which


so

as

to render

all

the points rigidly connected.

along each chord due to the external

forces.

If too

many

chords have

been

The ji forces
drawn, some of these tensions vnll involve unknown quantities.
will now be transformed into as many pairs of equal and opposite forces as
chords have been drawn.

122

EQUILIBRIUM OF A SPHERICAL ENVELOPE.

92

Next
of these

stress in the spherical surface due to each


and combine them at every point by the rules for the
The result will be the actual distribution of stress, and

the distribution of

find

of forces,

pairs

composition of stress*.
if

any unknown

from the

The

resultant

calculation of the

given in

are

these

have been introduced in the process, they will disappear

forces

result.

terms

stress

by a method derived from Mr

shew how

of difierent

same

to effect the

"On

paper,

Airy's valuable

when

stresses,

co-ordinates

spherical

I shall therefore

systems, would be very difficult;


object

from the component

unsymmetrical

of

the strains

in the interior of beamsf."

we

If

place the

surface

verse

is

on the surface of the sphere, the inp^, and pyy represent the components of

point of inversion

a plane, and

if jp^,

stress in the plane referred to rectangular axes,

we have

for equilibrium

^ ^=0
^ ^
+ ay

dx

dx

dy

(13),

(14).

These equations are equivalent to the following

where

is

the

from
ternal

equations of

forces.

strains,

variable

To

but the law of


from

point

to

strains

as

question

we

elasticity of the

point,

y.

cannot, in the case of a plane, be determined

equilibrium,

solve the

,_.
^^^^'

P^=-d^y^ Pyy=d^-

any function whatever of x and

The form of the function

d'F

d'F

d'F

P^ = df'

and

When, however, we have found two


cases, we can combine the results by

in

may

require to

exist

independently of ex-

know not

only the original

plane sheet, whether


different

solutions

of

dii'ections

it

is

at the

uniform, or

same

point.

corresponding to different

simple addition, as the expressions (equa-

tion 15) are linear in form.

In the case of two forces acting on a sphere, let A,

points corresponding to the points of application in the inverse


* Rankin's Applied Mechanics, p. 82.

t Philosophical Transactions, 1863, Part

I.

p. 49.

(fig.

29)

plane;

be the

AP =

r^,

EQUILIBRIUM OF A SPHERICAL ENVELOPE.

BP =
to
<f>

1\,

AB.
is

angle

APB = XAT=<f).

Then

the line of tension at

and the

constant,

ratio

of

r,

to

of

to

r,

differ

r,

stants.

We

is

r,

may

constant,

C,

in.

is

pressure

of

line

AB

Bisect

circle

and the angle

<f>

PD

and draw

through

an orthogonal

is

98
perpendicular

and B,

circle

for

for

which

which the

and the logarithms of the

ratio

from the corresponding quantities in the sphere only by contherefore put

Psina (day _ Psing fdHV _ _


P''-~2^^\dSj ~ 27ra \dSj ~ ^=="
where the values of

and

H are

the same as in equations (8) and (10).

Transforming these principal stresses into their components, we get

^"'~

2na

Psina

dG dG

27ra

dx dy

From

/,yv

_ Psina /dG

dG

\dy

dx

^^~

the relations between

27ra

and

''

dy\)

\dx\

H we

.(18).

have

dG^_dH ^^dG^dH
dx

d^Gd^G

^+^ =

whence

The values

of the

component

dy

dy
,
^
^ ^^^

stresses,

,^g.

dx

^ dm
^

d^H

,v

=^

(2^)'

being expressed as functions of the

second degree in G, cannot be compounded by adding together the corresponding


values of G,

we must,

therefore,

in

order to express

them

as linear functions,

find a value of F, such that

d'F

We

shall

with respect to

P sin a

\(dG\

(dGV\

then have, by differentiation with respect to

,_,

x,

and integration

y,

-^y-'-^^Ti^f^^^

(-)-

A SPHERICAL ENVELOPE.

EQTJILIBEIUM OF

94

Since

-,

I-

dy?

we have
The

-r =

this

in

case,

and

the arbitrary functions must be zero,

ay''

to find the value of

from that of

by ordinary integration of

(21).

result is

AP PD

Psma {AD-AC,

or if the co-ordinates of

and

are

h^ and

(a^,

AT>n\V

(a^,

(oa\

h),

(y-h>)'
Psina f. {2x-a,-a:)(a,-a,) + {2y-\-\){\-hy
( x-a,Y +
^ '^^ (x ^ = ^^:^ \*
(a,-a0^ + (6,-6,)^
a^f + (y - 6,)^

(2y -

6,

- 6,) (3^a,)^(2x -g

we

If

obtain the values of

on the sphere, and add

them

coeflScients

diSerential

second

-^^

for

^^. .^a^-. t^Al

the

all

we

together,

pairs

different

shall

find

new

...(25).

of forces

acting

value of F,

the

with respect to x and y will give a

which,

of

.,

system of components of stress in the plane, which, being transferred to the


sphere by the process of inversion, will give the complete solution of the

problem in the case of the sphere.

We

have

now

to this, but it is

If
sphere,

two

spherical

and opposite

we can determine

twists

all

other cases

special cases.

applied at any two points

be

For

if

still

hold,

of

the

we put

= log^+<^ and iI=log-^-<^


will

forces

may be reduced

(26),

and the principal

stresses

at

any

be inclined 45" to those in the case already considered.

will

If

and

the distribution of stress.

equations of equilibrium

point

surface,

worth while to notice certain

equal

G?

the

the problem in the case of any number of

solved

of the

applied to points

be the

moment

of the couple in a plane perpendicular to the chord,

the absolute value of the principal stresses at any point

p=

is

vm

Jf sina

IdG''

(-)

4i7-a='

In figure
lines

of

stress

30 are represented the stereographic


in

the

applied along the chord

cases

AB,

which

we have

projections

considered.

of the

When

principal

a tension

the lines of tension are the circles through

is

AB,

VOL. J I.

PLATE

X.

EQUILIBRIUM OF A SPHERICAL ENVELOPE.

and the
so

lines

drawn

The
the

of pressure

are

the circles orthogonal to them.

in the figure that the differences of the values of


lines

spiral

principal

lines

stress

the case of

in

the

distance

that point with the

from a given

centre

equal fluid pressure will be


of

6,

the

angular distance from

pressure balanced

by a

single

and the
at

If

2Bm'ep,,

and

if

spherical

the pressure

we may take the

will

we suppose the

the opposite pole,


is

= aj Nam2dd0

line

and then the

fluid pressure

the pole.

force

are

circles

the

applied to

pressure,

fluid

point,

the equilibrium of the segment, whose radius

for

to

by

sphere as an axis,

the

of

circles,

twists

circles are

AB.

In the case of a sphere acted on


of

These

and // are -^n.

which pass through the intersections of these


of

surface at the extremities of the chord

fiinction

95

is

joining
lines

of

be a function
total

efiect

of

then we shall have

6,

(28),

p = Na-p,i,

determine p the tension in the meridian, and p^ that in the parallels of

latitude.

[From the Proceedings of

XXXI.

In
which

Oil the best

is

Arrangement for producing a Pure Spectrum on a Screen.

on

experiments
the light

Royal Society of Edinburgh, Session 1867-68.]

the

spectrum,

the

it

usual to employ

is

slit

and one

a prism to analyse the hght,

admitted,

through

more

or

lenses to bring the rays of each distinct kind to a distinct focus on the screen.

The most

perfect

arrangement

that adopted by M. Kirchhoff,

that every

through the prism, so

light

is

which two

in

one before and the other after the passage of the

achromatic lenses are used,

pencil

consists

of

while

rays

parallel

passing through the prism.

But when the observer has not achromatic


as

in

in

the

use

lenses

and

prism in

stricted

the

materials,

of

such a

their foci at approximately the

We

shaU

first

so

may

it

way

as

or

still

to

command,

the rays of

heat,

or when,

he

is

re-

be useful to be able to place

bring the

rays

of

all

colours to

same distance from the prism.


the effect of the prism in changing the conver-

examine

gency or divergency of the


lens,

lenses at his

the case of the highly refrangible rays,

pencils

through

passing

that by combining the prism and the lens

it,

and then that of the

we may

cause their defects

to disappear.

When
or

a pencil of light

divergency

and

is

change

this

is

When

the

pencil

diminished as

be

the

emergent

pencil

is

convergency

refracted through a plane surface, its

medium which has the

greater as the

the index of refraction

will

is

that

in

less

greatest refractive index

angle of incidence

is

greater,

and

also

as

greater.

passes
it

will

be

a prism

through

enters,

and

more

will

or

its

convergency

be increased when

less

it

or

divergency

emerges,

and

convergent or divergent than the

incident one, according as the angle of emergence

is

greater or less than that of

THE BEST ARRANGEMENT FOR PRODUCING A PURE SPECTRUM ON A SCREEN.

97

This effect will increase with the difference of these angles and with

incidence.

the refractive index.

When

the angle of incidence

of the pencil

is

equal to that of emergence the convergence

is

unaltered, but since the

angle of emergence,

more refrangible rays have the greatest

convergency or divergency will be greater than that

their

of the less refrangible rays.

This

effect

will

be

of incidence,

that

is,

and

may

the pencils

will

it

is

and

less,

be diminished by increasing the angle

by turning the prism round

of the prism

angle

the

by making the angle of incidence

increased

that of emergence greater;

its

edge towards the

If

slit.

not too great, the convergency or divergency of

all

be made the same (a,pproximately) by turning the prism in this

way.
This correction, however, diminishes
to a prism of large angle,

inapplicable

By

aberration of the lens.

The

correct the prism.

to

the

and

convex lens

towards the

slit,

The

rays.

except

prism,

makes the

the colours.

separation of

It

is

takes no account of the chromatic

altering the arrangement,

effect of a

diminish the divergency, of eveiy pencil

most refrangible

it

is

but the change

when

highly refrangible

may

the lens

be

made

to increase the convergency,

its

rays

base

is

is

greatest on

very

to

and
the

much turned

more convergent or more

divergent than the less refrangible rays, according as they were convergent or
divergent originally.

If the rays pass through the prism before they reach the
the pencils will be divergent at incidence, and the more refrangible will

lens,

be most divergent at emergence.

more

converged

brought to their

come

than
foci

to their focus

light,

and

We

To

the

rest

If they
so

at approximately

first,

then

fall

on the

lens,

they will be

that by a proper arrangement

the

we must turn the

same

distance.

If the

all

may be

violet

rays

base of the prism more towards the

vice versa.

proceed to the numerical calculation of the proper arrangement.

find the variation of position of the focus of light passed

dependent on the nature of the


VOL.

II.

through a prism

light.

13

THE BEST ARRANGEMENT FOR PRODUCING

98

be the index of refraction of the prism, a its angle, <^i and (f), the
angles of incidence and emergence, 0, and 6^ the angles of the ray within the
prism with the normals to the first and second surfaces, S the difference of these

Let

angles

/x

then

by geometry

and by the law of

refraction,
sin

(f),

= ft sin 6,,

</>i

sin

constant, being the angle of incidence for

is

angles vary with

djl

The

shews that

sin 6^

dd^

cos

dfj.

/x.

Oj^'

d^ _

sin^i
cos

fJL

'

0^

slit

is

6^,

sin a

cos

o?ft

the

is

cos

when we wish

<^2

spectmm, and

of the

turned from the

the edge of the prism,

parallel to

the primary foci of the pencils

0^

dispersion, or breadth

increases as the base of the prism

it

As the

_
~

expression gives

last

sin

kinds of light, but the other

so that

ft,

dd^

= /t

<^,

all

we have

light.

only to consider

to render the image distmct.

be the distance of the focus of incident light from the prism, v,


measured to the
that of the emergent light, and u that within the prism, all

Let

right,

i\

then by the ordinary formula,

"

cos' ^1

ft

i\ cos' 0^ cos'

Taking the

differential coefficient of
1 dv,
Vi

2 sin

ft

^2

cos'

COS'^o

(f).j,

= i\ cos' 0, cos'

<^i.

the logarithms of these quantities,

2 sin

<^,

d(f),

_]_dv,_

2 sin

v dfi

cos

0,

0^

1 dv^

cos

dfjL

2 sin

v^dfi~ v.,dii~ cos

<f),

^fx

<f)^

sin

0^ cos'

(j)^

2 sin'
ft

cos' ^,

0,

di\

4 sin a

dv,

v,djx~v,djl~

{cos

a + coa

( ft'

By

0,

sin 0,

cos

0,

cos 0o.

and

we

find

- l) sin a - s in 8 {1 + co s (a - 8) }
1 - ^ft' (l - cos (a - 8)}

The quantity on the right of this equation


value of 8 exceeds that given by the equation
(ft'

dfi

2 sin
ft

Substituting for these angles their values in terms of a


1

d0,
'

cos

dfji.

1 dv,

d0,

0,

'

cos' ^1

fi'

is

always positive, unless the

- 1) sin a = sin 8 {1 + ft' cos (a - 8)}.

A PUKE SPECTRUM ON A SCREEN.


If /x=l-5

makes

an

and a =

angle

then S

60,

11*26'

of

= 22''52',

If

is,

the

ray

within the prism

with the base, which corresponds to an angle of

incidence 82' 50', or the incident ray

correct

that

99

inclined 7* 10' to the face of the prism.

is

two lenses* are used, of the same material with the prism, we may
the defects of the prism without turning

it

so

far

from

its

position of

least deviation.

Let a be the distance of the

slit

from the prism, and b that of the screen

Let

/i be the focal length of the lens between the prism


and slit, and J] that of the lens between the prism and the screen, then the
condition of a flat image is

from the

prism.

Let us

first find

di\

dfj,^ r.dfj,'' [x-l

fi~A

from which yj and f^

flat

/ 1\

i\

\/

/,

spectrum 8

obtain the conditions

1_J^_1_1_/11\

di\

the conditions of a

i\ = v^ and we

When 8 = 0,

1
i\

(1

g)' {l-iiM' (1 -cos g)} _ A


V
4(/x-l)'(/x+l)sin^g
~[a'^b)'^'

+C03

b~\a'^b)
may be found

in terms of

known

i = i(l+c)
b^

+ ic.
'a

f,

When

g,

the angle of the prism,

._

is

60",

then

3(4-;.')

quantities.

100 THE BEST ARRANGEMENT FOR PRODUCING

K
of

the

is

greater in proportion to

prism.

b,

A PURE SPECTRUM ON A SCREEN.

a concave lens must be placed in front


will be that in which the

The most convenient arrangement

is placed in the position of least deviation, and the lens placed between
and the screen, while the distance from the slit to the prism is to
prism
the
that between the prism and the screen as 1-c is to c. For quartz, in which

prism

/I

= 1-584

a=

1*5 3 6,

distance

for

the

or the

from

the

ordinary
lens
slit

ray,

- = 2-53,

so

that

the

best

arrangement

is

should be placed on the side next the screen, and the

which admits the light to the prism should be about

one and a half times the distance from the prism to the screen.

[From the Proceedings

XXXII.
To make a
nature of

the

London Mathematical

of the

Society, Vol.

Ii.]

The Construction of Stereograms of Surfaces.

surface

visible,

must be drawn upon

lines

it

contour lines

cording to some principle, as for instance the

and to exhibit

on the surface

the surface, these lines ought to be traced

and

ac-

lines of greatest

Monge represents surfaces to the eye by


on a surface may be drawn.
two systems of lines of curvature, which have the advantage of being
independent of the direction assumed for the co-ordinate axes. For stereoscopic
representation it is necessary to choose curves which are easily followed by the

slope
their

which

and

eye,

are

sufficiently

dijfferent

form to prevent a curve of the

in

being visually united with any other than the corresponding


I have found the best way in practice to be as
curve in the other figure.
how
many curves, are to be drawn on the surface,
determine
First
follows:

one

figure

and

at

from

what

Cartesian co-ordinates

to

find the numerical values of the co-ordinates of


convenient method of drawing the figures according

is

to

and

intervals,

on these curves.

points

draw an

gravity,

and take a point about

zontally

from

triangle,

equilateral

of the

side

and the

the centre of gravity as the origin,

For the other

point with the angles as unit axes.

figure,

taken on the opposite side of the centre of gravity.


rule gives a convenient

of a
I

point are

easily

draw the two

of a
in

sector

in

point

figure,

relief to

in

(x = 0,

y = 0) and

first

and divide
the

line

in

(z

= 0,

ty

= 0)

figure.

PQ

the co-ordinates

By drawing

iv,

In

this

way

z,

w,

PQ

(without

z-f-w, in order to find

ratios in each

y,

By means

and the second

the two lines once for

each point without making any marks on the paper,

troublesome in complicated figures.

x,

in both figures.

in the ratio of a:-fy to

this

have found that this

in the ratio of z to

and performing the same process of finding

cyclides, &c.

joining

expressed in terms of tetrahedral co-ordinates

divide the

line)

distant hori-

lines

When

the figures.

centre of

its

the point must be

the ratio oi x to y; I then lay a rule along the line

drawing the
the

lines

amount of

find

of the triangle

all

figure,

in each

we

get

which come to be very

have drawn the figures of

[Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society, Vol.

XXXIII.

On

and

Reciprocal Diagrams in Space,

ii.]

their relation to

Airy's Function of Stress.

Let
let
tov

i,

be any function of the co-ordinates

x,

axes parallel to the axes of

x,

y,

oi a point in space, and

y,

be another system of co-ordinates which

7},

we may

suppose referred

but at such a distance

z,

(in

thought)

that figures referred to x, y, z do not interfere with the figures referred to

We

shall

the figure or figures referred to

call

and those referred to

^,

t),

^,

rj,

^.

the First Diagram,

x, y, z

the Second Diagram.

Let the connection between the two diagrams be expressed thus

_dF

dF
^~dx'

When
of x, y,

z,

the form of

"^

known,

is

dF

dy'
^,

7/

and

and the form of the second diagram

To complete the second diagram,

let

dz'

^
t,

may

be found for every value

fixed.

a function

<^

of

f,

tj,

t,

be found from

the equation
<j>

then

it is easily

Hence the
that the

first

second

= x^+yyi + zl-F\

shewn that

diagram
is

_d^

_d<f>

"^"dr

y~'dri'

is

_d<f)

^"^'

determined from the

determined from the

first.

second

They

are

by the same process


therefore Reciprocal

Diagrams both as regards their form and their functions.

But

reciprocal

diagrams

have

a mechanical significance which

is

capable

of extensive applications, from the most elementary graphic methods for calculating

the stresses of a roof to the most intricate questions about the internal

103

RECIPROCAL DIAGRAMS IN SPACE.


molecular forces in solid bodies.

two independent methods of

indicate

shall

representing internal stress by means of reciprocal diagrams.

Let

First Method.

and

a,

/8

a,

be any two contiguous points in the

described about ab perpendicular to


this

surface

is

compounded

Then

it.

of a tension

introduced for the sake of homogeneity,

way

in this

will

keep every point of the

The components

a^ and equal

to

^{j^'^'^

a pressure parallel to ab and equal to

diagram,

the stress per unit of area on

if

parallel

first

Let an element of area be

the corresponding points in the second.

"^

TT*

'

to

F-y

^^^^

being a constant

then a state of internal stress defined


first

figure in equiUbrium.

of stress, as thus defined, will be

.=p(f--). ..-(f--). .=-(f--).


and these are

easily

shewn

to

fulfil

the conditions of equilibrium.

If any number of states of stress can be represented in this way, they


can be combined by adding the values of their functions (F), since the quanThis method, however, is applicable only to certain states of
tities are linear.
stress

but

if

we

write

_d'B d'C
P^~i:^^'dy^'

^^'
we

get

d'A
dydz'

_d'C

d'A

^^~d^^dz''

__.^
dzdx'

^"'~

a general method at the expense of

and of giving up the diagram of

_<IAa.^
'^

P""' dif

^^

djf

'

=__^^
dxdy'

using three functions A,

B, C,

stress.

Second Method. Let a be any element of area in the first diagram, and
a the corresponding area in the second. Let a uniform normal pressure equal
to F per unit of area act on the area a, and let a force equal and parallel
to

the resultant of this pressure act on the area

stress

in

the

equilibrium.

first

figure

defined

in

this

way

will

a,

then a state of internal

keep every point of

it

in

RECIPROCAL DIAGRAMS IN SPACE.

104

stress as thus defined will be

The components of

^""^Uy*"^

U^

This

dzdx\,

dxdyj'

dy-

_pfd'F d^
^^~ \dz dx dxdy
^^ ~

^Ufdaf

d'F\

Id'F d'F

^"

^^

dydz\)'

d^F d^F\
dx' dy dzj

(d'F d'F _

d^

d'F\

[dy dz dz dx

dz'

dx dy)

^pld'F
-^^

'

d'F

\dx dy dy dz

d'F d^F \
df dz dx)

'

'

is

a more complete,

a state of stress

though not a perfectly general, representation of

but as the functions are not

linear, it is difficult of

appHcation.

If however we confine ourselves to problems in two dimensions, either


method leads to the expression of the three components of stress in terms of
the function introduced by the Astronomer-Royal*.

_pd'F

^'^'^

and
is

if

ah and

a/S

dy^'

__p_dLl_

^^~

be corresponding

dxdy'

lines,

-pdil
^^~ daf'

the whole stress across the line ab

perpendicular to ayS and equal to Pa^.


*

"On

Strains in the Interior of Beams."

Phil Tram. 1863.

[From the Proceedings of

XXXIV.

GovEKNOR

is

On

power or the

resistance.

Most governors depend on the


a shaft of the machine.

In one

No. 100, 1868.]

Governors.

wMch

When

centrifugal

force

the velocity of
in the

driving-

of a piece connected with

the velocity increases, this force increases, and

the pressure of the piece against a surface or moves the piece,

increases

so acts

Society,

a part of a machine by means of

is

either

Royal

kept nearly uniform, notwithstanding variations

the machine

and

the

on a break or a valve.
of

class

regulators

of

machinery, which

we may

call

moderators*,

Thus in
pendulum revolving
within a circular case. When the velocity increases, the ball of the pendulum
presses against the inside of the case, and the Motion checks the increase of
the resistance

increased

is

by a quantity depending on the

some pieces of clockwork the moderator

velocity.

consists of a conical

velocity.

In

governor

Watt's

for

the

steam-engines

arms

open outwards, and so

contract the aperture of the steam-valve.


J. Thomson, when the velocity is
and overflows with a great velocity,

In a water-break invented by Professor

pumped

increased, water

is

and the work

spent in lifting and conmiimicating this velocity to the water.

is

centrifugally

up,

In aU these contrivances an increase of driving-power produces an increase


of velocity, though a

much

smaller

increase

than would be produced without

the moderator.

But
on

the

if

the

machine,
See

VOL.

II.

Mr

part acted on by centrifugal force,

instead of acting directly

motion a contrivance which continually increases the

sets

in

C. "W.

Siemens "

On Unifonn

Rotation," Fhil. Trans. 1866, p. 657.

14


GOVERNORS.

106
long as the

as

resistance

when

action

velocity

is

of the machine) be
I propose

its

normal value, and reverses

made

its

the governor will bring the

velocity is below
same normal value whatever variation (within the working

the

velocity to the

above
that

value,

limits

in the driving-power or the resistance.

without entering into any details of mechanism, to

at present,

the attention of engineers and mathematicians to the dynamical theory

direct

of such governors.

in

be seen that the motion of a machine with

will

It

of a uniform motion, combined with a

general

expressed as the

sum

of four different kinds

2.

It

3.

It

It

The

increase.

may continually diminish.


may be an oscillation of continually
may be an oscillation of continually

increasing amplitude.

decreasing amplitude.

and third cases are evidently inconsistent with the stability of


and the second and fourth alone are admissible in a good governor.

first
;

This condition

and

roots,

may be
may be

The disturbance may continually

4.

governor consists

These components

component motions.

1.

the motion

is

mathematically equivalent to the condition that

the possible

all

the possible parts of the impossible roots, of a certain equation

all

be negative.

shall

for equations

have not been able completely to determine these conditions

of

of several

its

disturbance which

a higher degree than the third

but I hope that the subject

will

obtain

the attention of mathematicians.

The

actual

motions corresponding to these impossible roots are not generally

taken notice of by the inventors of such machines, who naturally confine their
attention

to

the

way

in

which

it

the machine,

its

at which

limit

oscillating

action

governing power

by

altering

continually increased,

and jerking motion, increasing

of the

If,

this

governor.

in violence

till

it

is

generally

the adjustments of
there

is

the disturbance, instead of subsiding more rapidly,

generally a

becomes an

reaches the limit of

This takes place M'hen the possible part of one of the

impossible roots becomes positive.

may

is

and

designed to act;

is

expressed by the real root of the equation.

The mathematical investigation of the motion

be rendered practically useful by pointing out the remedy for these distur-

bances.

This has been actually done in the case of a governor constructed by

Fleeming

Jenkin,

with

adjustments,

by

which

the

regulating

Mr

power of the

GOVERNORS.

By

governor could be altered.


be

made more and more

107

altering these adjustments

rapid,

at

till

last

the regulation

a dancing motion

accompanied with a jerking motion of the main

shewed that an

shaft,

could

of the governor,
alteration

had taken place among the impossible roots of the equation.


I

consider three kinds of governors, corresponding to the three kinds

shall

of moderators already referred to.

In the

the

kind,

first

piece

centrifugal

has a constant distance from

the

when

the

the retarding force.

In

pressure on a surface on which

axis of motion,

but

velocity varies.

In the moderator this friction

the

governor this

tends to move

machine.

it

its

surface
;

and

is

this

is

it

itself

rubs varies

made moveable about the axis, and the friction


motion is made to act on a break to retard the

constant force acts on the moveable wheel in the opposite direction

which takes

to that of the friction,

when

the break

off

the friction

is

less

than

a given quantity.

Mr

Jenkin's governor

centrifugal

the same

piece

function

is

on

of the

position,

its

velocity.

It has the advantage that the

principle.

this

not change

does

and that

velocity depends in some degree on the


two surfaces which cannot be kept always

coefficient

in the

the

position

rotation

but

axis,

of

the

by a

restrained

is

pressure

is

always

of sliding friction between

same

condition.

In the second kind of governor, the centrifugal piece


from the

its

has the disadvantage that the normal

It

force

centrifugal piece in

is free

to

move

further

the intensity of which varies with

such a

way

that,

if

the velocity of

has the normal value, the centrifugal piece will be in equilibrium in


If the

every position.
centrifugal

piece

motion of the

will

piece.

velocity

fly

out or

is

greater or less than the normal velocity, the

fall

But a break

is

in

without any limit except the limits of

arranged so that

it

is

made more

or less

powerful according to the distance of the centrifugal piece from the axis, and

thus the oscillations of the centrifugal piece are restrained within narrow

Governors have been constructed on this principle by Sir

by M. Foucault.

In the

first,

limits.

W. Thomson

the force restraining the centrifugal piece

is

and

that of

a spring acting between a point of the centrifugal piece and a fixed point at
a considerable distance, and the break

is

a friction-break worked by the reaction

of the spring on the fixed point.

the

In M. Foucault's arrangement, the force acting on the centrifugal piece is


weight of the balls acting downward, and an upward force produced by

142

GOVERNORS.

108

weights acting on a combination of levers and tending to raise the

on the balls

resultant vertical force

the

first

place,

The break

is

the variable friction between the combination of levers and

the ring on the shaft on which the force


place,

The

balls.

depth below the

their

constant normal velocity.

centre of motion, which ensures a


in

proportional to

is

is

made

a centrifugal air-fan through which more or

air

and, in the second


is

allowed to pass,

Both these causes tend to regulate the

according to the position of the levers.


velocity according to the

to act
less

same law.

The governors designed by the Astronomer-Royal on Mr Siemens's

principle

the chronograph and equatorial of Greenwich Observatory depend on nearly

for

The

similar conditions.

removed from the

far

centrifugal

piece

and

vertical,

it

is

here a long conical pendulum,

is

prevented from deviating

not

much from a

fixed angle

by the

driving-force

being rendered nearly constant by means of a

differential

system.

The break

of the pendulimi consists of a fan which dips

into

a liquid more or

less,

The break of the

vertical.

according to the angle of the pendulum with the

principal shaft

is

worked by the

and the smoothness of motion of the principal shaft

is

apparatus

differential

ensured by connecting

it

with a fly-wheel.
In the third kind of governor a liquid

Mr

C.

W.

Siemens, the cup

way that if the


more liquid is pumped up*
in

such a

of

velocity

the

cup will

is

is

pumped up and thrown out

over

In the governor on this principle, described by

the sides of a revolving cup.

connected with

its axis

by a screw and a

axis gets ahead of the cup the cup

If this adjustment can be

remain

the

same

through

made

spring,

lowered and

is

perfect, the

a considerable

normal

range

of

driving-power.
It

appears from the investigations that the oscillations in the motion must

be checked by some force resisting the motion of


in

some cases by connecting the

viscous liquid, so that the oscillations

To check the
viscous liquid
rotation,

oscillation.

This

may

variations of motion in a revolving shaft, a vessel filled with

may be

attached to the shaft.

It

wiU have no

effect

on uniform

but will check periodic alterations of speed.

Similar effects are produced

by the

viscosity

of the lubricating matter in

the sliding parts of the machine, and by other unavoidable resistances


it is

be done

body with a body hanging in a


cause the body to rise and fall in the liquid.

oscillating

so that

not always necessary to introduce special contrivances to check oscillations.

GOVERNORS.

109

I shall call all such resistances, if approximately proportional to the velocity,

by the name of
In

several

" viscosity,"

whatever be their true

origin.

system of wheel-work

contrivances a differential

introduced

is

between the machine and the governor, so that the driving-power acting on the
governor
I

nearly constant.

is

have pointed out that, under certain conditions, the sudden disturbances

of the machine do not act

When

vice versa.

through the

these conditions are

motion

only simple, but the

itself

differential

fulfilled,

system on the governor, or

the equations of motion are not


disturbances depending on

not liable to

is

the mutual action of the machine and the governor.

Distinction between Moderators

In regulators of the

kind,

first

both estimated as

resistance,

if

let

be

let

be

the

moment

and

driving-power

the

Let

applied to a given axis of the machine.

be the normal velocity, estimated for the same

and

and Governors.

of inertia

axis,

and

dx
-7-

the

the actual velocity,

of the whole machine

reduced to the

given axis.

Let the governor be so arranged as to increase the resistance or diminish

(dx
-tt

T^

then the equation of motion will be

^.K)=^-^-^(t-^)
When

the machine has obtained

its final

(^)-

rate the first term vanishes,

^=V
+ ?^
^^
dt
F
Hence,

if

increased.

is

increased

Regulators

of

called moderators rather

'

or

this

diminished,

kind,

as

Mr

(2)
^'^^

the velocity will

be

permanently

Siemens* has observed, should be

than governors.

On Uniform

and

Rotation," Phil. Trans. 1866,

p.

657.

GOVERNORS.

110

In the second kind of

regulator,

applied directly to the machine,

the force

^\-^-^)>

instead of

being

applied to an independent moving piece, B,

is

which continually increases the resistance, or diminishes the driving-power, by


a quantity depending on the whole motion of B.
If y represents the whole motion of B, the equation of motion of

^(3fg=P-ie-i.(|-F) + (.,
where

is

We

the resistance applied by

can integrate the

first

when

(4).

moves through one unit of

of these equations at once, and

we

is

the same

as

used in

principal axis,

and

is

the velocity

but the position of the machine

no disturbance of the driving-power or resistance had taken

if

Jenkin's Governor.

Jenkin, and

(5);

has come to rest x = Vt, and not only

of the machine equal to the normal velocity,

space.

find

B^ = F{x-Vt)
so that if the governor

is

(=)

K^D^^d-'^)

and that of

In

a governor of this kind, invented by .Mr Fleeming

electrical

is

experiments,

a centrifugal piece revolves on the

kept always at a constant angle by an appendage which

on the edge of a loose wheel, B, which works on the same axis. The
edge of this wheel would be proportional to the square of the
but a constant portion of this pressure is taken off by a spring which
velocity
slides

pressure on the
;

acts

on the centrifugal

piece.

The

force acting

on

to turn

it

round

is

therefore

-C";
and

if

we remember

that the velocity varies within very narrow limits,

we may

write the expression

where i^

is

a new constant, and F^

the governor will

act.

is

the lowest limit of velocity within which

GOVERNORS.
Since this force necessarily
it

on

ax;ts

-B

Ill

applied

la

reason

tending to turn

to B,

be afterwards

to

explained,

it

this

oflf

weight

made

is

since

as well as put on, a weight

the negative direction

in

and

the positive direction,

in

necessary that the break should be taken

is

to

hang

and,

in

for

a viscous

liquid, so as to bring it to rest quickly.

The equation

of motion of

may then

be written
<)>

^t=^(t-'^-)-^^?-^
Y

where

is

a coefficient depending on the viscosity of the liquid and on other

is

the constant weight.

Integrating this equation with respect to

t,

we

and

resistances varying with the velocity,

find

B^ = F{x-V,t)-Yy-Wt
If

has come to

rest,

we have
x = (r. + -^)<

or

the

position

of

the machine

final velocity is constant,

is

is

+ ^3,

afiected

(8),

by that of the governor, but the

and
V.

where

(7).

+ ^=V.

(9),

the normal velocity.

The equation

of motion of the machine itself

is

M<^, = P-n-F[^^-v)-Gy
This

must

be

whole apparatus.

combined with

The

solution

equation
is

(7)

to

(10).

determine the motion of the

of the form

x = ^ie-'' + ^,e"'' + yl,e^+ Vt

where n^ n

n, are

(11),

the roots of the cubic equation

MBn'-i-{MY+FB)7i' + FYn + FG=0


If

n be a

pair

of roots

of this

equation of the form

part of X corresponding to these roots will be of the form

(12).

aJ-lh,

then the

GOVERNORS.

112

If

a negative quantity, this will indicate an oscillation the amplitude


If a is zero, the amplitude will remain constant,

is

of which continually decreases.

and

if

amplitude will continually increase.

positive, the

is

of the equation (12) is evidently a real negative quantity.


real part of the other roots should be negative is
the
condition that

One

root

Y\YG

[F

...

\^-^b)b~B^^

The

...

positive quantity.

If it is not fulfilled there


is the condition of stability of the motion.
be a dancing motion of the governor, which will increase tiU it is as great
To ensure this stability, the value of
as the limits of motion of the governor.
Y must be made sufficiently great, as compared with G, by placing the weight

This
will

W
is

a viscous liquid

in

not

if

sufficient.

To

determine

value

the

moveable wheel; then,


is

the viscosity of the lubricating materials at the axle

if

of

and

F, put the break out of gear, and

the velocities

be

fix

the

when the driving-power

P\

and

F= P-F
V-V
To determine G, let the governor act, and let y and y
when the driving-power is P and P', then

be the positions

of the break

P P'
y-y

General Theory of Chronometric Centrifugal Pieces.

W.

Sir
inertia

ThoTuson's

and M. FoucauWs

of a revolving apparatus,

of motion

Let

be the moment of

revolution.

The equation

is

dt\^
where

Governors.

and 6 the angle of

is

the

moment

dtj

of the applied force round the axis.

(1),

IIH

GOVERNORS.

Now,

let

centrifugal piece),

where

may

we

If

of

function

<f>

4>,

the centrifugal piece

if

is

con^plex.

assume that P, the potential energy of the apparatus,

then the force tending to diminish

gravity, spnngs, &c., will be -jr

kinetic

The whole energy,

<f>,

\^dj

rdBd^l

"^^

d4. di\

di\

and

potential,

t,

we

dP\^.
^
f/</>r

dO

Differentiating with respect to

dt

is

arising from the action of

is

E = iA'^' + i_B'^^' + P = jLd0

d4>/,dAde'

of the

diverLjence

(the

the kinetic energy of the whole be

also be a fiinction of

also
<^,

let

another variable

of

function

be a

and

(2).

find

j.d^d^

dScVe
dt

de^""

dt

dt^
(3),

.^

_dd (dAddd^

^dt~di\dcfdtdt.dt'
whence we have, by eliminating L,

d {T>H\_xdATd\^(lBd^'' _dP
d<f>
dt[^'dt)-^dfdti^d<t>dv
The
increase

of the

first
<^,

two

terms on the

right-hand

side

depending on the squares of the

centrifugal piece.

The

M)

indicate

velocities

a force

of the

by these terms may be

force indicated

tending

main shaft

called the

centrifugal force.

If the apparatus

is

so arranged that

P = ^^o)' + conat
where

cj

is

(^)'

a constant velocity, the equation becomes

/^d<}>\
^d<f>\

.dAjae^
.dAldSf

A\

dBd4>
,dBdT

/gx

dt

VOL.

II.

t..

anil

^*

GOVERNORS.

114

In
velocity

case

this

value of

the

cannot remain constant unless the

angular

with a centrifugal piece arranged on this principle has only one

shaft

of rotation without

velocity

(f)

equal to w.

is

be a small disturbance, the

If there

disturbance.

equations for the disturbance 6 and

^ may be written

^1^3^t=^

^-S4!The period of such small disturbances

They

neither

will

increase

nor diminish

dA
is

-r-r

if

()

{AB)~^ revolutions of the

there are

shaft.

no other terms in the

equations.

To

convert

and

in

resistance

this

G(f)

apparatus

motions

the

of

into

governor,

let

us assume viscosities

main shaft and the centrifugal

the

applied to the main shaft.

dA

Putting -rj

cj

= K,

piece,

and a

the equations be-

come

^S+^f+^f+^^=^

^f+4t-^f
The condition of
that

all

stability

of

w-<^)-

the motion indicated by these equations

ABn'-{-{AY+BX)n' + (XY+K')n + GK=0


shall

be negative

and

(12).

Combination of Governors. If the break of Thomson's governor


moveable wheel, as in Jenkins governor, and if this wheel

steam-valve,
three pieces.

or

'

(11)

this condition is

{^ + ^(^y+l^')>GK

to

is

the possible roots, or parts of roots, of the cubic equation

more powerful

Without entering

break,

into the

we have

is

applied

works

to consider the motion

of

calculation of the general equations of

115

GOVERNORS.
motion of these
bances,

pieces,

we may

ourselves

confine

to the

case

of small

distur-

and write the equations


d^e
(10
j^d(f)
= P-R,
A-^X-^^K^^^T4>^J^
de
dt

dd

d<f>

d^<f>

^de^^ dt'^di
dSft

dxjji

de

dt

.(13).

xp are
the angles of disturbance of the main shaft, the centrifugal
where 6,
wheel respectively, A, B, C their moments of inertia,
moveable
the
arm, and
is what was formerly denoted by
their connexions,
of
viscosity
the
F,
Z
X,
<f),

(u,

and

and

J are

the powers of Thomson's and Jenkin's breaks respectively.

d({)

The

resulting equation in

n'

+ it

is

of the form

Aif + X)i

Kn + T

-K

Bn+Y
-T

Civ + Zn

(14).

K'-]

Z fB\
A^-B^Cj^'^lABCyX^Y^'^^^
KTZ KTJ
/XYZ+KTC+K'Z\
+ ^M
ABC
J-^'^A-B^-^ ABC'

(13).

have not succeeded in determining completely the conditions of stability


of the motion from this equation; but I have found two necessary conditions,
which are in fact the conditions of stability of the two governors taken
I

separately.

If

we

write the equation


if

then,

in

+pn* + qif + rn- + 5?i 4- 1 =

order that the possible parts of

all

(16),

the roots shall be negative,

it

is

necessary that

pq>r
I

am

and ps>t

not able to shew that these conditions are

(l'')-

sufl&cient.

This compound

governor has been constnacted and used.

152

GOVEENOBS.

116

On

Mr

Motion of a Liquid in a Tube revolving about a Vertical Axis.

the

W.

C.

Siemens's Liquid Governor.

the section of the tube


along the tube

with respect
section

is

r,

at

B,

of time.

p be

tlie

density of the

fluid,

whose distance from the origin measured

a point
the co-ordinates of this point referred to axes fixed

the tube,

to

unit

in

s,

Let

the

Also

let

volume of liquid which passes through any


the following integrals, taken over the whole

tube, be

= A, jprW = B, jp^ds = C

]plcr'ds

(l),

the lower end of the tube being in the axis of motion.

Let
the

<f)

moment

be the angle of position of the tube about the vertical


of momentum of the liquid in the tube is

H=A^^^BQ
The moment
time

of

momentum

then

axis,

(2).

of the liquid thrown out of the tube in unit of

is

()

f^='>'^<2f+''J<?'-where r

is

the radius at the

direction of the tube there

The energy

orifice,

and a the angle between the

its section,

and the direction of motion.

of motion of the fluid in the tube

is

W-

^'^=*^f[+^<2S+4^<2"
The energy of the

fluid

which escapes in unit of time

^' = P.<2(A +

.)

*p.-'f

The work done by the prime mover

+ .icosag>f + i|(?

The

dt \dt

dt

dt I

dW dW
'^

,.
''

"^

w'ork spent on the liquid in unit of time

dt

(5).

in turning the shaft in unit of time

di_d^/dH dH\
dt~

is

'

is

is

QOTERNOBfl.

Equating

117

work done, we obtain the equations of motion

this to the

4^4?+'"^^3^''^--^'=^

in

B^+o'+i^<?+,,i,+^-ip^^;=o

(8).

These equations apply to a tube of given section throughout.


is

in

open

the

channels,

which the channels are

values

of

at each

filled

and

will

and that of k

point,

If the fluid

depend on the depth to


will

depend on the

depth at the overflow.


governor

the

In
referred

described

discharge

the

to,

is

by Mr

W.

C.

practically limited

Siemens

in

the paper already

by the depth

of the

fluid

at

the brim of the cup.

The

resultant force at the brim

brim

If the

(where x
to the

is

is

perfectly

is

/= -Jg' +

horizontal,

the overflow will be proportional to x^

the depth at the brim), and the

brim will be proportional to

(0*1^.

x, or to

mean square

If the breadth of overflow at the surface

is

height above the lowest point of overflow^ then

proportional to

will

If

n= ^,

From

a;",

where x

a;

or as

^.

then the overflow and the mean square of the velocity are both
x.

the second equation

If the velocity of rotation

we

find for the

and of overflow

Q_^d4>
~=r'
dt

From the
and

the

mean square

of velocity

^-K4^^^-''t-^(^-^

cos a =

is

vary as af "^*, and the mean

square of the velocity of overflow relative to tke cup a^

proportional to

of the velocity relative

Q^.

first

B = 0,

equation,

we

supposing,

is

constant, this becomes

2g{h + z)
as

in

<^)-

Mr

(10).

Siemens's construction, that

find

^=p<t

(")

GOVERNORS.

118

Mr

In
tion

Siemens's governor there

If the

the

established between

is

conditions

an arrangement by which a

is

fixed rela-

z,

L=-Sz

(12).

f = 4f|'-..* + ^f.<?f

(13).

be so arranged that the mean square of

of overflow can

by

represented

velocity,

and

the spring which determines

is

p-

is

also

proportional to

Q,

and

if

the strength of

arranged so that
i^')-

f=f'^-<?
the equation will become,

if 2gli

= o}^r^,

-f<i-^

o-^f

(-)

which shews that the velocity of rotation and of overflow cannot be constant
unless the velocity of rotation

is

w.

The condition about the overflow


in practice

probably

is

of driving-power

by a proper adjustment of the

there will be a

maximum

The
in

p.

spring.

If the rim

667 of

Mr

is

difierential

Siemens's paper.

minimum

maximum.
equation which determines the nature of small disturbances

the

general of

uniform,

This seems to

the flow of the fluid were limited by a hole, there would be a

velocity instead of a

is

obtain accurately

a certain driving-power.

velocity for

be verified by the results given at

difficult to

but very good results have been obtained within a considerable range

fourth order,

proper choice of the value of the

but

mean

may

be

reduced to the

third

by

overflow.

Theory of Differential Gearing.


In some contrivances the main shaft

is

connected with the governor by a

wheel or system of wheels which are capable of rotation round an


is

itself

axes

also capable

may

be

wheels; or they

at

of rotation about the axis of the main shaft.

right angles,

may be

as

in the

axis,

which

These two

ordinary system of differential bevel

parallel, as in several contrivances

adapted to clockwork.

119

GOVERNORS.

Let i and

rj

represent the angular position about each of these axes respec-

that of the governor; then 6 and


and
and the motion of any point of the system can
terms either of f and 17 or of ^ and

that of the

tively,

main

are linear functions of i

be expressed in

shaft,

and

<f)

<f>

r),

<f}.

Let the velocity of a particle whose mass

is

resolved in the direction of

X be
d^

dx

dr)

with

similar

expressions

putting suffixes

other co-ordinate directions,

the

for

2 and 3 to denote the values of

and q

<'''

drP'di+1-di
for these

Then Lagrange's

directions.

equation of motion becomes

a Sf+H8,-Sm(Sx+Sy + g8z) =
where

H and H

are

the

tending to increase

forces

force being supposed to be applied at

Now

hx

putting

d^x

^d
,

any other

^ and

(2).

respectively,

rj

=pM + 9i^,
d'^

(3),

,.

d'-q

no

point.

W'

dt^=P^de^^^di^

the equation becomes

(B-2,ny
and

since 8^

and

f -Stp?)

tmp<i

^-tnut'll)

are independent, the coefficient of each

8, = 0...(5);

must be

zero.

we now put
X(mp')=L,

where

Sf + (h

p*=Pi+P,'-\-p,\

t(mpq) = M,

t{mq')=N

P? = Mi + M + Ps^^

and

q'

(6),

q'

q,'

+ q\

the equations of motion will be

If

the

apparatus

is

(^).

=^f+^^.

w-

arranged

so

independent of each other

H=^f-^

that

^"=0, then the two motions

and the motions indicated by ^ and

17

will

will

be

be about

GOVERNORS.

120
conjugate

axesthat

about axes such that the rotation round one of them

is,

does not tend to produce a force about the other.

be the driving-power of the shaft on the differential system,


differential system on the governor; then the equation of

Now let
^ that of

and

the

motion becomes

eBe^^<P^(B-L-^M^^^^(n-M-N^S,^0
^^d

hri

+A^ir- ]
X' =.Lr + 2MPR
M' = LPQ + M{PS+QR) + NRS^^

we put

if

^'''^'

= RBe+sm

'^

and

(9);

the equations of motion in 6 and

</>

will

(11),

be

(12).

If
If

M' = 0, then

and

motions in

the

will

<^

independent of each other.

be

then we have the relation

also 0,

is

LPQ + 3IRS=0
and
on

if this

main

is

the disturbances of the motion in

fulfilled,

motion in

the

The teeth

(ft.

of the

and the governor respectively

shaft

differential

In such
in

differential

proper

motion of this axis


of

the

If the

machine.

moments

is

systems a
state

made
in

this

of
to

force,
is

work a valve

case

is

will

have no

effect

this relation will be mutual.

constant

efficiency,

system in gear with the

then correspond to the centres of

will

percussion and rotation of a simple body, and

governor

(13);

H,

sufficient

or

merely the

keep

to

applied to the axis

tj,

a break on the main


friction

the

and the
shaft

about the axis of

^.

of inertia of the different parts of the system are so arranged

that

M' = 0,

will

act instantaneously on the valve, but will not communicate any impulse to

the governor.

then the disturbance produced by a blow or a jerk on the machine

[From the Philosophical Magazine,

XXXV.

for

May, 1868.]

" ExperimeTit in Magneto-Electric Induction"

IN

A LETTER TO

W.

GROVE,

R.

8,

F.R.S.*

Palace Gardens Terrace, W.

March

Dear

Since

our

electric inductionf,
result.

27,

1868.

Sir,

have

left

yesterday

conversation

have considered

it

on your experiment on magneto-

mathematically, and

out of the question the secondary

you observed depends

essentially

coil,

now send you

the

as the peculiar effect

on the strength of the current in the primary

and the secondary sparks merely indicate a strong alternating primary


The phenomenon depends on the magneto-electric machine, the electrocurrent.
the condenser.
and
magnet,
coil,

The machine produces


force,

which

in

we may compare

the primary wire an alternating electromagnetic

a mechanical force

to

alternately

pushing and

pulling at a body.

The

resistance

of

the primary

viscous fluid in which the

body

is

wire

made

we may compare
to

to

move backwards and

the effect of a
forwards.

The electromagnetic coil, on account of its self-induction, resists the starting


and stopping of the current, just as the mass of a large boat resists the efforts
of a man trying to move it backwards and forwards.
The condenser
a

resists

railway-buffer resists

the accumulation of electricity on

Communicated by
t See Phil. Mag.

VOL.

II.

its

surface, just

the motion of a carriage towards a fixed obstacle.

S.

Mr W.
4.

R. Grove, F.R.S.

March 1868,

p.

184.

IS

as

EXPEKIMENT IN MAGNETO-ELECTRIC INDUCTION.

122

Now

us

let

suppose

a boat floating in a viscous

and

by

ropes

attached to fixed moorings before and behind.

fore

buffers

and kept

fluid,

in

its

abutting against fixed obstacles, or by elastic

place

aft

If the

were away,

buffers

would not prevent a man from pulling the boat along


with a long-continued pull; but if the man were to push and pull in alternate seconds of time, he would produce very little motion of the boat. The
buffers will effectually prevent the man from mo\ang the boat far from its

the mass of the boat

by a steady pull; but

position

he pushes and pulls alternately, the period

if

being not very different from that in which the buffers would
cause the boat to vibrate about its position of equilibrium, then the force which
acts in each vibration is due, partly to the efforts of the man, but chiefly to
of

alternation

man

the resilience of the buffers, and the


further from its

mean

position

the same rate at the same boat perfectly

Thus,

of

position

the body

The
body

is

may

be

much

electricity

in

only

condenser,

on

the

in this case the

rapidity

towards a

perfectly free.

the primary

account

electricity

coil

of
is

its

when

When

small

is

it

motion;

resisted

closed corresponds to a free

is

and

this

in

the primary

is

case the
coil is

restrained

may be much

the

by a spring

motion produced by a force which alternates with


greater than in the former case.

current

interrupted

proportional to

with a force

accumulation, and corresponds to a body whose motion

and

extent of the

attracted

is

depending on the displacement than when

equilibrium by a force

resisted

he had pushed and pulled at

free.

when the body

greater

produced by an alternating force

by

if

alternating force acts on a massive body, the

when an

displacements

be able to move the boat much

will

than he would

sufficient

enclose the mathe-

matical theory of the experiment, and remain,

Yours
J.

Mathematical Theory of

Let

be the revolving

the

truly,

CLERK MAXWELL.

Experiment.

armature of the magneto -electric machine, N,

the poles of the magnets, x the current led through the coil of the electromagnet R, and interrupted by the condenser C. Let the plates of the condenser

be connected by the additional conductor

y.

123

EXPERIMENT IN MAGNETO-ELECTRIC INDUCTION.

MsinO

Let

be the

armature; then

the

if

value

of the

electromotive force due to the machine

Let

M and

is

two

be

coil

of the armature

be the coefficient of self-induction, or the " electromagnetic mass

coils

its

Let

" electromagnetic

is

"

in this

wire

at

any

instant,

then

We
We

be the capacity of the condenser, ar

the excess of potential of

then the quar aty of electricity on the upper

CP.
shall neglect the self induction of this current.

have then

for this conductor,

P = P'J

(!)

For the charge of the condenser,


.(2).

For the current

x,

Mn cos nt + Ex + L dx
P=
dt
If

we assume
x = Acos

we

find

Lx

momentum."

Let p be the resistance of the additional conductor, and y the current


it.

of

taken together.

the upper plate at any instant,


plate

the

n,

nt.

be the resistance of the wire which forms the

Let X be the value of the current


will

2Li cos

of

coil

that of the fixed electromagnet.

Let
these

of the magnets on the

potential

the armature revolves with the angular velocity

A' =
p= {( 1

{nt

+ a),

3Pn' (1 + CpV)
- LC?i'Y + H'Cjf} + 2Bp + I^ + Liv

,1

C0t~^7^

Lpn

,R + p-LCpn'
p-LCpn
'
RCpn + Ln
*

cot

(3).

in

EXPERIMENT IN MAGNETO-ELECTRIC INDUCTION.

124

The quantity of the

alternating current

epoch of the

of a only affects the

that of closing the circuit of

effect is

determined by

is

maximum current.
x, and we find

^' =

If

and the value

R + Un'

This expression shews that the condenser has no effect


is

we make p = 0, the

when the

current

closed.

If

we make

/a

thus breaking the

oo

the

effect

is

that of

removing the conductor

y,

and

In this case

circuit.

A' =

^ + (^-^J'
This expression

gives

provided 2CLn^

is

a greater

value of

greater than unity, which

capacity of the condenser,

than when the

may

circuit

is

closed,

be ensured by increasing the

the self-induction of the electromagnetic

coil,

or

the

velocity of rotation.

This
is

CDn = l,

is

the expression

the greatest

the same as

if

effect

is

reduced to

velocity, and
had no "electromagnetic momentum."

which can be produced with a given

the current in the

coil

If the electromagnet has a secondary coil outside the primary coil

depend
the

essentially

of

reaction

described

by

on that of the primary which has just been found. Although


current on the primary coil will introduce a

Mr Grove

secondary

as
will

the secondary

greater compUcation in the mathematical expressions, the remarkable

the

so

an ordinary induction-coil, the intensity of the secondary current

to form

sparks

place in the primary

does not require us to enter

observed

coil.

into

this

phenomenon

calculation,

as

by him are a mere indication of what takes

[From the Philosophical Transactions,

XXXVI.

On a Method

Electromagnetic Force

Vol. CLViii.]

of Making a Direct Comparison of Electrostatic with


with a Note on tlie Electromagnetic Theory of Light.

Received June 10, Read June 18, 1868.

There

two

are

and independent

distinct

methods of measuring

electrical

quantities with reference to received standards of length, time, and mass.


The electrostatic method is founded on the attractions and repulsions be-

tween electrified bodies separated by a fluid dielectric medium, such as air;


and the electrical units are determined so that the repulsion between two small
electrified bodies at a considerable distance may be represented numerically by
the product of the quantities of electricity, divided by the square of the distance.
The electromagnetic method is founded on the attractions and repulsions

and separated by air;


two equal straight conductors
are placed parallel to each other, and at a very small distance compared with
their length, the attraction between them may be represented numerically by
observed between

and the

the

conductors

electrical units are

product

of

the

carrying

electric

determined so that

currents

multiplied

currents,
if

by the

sum

of

the lengths of the

conductors, and divided by the distance between them.

These two methods lead to two different units by which the quantity of
The ratio of the two units is an important
is
to be measured.

electricity

which we propose to measure. Let us consider the relation


function
of these units to those of space, time, and force (that of force being a
of space, time, and mass).
In the electrostatic system we have a force equal to the product of two
physical quantity,

quantities

of

electricity

will

electricity

divided by the square of the

therefore vary

root of the unit of force.

distance.

directly as the unit of length,

The unit of

and as the square

A DIRECT COMPARISON OF ELECTROSTATIC

126

In the electromagnetic system we have a force equal to the product of two

by

two

The unit of current in this


and the unit
of electrical quantity, which is that which is transmitted by the unit current
in unit of time, varies as the unit of time and as the square root of the unit
multiplied

currents

the

of

ratio

lines.

system therefore varies as the square root of the unit of force

of force.

The

ratio of the

electromagnetic unit to the electrostatic unit

that of a certain distance to a certain time,


velocity

and

this

velocity will be

we

in

other words,

is

this

therefore

ratio

is

same absolute magnitude, whatever

the

of

standards of length, time, and mass

or,

adopt.

The electromagnetic value of the resistance of a conductor is also a quantity


of the nature of a velocity, and therefore we may express the ratio of the two
electrical units in terms of the resistance of a known standard coil; and this
expression will be independent of the magnitude of our standards of length,
time and mass.
In

the experiments

either

of

time,

length,

here

described

or mass, the

no absolute measurements were made,


only of these quantities being in-

ratios

and the velocity determined is expressed in terms of the British Association Unit of Resistance, so that whatever corrections may be discovered to
be applicable to the absolute value of that unit must be also applied to the
volved

velocity here determined.

resistance-coil

whose resistance

is

equal to about 28 "8 B. A' units would

r^resent the velocity derived from the present experiments in a manner independent of aU particular standards of measure.

The importance of the determination of this ratio in all cases in which


and electromagnetic actions are combined is obvious. Such cases
occur in the ordinary working of aU submarine telegraph-cables, in inductionBut a knowledge of this ratio
coils, and in many other artificial arrangements.

electrostatic

is,

think,

of

still

greater

scientific

importance

when we

consider that

velocity of propagation of electromagnetic disturbances through a dielectric

depends on this

ratio,

and,

according to

my

calculations*, is

the

medium

expressed by the

very same number.

The

first

Kohlrauscht,

numerical

determination of this quantity

who measured

the

capacity

* "A Dynamical Theory of the Electroma^etic


t Pogg, Ann. Aug. 1856, Bd. xcix. p. 10.

of

is

that of

Weber and

a condenser electrostatically by

Field," Philosophical Transactions, 1865.

WITH ELECTROMAGNETIC FORCE.


comparison

with

the

capacity

of

sphere of

by passing the discharge from

netically

The

127

known

the- condenser

and electromag-

radius,

through a galvanometer.

Committee of the British Association have turned their


means of obtaining an accurate measurement of this velocity,

Electrical

attention to the

for this purpose have devised new forms of condensers and contact-breakers
and Sir William Thomuson has obtained numerical values of continually increasing

and

accuracy by the constant improvement of his

which

velocity

and time

and

construction

but as

should

seemed probable that the time occupied

it

improvement

employ

to

electromagnetic
I

own methods.

compared with our ordinary units of space

probably most easily measured by steps, and by the use of several

is

different instruments

determined

so great

is

of

more direct method of comparing

the

in

instruments would be considerable,

these

electrostatic

effects.

not,

with his usual

however, have been able to do


placed at

liberality,

my

Mr

had not

this,

Gassiot,

disposal his magnificent battery of 2600

charged with corrosive sublimate, with the use of his laboratory to work

cells

Mr Willoughby Smith

To

giving a

coils,

with

am

indebted

for

Forde and Fleeming Jenkin

units,

and

of a galvanometer

the use

for

in.

the use of his resistance-

more than a million B. A.

of

resistance

and to Messrs
resistance-coils,

a bridge and a key for double contacts.

Mr

Hockin,

C.

devised

the

currents

by

which

librium,

The
The
which

means

and

resistances,

done

suggestions since I

first

He

has also tested the

except the actual observation of equi-

everything

undertook myself.

electrostatic

six

me with

the whole work of the comparison of the

the galvanometer and shunts.

of

in fact

greatly assisted

undertook

electrical balance itself

one,

potential,

who has

experiment,

inches

was made for me by Mr Becker.


was that between, two parallel

observed

force

was

diameter,

while the other,

four

and

insulated

inches diameter,

maintained

was at the same

at

disks,

of

high

potential

as

the case of the instrument.

In order to insure a known quantity of


disk,

so

it

that the surface of the disk

were in
space.

electricity

on the surface of

was surrounded by the "guard-ring" introduced by


one

plane,

In this

at

way the

the

when

same

electrical

due to a uniform distribution over

in

its

W.

this

Thomson,

and that of the guard-ring


and separated by a very narrow

position

potential,

action

Sir

on the small disk was equal to that

front surface,

while no electrical action

A DIRECT COMPARISON OF ELECTROSTATIC

228
could exist at

its

sides or back, as these were at the

same potential with the

surrounding surfaces.

was mounted on a slide worked by a micrometer-screw.


The small disk was suspended on one arm of a torsion-balance so that in its
were in one plane.
position of equilibrium its surface and that of the guard-ring

The

If

disk

large

is

the difference of potential between the two disks in electromag-

netic measure, the attraction

between them

is

R^l
where a

and V

(1),

the radius of the small disk, h its distance from the large one,
the velocity representing the ratio of the electromagnetic to the elec-

is

is

trostatic unit of electricity.

The electromagnetic force observed wa3 the repulsion between two circular
of the suspended disk, and the
coils, of which one was attached to the back
separated from it by a plate of
being
disk,
large
the
other was placed behind
was made to pass through
current
A
compound.
Hooper's
of
glass and a layer
these coils in opposite directions, so as to produce a repulsion

=.2nnn'^y^

(2),

where n and n are the number of windings of each

coil,

is

the current, and

'i=i^ ^(^-^wfS
c=>siny=

where

a,

and

a,

are the

When V
If
area,

of the

and

coils,

2A

is

we take

this

radii

-^

l^;,

the

mean

distance of their

E, and F, are the complete elUptic functions for modulus c = siny.

and

planes,

mean

''''

small compared with a\ -g

2a'

becomes very nearly -p-.

into account the fact that the section of each coil

formula would require correction;

made equal

to

but in these

the breadth of the section, whence

it

coils

is

of sensible

the depth was

foUows, by the differential

WITH ELECTROMAGNETIC FORCE.


of the

equation

potential

of

two

given

coils,

at

508

p.

129
^^

my

of

paper on the

Electromagnetic Field,

d'M
da'

that the

correction

of the coil

is

Fixed disk and

is

^^''

[1-^'.], where a

in this case

about

coil.

coil.

X.

coil of

Secondary coiL

galvanometer.

y.

Great resistance.

glass scale.

x-x.

Current through the three

Shunt

S.

the depth

Current through R.

x. Current through G,.

Primary

is

'000926.

K. Double key. g. Graduated


C. Electrode of fixed disk.

coil.

Counoerpoise disk and

dM ~"

a da

db'

a factor of the form

correction which

Suspended disk and

d'M
"^

M. Mercury

Cun-ent through

coils

and

S.

G,.

cup.

Torsion head and tangent screw.

One quarter
instrument

is

and coils is cut away to shew the interior. The case


The galvanometer and shunts were 10 feet from the Electric Balance.

of the micrometer-box, disks,

not shewn.

[Vol.

VOL.

II.

I.

p.

591.]

17

of the

A DIRECT COMPARISON OF ELECTROSTATIC

130

The suspended

besides the repulsion due to the fixed

coil,

a couple due to the action


a

exactly

coil

and the current

similar

was

attached

the second

in

When

to

that in the

no

efiect of terrestrial

first.

the other arm of the

was made to flow

coil

the

to

made

current was

magnetism could be

experiences

coil,

To balance

magnetism.

of terrestrial

couple,

this

torsion-balance,

the opposite direction

in

to flow through both

coils,

obsei-ved.

The torsion-balance consisted of a light brass frame, to which the suspended


coils and disks were attached so that the centre of each coil was about eight
This firame was suspended by a
inches from the vertical axis of suspension.
(No. 20), the upper end of which was attached to the centre of
a torsion head, graduated, and provided with a tangent screw for small angular
The torsion head was supported by a hollow pillar, the base of
adjustments.

copper wire

which was clamped to the


adjustments

The

and

fixed disk

and

screw,

lid

the

of

instrument

to

as

so

admit

small

of

in every direction.

were

were mounted on a

coil

by a

protected

worked by a micrometer-

slide

brass box,

cylindrical

the

front

of which,

forming the guard-ring, 7 inches in diameter, had a circular aperture 4-26 inches
diameter, within which the suspended disk, 4*13 inches diameter, was free to
move, leaving an interval of "065 of an inch between the disk and the aper-

ture.

glass

scale

with

divisions

of

^^

^^

xio

suspended disk on the side which was not

'^^^^

electrified,

"^^^

and

attached to the

this

was viewed by

a microscope attached to the side of the instrument and provided with cross
wires at the focus.

The disk worked by the micrometer was


so

to

as

be parallel to the inner surface

micrometer-box.

the

This front

face

of

carefully adjusted

the

guard-ring,

the micrometer-box,

of

by the maker,

or front

when

in

face

of

position

was made vertical by means of three adjusting screws.


The suspended disk was then pressed against the fixed disk by means of a
slight spring, and the fixed disk was gradually moved forward by the micrometer-screw, while at the same time the graduated scale was observed through
In this way the graduations on the scale were compared with
the microscope.

in

the

instrument,

the readings of the micrometer.


into

contact with the guard-ring

motion was interrupted.


whole

circumference

of

motion ceased altogether.


of an inch.

A
the

This was continued


at

one

point,

till

when

the large
the

disk

regularity

of

came
the

very small motion was then sufficient to bring the


disk

into

when the
much more than one-thousandth

contact with the guard-ring,

This motion was not

131

WITH ELECTROMAGNETIC FORCE.


disk

This

bisected

adjusted

by the

brought

then

w<a8

microscope was

so

that

wires.

cross

the

to

small

of

position

division

kno\\Ti

of

piece

silvered

and the

contact,

first

the

of

was

scale

glass

was fastened

glass

to

the outside of the guard-ring, and another to the back of the suspended disk
and these were adjusted so as to be in one plane, and to give a continuous

image of reflected objects when the disks were in contact and the surface of
the

was therefore

suspended disk

The

ring.

adjusted

disk

fixed

division

of

the

of

the

glass

scale

reflections

moved

be

could

balance

in

pillar;

it

the

plane

screwed

of the

guard-

the

of

surface

and the torsion-balance was


equilibrium was in precisely the

back,

when

in

This was tested by observing the coincidence of the

before.

by examining the
base

then

that the suspended disk

so

same position as
zero

was

bodily

could

in

and

the microscope,

with the cross wires of

from the two pieces of silvered

The

glass.

torsion-

any horizontal direction by adjusting the

be raised or lowered by a winch, and

could

it

be turned about any horizontal axis by sliding weights, and round the vertical
In this way the position of
axis by a tangent screw of the torsion head.
equilibrium

of

the suspended disk could be

of the guard-ring to the thousandth of

made continued very good from day

made

an inch;

to

coincide

and

the

with the plane

when

adjustment

to day, soft copper wire, stretched straight,

not having the tendency to untwist gradually which I have observed in steel
The weight of the torsion piece was about 1 lb. 3 oz., and the time of
wire.

a double

oscillation

about fourteen seconds.

The

oscillations

of the

suspended

were found to subside very rapidly, the


in pumping the air through the narrow
expended
being
energy of the motion
suspended disk.
and
the
guard-plate
the
between
aperture

when near

disk,

The

One

When

its

electrical

sighted position,

arrangements were as follows


of

electrode

the key was

Mr

pressed

Gassiot's

great

with a key.

battery was connected

connexion was made

to the fixed disk,

and thence,

through Mr Willoughby Smith's resistance-coils, to a point where the current


was divided between the principal coil of the galvanometer and a shunt, S,
These partial currents reunited at a
consisting of Mr Jenkin's resistance-coils.
point

where they were put

in

connexion with the other electrode of the battery,

with the case of the instrument, and with the earth.


Another battery was employed to send a current through the
electrode

of

this

battery was connected with a second

contact

coils.

piece

of

172

One
the

A DIRECT COMPARISON OF ELECTROSTATIC

132
key,

when the key was

that,

so

secondary

coil

then through

the current went

first

through

the

the brass frame of the torsion-balance and the suspended


from the centre of the
stout copper wire, weU amalgamated, hanging
to the case,
communication
metallic
made
mercury,
into a cup of

two suspended

disk.

pressed,

of thick wire,
of the galvanometer, consisting of thirty windings
through the
so
and
the fixed coil, then to the suspension wire,
coils

to

torsion-balance

and to the other electrode of the battery.


When these arrangements had been made, the observer at the microscope,

to earth,

when

disk was

suspended

the

made simultaneous contact

zero,

stationary at

disk waa attracted, the


with both batteries by means of the key.
was worked so as
micrometer
the
and
powerful,
great battery was the more
the fixed disk
repelled,
was
disk
the
If
disk.
the
of
to increase the distance
till a distance was found at
disk,
suspended
the
to
nearer
had to be moved
by
the scale was at rest and at zero, no eflPect was produced
If

the

when

which,

the simultaneous

of

action

the forces actuaUy employed

With

the batteries.

so that when the adjustthe equihbrium of the scale at zero was unstable;
from zero, and contacts
directed
always
was
ment was nearly perfect the force
such a way as to
in
zero,
approaching
was
scale
be made as the

had to
bring

to

it

In

the

rest,

if

possible,

the

meantime

at

zero.

other

observer

the

at

was taking

galvanometer

of the two
advantage of these contacts to alter the shunt S, till the effects
other.
each
currents on the galvanometer-needle balanced
When a satisfactory case of equilibrium had been observed simultaneously

micrometer-reading and the


the galvanometer and at the torsion-balance, the
results of the experiment.
the
as
down
set
were
shunt
the
of
resistance
the
difficulties experienced arose from the want of constancy in

at

The

chief

batteries,

the

ratio

the

of

currents

varying

very rapidly after

resistance
I think that by increasing considerably the
contact.
uniform.
more
made
could
be
battery-circuit, the current

When

a sufficient

a current was

made

number

to

of experiments

with a

needle was in equilibrium.

resistance

In

this

of 31

units

S' added.

making

the great

equilibrium had been made,

pass through the secondary coil of

and was then divided between a shunt


of the galvanometer

on

first

of

S'

BA

the galvanometer,

and the primary

was then varied

way the magnetic

effects

of the

till

two

coil

the
coils

were compared.

The

resistance

of

the galvanometer and of

all

the

coils

were tested by

133

WITH ELECTROMAGNETIC FORCE.

Mr

who

Hockin,

also

made

the observations with the galvanometer and

all

its

adjusting shunts.

To determine
is

from these experiments, we have

8^^,
If

since the attraction

first,

equal to the repulsion,

2^n^y

(6).

the current of the great battery passing through the great resistance

is

R, and

x'

if

of this

the galvanometer whose resistance

passes through

and x x' through the shunt

E = Rx+Gx
Also

and

(7),

Gx=S{x-x)

and
if

is

Qi

the magnetic effect

that of the secondary

gr,

coil,

currents through each,

then when the needle

coils

But

ometer
of 31

y,

in equilibrium

is

(9)-

galvanometer,

and

x,

if

y^

divided into two


S',

= 9^i

and the

(1<^)-

of which x^ passes through the galvan-

parts,

y,-x\

other,

passes through

the

these equations

we

obtain as the value of

B (RG

(11).
v,

31

^\

an equation containing only known quantities on the right-hand


n and n are the numbers of windings on the two coils, a
the radii of the suspended disk and the aperture,
the fixed disk and the suspended disk,
radii of the coils,

is

shunt

Hence
x,{G + S')=(y,-x,)31

From

the

are

we have

and the shunt

Ohms.

the galvanometer,

of

= 9^

of the

9i^i
is

(8).

coU

the principal

of

9i^'

In the comparison of the

G,

is

to earth, then

and

h'

their

the great resistance,

in the principal experiment,

parison of galvanometer-coils.

mean

and

-^

is

found from

Of

these,

mean

of

a^

and

a,,

the

mean

(3).

that of the galvanometer,


S' that

the

the distance between

is

distance by equation

side.
is

that

of the shunt

of the additional resistance in the com-

A DIRECT COMPARISON OF ELECTROSTATIC

134
In

expression

this

measured are the


fixed

of

ratios

and the

disk,

them.

the

only

the radius

of the

ratio

The

radius

These ratios and the number

of

must

which

quantities

measure are the resistances.

absolute

other

be

of

the disk to

of

the

its

to

coils

determined

which

quantities

must

in

be

distance from the

the distance between

windings in the

of

are

coils

course

abstract numbers.

In the experiments,

= 144

?i

a = 2-0977

inches.

To determine a\ the circumference

n'

= 121

a'

=1-934

inch.

of every layer of the coils

was measured

with watch-spring, the thickness of which was '008 inch.

One turn
to '0202 inch.

of the micrometer-screw
If

m
&

= m-12-70,

In terms of the micrometer measure

a= 103-85
The

Mr Hockin

was found by

to

be equal

the micrometer-reading in terms of the screw,

is

5'

we have

turns,

resistances were determined

for

R=\
(t=

a and

= 95-75

a'

by Mr Hockin

= m + 26-31.
a',

turns.

as follows

102 000 Ohms.


46 220

The experiments were made for two days, using a small battery charged
bichromate of potash.
The current due to this battery was found to
diminish so rapidly that a set of Grove's cells was used on the third day,
which was found to be more constant than the great battery. A proper combination of the two batteries would perhaps produce a current which would
with

diminish according to the same law as that


difficulty

arose

the key was pressed,

the

great

battery.

if

oi

electricity

from the great battery through the

micrometer was not touched,

kept

my

the disk remained at

its

for,

floor.

proper zero.

except by

When

the

In certain

hand always on the micrometer in order to be able

experiments

to adjust

more accurately.

it

Another

the micrometer was touched by the hand the disk was

This I have not been able satisfactorily to account

attracted.

leakage

of

from the fact that when the connexions were made, but before

These experiments gave a value of v much too

small, on account of the additional attraction.

When

I discovered the attraction,

WITH ELECTROMAGNETIC FORCE.


I

took care to

took advantage

make the

without touching

observations

the attraction to check the

of

135
the

oscillations

micrometer,

and

The

of the disk.

experiments in which these precautions were taken agree together as well


I

me

could expect, and lead

to think that, with the experience

as

have acquired,

It must be borne
better results might be obtained by the same method.
mind that none of the results were calculated till after the conclusion of all
the experiments, and that the rejected experiments were condemned on account
still

in

observed while they were being made.

of errors

Any

leakage

want

of

the difference

of

arising

introduce

no

error,

measured

by

the

as

current

from

in

the

insulation
potentials

galvanometer,

of

the

fixed

disk

would

between the two disks

through a known

is

resistance,

independently of any leakage.


All

that

is

essential

to

accuracy

is

that the position of equilibrium before

making contact should be at true zero, the same as when there is no electrical
action, and that this equilibrium should not be disturbed when simultaneous
contact

is

made with both

batteries.

Experiments on
Number

of

May

8.

*S'=1710 Ohms.

A DIRECT COMPARISON OF ELECTROSTATIC WITH ELECTROMAGNETIC FORCE.

136

Experiments

3,

6,

5,

4,

were

rejected

on account of the micrometer

These experiments gave

being touched during the observation of equilibrium.

an average value of v =

27'39.

The value of v derived from these experiments is considerably smaller than


31-074
that which was obtained by MM. Weber and Kohlrausch, which was
Ohms, or 310,740,000 metres per second.
Their method involved the determination of the
condenser,

the

determination of

electrostatic

its

electrostatic capacity of a

potential

when

charged,

and

the electromagnetic determination of the quantity of electricity discharged through

a galvanometer.

The capacity

of the condenser

edly with a sphere of

exhibit the

dielectrics

solid

known

was measured by dividing

Now,

radius.

phenomena

would give too large a value

for

of

since

"electric

all

charge repeat-

its

condensers

absorption,"

made with
method

this

the capacity, as the condenser would become

recharged to a certain extent after each discharge, so that the repeated division
potential.
The capacity
of the charge would have too small an effect on the
overestimated, the number of electrostatic units in the discharge would

being

be overestimated, and the value of v would be too great.


In pointing out this as a probable source of error in the experiments of
MM. Weber and Kohlrausch, I mean to indicate that I have such confidence
the ability and fidelity with which their investigation was conducted, that
obliged to attribute the difference of their result from mine to a phenomenon the nature of which is now much better understood than when their
in

am

experiments were made.


On the other hand,
accuracy
Electric

of

the

The

Eesistance.

determined by

Weber

by Dr

from

Joule

the result of

experiments of

in

his

comparing the heating

B.

A.

present

experiments

depends on the

the Committee of the British Association on


unit

is

about 8-8 per cent, larger than that

and about 1'2 per cent, less than that derived


experiments on the dynamical equivalent of heat by
1862,

effects of direct

mechanical agitation with those of electric

currents.

believe that Sir

William Thomson's experiments, not yet published, give


His method, I believe, also depends

a value of v not very different from mine.


on the value of the B. A. unit.

The lowest estimate

of the velocity of light, that of the late

298,000,000 metres per second.

M. Foucault,

is

A COMPARISON OF THE ELECTRIC UNITS, &C.

Note on

on the Electromagnetic Field* some years ago,

In a paper

phenomenon,

laws

the

me

which

of

Two

one and the same medium.

believe

to

and magnetism, on the theory that

electricity

of

Theory of Light.

the Electromagnetic

the Royal Society the reasons which led

tromagnetic

137

can

before

laid

an

is

elec-

be deduced from those of

phenomena

these

all

that light

are affections

papers appeared in Poggendorff's Aniut-

for
1867, bearing on the same subject.
The first, by the late eminent
mathematician Bernhardt Riemann, was presented in 1858 to the Royal Society
len,

was withdrawn

of

Gottingen,

but

till

last year.

Riemann shews that

before
for

if

and remained unknown

publication,

Laplace's equation

we

substitute

^-a"A'F+a'47r/3 =

being

the

electrostatic

with known phenomena in

and a a

potential,
all

certain

mention

The

velocity.

shews that

seems

however,

author,

This equation

is

equi-

propagated through space with

is

making

avoid

to

medium through which the propagation

any

of

the results will agree

velocity,

parts of electrical science.

valent to a statement that the potential

(13),

takes place,

explicit

but he

this velocity is nearly, if not absolutely, equal to the knowTi velocity

of light.

The second
electric

paper,

by M. Lorenz, shews

that,

on Weber's theory, periodic

disturbances would be propagated with a velocity equal to that of light.

The propagation of

attraction through space forms part

though the medium

is

From
first,

of this hypothesis

the assumptions of both these papers

we may draw

the conclusions,

that action and reaction are not always equal and opposite,

that apparatus

may

also,

not explicitly recognised.

and second,

be constructed to generate any amount of work from

its

resources.

For
joining
potential
position
will

two

let

them
or

at

attract

oppositely

with

equal

electrified

velocities

in

and

the direction

travel

AB,

the attraction of the bodies at a given time

some former time

(as

then
is

along the line


if

either

the

that due to their

these authors suppose), B, the foremost body,

forwards more than

attracts

* Philosophical Transactions, 1865,

VOL. U.

bodies

p.

backwards.

459. [Vol.

i.

p.

527.]

18

A COMPARISON OF THE ELECTRIC UNITS

138

let A and B be kept asunder bj a


The combined system, if set in motion

Now

may

that direction with a force which


or

rigid rod.
in

the direction

either continually

AB,

will

augment the

pull

in

velocity,

may

be used as an inexhaustible source of energy.


I think that these remarkable deductions from the latest developments of
only be avoided by recognizing the action of

Weber and Neumann's theory can


a medium in electrical phenomena.

The statement of the electromagnetic theory of light in my former paper


was connected with several other electromagnetic investigations, and was thereI propose, therefore, to state
fore not easily understood when taken by itself
it in what I think the simplest form, deducing it from admitted facts, and
shewing the connexion between the experiments already described and those
which determine the velocity of

The connexion

light.

phenomena may be stated

of electromagnetic

in the following

manner.

Theorem A.
then the

If

integral

of

a closed curve be drawn embracing an electric current,


the magnetic intensity taken round the closed curve is

equal to the current multiplied by

Att.

The integral of the magnetic


work done on a unit magnetic pole
This

well-known theorem gives us

and magnitude of

electric

magnetic force in the

field.

currents,

and

force,

diminished,

if,

may

be otherwise defined as the

the means

when we can

of discovering the. position


ascertain the

distribution

of

It follows directly from the discovery of (Ersted.

Theorem B. If a conducting
netic

intensity

carried completely round the closed curve.

any

from

circuit

embraces a number of lines of mag-

cause whatever,

the number of these lines

an electromotive force will act round the

of which will be equal to the decrement of the

circuit,

number

is

the total amount

of lines

of magnetic

force in unit of time.

The number
integral

by

the

of

lines

magnetic force

of

element of

surface,

and by the

integration being extended over

This theorem
of this

may

be otherwise defined as the

of the magnetic intensity resolved perpendicular to a surface, multiplied

mode

prehensive.

is

coefficient

of magnetic induction,

any surface bounded by the conducting

the

circuit.

due to Faraday, as the discoverer both of the facts and


them, which I think the simplest and most com-

of expressing

AND ON THE ELECTROMAGNETIC THEORY OF

Theorem

C.

When

tromotive force

we admit

polarized

conductor

of the

If

is

of the elec-

we suppose the

dielectric

bounded by

and

positively

on the positive

electrified,

we must

of this displacement
also

side,

and that of

also

admit

that

then the
negatively.

within the dielectric there

displacement of electricity in the direction of the electromotive

and depending

ex-

it

direction

energy of the system so electrified resides in the

that the

dielectric,

if

negative,

the

force

If the

polarization.

and

positive,

on

acted on by electromotive

is

electric

call

called

is

two conductors,
surface

a dielectric

what we may

periences

139

LIGHT.

force,

is

the amount

being proportional to the electromotive force at each point,

on the nature of the

dielectric.

The energy stored up in any portion of the dielectric is half the product
of the electromotive force and the electric displacement, multiplied by the volume
of that portion.

may

It

pressure

also

be

in

shewn that at every point of the

along the lines of

tension

mechanical

directions

all

at

electric

angles to

right

force,

there

dielectric

combined with

these lines,

is

an equal

the amount of this

tension on unit of area being equal to the amount of energy in unit of volume.
I think that these statements are an accurate rendering of the ideas of
Faraday, as developed in various parts of his " Experimental Researches."

Theorem D.
effect

is

When

equivalent

to

the electric displacement increases or diminishes, the

that

of an

current

electric

in

the positive or negative

direction.

Thus,

the

if

two conductors

in

the last case are

there will be a current in the wire from

At

the

diminishing,

same

time,

since

the

now

joined

by a

wire,

to B.

electric

displacement

in

the dielectric

is

there will be an action electromagnetically equivalent to that of an

electric current

According

from
to

to

this

through the

dielectric.

view, the current produced

in

discharging a condenser

and might be traced within the dielectric itself by a


I am not aware that this has been done,
galvanometer properly constructed.
so that this part of the theory, though apparently a natural consequence of
the former, has not been verified by direct experiment. The experiment would
is

complete

circuit,

certainly be a very delicate

Let
light,

us

now apply

and

difiicult one.

these four

principles

to

the electromagnetic theory of

considered as a disturbance propagated in plane waves.

182

A COMPARISON OF THE ELECTRIC UNITS

140

of propagation be taken as the axis of z, and let all


of z and of t the time; that is, let every portion
functions
be
the quantities
instant.
of any plane perpendicular to z be in the same condition at the same
Let us also suppose that the magnetic force is in the direction of the

Let

the

direction

of y, and let

axis

Let

the

be the magnetic intensity in that direction at any point.


curve of Theorem A consist of a parallelogram in the

two of whose

plane

yz,

of

The

z.

)8

closed

sides

h along the axis of y,

are

integral of the magnetic

and

along the axis

intensity taken round this parallelogram

is

is the value of /8 at the origin.


be the quantity of electric current in the direction of x per
parallelounit of area taken at any pomt, then the whole current through the

^(y8o-)8),

where

Now

let _p

gram

will

fi,

be
hpdz,

i:

and we have by

(A),

h{^,-^) = 4.7rj'hpdz.
If

we

divide

by

and

differentiate

with respect to

z,

we

find
(^^)'

f.=-'^
Let us next consider a parallelogram in the plane of
sides are a along the axis of x, and z along the axis of
If

is

If

/u,

is

round

of

this parallelogram is

whose

of x,

a(P-Po).

the coefficient of magnetic induction, then the number of lines of

embraced by this parallelogram will be


I

and

two

the electromotive force per unit of length in the direction

then the total electromotive force

force

xz,
z.

since

by (B) the

total

afi^dz,

electromotive force

is

equal to

the rate

of

dimi-

nution of the number of lines in unit of time,

a{P-P,)=-^^j\t.^dz.
Dividing by a and differentiating with respect to

^=-^f

z,

we

find
(15).

AND ON THE ELECTROMAGNETIC THEORY OF


Let the nature of the
is

LIGHT.

14]

be such that an electric displacement

dielectric

produced by an electromotive force P,

P=where k

is

a quantity depending on the

(10).

particular

dielectric,

which

may

be

called its "electric elasticity."


Finally,

let

the

current

already considered,

p,

be supposed entirely due

to the variation ofy, the electric displacement, then

.(17).

We

have

quantities

/S,

now

four

p, P, and

equations,

we

If

(14),

(15),

eliminate p,

df ~

(16),

P, and

(17),

we

between the four


find

(18).

Anfidz'

we put

If

(19).
Awfji

the well-known solution of this equation

is

^ = cf>,{z-Vt) + <f>Az+Vt)
shewing that the disturbance

The other
Thus,

is

quantities p, P, and

if

/3

(20),

propagated with the velocity V.

= ccos

can be deduced from

/3.

-7-(z- Vt)
A.

277,

T-.X

(21).

P = c^Fcos^(z-F()
A

have in the next

place

to

shew

that

the

velocity

the

same

quantity as that found from the experiments on electricity.

For

this

purpose

let

us consider a stratum of air of thickness h bounded

by two parallel plane conducting surfaces of


of whose potentials is E.

indefinite

extent,

the

difference

A COMPARISON OF THE ELECTRIC UNITS

142

The electromotive
The

displacement

electric

The energy
per unit of area

The

force per unit of length

unit

in

is

volume and the tension along the

of

as

area
in

of the

radius

lines

of

force

^ Pf.

is

attraction

If this

PyE.

is

/= t -P.

on an area no' of either surface

X = i7ra^Pf

surface,

between the surfaces

smaU

separated by a

is

the experiment, and

of the plane

from the rest

interval
interval

this

if

is

is

small compared with the

the lines of force belonging to the disk will be separated

disk,

from those belonging to the rest of the surface

by

of

surface

revolution,

the section of which, at any sensible distance from the surface, will be a circle

whose radius

is

mean between those

radius must be taken

Let

us

next

y.

circle.

round the

If
circle

the

is

is

h,

distance

be 2nhfi =

carrying
let

by

4tTry

will

will

current

y'

be

placed parallel to the

us consider a portion of this wire of length


force,

I.

first

at

This portion

and the electromagnetic

force

be equal to the product of the length of the portion, multiplied by

more approximate expression

C.

the integral

(23).

* [Note added Dec. 28, 1868. I have since found that

-J.

fi,

= 2|

if Oj is

the radius of the disk, and a, that of

we must

substitute for

a quantity which cannot exceed

(a^-a^).

the aperture of the guard-ring, and b the distance from the large fixed disk, then
Tj the

be uniform round

{A).

be urged across the lines of magnetic

will

6,

wire

This

be in the direction of a tangent

and the intensity

and the magnetic intensity

y8

and

force will

the current

Hence
Let

disk and the aperture.

the magnetic force near a long straight conductor

radius

will

the

of

in the equation (22)*

The magnetic

a circle whose axis

this

consider

carrying a current
to

for

M.1

-j-^

+9T/T

\i 'w^here

is

AND ON THE ELECTROMAGNETIC THEORY OF


the current and

by the number of

through which

moves,

it

or,

in

lines

If the

it

crosses per unit of distance

symbols,

_o

if

which

143

LIGHT.

MJOT

two wires instead of being straight are circular, of radius a, and


is very small compared with the radius, the

the distance between them

h'

wUl be the same

attraction

T^
5

When

h'

is

not very small

(3) to calculate the value of

Making A^=

were straight, and

as if they

2A

27ra

=2/x

will

be
,,

compared with a, we must use the equation

by

elliptic integrals.

and comparing with equation

(6),

we

find

^-^
but,

by

Hence

i'

But
to

is

(-)

P = ^.

(19),

where v

{2d).

j^.-yi/

= /xF

the electromagnetic ratio and

since all the experiments are

unity, as the standard

(27),

made

is

the velocity of light.

in air, for wliich

medium with which

all

/x

is

assauied ecjual

others are compared,

we have

finaUy

v=V
or the

number of

electrostatic units in

(28),

one electromagnetic unit of electricity

numerically equal to the velocity of light.

is

[Extracted from The Quarterly Journal of Pure

On

XXXVII.

and Applied Mathematics, No.

34, 1867.]

the Cyclide.

In optical treatises, the primary and secondary foci of a small pencil are
sometimes represented by two straight lines cutting the axis of the pencil at
Every ray of the pencil
right angles in planes at right angles to each other.
is

supposed to pass through these two

has called a congruence of the

The
tion

of

no

for

system

be

thus forming what M.

Pliiker'""

drawn which

shall

cut

all

the essential condi-

fulfil

that the rays shall have a

pencils,

can

surface

lines,

order.

thus defined, does not

as

of rays,

optical

all

first

common

wave-surface,

the rays of such a pencil

at right angles.

E. Hamilton has shewn, that the primary and secondary foci are
points of contact of the ray with the surface of centres of

W.

Sir
in

the

general

the wave-surface, which forms a double caustic surface.

of

contact

will

The

surface.

appear,

If

we

select a pencil

corresponding to a given small area on the wave-surface,

of rays

when

lie

two

on

sections

of

the pencil

is

small

on

areas

the

the pencil by planes perpendicular to


small enough, as two

points

their

two sheets of the


its

caustic

axis

wiU

short straight lines in planes

perpendicular to each other.


I

of

propose to determine the form

the so-called focal lines

is

really

of

the wave-surface,

line,

when one

or both

and not merely the projection of

a small area of a curved surface.

Let

may

Let
fixed

us

first

determine the condition that

all

the

normals

of

a surface

pass through one fixed curve.


i2

be a point on the surface, and

curve at P.

a plane through

Let

PT

RP

a normal at P, meeting the

be a tangent to the fixed curve at P, and

and PT.
* Philosophical Transactions, 1864.

EPT

145

THE CYCLIDE.

Of the two

RPT, and

lines

of

the second

is

the

about

passes through

and

equally

or

curve,

it

of curvature

Unes

The

surface

all

of

whose

sphere

PT

and

circle,

curvature

may

they

that

cone whose axis

right

therefore

is

plane.

its

so

turn

equal

of

are

be considered either

is

centre

the tangent to the


is

at

P,

and which

of

along the line of curvature.

may

therefore

whose centres

spheres,

of

PT,

to

inclined

the radii

as

touches the surface

to

axis,

line

RPT

the plane

if

plane

the

touches

first

always be normal to the second

will

centre perpendicular to

its

generating

the

fixed

an

as

The second

the

Hence,

it.

the normals belonging to the second line of

All
length,
as

PT

tangent

of curvature.

line

R,

through

curvature

perpendicular to

be

as

defined

envelope

the

on the fixed curve, and whose

lie

series

of

radii vary according

any law.
If the

of

the envelope
curve,

fixed

If

we

through two fixed curves, the surface must also be


second series of spheres whose centres He on the second

normal passes
a

and each of which touches


take any three spheres of

defined as the envelope

200),

(p.

is

the

first

series,

series.

first

the surface

may

be

the spheres which touch the three given spheres

all

given

definition

the

of

the spheres of the

the

manner.

in a continuous

This

of

all

of

surface

by Dupin,

in

his

Applications de

the fourth order called the

Cyclide,

Geometne

because

both

series of its lines of curvature are circles.

If the
(inside

side

three fixed spheres be given, they


outside)

or

touching sphere,

of the

may
or

either be all on the same


any one of the three may

There
be on the opposite side from the other two.
described touching
series of spheres which may be
but
to

we cannot

pass

are

thus

the

same three spheres,

continuously from one series to another,

the four corresponding cyclides pass

four

difierent

and the normals

through difierent fixed curves.

Since all the


Let us next consider the nature of the two fixed curves.
pass through both curves, and since all those which pass through a
point P are equally inclined to the tangent at P, the second curve must

normals

lie

on a right cone.

point

to

PT, and the

a plane conic.

now

the point

be taken so that

PQ

its

distance from

be perpendicular

is a minimum, then
cone will become a plane, therefore the second curve is
In the same way we may shew, that the first curv^e is a plane

the second curve

in

If

will

right

conic,

VOL.

11.

19

THE CYCLIDE.

146

The two curves

therefore

are

one of the conies, and

is

The

in

therefore

are

conies

such that the cone whose base

plane conies,

vertex any point of the other,

its

a right cone.

is

planes at right angles to each other, and the foci

of one are the vertices of the transverse axis

"We

of the other.

these

shall call

curves the focal conies of the cyclide.

Let the equations to a point on an

= ccosa,

iK

where a

be

= (c' - Z)')* sin

and

angle,

the eccentric

is

2/

ellipse

the

let

a,

(1),

equations

to

point

on

the

hyperbola be

x = bsecB,
where

B is

uniformity,

we

0,

= (c' - 6^ tan J5

suppose

shall

y8

= i(e^ + e-^), and

and

cos A/8
sec Ay8

sin/?;8

= sec -B, whence


= cos B,

x = hcoskl3,

= |(e^-c-^)

sin ^)8

(3),

= 0,

= tan 5

be a point on the

ellipse,

,.

tan AyS = smB f

may then

= (c^ -

1'')*

Construction of the Cyclide by Points.

Let

be written

sin A/3

(5).

First MetJiod.

a point on the hyperbola, then

FQ = c sec B h cos a
Now

FQ

take on

is

a constant,

on the cyclide

For
fixed

ight

if

while

F
F

angles,

(6).

a point R, so that

or

where r

For

so related, that

to a point in the hyperbola

The equations

(2),

the required conditions.

fulfil

sometimes make use of the hyperbolic functions

shall

cosAy8

and we

y=

an angle, then these two conies

then

if

FE = r-h cos a
QR = r -c sec B
a and B vary, R

(7),

(8),

will give a

system of points

(bcr).

be fixed while

varies,

will

describe

circle,

and

if

another

circle,

and these

and are both at right angles to

FQR

at their intersection,

varies,

will

describe

circles

be

cut at

and

THE CYCLIDE.
since

and

are any points

147

whole system

the

on the conies,

of circles

will

form a cyclide.

The

corresponding to

circle

which cuts that of xz along the

on the

point

fixed

ellipse,

is

in a plane

line

^=7. y=o
and makes with

The

it

an angle

corresponding

circle

(9),

to

fixed

point

the hyperbola,

in

in

is

plane which cuts that of xy along the line


a:

and makes with

it

f.

(10).

an angle
tan

Hence the planes

of all

\ Y-,

fTu sin

B\

the circles of either

The

will

line

of intersection

therefore

pass

the co-ordinates of

of the planes

y-y = i^_:iltana,

is

easily

2/

circles

at

z=-^^^^^smB

= 0,

c
it

one

of

points

and

T,

where

(11),

(12),

shewn that

1-5^^^-

SR

(13).

cos iJ

Hence,

we deduce

the following

two

through the point

T,

xJ-,
and

two

(c"-.6n*

cr

through

and at a minimum distance

lines

are

^ = ^,
T'
and those of

of the

through both the fixed

pass

series

fixed lines, which are at right angles to each other,

192

THE CYCLIDE.

148

Second Constimction by Points.

Draw
and

(12),

the two fixed

lines,

that given by equation (13).

This

and the
and "

construction

as the

cyclide,

and

then draw ST, and cut

ST

sector,"

and

convenient

for

given by equations (11)

segments

is

drawing any projection of the

are measured along the

distances

line

E, so that the ratio of the

be a point on the cyclide.

It will

very

is

find points

it in

projections of the fixed lines,

be divided in the required ratio by means of a ruler

can

without making any marks on the paper, except the position of

the required point H.

In this

way

drawn

have

stereoscopic

viewed from a position nearly

cyclide,

diagrams of four varieties

of the

in the line

x = y = z,
shewing the

corresponding to various values of a and B"\

circles

On

We

suppose

shall

different values to r.

iV^'o^e

and

Forms of
c

to

the Cyclide.

be given, and trace the

eifect

of giving

Since the cyclides corresponding to negative values of

corresponding to equal positive values merely by having the

from those

differ

the

on a Reai-Image Stereoscope.

In ordinary stereoscopes the virtual images of two pictures are

superposed, and the observer, looking through two lenses, or prisms, or at two mirrors, sees the figure

apparently behind the optical apparatus.

In a stereoscope, which I have had made by

Elliott Brothers,

the observer looks at a real image of the pictures, which appears in front of the instrument, and he

is

not

conscious of using any optical apparatus.

This stereoscope consists of a frame to support the double picture, which


slide inveited.

foot focal length,

these

is

One

foot

from

this a

frame

is

may be

placed, containing side by side

common

two convex

and having their centres distant one and a quarter inches horizontally.

stereoscopic

lenses of half a

One

foot

beyond

placed a convex lens of two-thirds of a foot focal length and three inches diameter.

The observer stands about two

feet

from the large

lens, so that

with the right eye he sees an image of

the left-hand picture, and with the left eye an image of the right>-hand picture.

These images are formed by pencils which pass centrically through the two small lenses respectively,
so that they are free

from

and they appear to be nearly at the same distance as the large lens,
on the frame of the large lens sees the combined figures at once.
though constructed for this stereoscope, may be used with an ordinary

distortion,

so that the observer fixing his eyes

The

figures of the

stereoscope, or they

may

cyclide,

be united by squinting, which

is

a very effective method.

THE CYCLTDE.

149

and negative ends of the axis of x reversed, we need study the

positive

positive

values only.

When

lies

consists of

two

(1)

ellipse

a point of the

two

circles

The

cyclide

one

negative

the

is

largest,

the tangent to the

ellipse,

The

w^hole

in

foci,

in

the

plane

and which

of

the

intersect at

the plane of the hyperbola consists of

two

in

vertices of the ellipse.

where

conical points,

these singular points

at

is

it

meets the other

a right cone, whose axis

and whose semi-vertical angle

is

^-

resembles two pairs of horns,

figure

and the two

their bases,

section

whose centres are the

cos

by

the

two lobes exterior to each other, of which the


and increases with r, while the positive lobe

of

consists

The cone of contact

lobe.

section

Each lobe terminates

decreases.

is

The

ellipse.

h,

whose centres are the

exterior to each other,


itself

and

between zero
circles,

each pair joined together

pairs touching at the tips of the horns.

Figure I.*

The continuous curves represent the lines


of curvature of both series.
The dotted curves represent the ellipse and hyperbola through which the normals pass, and the dotted straight lines represent the axis of x, and the two straight lines through which the planes of
represents a

cyclide

of

this

kind.

the circles pass.


(2)
in

Figure
(3)

the

When

lies

between

and

II.

c,

the cyclide consists of a single sheet

of which

the form of a ring, the section

is

on the negative

greatest

side.

represents a cyclide of this kind.

When

is

greater than

c,

the

cyclide

again consists of two sheets,

one within the other, meeting each other in two conical points which are

situated

on the

these points,

positive

branch of the hyperbola.

There
touches

is

the

The

semi-vertical

angle at

is

also

in

all

/^-cV

forms of the cyclide,

a singular tangent plane

cyclide along a circle corresponding to


[Page 159].

-.
2

Figure

III.

which
repre

THE CYCLIDE.

150

The outer sheet with its circles of contact and re-entering


and the inner spindle with its conical points meeting those of
the outer sheet, have a certain resemblance to the outer and inner sheets
sents such a cyclide.
conical

points,

Wave-Surface

of Fresnel's

has

such

four

Figure

III, useful

we

If

forms

give

(3),

(2),

traversed

is

point

spindle

At

the

and when r = c

in

the

(3),

oo

to

oo

-1-

3)

we may

find

and every point of space


when r is infinite, any given

For

inner sheet

vanishes

it

assumes the

the cyclide

succession,

surface.

spindle or

instant the

At

through R.
sheet of

2),

As

of (3).

the

diminishes,

that for a certain value,

so

outer sheet of the cyclide

surface

and

contracts,

r^,

of one

ring cyclide

beyond R, but as

when r= b,

which the

for

rj,

may have

this instant the surface

or of the

stiU

is

vanishes

finally

must have passed through a value

it

mind that the wave-surface

in

the surface of the spindle passes through the point R.

c,

this

bear

an idea of the singular points of the wave-surface.

by

times

we

if

while the cycUde has only two,

values from

all

1),
(

(1),

four

diminishes,

which

to

contracts,

and,

points

in forming

within the

is

greater than

singular

before

passes

surface

the form either of the outer

sheet

or

(2),

of the negative lobe

of (1).

The

positive lobe of (1) begins to appear

as r diminishes,

increases
it

till

when r= b

becomes the outer sheet of the cyclide

it

necessarily less than

r^ is

When r=c
definitely
i\,

as

the point 72

cyclide
real

at

The

may

interior

is

less

than

and when

and

h,

r= c

r^,

of

r,

passes through the point R.

r,.

sheet of

3)

is

some value,

so that for

developed,

and

of

which

r^

r,

We

on the surface of this interior sheet.

be said to have four sheets,

increases
is

less

in-

than

thus see that the

though not more than two can be

These four sheets touch at three conical points.

once.
first

-the

r diminishes,

ring,

3).

This surface, therefore, for some value,

This value

when r becomes
becomes a

sheet,

corresponding to

is

r^,

and always touches the second sheet at a

the interior lobe of the cyclide


conical point

(3),

on the positive branch

of the hyperbola.

The second

sheet, corresponding to

the outer sheet of


of

(l).

positive

When

the

(3),

first

hyperbola, and

point on the ellipse.

r^,

has three different forms, being either

the ring cyclide of one sheet


sheet exists,

when the

third

it

meets

it

(2),

or the negative lobe

at a conical

sheet exists,

it

meets

it

point on the
at

a conical

THE CYCLIDE.
The

third

may be

either

sheet of

it

3).

in

the

third

In the

it

lobe

positive

second

meets the

corresponding

sheet,

the

case

first

has also

7'

different
(

2),

forms.

It

the outer

or

has a conical point on the ellipse Nvhere

it

the fourth

three

the ring cydide

(l),

In the second case

sheet.

meets

to

of

151

sheet

has no conical

it

a conical

in

point,

on the

point

and

negative

hyperbola.

The fourth sheet

is

the

spindle

interior

the

of

cyclide

3), and

always

meets the third sheet at a conical point on the negative hyperbola.

Parabolic Cyclides.

When
and

tity,

the values of
if

h,

and x are each increased by the same quanincreased, the two conies become in

r,

c,

quantity

this

indefinitely

is

the limit two parabolas in perpendicular planes, the focus of one being the vertex
of the other,

When

and the cyclide becomes what we may


between h

lies

and

lying entirely between the planes

call

the parabolic cycHde.

the cyclide consists of one infinite sheet,

c,

x = 2h

and x = 2c r.

The portions of space

on the positive and negative side of the sheet are linked together as the earth
and the air are linked together by a bridge, the earth, of which the bridge
forms

embracing

part,

much

air

from below, and the

embracing the

air

bridge
is

larger than the other.

parabolic ring cyclide in which 2r

When
two

the

In fact the earth and bridge form a ring of which one side

from above.

r does not

conical points,

lie

between

and an

and

infinite sheet

= h-\-c,

is

represented in Figure IV.

the cyclide consists of a lobe with

c,

with two conical points meeting those

of the lobe.

Surfaces of Revolution.

When
of radius
less

than

= 0,

c,

the form

surface consists of

When

the cyclide

is

r about a line in its

= c,

is

the surface formed by the revolution of a

own

plane distant c from the centre.

that of an anchor

ring.

If

an outer and an inner sheet, meeting

the cyclide resolves

itself into

if r ifl less than 6, .and internally


two spheres become one.

if

is

is

in

greater than

two

circle

If

conical

c,

is

the

points.

two spheres, which touch externally


greater than

h.

When

=c=

0,

tlie

THE CYCLIDE.

152

be transferred to a conical point, and if the dimensions of


the figure be then indefinitely increased, the cyclide becomes ultimately a right
cone, having the same conical angle as the original cyclide. If b = c, the cone
If the

origin

becomes a plane.
If h remains

while

finite,

r,

c,

and x are each increased by the same

indefinitely great quantity, the cyclide ultimately becomes a right cylinder, whose

radius

is

r c.

Inversion of the Cyclide.

Since every sphere,

when

inverted by means of the reciprocals of the radii

becomes another sphere, every cydide similarly inverted


There is, however, a certain relation between the
becomes another cyclide.
parameters of the one cyclide and those of the other, namely

drawn to a

fixed point,

^^Z^^

= 7^37^

(^^)'

73^-7^^F
If the point of inversion

af

or

be taken oh

+ f-2

a;^

h'

either of the circles

+ r'-c' = 0,

+ 2^2^-6='-r^ + r = 0,

y=

(16),

a...

the cyclide will become a surface of revolution in which 5

the point of inversion be on the

first circle,

(18)

or

r'-h'

C
if it

'(19)

C'-O'

be on the second.

"When
than

(17),

= 0, and

r:^^^
if

6,

and the

is

less

the second

than

circle

is

c,

the

real.

first

circle

is

real;

and when r
is between

In the ring-cycUde r

cyclide can be transformed into

is

greater

and

an anchor ring in two difierent ways.

c,

THE CYCLIDE.
and

the cyclide has conical points,

If

of

inversion,

COS

'

the

I-j

if

becomes a

cyclide

than

less

is

7'

If the point of inversion

becomes a parabolic

'

one of them be made the point

whose

cone,

j-A

if

is

angle

semi-vertical

greater than

is

h.

be at any other point of the surface, the cychde

cyclide.

point of inversion

If the

or cos

b,

if

right

153

be x =

he

= 0, z=

0,

the cyclide

is

inverse

to

itself.

On

the

Definition.
individual

and

if

Conjugate Isothermal Functions on the Cyclide.

If

any

on

two

surface

systems of curves

the two systems of curves

everywhere at right angles, and

intersect

the intercept of a curve of the second system between two


of the

be drawn, each

curve being defined by the value of a parameter corresponding to

first

system has the same

system between two consecutive

ratio to the

curves of the

parameters of the two curves of the

parameters of the two


curves are

called

isothermal

functions.

first

If

isothermal

the surface

second,

as

first

the difference of the

system has to the difference of the

lines,

be

if

curves

intercept of a curve of the

second system, then the

curves of the

conjugate

consecutive

it,

two systems of

and the two parameters conjugate

now supposed

to

be a uniform

con-

ducting lamina placed between non-conducting media, one set of these lines will
be

isothermal

for

be lines of flow.

heat or equipotential for electricity, and the other set

Lame on

(See

This property of lines on a surface

is

In the cyclide, we find the intercept


system

not changed by inversion.


tls

of a

line

of curvature of the

is

c/^,

=
c cos

and the intercept

ds^ of

JO J
np

{c'-h-yda

(o'-l'N^
*.= -cos'IpT"
hp bcosa^
VOL.

II.

(20),

cos a

a line of curvature of the second system

will

Isothinvnal Functio7is.)

'

is

(21).
^

'

20

first

'

THE CYCLIDE.

154
If

now ^ be a

function of

a,

and

<f)

<f>

will

be conjugate isothermal functions.

=k

If

(r

the condition will be

is

and ^

6p^cos a

satisfied.

If r

{r^

It

sucK that

(3,

~ d<j>

dSi

then d and

of

<i>

=k

^^-r^

greater than

is

hy

r cos

7-

is

less

than

6,

we have

we

find

thus

6,

'

V ^^)

co8a=

If

6,

a.

more useful to have a expressed in terms of

sm a =

(22),

jr ccoshp

(24).

only to write the hyperbolic functions of

^^^* [b'-rY for


7-^^,.^ instead of the circular functions of T^^ZT^i' ^^ *

(r'-by.
Similarly,

than

we

^ and

obtain for the relation between

<^,

when

is

greater

c,

(^-c?8in;^P^j
tan

B = siD.h^=

is

less

than

we must

jri

(r*

c-y

^1

A-

'

r + c cos h
r

j-j

+ r cos y^

secB = coshlB=

When

r + ccosh

substitute

the hyperbolic functions into circular functions.

(25).

^-

(c' -?-")*

for

(?^-c*)*

and turn

THE CYCUDE.
Having found
them any number

these

isothermal

conjugate

of other

as

pairs,

155

^,

and

functions

<^

we may deduce

^-^-^^iand^'^-'--^^'^'

On

Confocal

system of cyclides in which the

same, while r has various values,

and

of cyclides

the

two

may

from

where
(26)

Cy elides.
focal

ellipse

and hyperbola remain the

be called a confocal system.

This system

systems of right cones which have their vertices

in

one conic and pass through the other, form three systems of orthogonal surfaces,

and therefore

By

intersect along their lines of curvature.

inversion

we may

get

three systems of cyclides intersecting orthogonally.

system of confocal cyclides

may

also be considered as a

system of wave

surfaces in an isotropic medium, corresponding to a pencil of rays, each ray of


Each cyclide corresponds to a certain
which intersects the two focal conies.

value of

r,

Now

which we may

let

call

the length of the ray of that cyclide.

us consider the system of confocal conicoids, whose equation

is

of

the form

^+^.^-^.=1
By

putting p

= c, we

get the ellipse

By

putting p

= h, we

get the hyperbola

(^n

t-^=''y='
These
conies.

two
If,

hyperbola,

conies

therefore

with any point


these

will

be

(2^)-

belong to the system and

for vertex,

confocal

cones,

we draw

may

be

called its

focal

cones through the ellipse and

whose three axes are normal to the


The two cones will inter-

three conicoids of the system which pass through R.


sect

at right angles

along four generating lines

i\,

7\,

i\,

which are normal

to four cyclides passing through the point R.

202

THE CYCLIDE.

156

The normal

to

and
in

also that

the

between

direction

r,

and

ellipse,

and

i\-\-r^

the angle between

reflected

the direction of

in

cut by the axis of

it is

r^

and

r,

reversed;

At the

constant for the ellipsoid.

is

= constant) where

be the real axis of the cone

will

bisect

will

r,,

If the ellipsoid were reflective, a ray incident

r^.

would be

r,

by the wave theory,


ellipsoid (p

the ellipsoid through

which passes through the

hence,

point of the

x,

x = p,

r^^x + c,
r^

So that the equation of the


of

r,

and

= constant) may

(r

ellipsoid

be expressed in terms

thus

r,

r,

The normal

= x c.

+ n = 2/3

(30).

between

to the ellipsoid also bisects the angle

deduce another form of the equation of the same


r,

Hence, the general relation

and

r^,

+ r,= -2p

among the
r,

r,

whence we

ellipsoid
(31).

values of

r,

+ r, + r, + r, =

(32).

The normal to the hyperboloid of one sheet (/u, = constant) bisects the angle
between r^ and r^, and also that between r, and r, whence we obtain the
equations
ri

The normal
between

i\

to the

and

hyperboloid of two

and between

r,,

+ r3 = 2ft= -(n + r,)

r,

r^

and

sheets
r^,

+ r, = 1v=

(i/

= constant)

(33).

bisects

the

-(r^-^r^

(34).

These are the equations to the conicoids in terms of the four rays of the

The equations

to

the

four

cyclides

in

angles

whence

tei-ms

of elliptic co-ordinates are

pencil.

easily

deduced from them

r,=

p + ^i-v'

n=

p-fi + v

r,=

p + fi + v
-p-fi-v

r,=

(35).

THE CYCLTDE.
Since the quantities

c,

fi,

are in descending order of magnitude,

it

p,

p, r^,

''.,

h,

is

157

v,

evident that

-p,

r,

are also in descending order of magnitude.

The general equation


{r

- p - p. + v)

which may be expressed

rj -2{x-+

{x' +if-\-z''-

When

=c

to the cyclide in elliptic co-ordinates


{r

- p + p.-v)

{r

+ p- p.-v)

r)

{b' -he')

there are

two

-2

(if

focal

- z')

points

-\-

p + p.-^v)

=Q

(36),

+ Sbcrx + (c' - bj =

h')

(c'

{r

thus

in Cartesian co-ordinates

is

and F' and

the

...

(37).

values

of the

four rays are

RF+c]

r,=

r,=

RF-c
-RF +c

r,=

-RF-c.

r,=

The equation

.(38).

of the ellipsoid

2p

= r, + r, = RF+RF'

in this case

expresses the property of the prolate spheroid, that the

distances of

any point from the two

foci is

(39)

sum

of the

constant.

In like manner, the equation


r,

expresses the property of the


difference of the focal

+ r, = 2v = RF'-RF

(40)

hyperboloid of revolution of two sheets, that the

distances

is

constant.

In order to extend a property analogous to this to the other conicoids,


us conceive the following mechanical construction

let

and hyperbola represented by thin smooth wires,


always rest against the two curves, and
Let a string
let r be measured along the rod from a point fixed in the rod.
whose length is b + c be fastened at one end to the negative focus of the ellipse
and at the other to the point (-\-h) of the rod, and let the string slide on the
To keep the string always
ellipse at the same point as the rod rests on it.
focus of the ellipse round
positive
the
from
pass
string
equal
another
tight let
Suppose the

and

let

an

focal

ellipse

indefinite thin straight rod

THE CYCLIDE.

158

These strings

the curve to the point (-6) of the rod.

will

determine the point

of the rod which rests on any given point of the ellipse.

Let the rod

on the hyperbola, so that either the positive portion

also rest

of the rod rests on the positive branch of the hyperbola, or the negative portion
of the rod rests on the negative branch.

Then the point r of the rod lies


is r, and as the rod is made

meter

whose paraand hyperbola, the

in the surface of the cyclide

to shde on the ellipse

point r will explore the whole surface of the cyclide.


If

we

vertex

consider any point of space

positions

different
is

The

position,

first

its

to

If

the rod will pass through

corresponds to the

r^,

we denote

it

cones

in four

whose

H,

intersections

is

sheet of the cyclide which

and negative branches of the hyperbola

then the order of the intersections will be in this case

E,

The second

first

the intersection of the rod with the eUipse by

intersection with the positive

by -\-H and

position,

r^,

+H,

R.

corresponds to the second sheet, and the order of

either

E, R,

The

i2,

the four intersections of the

passing through the ellipse and hyperbola.

passes through R.

Ey and

corresponding

third

+H or

-H,

E, R.

position, r corresponds to the third sheet,

and the order of the

intersections is either

R, E,

The fourth
intersections

position,

r^,

+H,

or

-H,

R, E.

corresponds to the fourth sheet, and the order of the

is

R,

-H,

E,

the letters being always arranged in the order in which r increases.

The complete system

of rays

is

an exa,mple of a linear congruence

of the

fourth order.

Now

if

two

rods, each fulfilling the

above conditions, intersect at i? in any

a string of sufficient length be fastened to a


sufficiently distant negative point of the first rod, be passed round the point R,
and be fastened to a sufficiently distant negative point of the second rod, and if

two of these

four positions,

and

if

VOL.

HQRNED

cycl:::-

11

II.

PLATE XI

PARABOLIC CYCLIDE

VOL. U.

111

RING

CYCLIDE

IV

SPINDLE

PLATE XL

CYCLIDE

THE CYCLLDE.
the two rods be then
intersection R, then

159

moved always keeping the

If the rods are in the first

string

tight

at

the

point

of

out a conicoid.

will trace

and second

positions, or in the third

and

fourth,

positions, or in the second

and

fourth,

the conicoid will be an ellipsoid.


If the rods are in the first

and third

the conicoid will be an hyperboloid of one sheet.


If

the rods are in the

the conicoid

will

first

and fourth

positions, or in the second

In the parabolic confocal system, the fourth sheet of the cyclide

and

i\

is

parallel to the

axis

of x.

Hence

if

rays

paraboloid are reflected by the surface, they will

parabolas of the system, and the

and

if

and

third,

be an hyperboloid of two sheets.

wave

all

parallel

to

the

is

a plane,

axis

of

pass through the two focal

surface after reflexion will be a cyclide,

the rays are twice reflected, they will become again parallel to the axis.

[From the Edinburgh Royal Society Proceedings, Vol.

On a Bow

XXXVIII.

On

the

26th

bow

coloured

on

of

the

CoUege, Cambridge.
of an

January,
frozen

Its appearance

ordinary primary rainbow.

seen on the Surface of Ice.

about

surface

noon,
of

observed the appearance of a

the ditch which surrounds

Dr

Parkinson, President

was
of

the

angle

primary

violet

40 32'.

S.

bow,

for

bright

as

given

once

at

made a rough measurement

blue
in

flattened,

so

as

to

place nearer to the points

The angle

40" 30'.

Parkinson's

side.

Oi^tics,

crystals

ice
I

ice.

is

seen

are

suppose the

formed by small drops of water lying on the

were

with which

for

found

and that

it,

and losing

increased.

bow which

If the

and emergence, the

its

How

for

on the same side as


I

saw to be

lower part of each

bring the point at wliich the

of incidence

bow would be

without wetting

the extreme red

42 20',

reflexion

eflfect

the same kind as that of a diminution of the index of refraction


angle of the

of the

and then borrowed from

College, a sextant

John's

The bows formed by

the sun, and not on the opposite

drop

John's

between the bright red and the shadow of the large mirror

and that

41 50',

the

of

S.

and position seemed to correspond with those

angle on the board of a book which I had with me,

that

vii.]

that

a drop of water can

takes

would be of

lie

is,

upon

the
ice

shape altogether, I do not profess to explain.

Only a small part of the ice presented this appearance. It was best seen
the incident and emergent rays were nearly equally inclined to the
horizontal.
The ice was very thin, and I was not able to get near enough
to the place where the bow appeared to see if the supposed water drops really

when

existed.

[From the Transactions of

XXXIX.

On

the

Royal Society of Edinburgh,

Reciprocal Figures, Frames, and Diagrams of Forces.

(Received 17th Dec. 1869; read

Two

are

figures

Vol. xxvi.]

reciprocal

when the

7tli

Feb.

properties

1870.)

of the

second are the same as those of the second relative to the

first relative
first.

to the

Several kinds

of reciprocity are known to mathematicians, and the theories of Inverse Figures


and of Polar Reciprocals have been developed at great length, and have led to

remarkable

results.

reciprocity,

which

propose

also

is

to

capable

investigate

a difierent kind of

of considerable

development,

geometrical

nd can be ap-

plied to the solution of mechanical problems.

Frame may be defined geometrically as a system of straight lines connumber of points. In actual structures these lines are material pieces,
beams, rods, or wires, and may be straight or curved; but the force by which

necting a

each piece resists any alteration of the distance between the points which

of

a frame,

we may

consider

its

different

points as

When

together,
is

or

to

the

When

we

points

joining each

of

pair

tend to draw them

the forces tend to separate the points, or to keep

apart, the action along the joining line

If

the two

prevent them from separating, the action along the joining line

called a Tension.

them

acting between

forces

joins

mutually acting on each

other with forces whose directions are those of the lines


points.

it

Hence, in studying the equilibrium

acts in the straight line joining those points.

divide

is

called a Pressure.

the piece joining the points by any imaginary section,

the

resultant of the whole internal force acting between the parts thus divided will

be mechanically equivalent to the tension or pressure of the piece. Hence, in


to exhibit the mechanical action of the frame in the most elementary

order

manner, we
VOL.

II.

may draw

it

as a skeleton,

in

which the different points are joined


21

RECIPROCAL FIGURES, FRAMES,

162

by straight

lines,

and we may indicate by numbers attached to these Hnes the

tensions or pressures in the corresponding pieces of the frame.

The diagram thus formed


is

geometrical

indicates the

state of the frame in

the position and

regards

as

way which

the forces, but arith-

of

direction

metical as regards their magnitude.

But, by assuming that a line of


a

of

This

we may

magnitude,

certain

done in Elementary

is

a certain length shall represent a force

every force completely by a

represent

Statics,

where we

are

told

draw a

to

line.

from

line

the point of application of the force in the direction in which the force acts,

and to cut

many

off as

force

in

the

head,

to

shew that

it

acts in that direction

By

units of length from the

and

force,

a force

is

on

the

line

there

as

of the

of

line

are

units

of

with an arrow-

the frame, and that

it

and not the opposite.

we should

proceeding in this way,

superposed

mark the end


and not a piece

to

finally

skeleton

of the

frame,

get a system of arrow-headed forces

two equal and

opposite

arrows for

every piece of the frame.

To

test

the

proceed

should

equilibrium

by the

of

these

construction

forces

of

at

any point of concourse, we

the parallelogram of forces, beginning

with two of the forces acting at the point, completing the parallelogram,

drawing the diagonal, and combining this with the third force

when

till,

the

all

in

and

the same way,

had been combined, the resultant disappeared. We


new hnes, one of which is an arrow, in taking

forces

should thus have to draw three


each force after the

in

lines,

first,

leaving at last not only a great

number

but a number of new arrows, not belonging to the system of

of useless
forces,

and

only confusing to any one wishing to verify the process.

To

simplify

by drawing

in

this

process,

succession

we

lines

are

told

parallel

to

construct the Polygon of Forces,

and proportional

each line beginning at the extremity of the

last.

point are in equilibrium, the polygon formed in this

Here we have
force

is

not

only

for

the

first

examine whether the

however,
for

We

way

forces

will

acting at

the

be a closed one.

time a true Diagram of Forces, in which every

represented in

but the equilibrium of the forces


to

to the difierent forces,

If the

polygon

magnitude and direction by a straight


is
is

manifest by inspection, for


closed

we have given up the attempt

to

or not.
indicate

To secure

line,

we have only
this

advantage,

the position of the force,

the sides of the polygon do not pass through one point as the forces do.

must, therefore, give up the plan of representing the frame and

its

forces

AND DIAGRAMS OF FORCES.


one diagram,

in

of the

simplify

greatly

the

draw one diagram of the frame and a sepamte diagram


method we shall not only avoid confusion, but we shall
mechanical calculations, by reducing them to operations with

and

By

forces.

this

which no useless

in

ruler,

parallel

163

lines are

drawn, but every

line

repre-

sents an actual force.

Diagram of Forces

is

a figure,

every line of which represents in mag-

nitude and direction the force acting along a piece of the frame.

To express the relation between the diagram of the frame and the diagram of forces, the lines of the frame should each be indicated by a symbol,
and the corresponding lines of the diagram of forces should be indicated by
the same symbol, accented

We
if

they

that

sary
all

necessary.

should be parallel

lines

to

be

when the frame

parallel,
is

a right angle,

and then every

and

it

is

neces-

not in one plane; but

the pieces of the frame are parallel to one plane,

diaorams round

the

if

have supposed the corresponding

line

we may turn one


will

of

be perpendicular

to the corresponding line.


If any number of lines meet at the same point in the frame, the corresponding lines in the diagram of forces form a closed polygon.
It is possible, in certain cases, to draw the diagram of forces so that if

any

number

of

lines

lines in the

sponding

meet

in

a point in

the

diagram

of

forces,

the corre-

frame form a closed polygon.

In such cases, the two diagrams are said to be reciprocal in the sense in
If either diagram be taken as representing the
it in this paper.

which we use

frame, the lines


if

of the

other diagram will represent a system of forces which,

appHed along the corresponding pieces of the frame, wQl keep

it

in

equi-

librium.

properties of the " triangle " and " polygon " of forces have been long
a "diagram" of forces has been used in the case of the "funiand
known,
cular polygon," but I am not aware of any more general statement of the
method of drawing diagrams of forces before Professor Rankine applied it to
The "polyhedron of
frames, roofs, &c., in his Applied Mechanics, p. 137, &c.

The

forces,"

or the proposition

portional

to

that forces acting on a point perpendicular and pro-

the areas of the faces of a polyhedron are in equilibrium,

has,

beheve, been enunciated independently at various times, but the application of


this principle to the construction of a diagram of forces in three dimensions

was

first

made by

Professor Rankine in the Philosophical Magazine, Feb. 1864.

212

RECIPROCAL FIGURES, FRAMES,

164

In the
of

Philosophical Magazine

reciprocal

any

plane

for April

stated some of the properties

1864, I

and the conditions of their

figures,

rectilinear

figure

which

polyhedron with plane faces has a reciprocal figure.


cated

the

to

British

a method of

Association

founded on the theory of reciprocal

force

reciprocal

figure,

polars'^".

Mr W.

since

foimd that the

construction

by one

represented

is

line,

mining the forces acting in frames

for

King's College, or even studied

myself.

a statement of the application


that

so

detail,

In Sept. 1867, I communi-

drawing the

of diagrams of forces in which


had been independently discovered by
P. Taylor, and had been used by him as a practical method of deter-

liave

each

and shewed that

existence,

a perspective representation of a closed

is

it

can be

it

several

yeai-s

before I

had taught

understand that he

is

it

in

preparing

method to various kinds of structures in


by any one who is able to draw one

of the

made use

of

line parallel to another.

Fleeming Jenkin,

Professor

in

a paper recently

has fully explained the application of the method to

published by the Society,

the most important cases

occurring in practice,

the present paper I propose,

111

first,

to

consider plane diagrams of frames

an elementaiy way, as a practical method of solving questions


about the stresses in actual frameworks, without the use of long calculations.

and of
I

forces

shall

method

of

in

then discuss the subject in a theoretical point of view, and give a


defining reciprocal diagrams analytically, which is applicable to

figures either of

Lastly,

two or of three dimensions.


extend

shall

a continuous

stress

in

stress

first

body,

the

method

and

shall

to

the

Investigation

of the

state

of

point out the nature of the function of

discovered by the Astronomer Royal

for stresses in

two dimensions,

extending the use of such functions to stresses in three dimensions.

On Reciprocal Plane
Definition.
of an
figures

equal
are

Two

number

PectiJincai' Figures.

plane rectilinear figures are reciprocal


of straight

at right angles,

lines,

so

and corresponding

lines

the one figure form a closed polygon in the other.


* [See pp.

when they

consist

that corresponding lines in the two

169 and 1S8].

which meet in a point

in

AND DIAGRAMS OF
2^ote.

It is

convenient to turn one of the figures round in

often

Corresponding

90*.

plane

165

FORCES.

then

are

lines

parallel

sometimes more convenient in comparing the diagrams by the eye.


Since every polygon in the one figure has three or more
in

every

line

the

in

the one figure has two,

it.

Since

and only two, extremities, every

line in

other figure must be a side of two, and only two, polygons.

these

fi'^ures

is

every

sides,

the other figure must have three or more lines meeting in

point

own

its

each other, and this

to

If either of

be taken to represent the pieces of a frame, the other will repre-

a system of forces such that, these forces being applied as tensions or


along the corresponding pieces of the frame, every point of the frame

sent

pressures
will

be in equilibrium.

The simplest example is that of a triangular frame without weight, ABC,


jointed at the angles, and acted on by three forces, P, Q, R, applied at the
The directions of these three forces must meet in a point, if the frame
angles.
We shall denote the lines of the figure by capital letters,
is in equilibrium.
and those of the reciprocal figure by the corresponding small letters we shall
denote points by the lines which meet in them, and polygons by the lines
which bound them.
Here, then, are three lines. A, B, C, forming a triangle, and three other
Py Q, R, drawn from the angles and meeting in a point. Of these
lines,
;

forces

let

that

along

be

Draw

given.

the

line

first

of the

reciprocal

diagram parallel to P, and of a length representing, on any convenient scale,


the force along P. The forces along P, Q, R are in equilibrium, therefore, if
one

from

extremity

of

p we draw

extremity r parallel to R,

so

as

to

parallel

represent on the same scale the forces along

To determine whether these


travel

along

in

the

direction

forces
in

to

and

Q,

form a triangle

pqr,

from

other
will

and R.

are tensions or pressures,

which the

the

then q and r

force

in

make

a point

acts on the point

of

RECIPROCAL FIGURES, FRAMES,

166
concourse

polygon

PQR, and

of

the point travel in the same direction round the

let

Then, the direction in which the point travels along any side

pqr.

of the polygon

wiU be the

direction

which the

in

point of concourse, the force

The

other

a tension

is

extremity of

Hence,

one side and lines parallel to

meets

three pieces are in equiUbrium,

and

towards

if

it,

it

If
is

and C, and the

if

we draw a

along the corre-

acts

force

sponding piece of the frame on the point of concourse.

acts

it

from the

a pressure.
along these

forces

having

triangle,

for

for the others, the sides of this triangle

will represent the three forces.

Such a triangle may be

described

would form a parallelogram of

forces

on either side of p, the two together

but the theory of reciprocal figures

indi-

cates that only one of these triangles forms part of the diagram of forces.

The

rule for such

cases

Of

PRB, and

these being the polygons of which

We

follows

as

is

corresponds to the closed figure

is

the two extremities of p,

a side in the

must, therefore, draw b parallel to

first figure.

from the intersection of

and not from the other extremity, and we must draw


the intersection of p and q.

We
the

have now a second triangle,

point

of

course along
piece

P
If

we

is

B,

PBC

and

PQR

of these forces

must be represented by the

force

line

are
its

round pqr, because the

with equal and opposite

we have determined two

and that the third

r,

from

corresponding to the forces acting at

_2:>Z>c,

forces.

consider the equilibrium of the point of concourse of

shall find that

C.

in the opposite direction to its course

acts on the points

we now

and

to

parallel

To determine whether these forces


we must make a point travel round phc, so that

concourse of P,

pressures,

or

tensions

one

PQC,

the other to the closed figure

by the

QC

lines

and A,

q and

c,

a which completes the

triangle qca.

We

have

now

force is represented

meeting

at

constructed

by a

any point

complete

single line,

is

expressed

and

in

visibly

diagram of

in

forces,

which each

which the equilibrium of the

by the corresponding

lines

forces

in

the

other figure forming a closed polygon.


figure six lines, having four points of concourse, and
To determine the direction of the force along a given
any point of concourse, we must make a point travel round the cor-

There

are

in

this

forming four triangles.


line

at

responding
respect to

polygon

in

that polygon.

the other figure in a direction which

For

this purpose it is desirable

to

is

positive

with

name the polygons

AND DIAGRAMS OF

167

FORCES.

when we

a determinate order of their sides, so arranged that,

in

arrive at the

naming the two polygons which it divides, we travel along it in


For instance, if pqr be one of the polygons, the others are
opposite directions.
same side

in

pbc, qca, rah.

Xote.

may be

It

observed, that after drawing the lines p,

r and h, c; but, since it represents the


Hence the following geometrical theorem:

then

point,

and

a,

if

JW

if

6,

he a triangle with

meet

with

meet

lines

A, B, C; P, Q,

is

A.

to

parallel

ABC, meet

in

corresponding sides parallel to P, Q, R,

its

is

the

in

easHy obtained by finding the centres of the

ABC, AQR, BRP, CPQ, and

triangles

the four centres thus found by six

lines,

corresponding angles parallel to A, B, C, the

its

circumscribing the

These

h,

r,

in a point.

geometrical proof of this

circles

-4,

from the angles of the triangle

be drawn from

lines a, h, c will

four

PQR, drawn

lines

in

force

q,

If the

q,

the line a was drawn by joining the points of concourse of

the parallel ruler,

joining

lines.

four

R; but by

and are perpendicular to the

centres,

six

turning them round 90" they become parallel

to the corresponding lines in the original figure.

The diagram formed


similar

figure

explained

the

to

on,

way

in

this

reciprocal

of

construction

length, as I wish to
fixed

is

it

this,

is

definite

in

size

diagram to the
the

shew how, after the


is drawn in a

every other line

simplest
line

first

and

position,

original figure.

diagram of
is

forces,

drawn and

its

perfectly definite position

but any
I

have

more at

extremities

by means of

the parallel ruler.

in

In any complete diagram of forces, those forces which act at a given point
Hence, there will be as many closed
frame form a closed polygon.

the

polygons

the

in

diagram

as

there are points

piece

of the frame acts with equal

form

its

polygons.

other
is

to

extremities,

These
in

but,

If

polygon

it

the frame.

opposite forces

Also,

since

each

on the two points which

the force in the diagram will be a side of two difterent

polygons

might be drawn

in

any positions

relatively

to

each

the diagrams here considered, they are placed so that each force

represented by one

which

and

in

line,

which forms the boundary between the two polygons

belongs.

we regard
will

be

the

polygons as surfaces, rather than as mere outlines, every

bounded at every point of

its

outline

by other polygons,

so

RECIPROCAL FIGURES, FRAMES,

168

whole

the

that

assemblage

polygons

of

form a continuous surface,

will

must either be an infinite surface or a closed


The diagram cannot be infinite, because

surface.

of finite lines representing finite forces.

must, therefore,

returning on

way

such a

in

itself,

it

is

made up

of a finite

number

be a closed surface

that every point in the plane of the diagram

diagram at

does not belong to the

either

It

which

belongs to an even number

or

all,

of sheets of the diagram.

Any system
may be regarded
same

of polygons, which

which

side of the line,

common boundary

two

of

is

common

sheets of

the boundary of which

positive,

contact with

are in

is

to

polygons are on the

them, that line forms part of the

diagram.

the

each other externally,

When two

a sheet of the diagram.

as

If

we reckon

traced in the direction

those areas

of positive rotation

the polygons in each sheet will be of the same sign as

round the

area,

the

but those sheets which have a common boundary will be of opposite

sheet,

sign.

At every

then

all

point in the diagram there will be the same

and the whole area of the

as of negative sheets,

number of

positive

positive sheets will be equal to

that of the negative sheets.

The diagram,
polyhedron,

polygons, which

Let
If

therefore,

us

may

next

any of the

additional hnes,

may

or

consider

be considered as a plane projection of a closed

faces.

not, as far as

bounded by

we yet know. He

rectilinear

each in one plane.

the plane projection of a given closed polyhedron.

of this

faces

polyhedron are not plane,

we may, by drawing

substitute for that face a system of triangles, each of which

necessarily in a plane.

by plane

may

the faces of the polyhedron being surfaces

We

is

may, therefore, consider the polyhedron as bounded

Every angular point of this polyhedron


and its height above it.

will be

defined

by

its

projection on the plane

Let us now take a fixed point, which we


from

it

a perpendicular to the plane.

We

shall

call

the

shall call

this

line the

origin,

and draw

axis.

If

we

then draw from the origin a line perpendicular to one of the faces of the polyhedron,

it will

cut the plane at a point which

projection of that

and take on

face.

this line

From

this point

may

draw a

be said to correspond to the

line perpendicular to

a point whose distance from the plane

is

the plane,

equal to that

of the intersection of the axis with the face of the polyhedron produced, but on

the other side of the plane.

the polyhedron.

By

This point in space will correspond to the face of

repeating this process for every face of the polyhedron,

shall find for every face a corresponding point

with

its

projection on the plane.

we

AND DIAGRAMS OF

169

FORCES.

To every edge of the polyhedron will correspond the line which joins the
Each of these
points corresponding to the two faces which meet in that edge.
perpendicular to the projection of the other; for the perpendiculars
is
from the origin to the two faces, lie in a plane perpendicular to the edge in
which they meet, and the projection of the line corresponding to the edge is
Hence, the edge is
the intersection of this plane with the plane of projection.
lines

perpendicular to the projection of the corresponding

edge

therefore

is

the corresponding line

therefore to

on

every line of which

plane of projection,

the

sponding line in the original


in the one figure
Ifi

figure,

and

so

projection of the

corresponding

line,

and

way we may draw a diagram


is

perpendicular to the corre-

that lines which meet in a point

form a closed polygon in the other.

system of rectangular co-ordinates, we make

in a

and x = 0, y = 0,

jectionj

In this

itself.

The

line.

perpendicular to the projection of the

z=c

the fixed point, then


z

if

the plane of pro-

the equation of a plane be

= Ax + Bi/+C,

the co-ordinates of the corresponding point will be

^=cA,

r)

= cB,

C=-C,

and we may write the equation

If
tion,

we suppose

considering x,

^,

rj,

y,

given as the co-ordinates of a point, then this equa-

variable,

aa

is

the equation of a plane corresponding

to the point.

If

we suppose

x, y, z

the co-ordinates of a point,

and

^,

rj,

{as

variable,

the equation will be that of a plane corresponding to that point.

Hence,

if

plane

passes

through the point xyz, the point corresponding

to this plane lies in the plane corresponding to the point xyz.

These points and planes are reciprocally polar in the ordinary sense with
respect to the paraboloid of revolution
2cz =zx^

We
sidering

have

thus arrived

at

'if.

a construction for reciprocal diagrams by con-

each as a plane projection of a plane-sided polyhedron, these polyhedra

being reciprocal to one another, in the geometrical sense, with respect to a certain paraboloid of revolution.

VOL.

II.

22

RECIPROCAL FIGURES, FRAMES,

170

Each

must

of the diagrams

it

to

the conditions of being a plane projection

fulfil

any of the

of a plane-sided polyhedron, for if

sides of the polyhedron of

many

the projection are not plane, there will be as

is

which

points corresponding

that side as there are different planes passing through three points of the

and the other diagram wiU be

side,

Number

Relation between the


It

of Edges, Summits, and Faces of Polyhedra.

manifest that after a closed

is

by hnes drawn upon

faces

indefinite.

it,

new

every

surface

new

line

has been divided into separate

drawn from a point

in the system,

two
drawn to an isolated point, or to a point already
connected with the system.
Hence the sum of points and faces is increased
by one for every new line. K the closed surface is acycHc, or simply connected^^

either

introduces

parts,

according

as

we draw a

point

We

faces.

number of

it

point

into

the system, or divides a face into

is

a solid body without any passage through

that of

like

one

closed

curve on the surface,

have here one


lines,

line,

we

one point, and two

the number of points, and

it,

then,

divide the
faces.

if

from any

surface into

Hence,

if

two

be the

the number of faces, then in

general

es f=
* See Riemann,
sions;

also

Crelle's Journal, 1857, Lehrsdtze aits der ancdysis situs, for space of two dimenCayley on the Partitions of a Close, PhU. Mag. 1861; Helmholtz, CreUe's Journal, 1858,

Wirbelbewegung, for the application of the idea of multiple continuity to space of three dimensions;
Gottingen Trans., 1861, Der Census Rdumliclier Complexe, a complete treatise on the

J. B. Listing,

subject of Cyclosis

On

and Periphraxy.

the importance of this subject see Gauss,

mehr wie

v.

605,

"Von

der Geometria

Sittcs

die

die

nichts."

added March

iTo^e

14,

1870,

Since

this

was

the surface of an n-ly connected body

notation,
cyclic.

und in

Werke,

nur einem Paar Geometern (Euler nnd Vandermonde) einen schwachen


Blick zu thun vergonnt war, wissen und haben wir nach anderthalbhundert Jahren noch nicht viel

Leibnitz ahnte

If

2n

- Kg expresses the degree of

I have seen Listing's Census.


In his
body with n -I holes through it) is (2n - 2)

written,

(a

cyclosis,

then Listing's general equation

s-{e-K^) + {/-Kg + ^^)-{v-K^ +

7!:^-w)

is

= 0,

number of points, e the number of lines, K^ the number of endless curves, J" the number
Kg the number of degrees of cyclosis of the faces, Wj, the number of periphractic or closed
faces, V the number of regions of space, K^ the number of degrees of cyclosis, tT^ their number of
degrees of periphraxy or the number of regions which they completely surround, and w is to be put
= 1 or =0, according as the system does or does not extend to infinity.

where

s is the

of faces.

AND DIAGRAMS OF

when

remains constant, however

many

171

FORCES.

But

drawn.

lines be

in

the case of a

simple closed surface

w = - 2.
doubly connected, like that of a solid body with a
hole through it, then if we draw one closed curve round the hole, and another
closed curve through the hole, and round one side of the body, we shall have
If the closed surface

(^

= 2,

/=1,

.9=1,

m = 0.

so that

n-l

a solid with

is

If the surface

holes through

it,

is

connected,

?i-ly

may draw n

then we

n-l

the 71-1 holes and the outside of the body, and

that of

like

closed curves round

other closed curves each

through a hole and round the outside of the body.

We
and

then have 4(h-1) segments of curves terminating

shall

dividing the surface into two faces, so that

points and

/= 2,

= A{n l),

in
s

(n-l)

= 2(n l),

and

e-s-f=2n-A,
and

this

the general relation between the

is

polyhedron whose surface

The plane
hedra,

is

reciprocal diagrams,

It

is

considered as plane projections

= e

where the suffixes refer to the

points,

poly-

and

and/ = 5

s,=f
first

and second diagrams respectively


7Zi

n.;,,

two diagrams are connected to the same degree.

On

the

Degrees of Freedom and Constraint of Frames.

To determine the
and given axes,

origin

positions

of s points

35 data are required

in space,

position of s points is 3s
therefore,

and

if

-6

lines joining selected pairs of a

these lengths are

the distances between any other pair of


will

to determine the relative

G.

the lengths of 3s

of s points be given,

with reference to a given

but since the position of the origin

and axes involve 6 data, the number of data required

system

of such

lines,

manifest that since


ei

If,

summits, and faces of a

have the same relation between the numbers of their

polygons.

or the

edges,

n-\j connected.

all

points

system

independent of each other, then


will

be

determinate,

and the

be rigidly connected.

22

RECIPROCAL FIGURES, FRAMES,

172
If,

however, the lines are so chosen that those which join pairs of points of
of the points are more than 3s' 6 in number, the lengths of
s'

a system of

these lines will not be independent of each other, and the lines of this partial
system will only give 3s' 6 independent data to determine the complete system.

In a system of

points joined

by

e lines, there will in general

be 3s- 6

-e

=p

degrees of freedom, provided that in every partial system of s' points joined
by e lines, and having in itself p' degrees of freedom, p' is not negative. If in

any such system

is

negative,

we may put g= p, and

degrees of constraint, and there will be q equations

the lines

and

if

the system

call q the number of


connecting the lengths of

a material one, the stress along each piece will

is

be a function of q independent variables. Such a system may be said to have


p' is negative in any partial system, then the deq degrees of constraint.
grees of freedom of the complete system are pp\ where p and p' are got

from the number of points and lines in the complete and partial systems. If s
points are connected by e lines, so as to form a polyhedron of / faces, enclosing
a space n times connected, and

if

each of the faces has

sides,

then

mf=2e.

We

e-s-/=2n-4,

have also

and

3s

e=p-\-6,

p = 6(l-n) + (2

whence

e.

If aU the faces of the polyhedron are triangles,

m = 3,

and we have

p = 6{l-n).
If
faces,

n=l,

p = o,

longer rigid

or in

that
if

is

the case of a simply connected polyhedron with triangular


to say, such a figure

any one of

its lines

material rods forming a closed

web

is

a rigid system, which would be no

were wanting.
of triangles,

In such a

figure,

if

made

of

the tensions and pressures in

the rods would be completely determined by the external forces appUed to the
figure,

and

if

there were no external force, there would be no stress in the rods.

In a closed surface of any kind,


of curves
*

On

which do not intersect each

if

we

other,

the Bending of Surfaces, by J. Clerk Maxwell.

cover the surface* with a system

and

if

we draw another system

Cambridge Tramactions, 1856.

[Vol.

i.

p. 80.]

AND DIAGRAMS OF

and a third system passing diagonally through the

intersecting these,

of the other two,

tions

and

triangles,

triangles

faces

substitute

same

diflfering

angular

infinitely

little

We

on the polyhedron.

line

we

rectilinear

have a polyhedron with

shall

from the surface, and such that the


little

substitute

from that of the correabout the

in all questions

may, therefore,

transformation of surfaces by bending,

a system of

surface

the

for

points,

length of any line on the surface differs infinitely

sponding

intersec-

the whole surface will be covered with small curvilinear

we now

if

having the

triangular

173

FORCES.

them such polyhedra with

for

triangular faces.

We

thus find with respect to a simply connected closed inextensible surface

That

1st,

it

is

of

force, there is

is

That the

form*; 2nd,

invariable

depend entirely on the external appUed

forces f

3rd,

if

the surface

in

stresses

That

there

is

no external

stress in the surface.

no

In the limiting case of the curved surface, however, a kind of deformation


which is not possible in the case of the polyhedron. Let us suppose

possible,

that in some

way a dimple has been formed on a convexo-convex

part of the

and the
the edge of the
surface.
the
of
form
original
plane
of
the
in
this
reflexion
the
dimpled part
Then the length of any line drawn on the surface will remain unchanged.

surface,

dimple

that

so

is

a plane

closed

curve,

is

Now

let

dimple

the

gradually enlarged, so that

be

Every

line

on the surface will

still

length during the whole process,

so that the process

is

changes

its

position.

its

edge continually

remain of the same

possible in the

case of

an inextensible surface. In this way such a surface may be gradually turned


outside in, and since the dimple may be formed from a mere point, a pressure
applied at a single point on the outside of an inextensible surface will not be
surface
resisted, but will form a dimple which will increase till one part of the
comes in contact with another.
In the case of closed surfaces doubly connected,
faces

not

are

external

forces,

only

rigid,

and the

but

are

expression

of

of

stress

this

p=

internal

capable

^6, that
stress,

depends on

is,

such sur-

independent of
six

independent

variables.

This has been shewn by Professor Jellett, Trans. R.I. A., Vol. xxii. p. 377.
On the Equilibrium of a Spherical Envelope, by J. C. Maxwell. Quarterly Journal of Mathe-

matics, 1867.

[Vol.

II.

p. 86.]

RECIFROCAL FIGURES, FRAMES,

174

In a polyliedron with triangular faces, if a number of the edges be taken


away so as to form a hole with e^ sides, the number of degrees of freedom is

Hence,

order

in

we may

stress,

to

cut out

The system

edges.

make an
will

n-\j

the edges

connected polyhedron simply rigid without


till

removed, the system will no longer be


Since

the

in

we have formed

then be free from

case

limiting

of

stress,

but

a hole having
if

6n-3

any more edges be

rigid.

the inextensible surface,

the smallest

hole

number of sides, the smallest hole made


may be regarded as having an
to any degree will destroy its rigidity.
connected
surface
inextensible
in a closed
infinite

Its

flexibility,

however,

may

be confined within very narrow

limits.

In the case of a plane frame of s points, we have 2s data required to


but since 3
determine the points with reference to a given origin and axes
number of
the
axis,
arbitrary data are involved in the choice of origin and
;

data required to determine the relative position of

we know the lengths


then in general the number of
If

of e lines

points in a plane

joining certain

pairs

of

is

25-3.

these points,

degrees of freedom of the frame will be

p = 2s-e-.S.
however, in any partial system of s points connected by e lines, the
quantity p' = 2s'-e-S be negative, or in other words, if a part of the frame
be self-strained, this partial system will contribute only 2s -S equations indeIf,

pendent of each other to the complete system, and the whole frame will have

pp'

degrees of freedom.

In a plane frame, consisting of a single sheet, every element of which is


triangular, and in which the pieces form three systems of continuous lines, as
at p. 173, if the frame contains e pieces connecting s points, s of which are

on the circumference of the frame and

s^

3s-s' =

Hence
a

_p

negative

points

are

quantity,
in

the

or

such

interior

of

in the interior, then


e

+ 3.

= - (s - s') = -

a frame

is

s^,

necessarily

stiff";

and

the frame, the frame has as

constraint as there are interior points that

is,

if

many

any of the
degrees of

the stresses in each piece will be

AND DIAGRAMS OF
functions of

s^

rendering

loose.

it

there

If

variables,

are

ference of the

and

holes

5,

pieces

in the

175

FORCES.

may be removed from

frame,

so

that

s'

frame or on those of the holes, and

5,

points

points

the frame without

on the circum-

lie
lie

the interior,

in

the degree of stiffness will be

p = s^ + 3n.
plane frame

If a

be a projection of a polyhedron of

faces,

each of

sides,

and enclosing a space n times connected, then

e-5-/=2n-4,
2s-e=p-{-3,

p = 5 -4)1 + 1

whence

je.

= 4 and p = 5-in, or a plane frame which


the faces are quadrilaterals
the projection of a closed polyhedron with quadrilateral faces, has one degree
of freedom if the polyhedron is simply connected, as in the case of the projection of the solid bounded by six quadrilaterals, but if the polyhedron be
If all

is

doubly

connected,

degrees of

stiffness.

the

frame

formed by

its

plane

projection

will

have three

(See Diagram II.)

Theorem. If every one of a system of points in a plane is in equiUbrium


under the action of tensions and pressures acting along the lines joining the
points, then if we substitute for each point a small smooth ring through which
smooth thin rods of indefinite length corresponding to the

lines

are compelled

moment
to pass, then, if to each rod be applied a couple in the plane, whose
multiplied
points
the
between
rod
the
is equal to the product of the length of
by the tension or pressure in the former case, and tends to turn the rod

positive

or

the negative

direction,

according as the force was a tension or

the
For
a pressure, then every one of the system of rings will be in equilibrium.
and preseach ring is acted on by a system of forces equal to the tensions
sures

in

the former case,

each to each, the whole system being turned round

a right angle, and therefore the equilibrium of each point

Theorem.
action

In

of repulsions

any system of points


and

attractions, the

in

sum

equilibrium

is

in

undisturbed.

a plane under the

of the products of each attraction

RECIPROCAL FIGURES, FRAMES,

176

by

multiplied

the

sum

of the points between which it acts, is equal to


products of the repulsions multiplied each by the distance of

the distance

of the

the points between which

For

each

since

is

right

at

forces

and

distance,

negative

if it

systems

will

system of

remain in equilibrium

if

the

in

directions,

forming

the product of the force between the points and

is

whose direction
are

two points we have two equal

line joining

that line and acting in opposite

Now

be attractive.

couples

of

each

of

angles to

a couple whose magnitude


their

it

is

extremities

the

at

of a

equilibrium under the action

one plane,

in

turned through a right angle in the positive direction. If


performed on the systems of forces acting on all the points,

system of forces
this operation

in

is

and repulsions

attractions,

then

it acts.

point

is

positive

if

the force be repulsive, and

since every point

equilibrium,

or

the

in equilibrium

is

sum

of

these two

the positive couples

is

equal to that of the negative couples, which proves the theorem.

In a plane frame, loaded with weights in any manner, and supported by


weight must be regarded as attracted towards a horizontal

vertical thrusts, each

base Une,

and each support of the frame

as

repelled from that

Hne.

Hence

the following rule

Multiply each load by the height of the point at which it acts, and each
by the length of the piece on which it acts, and add all these

tension

products together.

Then multiply the


the height at which

which

it

acts,

it

pressures on the supports of the frame each by


and each pressure by the length of the piece on

vertical
acts,

and add the products together.

This

sum

will be

equal to the

former sum.
If

the

thrusts which support the frame are not vertical,

their horizontal

components must be treated as tensions or pressures borne by the foundations


of the structure, or

by the earth

The importance

of

this

itself.

theorem to the engineer

stance that the strength of a piece


that

if

the strength of each piece

arises

from the

circum-

is

in general proportional to its section, so

is

proportional to the

stress

which

it

has

the stress multipHed


to bear, its weight will be proportional to the product of
give an estimate of
products
of
sums
these
Hence
piece.
the
of
the length

by

the total quantity of material which must be used in


pressure respectively.

sustaining tension and


AND DIAGRAMS OF
The following method of demonstrating
consideration of couples, and

to

177

FORCES.

theorem does not require the

this

applicable to frames in three dimensions.

is

Let the system of points be caused to contract, always remaining similar


its original form, and with its pieces similarly situated, and let the same

continue to act upon it during this operation, so that every point is


always in equilibrium under the same system of forces, and therefore no work
forces

is

forces as a whole.

done by the system of

Let the contraction proceed

the system

till

is

Then

reduced to a point.

the work done by each tension is equal to the product of that tension by the
distance through which it has acted, namely, the original distance between the

Also

points.

the

work spent

overcoming each pressure

in

the

is

product of

that pressure by the original distance of the points between which it acts; and
since no work is gained or lost on the whole, the sum of the first set of

products must be equal to the

sum

second

of the

not necessary to suppose the points

all

In this demonstration

set.

in one plane.

it

is

is

mathematically equivalent to the following algebraical proof:

Let

the

co-ordinates

of

the

points

different

of

This demonstration

the

system be

any two points

x^.z^,

be P^,,

&c., and let the force between


p, q,
Xpi/pZp,
and their distance r^, and let it be reckoned positive when it is a pressure,
and negative when it is a tension, then the equation of equilibrium of any

x^^

point

with respect to forces parallel to

is

a:

{Xp-x:)^ + (Xp-x.:)^ + &c. + (Xp-x,)^ + &c.=0,


or generally, giving

all

values from

to n,

2;{(^p-x,)^j=o.
Multiply this equation by
multiplied

by

its

Xp.

There are n such equations, so that

proper co-ordinate and the

Ill

sum

in

y and

tptt(P^,r,,)

which

is

VOL.

if

each

we get

^Pt)

and adding the corresponding equations

taken,

z,

we get

'

the algebraic expression of the theorem.


II.

23

is

RECIPROCAL FIGURES, FRAMES,

178

General Theory of Diagrams of Stress


Method of Representing

First

Definition.

body

under

the

closed curve,

be

drawn

of internal

in

Stress in

the body, and

the diagram of stress,

Three Dimensions.
a Body.

a figure having such a relation to a

is

forces,
if

that

a surface A, limited by a

if

the corresponding limited surface a

then the resultant of the actual internal

on the positive side of the surface

forces

to

drawn

is

in

diagram of stress

action

in

the body

in

the resultant of a uniform normal pressure

j>

is

equal and parallel

acting on the positive side of

the surface a in the diagram of stress.

Let

X,

y,

be the co-ordinates of any point in the body,

the corresponding point in the diagram of stress, then


X, y,

in

forces,

we have

the nature of which

2,

may

the body

ascertain,

so

ly,

f,

t],

those of

^ are ftmctions of

that the internal forces

For the present we suppose no external

be in equiUbrium.

such as gravity,

to

^,

to act on the particles of the body.

We

shall consider

such forces afterwards.

Theorem

1.

If any closed

surface

on any element of that surface

described in the body, and

is

if

the stress

equal and parallel to the pressure on the

is

corresponding element of surface in the diagram of stress, then the resultant stress

on the whole closed surface will vanish

diagram

pressure

stress

does

It

for

the corresponding surface in the

and the resultant of a uniform normal


on every element of a closed surface is zero by hydrostatics.

of

surface

sultant

moment.

is

2.

a closed

however,

not,

closed

Theorem

is

in

To

surface,

foUow

equilibrium,

that

the

portion

the stress on

for

its

of

the body within the

surface

may have

ensure equilibrium of every part of the body,

it

is

re-

neces-

sary and sufficient that

where

is

^_dF

_dF

^~dx'

'^~dy'

any function of

x, y,

and

dF
^~ dz*

z.

Let us consider the elementary area in the body dydz.

The

stress acting

on this area will be a force equal and parallel to the resultant of a pressure
acting on the corresponding element of area in the diagram of stress.

Eesolving

AND
pressure

this

in

equal

element

to

which we may

j^

projection on the plane yz,

we

p^dydz,

call

by the area of the

multiplied

the diagram of stress on

of

179

the directions of the co-ordinate axes,

ponents of stress on dydz,


each

OF FORCES.

DIAGR^\3IS

projection

the three

com-

find the three

and

p^ydijdz,

pxzdijdz,

of the corresponding

co-ordinate

Now, the

planes.

is

dr) dt,

dr) dt,

dz

dz dy^

dydz.
7ly

Hence we

find for the

component of

stress in the direction of

^''~^\dydz
which we may write

dr} dt,

drj dl,

dzdyj'

for brevity at present

Similarly,

I>xy=pJ(l ^;
In

the

same

dzdx and dxdy

find

= pJ{l

C;

Z,

^),

Pyy

Pzx=pJ{%

i'y

^.

y)'

Pzy=pJ{'^' t'

consider

moment

rf,

y,

z).

the components of stress on the areas

Py,=pJ{v,

Now,
to the

we may

way,

p=pJ{i,

y, z),

^;

^'

Pyz=pJ{l V

'>

Pzz=vJ{^' V'

^' y)>

the equilibrium of the parallelopiped dxdydz,

^>

^l

^' y)-

with respect

of the tangential stresses about its axes.

The moments of the

forces

tending to turn this elementary parallelopiped

about the axis of x are


dzdxpy^ dy dxdyp.y
.

dz.

To ensure equilibrium as respects rotation about the axis of

x,

we must have

Pyz = Pzr

Similarly,

for

the

moments about the axes

of y

and

z,

we

obtain

the

equa-

tions

Pzx=Pzz and

Now,

let

us assume

Pxy=iV

for the present

232

'

RECIPROCAL FIGURES, FRAMES,

180

Then the equation

becomes

2'^y^^P^y

'{ dz dx
(A -

or

(B,

^ \dx dy

dxdz)

dy dxj

-Q-A, (B, + Q = (B, + Q (B, + Q - A, (B, - Q,


= AA + ^A + B,C^

Similarly, from the

two other equations of equilibrium we should

find

= AA + ^iC,-hB,C
= A,C, + B,C, + B,C,.
From

these three equations

it

foUows that

C,

= 0,

dT)_dC

^^^^

dz'dy'

and ^dx + rjdy-^-Cdz

whence

dF
be called the function of

may be

of stress
of

function

the

d^_dl
dx~dz'

= 0.

dl_dri^

dy'dx*
x,

y and

z,

follows that

it

may

(73

a complete differential of some function, F, of

is

^~dx'

a = 0,

is

stress,

dF
dz'

because

when

it

is

known, the diagram

of stress calculated.

and the components


only by the conditions to be

formed,

_dF
"^'dy'

limited

The form

fulfilled

at

the

bounding surface of the body.

The

six

components of

(d'Fd'F

P^'P

stress expressed in

U'Fd'F

fd'FV}

d'F d'F

d'F d'F\

[dzdx dxdy

daf dydz)

-^^
'

terms of

_ (d'F d'F
^ \dxdy dydz

(d'FdF^

df

dzdxj
/

-^-z,

dz

/^'-^M

d'F d'F\

^^ ~^
If

are

/d'FV\ ^

d'F d'F _ d'F d'F \


dz' dxdy)

'

[dydz dzdx

becomes Airy's function of stress in two dimensions, and we have


''

d'F

d'F

d'F

P^=P:^' Pyy=Pd^' P^=-Pd^y'


The system
function,

of stress

in

three dimensions deduced in this

way from any

F, satisfies the equations of equilibrium of internal stress.

It

is

not,

AND DIAGRAMS OF

may

however, a general solution of these equations, as

p and

the case in which

no tangential action

both zero at

are

p^,

is

p^

each stratum must separately

The complete

where

solution of these equations

every

function of x,

Again,

between
in

if

this

and

y,

we
to

parallel

lines

value

different

of

z,

"^^^~

so

we

we have

and

seen,

_df
^^

dj?'

may

of which

the form

y,

jj^

f^

we may regard

as

be different for

a perfectly general

a cylindrical portion of the body with

shall

see that there

cylinder and the

this cylinder

as

is,

dxdy'

that

y:>,

z.

consider
z,

dy

any function of x and

is

_d^
^'^'df

In this case, since

the conditions of equilibrium,

fulfil

be easily seen by taking

points.

all

planes parallel to xy, the stresses

in

there
in

181

FORCES.

rest of the body.

must be constant throughout

its

generating

no tangential action parallel to

is

its

Hence the
length,

longitudinal stress

and

independent of

is

the stress in any other part of the body.

P = <^(^,

Hence
where ^

is

a function of x and y only,


of

^ = 0,

-J
docdz

whence

dF
-7-

is

it

may

be any such function.

under the conditions Pzz =


a perfectly general function of x and y

expressing the stresses in terms


find that if -F is

!/).

but

follows

a function of

-j-

that

ax

z only.

and

-j-

ay

0, Py,

But

= 0, we

and -7j- = 0.
dydz

are

functions

of

x and y

only,

and that

Hence

F=G + Z,
when

(x

is

a function

components of

of

x and y

only,

and

a function of

UWd'G

only,

stress are

d'Gd^Z

d'Gd'Z

d'G X]

P-=Pdfdz^' P'^=Pd^d7' p--p\d^^ dj-\dxdnly


d'G d:Z

P^ = 0,

p^ = 0,

P^=-Pdxdydz^-

and the

RECIPROCAL FIGURES, FRAMES,

182

Here the function

Now,

which determines the

function

this

function of x, y,

by a function of

and

z,

not

is

it

stress in the strata parallel to

sufficiently

only,

jL)

may be

of

being any

z.

it

function which

instead

for

is

the product of a function of x and y multiplied

is

Besides this, though the value of p^^

and

general,

xy

is

is,

as

it

ought to

most general form,

not of the

a function of x

be,

depends on G, the

for it

determines the stresses p^, p^, and 'Pyy, whereas the value of
In fact, the
of the values of these stresses.

entirely independent

equations give

dz'
iz'l'

This method, therefore, of representing


sions

stress

in

body of three dimen-

a restricted solution of the equations of equilibrium.

is

On

Reciprocal Diagrams in Three Dimensions.

Let us consider figures in two portions of space, which we shall call respecLet the co-ordinates of any point in
the first and the second diagrams.

tively

the

diagram be denoted by

first

second by

the

-q,

^,

continuous
values of

manner;

at

that

to

is

those points

say,

then,

\
if

A,

parallel

point in

the second diagram be determined

sponding point in the

first

to

x,

equivalent to the

are

first

two

points,

without

from

x, y,

z,

figure

and
limit,

Let the co-ordinates


those

(^,

of

in

any

F^ the

F^,

the value

-q,

the

of a
corre-

dF

dF
'^

= ^'

dF
^

statement, that the vector (p)

,,.

^^^'

of

any point

in

the

second diagram represents in direction and magnitude the rate of variation of


at

the

in

respectively.

y,

by the equations

^=^'
is

approaches

approaches that of F^ without limit.

F._

This

and those of the corresponding point

x, y, z,

measured in directions

be a quantity varying from point to point of the

Let i^

of

^,

corresponding point of the

first

diagram.

AND DIAGRAMS OF
Next,

let

us determine another function,


xi+7jr}

<f>,

thus determined,

as

known

terms of these quantities.

in

of

i,

V>

^-

of

i,

V,

Differentiate

+ zC=F+cf>
But,

for

with respect to

<f>

^dx

d(f>_

$,

dy

d~i~'^'^ ^ Ti'^'^ di"^ ^

Substituting the values of

dFdx

d^_

x,

(2).

and

y,

since

z,

the same reason,


considering x,

dF
di~ d^

y,

<^

^,

are

a function

is

and

77,

functions

dz

from (l)

t],

^,

from the equation

</>,

be a function of

will

183

FORCES.

dFdy

d^'^'^dxdi'^ dy

dFd^_dF

d^'^ dz d^

d^

dF_dF
'"^^d^
= x.
Differentiating

<f>

di

with respect to

and

rj

d^

d^

""-dr
or

the vector

(r)

C,

magnitude the rate of increase of

<f>

at

three equations

d^

^~dr)'

of any point in the

we get the

first

'-c/4

^'

diagram represents in direction and

the corresponding point of the second

diagram.

Hence the

first

diagram

may

be determined from the second by the same

process that the second was determined

each with

its

own

from the

first,

and the two diagrams,

function, are reciprocal to each other.

(2) between the functions expresses that the sum of the functwo corresponding points is equal to the product of the distances of
these points from the origin multiplied by the cosine of the angle between the

The

relation

for

tions

directions of these distances.

Both these functions must be of two dimensions in space. Let i*^ be a


function of xyz, which has the same value and rate of variation as F

linear

has at the point x^y^^

/-

The value

= F. + (x-x.)f + (y-,.)^ + (.-z.)f-

of F' at the origin

is

found by putting

x, y,

F = F,-x,^-y,r)-zX=-<f>

and

(4).

=
(5),

EECIPEOCAL FIGURES, FRAMES,

184

of F* at the

or the value

the point

t?,

^,

If the

be

of variation of

rate

second diagram the

of the

and

impossible,

the

therefore

limits

of the

second diagram, the

every

point,

corresponding to an

which correspond to a single point

To

these points

find

the

in

which

is

curves,

curves

and

constant,

which the tangent plane

more

nowhere

is

at

correspond

the

to

p.

first

let

let

r),

{,

be drawn in the

surfaces

diagram

first

points be found in each of these surfaces at


p,

these points will form

infinite,

second

the

one or

and the points on these


which

diagram

in

the
first

in

on these curves at which -r- = p


since

^,

vice versa.

diagram, let p be the vector of a given

diagram on a plane through the origin perpendicular to

Now,

the co-ordinates

be the perpendicular from a point in the

points
If

and

in the second.

perpendicular to

is

infinite,

finite,

which must be either closed or

direction of the vector

diagram.

the value of

to

Beyond the
values of x, y, z, in terms of ^, iq, t must
value of <^ is also impossible. Within the
function ^ has an even number of values at
even number of points in the first diagram,

and

point in the second diagram,


for

equal and opposite

is

second diagram must be everywhere

of the
limits

origin

t,.

p,

then

lie

all

those points

correspond to the given point in the second

this point

within the second diagram, there are values

is

fJF
of p both greater

absolute

maximum

and

less

than the given one

nor an absolute

minimum

number of points on the curve


Some of these points may
given point.
must be different, unless the given point is

an

even

and therefore -r

value.

Hence there

or curves which
coincide,

is

neither an

are in general

correspond to the

but at least two of them

at the limit of the second diagram.

Let us now consider the two reciprocal diagrams with their functions, and

what the geometrical nature of

ascertain in
(1)

Let

F=Fi, then

the

first

diagram

a point in one diagram

function

<^

is

simply the point Pj,

(x^,

y^,

z^),

at which

in the other diagram

<f>

or

be

their reciprocity consists.

is

= ^r^+y^l+^X-F^

reciprocal

to

(6),

a space in the other, in which the

a linear function of the co-ordinates.

AND DIAGRAMS OF
Let the

(2)

diagram contain a second point Pj,

first

F=F, then we must combine

If

is

r,

and

at

z.),

which

(7),

<^,

+ {z,-zH = F.-F,.

the length of the line drawn from the

if li^m^.n^^

y^,

= x,^+y.j) + zX-F,

{x,-x:^^-\-{y,-y.)'n

P,;

(jc^,

equation (G) with


<i>

whence eliminating

185

FORCES.

first

point P, to the second

are its direction cosines, this equation becomes

F -F
'13

of the two points P, and P is a plane, perpendicular to the


them, and such that the perpendicular from the origin on the plane

or the reciprocal
line joining

multiplied by the length of the line P^P^

(3)

are

and

a;,,

equal to the excess of P. over P,.

is

Let there be a third point P, in the first diagram, whose co-ordinates


z, and for which
F=F^', then we must combine with equations (6)

(7)

4>=^.^+y.-n+^-Ji-F^

The
dicular
this

reciprocal

to

three

points Pj, P^, P^

is

perpen-

a straight line

the plane of the three points, and such that the perpendicular on

from

line

the

of

(8).

the origin represents,

most rapid increase of

in

direction

in the plane P^P^P^,

and magnitude, the rate of

being a linear function of the

co-ordinates whose values at the three points are those given.

Let there be a fourth point P^

(4)

The

reciprocal

the

of

four

points

for

which F=F^.

is

a single point,

and the

line

drawn

from the origin to this point represents, in direction and magnitude, the rate
of greatest increase

of F,

supposing

values

at

the four points are those

that of

at the origin.

such a linear function of xyz that

Let us next suppose that the value of


does not vary by a

finite

quantity

when

VOL.

II.

is

continuous,

at

this

that

is,

its

point

is

that

the co-ordinates vary by infinitesimal

quantities, but that the form of the function


linear function of xyz

The value of ^

given.

(f>

is

in different parts of space,

discontinuous, being a different

bounded by

definite surfaces.

24

RECIPROCAL FIGURES, FRAMES,

186

The bounding
For

let

must be composed of

surfaces of these parts of space

planes.

the linear functions of xyz in contiguous portions of space be

then at the bounding surface, where F^ = F,

(a,-a,)aj+(A-A)r+(y.-r.)2=<^x-<A,
and

this

is

(9),

the equation of a plane.

Hence the portion of space in which any particular form of the value of F
must be a polyhedron or cell bounded by plane faces, and therefore
having straight edges meeting in a number of points or summits.
holds good

Every

more

cells,

face

the boimdary of two

is

and to two

cells,

Every summit belongs to at least four


and to two edges of each face.

cell,

The whole space occupied by the


different

ways,

has two values of

The

that every point in

so

and

diagram
it

radius

The value

of

of the

in

the same way,

different

cells,

and

and the

cell in

summit represents the

rate

the other.
of increase of the

both in direction and magnitude.

cell,

function

at

the summit

value which the function in the cell would have

same

two

diagram corresponds to a

in one

the

to

its derivatives.

vector

function within the

divided into cells in two

is

belongs

diagram is made up of cells


two diagrams may be thus stated

Every summit

The

to at least three faces of each

cells,

reciprocal

reciprocity of the

1.

every edge belongs to three or

faces of each cell.

is

equal and opposite

to

the

were continued under the

if it

algebraical form to the origin.


2.

other,

Every
which

edge

is

in

the

one

diagram corresponds

the face of contact of the two

cells

to a

plane

fexje

in

the

corresponding to the two

extremities of the edge.

The edge

in the one

diagram

is

perpendicular to the face in the other.

The distance of the plane from the


of the function along the edge.

origin

represents the rate

of increase

AND DIAGRAMS OF
Every

3.

many

meet as there are angles in the face, that is, at least three. Every
belong to two, and only two cells, because the edge to which it

cells

must

face

one diagram corresponds to an edge in which as

the

in

face

187

FORCES.

corresponds has two, and only two extremities.

Every

4.

Every

one diagram corresponds to a summit in the other.

the

in

cell

of the

face

corresponds and

cell

Since every

extremity in the summit.

summit must have

every

Every summit of the


Since every

faces,

every

which are the boundaries of

cell

cell

every summit must be the point of

edges,

six

least

concourse of at least six faces,

the summit.

more

four or

there.

corresponds to a face having an angle in the summit.

cell

has at

cell

must have

more edges meeting

four or

Every edge of the


Since

perpendicular to an edge having an

is

cell

corresponds

to

cells.

a ceU having a solid angle at

has at least four summits, every summit must be

the meeting place of at least four

cells.

Mechanical Reciprocity of the Diagrams.


If along

each of

portional to the

areas

the edges meeting


of the

a summit forces are applied pro-

in

corresponding faces of the

diagram, and in a direction which

is

cell

the reciprocal

in

always inward with respect to the

cell,

then these forces will be in equilibrium at the summit.


This

is

If the
sect

of

the

positive

by

positive

cell

cell

of the

cell.

its

cell

but

sides of the surface.

surface,

If

the

of

itself,

surface intersects

is

itself,

is

inside

better to

or portion of a
is

inward,

and outside

speak of the
cell,

may

bounded

be called a

and encloses another portion of

with their positive side inward, and by

In passing to a contiguous
cell

has

its

cell.

surrounded by n sheets of the surface of the same

inward, the space enclosed in this

first

cell,

which the positive side

it

negative side inward, that portion of space forms a negative

any portion of space

with the

meant by the

is

the surface intersects

if

be proved by hydrostatics.

form a single closed surface which does not inter-

easy to understand what

is

and negative
closed

space with
If

faces
it

itself,

may

the "Polyhedron of Forces," and

sheets with

their

way must be reckoned n m


cell,

positive

we must suppose
surface

that

negative side

times.
its

face

in contact

on the opposite side from that of


24

RECIPROCAL FIGURES, FRAMES,

188
the

first

In this way, by making the positive side of the surface con-

cell.

throughout each

tinuous
cell,

we may

the

sign of

when we

pass to the next

cells

it

cell,

considered

is

to belong to.

we now suppose

If

it

every face depending on which of the two

moment

for the

and by changing

cell,

the positive and negative side of every face of every

settle

forces of tension or pressure applied along every

edge of

diagram, so that the force on each extremity of the edge


direction of the positive normal to the corresponding face of the

is

in the

cell

corre-

sponding to that extremity, and proportional to the area of the

then these

the

first

and tensions along the edges

pressures

will

face,

keep every point of the diagram

in equilibrium.

way

Another
the

first

diagram,

determining the nature of the force along any edge of

of

as follows

is

of the first diagram draw a closed curve, embracing it


However small the curve is, it will enter each of the
Hence the reciprocal of this closed curve will
the edge.

Round any edge


and

no

cells

which meet in

other

edge.

be a plane polygon whose angles are the points reciprocal to these


in

of this polygon represents, both in direction

The area

order.

the whole force acting through the closed curve, that

along

the

travel

in

edge.

in

therefore,

is,

taken

in this case the stress

going round the angles of the polygon, we

the same direction of rotation in space as in going round the closed

the

curve,

If,

cells

and magnitude,

stress

along

the

edge will be a pressure; but

if

the direction

is

opposite, the stress will be a tension.

This
in

cases
certain
is

method

If

expressing

which Rankine's

cases

easily seen

deduced

of

stresses

reciprocal

of continuous stress.

by the example

we make
for figures

of

in

three

figures are

That

it

is

dimensions comprehends

possible,

and

not applicable to

is

all

applicable to

all

such

cases

(189).

On

Reciprocal Diagrams in two Dimensions.

of x and y only, all the properties already


dimensions will be true in two; but we may form

function

in three

a more distinct geometrical conception of the theory by substituting cz for

AKD DIAGRAMS OF
and cC

for

(f>.

We

have then

for

FORCES.

the equations of

189
relation

Vjetween

the two

diagrams

i=
.(10).

RECIPROCAL FIGURES, FRAMES,

190

correspond to several points,

it will

a finite portion of a surface; in the second,

that the lines, which correspond to the edges of such a polygon,


nate in several points, and not in one, as is necessary for reciprocity.

so

will termi-

Second Method of representing Stress in a Body.

Let

a,

be any two

points

consecutive

the

in

first

diagram,

and a, /8 the corresponding points in the second, distant cr, then


tion cosines of the line ah are I, m, n and those of a/3, X, ^, v

if

distant

dp

d_l

dx

dy

dz

di)

dr}

dr)
-j^

V" + sm -r-+sn
dz
dy
dx

a-fJi.-

, dl
av = si -J-

dx

-^

5,

the direc-

dC
dy

sm -y- -^ sn

(12).

dt,
^j-

dz

Hence
cr

^(a.,,..)=4^..|..|+..(|.|)..(i4f)
\dy

If we put
we take three

ZX

+ m/x-f

sets

7ij/

right angles to each other,

Hence

this

let

we

where

of

I,

n,

the angle between

corresponding to three

and

s^,

s^

or of x, y,

us take an element

parallel to

cr,

and

directions

if

at

find

pose that the stress on this element

and a tension

e is

m,

quantity depends only on the position of the point,

on the directions of s

Now,

= cos6,

of values

(13).

dx^

a and

z,

let

us

call

it

let us sups, and


compounded of a normal pressure =^A--F,

of area perpendicular to
is

and not

A'i^.

equal to

AND DIAGRAMS OF

By

the

rules

for

FORCES.

the composition of stress,

191

we have

for

the

components

of the force on this element, in terms of the six components of stress,

X = Zp + mp^ + np^ =p
^^

lA'F- X

= b^xy + mp^ + np^, =p Im^'F-fi

Z = lp-h mp^ + npa =p nAT

(15).

(T
-

Hence,
f..iP

di\

,^

d^F\

(d'F

d'F\^

[d'F

d'F\

Id'F

d'F\

Id'F

d'F\
.(16).

d'F

d'F

d'F

Pxy=-P dxdy
By

substituting these values in the equations of equilibrium

^ ^ ^
+

ax

it

is

ay

= 0, &c

dz

(17).

manifest that they are fulfilled for any value of F.

The most general solution of these equations of equilibrium

is

contained

in the values

^^~
P^~

d'B
dz"

d'C

^ df

d'C

'

d'A
dydz

"
^^~ da?
^-^ ^

^~

By making A = B = C=pF we

^1

d'A

d'A
'

dz'

d'B
dzdx'

dC
^'^~

get a case which,

(18).

dxdy
though restricted

in its

stress.

We

have seen that a distribution of stress according to the definition above

(16),

generahty,

is

remarkable properties with respect to diagrams of

has

consistent

with

itself,

and

will

stresses are linear functions of F,

keep

body

in

any two systems of

equilibrium.

stress

by adding their respective functions, a process not applicable to the


of representation

by

Since

the

can be compounded
first

method

areas.

Let us ascertain what kind

of

stress

case of the system of cells already considered.

is

represented in this

way

in

the

RECIPROCAL FIGURES, FRAMES,

192

Since
at

each

in

any point within


then a and

cells,

are reciprocal,

are in the surface

and such that the

surface,

The kind

and

surface,

of

in a

of internal stress

two rectangular

fluid

paper "

vanishes.

a and

fi

coincide.

Hence

in the plane of the

drawn on the

surface

is

a tension or a pressure according

tension

of which

their tensions

fluid,

must be

On

believe, the first to point

this stress is

having

each

films,

composed of the same

Airy,

cells,

all directions

corresponding to this case

of equilibrium

liquid

of the reciprocal diagram

Mr

when ah

or oppositely situated to the

depending on the nature of the


are

infinite

bounding the

points in different

distance to which these cells

finite

stress across unit of length

two points are similarly

system

there can be no stress

z,

the distance between the points which are reciprocal to the two

bounded by the

as the

be the points at a

will

x, y,

two contiguous

a stress in this surface, uniform in

is

proportional to
cells

a linear function of

is

Let us take a and

and A'i^=-^, which becomes

a and

If

there

cell

it.

it

like
is

is

two

therefore

that of a

that of a soap

composed.

must be

cells.

equal,

bubble,

If all the films

and

all

the edges

equal.

Airy's Function of Stress.

On

the

Strains in the Interior of Beams*," was,

out that, in any body in equilibrium under the action

two dimensions, the three components of the

stress in

any

directions are the three second derivatives, with respect to these

directions, of a certain function of the position of a point in the body.

This important simplification of the theory of the equilibrium of stress in

two dimensions does not depend on any theory of


in

which

stress

arises

in

librium of an element of a body acted on only

^i'+|;P = 0,
whence

it

elasticity,

or

on the mode

the body, but solely on the two conditions of equi-

and

by

internal stress

|^^^+|-p =

(19),

follows that

d'F
Px.= ^.,

d'F

P^=-J^y^

^^^

* PhU. Trans. 1863.

d'F

^-=S

,^..
(^^^'

AND DIAGRAMS OF

where

is

and

of

function

concerned)

are

equations

perfectly

193

FORCES.

the form of which

y,

arbitrary,

is

far as

(as

these

and the value of which at any

independent of the choice of axes of co-ordinates. Since the stresses


on
the second derivatives of F, any linear function of x and y may be
depend
without affecting the value of the stresses deduced from F. Also,
added to
point

is

since the

stresses are linear functions

of F, any

two systems of

may

stress

be

mechanically compounded by adding the corresponding values of F.

The importance of Airy's function in the theory of stress becomes even


more manifest when we deduce from it the diagram of stress, the co-ordinates
of whose points are

f=f
For

if s

-^"-f

(^-

be the length of any curve in the original figure, and

corresponding curve in the diagram of stress,

and

that of the

<r

Yds

Xds,

if

are

the com-

ponents of the whole stress acting on the element ds towards the right hand
of the curve s

dx

d'F dx

dyidxj

hand

of the element cb of

dr)

J =
5*=-;pgjrf.= -3^.3j<i*
5^3j& = ^rf^J

and

Hence the
curve

is

stress

resultant

the right

both

represented,

da

element

on

of

stress

the

in

curve in

on any

finite

side

the

original

and magnitude, by the corresponding


the diagram of stress, and, by composition, the
direction

arc of the first curve s

and magnitude by the straight

line

is

represented in direction

drawn from the beginning

the

to

end of

the corresponding curve a.


If

P P,

are

the principal stresses at any point,

to the axis of x, then the

component

p^=(P,-P,)sinaco8a
Pj^
II.

if

P,

is

inclined a

stresses are

p = P, cos' a + P, sin' a

VOL.

and

(23).

= P, sin' a + P, cos'a
25

RECIPROCAL FIGURES, FRAMES,

194

dxdy

Pry

tan 2a =

Hence

d^_d^

i>

dar'

df

d'F

d'F

/d'F\

,_^'-Pd'P
r,i-,-p^Pyy _ p^ -

PP-

^^ ^^

Consider the area bounded by a closed curve


face integral of the

The

integral

sum

(24).

P^+Pyy = :^+-^-

P. + P.-

s,

\dxdyl

and

let

us determine the sur-

of the principal stresses over the area within the curve.

is

\\(P. + P,)d.dy=^\\(^^ + ''^dxdy

By

(25).

a well-known theorem, corresponding in two dimensions to that of Green in

three dimensions, the latter expression becomes,

when once

integrated.

dFdx_dFdy\,
/( dy

ds

(26),

dx dsj

(27).

These

line integrals are to

a point in the curve

s as

be taken round the closed curve

origin

in

s.

we take

If

the original body, and the corresponding

<r as origin in the diagram of stress, then


^ and ly are the components of the whole stress on the right hand of the curve from the origin to

point in

a given point.

If p denote the line joining the origin with the point

will represent in direction

The

line

integral

and magnitude the whole

may now

represented

quantity

in

in

direction

on the arc

^, then
o-.

be interpreted as the work done on a point

which travels once round the closed curve


force

stress

and

s,

and

magnitude by

Is

p.

everywhere acted on by a

We

may

express

terms of the stress at every point of the curve, instead

resultant stress on the whole arc, as follows

For integrating (27) by parts

it

this

of the

becomes,
(28),

AND DIAGRAMS OF
or
if

Rds

if

the

is

actual

on

stress

makes with r an angle

we

c,

and r

ds,

195

FORCES.

the

is

radius

vector of

\\{P,^P,)dxdy= -IRr cos .ds


This line

stresses

therefore,

integral,

the closed curve

s,

no stress on the curve

is

integral vanishes.

This

theorem, given at

p.

by the

acting

on

of the principal

is

of

acting from without, then the surface

the algebraic

176, that

length

the extension to the case of continuous stress of the

the

in

piece

sum

which

it

of

all

acts

the tensions multiphed

is

zero

for
is

a system

in

longitudinal,

whole pressure or tension of the piece is equal to the longitudinal


multiphed by the section, so that the integral l\{P,-\-Pi)dxdy for each

the

stress

piece

tension multiplied by its length.

Jts

is

If the closed cui-ve s is

an

stress

sum

In the case of a frame, the stress in each piece

equilibrium.

and

which depends only on the

taken over the whole area witliin the curve.

If there

each

and

(29).

equal to the surface integral of the

is

ds,

obtain the result

and the

ellipse,

stress

a small

circle,

the corresponding curve

on any diameter of the

circle will

cr

will

be

be represented in

and magnitude by the corresponding diameter of the ellipse. Hence,


the principal axes of the ellipse represent in direction and magnitude the prindirection

cipal stresses at the centre of

the

circle.

Let us next consider the surface integral of the product of the principal
taken over the area within the closed curve s.

stresses at every point

//..P,...=//(-f-3)...,

(30),

_(((dldr}_didri\

-}]\dxdy
or

dydx)'^'''^^'

by transformation of variables

=mdr].
Hence the
the curve

is

surface

integral

of the product

equal to the area of the

of the principal stresses within

corresponding curve

in the

diagram of

depends entirely on the external stress on the curve s.


This is seen from the construction of the curve a- in the diagram of stress.
of
since each element d<r represents the stress on the corresponding element ds

stress,

and

therefore

the original curve.

252

RECIPROCAL FIGURES, FRAMES,

196

represents in direction and magnitude the resultant of the stress on

If p

the curve s from the origin to a point which moves round the curve, then the
area traced out by p

equal to the surface- integral required.

is

are the components of the stress on the element ds,

the closed curve

then the surface integral

s,

Y {'Xds.ds,

or

In a frame the stress in each piece


product of the principal stresses

is

zero,

Xds and Yds

If

the whole length of

equal to either of the quantities

is

Tx

is

and

Yds.ds.

entirely

longitudinal,

and therefore nothing

is

so

that the

contributed to

the surface-integral except at the points where the pieces meet or cross each

To

other.

value of the

surrounding

meet

which

pieces

the

find

closed curve

that

in

any one of these

integral for

and no other

it

point,

The corresponding

point in order.

draw a
all

the

in

the

figure

be a polygon, whose sides represent in magnitude and

diagram

of

direction

the tensions in the several pieces taken in order.

will

stress

points,

and therefore cutting

The area

of this

polygon, therefore, represents the value of jjP^P^dxdy for the point of concourse,

and

be

to

is

round

travels

considered

it

positive

or negative,

according as the tracing point

the negative cyclical direction.

in the positive or

Hence the following theorem, which is


drawn or not.

applicable to all plane frames, whether

a diagram of forces can be

For

each

point

drawing in succession
point

in

cyclical

the

several

of

pieces

If,

all

lines

the

The area of

order round the point.

or negative, according as

polygon

or of intersection construct a polygon, by


and proportional to the forces acting on the
which meet in that point, taking the pieces in

concourse

lines parallel

then,

be

it

lies

on the

a closed curve be

drawn by drawing

external

of direction

to the algebraic

this polygon

left or

drawn surrounding
in succession

is

lines

frame, and a
and proportional to
the order in which their

the

of the

areas

entire

parallel

forces which act on the frame in


meet the closed curve, then the area of

sum

to be taken positive

the right of the tracing point.

this

polygon

is

equal

of the polygons corresponding to the various

points of the frame.

In
lines

this

theorem a polygon

is

to

be drawn for every point, whether the

of the frame meet or intersect, whether they are really jointed together.

AND DIAGRAMS OF
or

197

FORCES.

whether two pieces simply cross each other without mechanical connection.
is a parallelogram, whose sides are parallel and

In the latter case the polygon


proportional

to

the stresses in the two pieces, and

it

is

or

positive

negative

according as these stresses are of the same or of opposite signs.


If three

or

more pieces

intersect,

intersect at one point or not, so that

it

is

manifestly the same whether they

we have the

following theorem

The area of a polygon of an even number of sides, whose opposite sides


equal and parallel, is equal to the sum of the areas of all the different
parallelograms which can be formed with their sides parallel and equal to those

are

of the polygon.

This

is

easily

shewn by dividing the polygon

into

the

different

parallelo-

grams.

On
Let
stress,

PQR

be

the

the

Equilibrium of Stress in a Solid Body.

longitudinal,

and

STU

as indicated in the following table of

Thomson and

Tait's

Natural Philosophy,

Components

of the

p.

511,

the tangential components of

stresses

669:

and

strains,

taken from

RECIPROCAL FIGURES, FRAMES,

198

of an element of the

Then the equations of equilibrium

body

are,

by

697

of that work,

dP

dU dT

dx

dy

dz

dx

dy

dz

dx

dy

dz

(!)

we assume

If

three functions A, B, C, such that

d'A

X dV
dx

and put

d'B
dzdx

rr,

r=

dydz'

^_dV
'

d'C

..

dxdy
(2).

z= dV
dz

dy'

then a sufficiently general solution of the equations of equilibrium

is

given by

putting

p_d^,d^ y
^

^~

dz'^ df

d^^d^_^
(3).

daf

dz^

^^^Jd^_y
dif

am

dctf

not aware of any method of finding other relations between the com-

ponents of stress without making further assumptions.


tion

make

to

a,

all
y8,

the

stress

arises

from

The most natural assump-

elasticity

the body.

in

myself to the case of an isotropic body, such that

confine

of

that

is

stress

are

and strain by a removal of the applied


the

Thomson and

forces.

components of displacement, and n the

the equations of tangential elasticity are,

by equation

it

In this

coefficient

(6),

case,

dz

dy^l^^
dy

670 and 694 of

d'A

n dydz

if

of rigidity,

Tait,

^^dfi

shall

can be deprived

(4).

'

AND DIAGRAMS OF
with

equations

similar

equations

is

and

for

c.

199

FORCES.
general

sufficiently

solution

of these

given by putting

(5).

The equations of longitudinal

form given

elasticity are of the

-p=(*+f");7^+(i-i) dy
where

and

and

(5),

the co-efficient of

is

Substitutmg

d'C

/d'B

P,

for

^,

,,

cubical

a,

[d'A

in equation

d'B

d'B

d^
this equation

Q
(3)

[dy^

dy'

dy"

"^

d^l

dz'

dz'

"We

d'C

d'

c^

d^^-d^'^P^ ^^^ 5^ + 5^ +

5^'

= ^'

becomes
()t-}--|n)

values from

their

we put
d'A

and

equations for

similar

(6)

d'CX

+ 1^-3^)
If

(6).

dz

with

elasticity,

and y

fi

in 693,

have

also

instead of

sions on the right

(L'A-^L'B-\-L'C)-{h + \n)1p-2nV = 2n^'A....

two other equations


on the right hand

hand

side

we

from this only in having

differing

find
say,

(8),

{3k + n)2p = (3k-^2n)dD'-6nV

P+Q+R=
These

equations

than the strain in a

are

useful

body.

Hence equating the three expres-

side.

A'A=A'B = A'C=D',

and

.(7).

(9),

9kD'-2V_^j^p-3V
6k

3it-l-n

when we wish

For instance,

if

(10).

dk + 2n
to determine

the

co-efficients

the
of

stress

rather

elasticity,

RECIPROCAL FIGURES, FRAMES,

200

n, are increased in the same ratio to any extent, the displacements of


the body are proportionally diminished, but the stresses remain the same, and,
though their distribution depends essentially on the elasticity of the various

and

of the

parts

the values of the internal forces do not contain the

body,

co-

efficients of elasticity as factors.

There are two cases in which the functions

two

The
of

may

be treated as functions of

variables.
first

when

is

there

as in the case of a

z,

of

tion

z,

stress,

or a constant pressure in the direction

stratum originally of uniform thickness,

in the direc-

small compared with the other dimensions of

being

thickness

the

no

is

the body, and with the rate of variation of strain.

The second
the

of

direction

direction

and y

of

when

is

very

no

is

as in the

z,

is

there

the

or a uniform longitudinal strain in

prismatic body whose length in the

of a

case

great,

strain,

forces

on the

sides

being functions of x

only.

In both

of these cases

5=0

and T=0,

so that

we may

write

This method of expressing the stresses in two dimensions was

first

by the Astronomer Royal, in the Philosophical Transactions for 1863.


write

instead of C, and call

it

Let us assume two functions,

j^^

Airy's Function of Stress in

then by Thomson pnd Tait,

^^
*

694, if a

is

v=^^
dxdy

I.

If

72

this

becomes

Integrating with respect to

a;

we

(12)''
^

the displacement in the direction of x

2n(<T+l)^ = P-<r(Q + R)
Case

shall

Dimensions.

and H, such that

d'G

dxdy

Two

given

We

find the following equation for a

(13).

AND DIAGRAMS OF

where

of

function

Is

Similarly for the

only.

201

FORCES.

displacement

fi

in

the

direction of y,

where

a function of x only.

is

Now

the shearing stress

depends on the

shearing strain and the rigidity, or


(^)-

^="(|-S

Multiplying both sides of this equation by 2((r+l) and substituting from (11),
(14),

and

(15),

(|..-3'..g.f=(i-.)(|..|.)
an equation which must be

fulfilled

by

when the body

is

originally without

strain.

In

of

Case II.
2, we have

the second case, in which there

is

no strain

in the

^=i2-o-(P + g) =
Substituting for

In (13),

with a similar equation

W
This
the

equation

is

coefiicient

of

body, and the

for

(19).

and dividing by cr+1,

Proceeding as in the former case,

/S.

+ dfj^^li + 'd^-i^Ad^'^'dy')^

identical

the

with that of the

part due

value of

tr,

direction

to

H,

first

case,

we

find

'

with the exception of

which depends on the density of the

the ratio of lateral

expansion to longitudinal com-

pression.

Hence,

if

the external forces are given in the two cases of no stress and

no strain in the direction of


VOL.

II.

z,

and

if

the density of the body or the intensity

26

RECIPROCAL FIGURES, FRAMES,

202
of the force acting on

two

cases,

the

substance

its

the ratio of

in

is

be

will

forces

internal

the

same

a-

to

(l-o-)'

in

the

every part, and will be

in

independent of the actual values of the coefficients of elasticity, provided the


The solutions of the cases treated by Mr Airy, as given in
strains are small.
his

elasticity.

into

do

paper,

the

In

not
fact,

exactly

conditions deduced from the theory of

the

fulfil

the consideration of elastic strain


Nevertheless,

investigation.

results

his

is

not explicitly introduced

are

statically

and

possible,

exceedingly near to the truth in the cases of ordinary beams.

As an

theory of Airy's Function, let us take the case of

illustration of the

F=-^r^co32p0
In this case

we have

(22).

the co-ordinates of the point in the diagram

for

corre-

ponding to (xy)
7'*-^ sin

and

for

(2^9-1)^

(23),

the components of stress

d^

_dr)

(24).

Txy^ dxdy .(2p-l)r^-'am{2p-2)0


If

we make

and

t''

sin

p0

.(25),

dGr\

'

then

H = p-

(^-^)e
,v

/^

(26).

dG dG
I

respectively are constant will be lines' of


Hence the curves for which G and
and the stress at any point will be inversely as the square of
the distance between the consecutive curves G or H.

principal stress,

If

we make

^=pcos<j> and

p = 7^-'

then we must have


If

we put

q for

2p

and
1

then -

+ -=2

T7

<f>

= psin^
= (2p 1)0}'
"I

and {2p-l) (2q-l) =

(27).

l,

AND DIAGRAMS OF
80

that

if f,

original figure,

g,

the diagram of

in

of a

Cctse

g=-

correspond to F,

G,

the

in

As an example

of the

application

per unit of length

cos

q(f),

= - p"^ sm q<l>

(28).

condition of no strain, let ua take the

placed horizontally with

of indefinite length

placed on

must

condition that the stresses

of the

initial

beam

case of a uniform rectangular

p''

Uniform Horizontal Beam.

be such as are consistent with an

=^

stress

we have
f=--p^cos2q<\>,

a load

203

FORCES.

its

upper

surface,

the weight of the

Let us suppose the beam to be supported

beam being k per unit of length.


by vertical forces and couples in a
let

us

applicable

to the

middle

the

only

consider

plane applied at the ends

vertical

portion

ends have no sensible

the

of

effect.

but

beam, where the conditions

Let the horizontal distance x

be reckoned from the vertical plane where there

is

no shearing

force,

and

let

no moment of bending be at distances a, from


Let y be reckoned from the lower edge of the beam, and let h
the origin.
d-F
be the depth of the beam. Then, if /"= - jj- is the shearing stress, the total
the

where there

planes

vertical shearing force

is

through a vertical section at distance x

j!^''^

and

this

from

must be
which

to X,

this

we

=,..-.-/

and opposite to the weight of the beam and load

evidently (h

'^=

Hence,

From

equal
is

is

+ ^x.

-{h + k)x<j>{y), where

<f>(h)-<f>{0)

=l

(29).

find the vertical stress

^=rfl'+55'=-(A+i)'#'{y)+fyThe

vertical stress

is

therefore

the lower side of the beam,


of the

beam,

where y = b.

of the beam, or

<f>'{y)

function of y only.

It

must vanish

at

where y = 0, and it must be ^ on the upper side


The shearing stress U must vanish at both sides

= 0, when y = 0, and when y = h.

262

RECIPROCAL FIGURES, FRAMES,

204

The simplest form of

Hence we

<l>{y)

which

will satisfy these conditions is

find the following expression for the function of stress

by integrating

(29) with respect to x,

P='^{'-^){3hf-W+r
where a
in

a constant introduced in integration, and depends

is

which

(30),

the

beam

vertical, horizontal,

is

supported.

and shearing

From

this

we

on the manner

obtain the values of the

stresses,

= ^l'+f^ = t2'-T^W-22^)

(31).

^=f='-F-'("'-^)(*-2^)+f

(32).

^=-Say = ^-^^(^-2')

(33)-

The values of Q and of U, the vertical and the shearing stresses, as


given by these equations, are perfectly definite in terms of h and
the load
and the weight of the beam per unit of length.
The value of F, the horiJc,

zontal

stress,

however, contains an arbitrary function

find from the condition that the

determine a and

/S,

beam was

which we propose to

We

(13),

X'

^{(3a'x-x')(6-2j,)-,Tx(35y-22/')}-<7ja^ +

is

x^+r

U,

we

(35),

Y' of y only.
Deducing from these
and comparing it with the value of the shearing

find the equation

*+^{6a'x-2af+12x(6y-2^)} + ,.|x=x^ +
Hence

(34),

a function of x only, and

displacements the shearing strain,


stress,

{x, y),

(14), (15)

2(o-+l)y8=-^{(5y-i/) + 3o-(a'-af)(62/-3f')}+j|y-<r^+X'
where

therefore

the horizontal and vertical displacement of any point

by the method indicated by equations

1n(,7+\)a

Y,

originally unstrained.

^' + ^'

^= ^i [hy-f)
12

= 2^-+^

(3a'.

- 2^) + <.|x,

(36).

(37),

^' =0

(38).

AND DIAGRAMS OF
If the

condition

-7-

of

value

the

we

any

stress across

total longitudinal

vertical

by equation

section of the

beam

and when y = h.

must be the same when y =

find the value of

205

FORCES.

any

at

zero,

From

this

(32)

^ = -5^{3K-^) + 2y'-2?>y-6'}(6-2y)
The moment of bending

is

beam

vertical section of the

(39).

is

Pydy = (h + k){i(af-a^) + ih^)

(40).

f.

when x= ia, where

This becomes zero

ao'

If

we wish

to

= a'-F

(41)-

compare this case with that of a beam of

finite

length sup-

we must make the moment of


bending zero at the supports, and the length of the beam between the supports
must therefore be 2ao- Substituting a^ for a in the value of P, we find
ported

both

at

and

ends

loaded

uniformly,

P = ^(3a:-Zx^ + 2y'-2hy + ih"-){b-2y)


If

we suppose the beam

beyond the supports, and sup-

to be cut off just

ported by an intense pressure over a small area,

we

the problem which are not fulfilled by this solution,

which requires the use of Fourier's


true,

the

we must suppose the beam


supports

of frames

on either

part of the

introduce conditions into

and the investigation of

In order that our result

may

be

extend to a considerable distance beyond

and the

vertical

forces

clamped to the ends of the beam, as

arising from

stresses

side,

series.

to

(42).

in

to

be applied by means

Diagram Va,

so

that

the

the discontinuity at the extremities are insensible in the

beam between the

supports.

This expression differs from that given by


the longitudinal stress

Mr

depending on the function

Airy only in the terms

in

Y, which was introduced

when no force is applied, the beam is


a maximum when ?/= '127886, and is
then equal to (h + k) 'Sli, or less than a third of the pressure of the beam
and its load on a flat horizontal surface when laid upon it so as to produce a
uniform vertical pressure ^4-^
in

order

unstrained.

to

fulfil

The

the

effect

condition that,

of these

terms

is

RECIPROCAL riGURES, FRAMES,

206

EXPLANATION OF THE DIAGRAMS


Diagrams I

and

a.

a frame such, that

if

But the

determined.

illustrate

6.

must be a

diagi-ams, that each line

In

I.

II.

III.).

the necessity of the condition of the possibility of reciprocal

Diagram

and only two, polygons.

side of two,

I a. is a skeleton of

the force along any one piece be given, the force along any other piece

piece

NFH, NGI, NJL, and NKM,

forms a side of four triangles,

there could be a reciprocal diagram, the line corresponding to


impossible.

(Plates

this case

we can draw a diagram

N would

may be

so that

if

have four extremities, which

it

of forces in which the forces

H,

and

I, J,

are each

represented by two parallel lines.

Diagrams II a. and 116. illustrate the case of a frame consisting of thirty-two pieces, meeting four
and four in sixteen points, and forming sixteen quadrilaterals. Diagram II a. may be considered as a plane
projection of a polyhedron of double continuity, which we may describe as a quadrilateral frame consisting
of four quadrilatei-al rods, of which the ends are bevelled so as to
as a plane frame, has three

frame, considered

degrees of

stiffness,

fit

The

exactly.

projection of this

so that three of the forces

may be

arbitrarily assumed.

In the reciprocal diagram 116. the


is

lines are

drawn by the method given at p. 168, so that each line


figiire.
To make the corresponding lines parallel

perpendicular to the corresponding line in the other

only to turn one of the figures round a right angle.

we have

Diagrams III
Jenkin.
series.

a.

and III

two

different for the

IV a.

Diagrams

illustrate the principle as applied to a bridge designed

on the upper

series of joints,

and B^

Ji^,

by Professor F.
on the lower

fec.,

gives the stresses due to both sets of loads, the vertical lines of loads being

series.

IV 6.

and

diagrams of continuous

illustrate the

application of Airy's

Function to the

construction

of

stress.

represents a cylinder exposed to pressure in a vertical and horizontal direction, and to


The lines marked a, b, c, <fec., are lines of pressure, and
directions inclined 45* to these.

IV a.
tension in

those

6.

&c., are placed

The loads Q^ Q^,


The diagiam III 6.

marked

o,

In this case the lines of pressure and tension are rectangular


always equal to the tension, and varies inversely as the square of the

p, q, are lines of tension.

the pressure

hyperbolas,

is

distance between consecutive curves, or,

what

is

the same thing, directly as the square of the distance

from the centre.

The
represents the reciprocal diagram corresponding to the upper quadi-ant of the former one.
line in the first diagram is represented in magnitude and direction by the corresponding line

IV 6.
stress

on any

in the second diagram, the correspondence being ascertained by that of the corresponding systems of lines
o, 6,

c, tfcc.

We
a, 6, c,

and

may

ifec.

also consider

IV

and to tension along

quadrant of
strained

o, p, q,

body

IV a.

is

o,

6.

as a sector of a cylinder of 270, exposed to

p, q, the

in this case

magnitude of the

the reciprocal figure.

pressure along the lines

stress being in this

case

r'K

The upper

This figure illustrates the tendency of any

to be ruptured at a re-entering angle, for it is plain that at the angle the stress

indefinitely gi'eat.

becomes

VOL.

11.

PLATE XIL

(i)

6'^

s5

e.

&

g-

&

VOL.

ivt.

11.

PLATE XIIL

(ii)

pq

">

rt

'^

rrt
I

44!

n
an
<s1

VOL,

11.

PLATE

XIV. (m)

pT

AND DIAGRAMS OF
In diagram

IV a.

In diagram

IV 6.:

/=
Diagrams

V o.
at

is

V a.

the

and

Jp^ cos 5

V b.

9=

.^,

at

and B, at such a distance from

and

C and

b,

c,

h = Ip^

<^,

marked

1,

2,

sin <^

beams.

by means of bent pieces clamped

to the ends of the

D, that the part of the beam between

the local effecta of the pressures of the clamps at

o,

p' C08 I

illustrate Airy's theory of stress in

beam supported

horizontal dotted lines,

207

FORCES.

3, 4, 5, 6,

A and

B.

The beam

and into sixteen

is

and

is

free

beam
from

divided into six strata by

vertical slices

by vertical

lines

marked

kc.

The corresponding
stress across

any

lines in the

line joining

corresponding points, and

is

diagram

b.

are

marked with corresponding

any two points in

V a.

perpendicular to

in direction.

it

is

figures

and

represented in magnitude by the line in

letters.

The

V 6., joining

These illustrations of the application of the graphic method to cases of continuous stress, are
intended rather to show the mathematical meaning of the method, than as practical aids to the engineer.
is really useful, and is less liable to accidental
In cases of continuous stress, however, the
method of trigonometrical calculation.
symbolical method of calculation is still the best, although, as I have endeavoured to show in this
paper, analytical methods may be explained, illustrated, and extended by considerations derived from

In calculating the stresses in frames, the graphic method

errors than

the

the graphic method.

[From the London Mathematical

XL.

On

Society's Proceedings.

the Displacement in

Vol. in.]

a Case of Fluid Motion.

we consider the velocity at any


by its magnitude and direction, as a function of
the coordinates of the point and of the time. We are supposed to be able to
take a momentary glance at the system at any time, and to observe the veloIn most

of fluid motion,

investigations

point of the fluid as defined

cities;

during

but are not required to be able to keep our eye on a particular molecule
its

motion.

This method, therefore, properly belongs to the theory of a

all its parts, in which we measure the velocity by the


volume which passes through unit of area rather than by the distance travelled
by a molecule in unit of time. It is also the only method appUcable to the

continuous fluid alike in

case of a fluid, the motions of the individual molecules of which are not expresas functions of their position, as in the motions

sible

When

similar equations

tricity,

we

due to heat and

are constrained to use this method, for

we cannot even

meant by the continued identity of a portion of heat or

The molecular

theory, as

it

resources

can effect

As

it

is

this, I

define

of the

what

is

electricity.

supposes each molecule to preserve

requires for its perfection a determination

any assigned time.

diffiision.

occur in the theory of the conduction of heat or elec-

position

its

identity,

of each molecule at

only in certain cases that our present mathematical

propose to point out a very simple case, with the

results.

Let a cylinder of

infinite length and of radius a move with its axis parallel


and always passing through the axis of x, with a velocity V, uniform or
variable, in the direction of x, through an infinite, homogeneous, incompressible,
perfect fluid.
Let r be the distance of any point in the fluid from the axis

to

z,

209

THE DISPLACEMENT IN A CASE OF FLUID MOTION.


the cylinder; then

of

axis of the cylinder,

<f>

satisfy

will

V<f>

stream function*

point,

= ^{^-^o), and

rp

if

x,

is

the value of x for the

and

= (l-yjy,
and

the conditions of the velocity-potential,


and,

since

the expression for

i//

that

F/

If

we

and

r,

consider the

then

x}/,

and

If

in

then

if

this

we

observe that,

if

we

becomes

i//

when the

^,

= c,

axis of the

cylinder

is

of the

abreast

and

we now use

instead of r a

the

i/>,

+ V/^) + = 2/3, and

be the value of y

will

/8

particle,

and

y(4cr

this purpose

= (l-^)^'si
sin^,

terms of r and

we make

For

becomes
'/'

Expressing cos

motion.

of a particle as determined by the values of


remain constant during the motion, and we have

will

in polar coordinates, it

xp

its

position
t/

only to find r in terms of the time.

put

the

of

does not contain the time,

value will remain constant for a molecule during the whole of

its

z,

easy to shew that,

is

it

and x that of the

The

velocity-potential

velocity of

the

fluid

is

new angular

variable

x ^^^^ *^^*

2r

a quantity such that

its

resolved in the same direction.

rate of variation

Whenever

along any line

the motion of

is

equal

the fluid

is

to

irro-

tational, there is a velocity-potential.

The stream function


sions,

and

is

exists in every case of

such that the total

the motion of an incompressible fluid in two dimen-

instantaneous flow across any curve, referred

to

unit of

time,

equal to the difi*erence of the values of the stream function at the extremities of the cun.-e.

VOL.

II.

27

is

THE DISPLACEMENT IN A CASE OF FLUID MOTION.

210

then we can express jVdt or

x^ in

terms of

functions of the

elliptic

first

and

second kinds,

where the position of the axis of the


position of a molecule with respect to

cylinder

expressed

is

in

terms of the

it.

us take a molecule originally on the axis of y, at a distance rj


from the origin, and let the cylinder begin to move from an infinite distance

Now

let

on the negative side of the axis of x; then

^=

7),

and

a"

= y(4a' + ry')+7y, and

2/3

Qi

= c',

and when the cylinder has passed from negative infinity to positive
the direction of x, then the coordinates of the molecule will be

2a,

7^\

rf

infinity in

a(l-c)

It appears from this expression, that after the passage of the cylinder every
particle
is

which

at the same distance as at first from the plane of xz, but that it
forward in the direction of the motion of the cylinder by a quantity
infinite when y = 0, but finite for all other values of y.

is

carried
is

of a particle at

The motion
X

at

double

the

inclination

of

any instant
the

line

always inclined to the axis of

is

drawn

the axis of the cylinder.

to

of this line is 45",


Hence it is in the
The forward motion
45
afterwards.
again
135",
forward
and
to
backward from
and it appears
time,
longer
lasts
for
a
motion,
but
backward
the
than
slower
is

forward

that the

final

direction

displacement of

till

the

every particle

follows from this that the condition fulfilled

inclination

is

in

by the

the forward
fluid at

an

direction.

infinite

It

distance

not that of being contained in a fixed vessel; for in that case there would
have been, on the whole, a displacement backwards equal to that of the cylinder

is

forwards.
of an

The problem

infinitely

generate a finite

actually solved

difiers

small forward velocity to the

from this only by the application


infinite

mass of

fluid

such as to

momentum.

In drawing the accompanying figures, I began by tracing the stream-lines


by means of the intersections of a system of straight lines equidistant and parallel to the axis, with a system of circles touching the axis at
in Fig. 1, p. 211,

211

THE DISPLACEMENT IN A CASE OF FLUID MOTION.

Fig.

1.

Fluid flowing past a fixed cylinder.

272

THE DISPLACEMENT IN A CASE OF FLUID MOTION.

212

the origin and having their radii

the

as

reciprocals

of the

natural numbers.

(See Prof. Rankine's Papers on Stream- Lines in the Phil. Trans.)

The cylinder

is

| inch radius, and the stream-lines are originally -^ inch

apart.

I then calculated the coordinates,

corresponding to every
left

of Fig.

x and

of the final form of a transverse

y,

from the values of the complete

straight line

2,

p.

The

5".

result

elliptic functions

for values

of c

given in the continuous curve on the

is

213.

then traced the path of a particle in contact with the cylinder from the

equation

tan^^=e
where

cc

cCo

+ a cos ^

"

and y = a9>md.

The form of the path

is

the

curve nearest the axis in Fig.

The dots

3.

indicate the positions at equal intervals of time.

The paths of

contact with the cylinder might be calculated

particles not in

from Legendre's tables for incomplete functions, which I have not got.

have therefore drawn them by

I
ditions

The radius of curvature


with

eye so

as

to

the

fulfil

following

con-

a,

becomes nearly -
2y

is

-l-

-r-.^

^ a'siii'0

-.

which,

y'

when y

is

large

compared

The paths of
nearly

particles at a great distance

from the axis are therefore very

circles.

To draw the paths of intermediate particles, I observed that their two


must lie at the same distance from the axis of a; as the asymptote
of a certain stream-line, and the middle point of the path at a distance equal
to that of the same stream-line when abreast of the cylinder; and, finally, that
the distance between the extremities is the same as that given in Fig. 2.
extremities

In this way I drew the


transferred these
in a straight line,

to

Fig. 2, to

and

paths of different

shew the paths

particles

in

Fig.

3.

then

of a series of particles, originally

finally in the curve already described.

THE DISPLACEMENT IN A CASE OF FLUID MOTION.


I

then

stream-lines

laid

Fig.

on

and the paths

Fig.
of

2,

and drew, through the

213

intersections of the

the corresponding particles in the fluid originally

Fig.

Paths of particles of the

fluid

2.

when a

cylinder

moves through

it

OO'

Fio.

3.

Paths of particles at different distances from the cylinder: radius of


yt cylii
cylinder, f
vt
6
difltances {fi) the jath is a circle of radius
^, and in this circle tan
/3

inch.

At

(jreat

THE DISPLACEMENT IN A CASE OF FLUID MOTION.

214
at

rest,

the lines which shew the form taken by a Ime of particles originally

straight as

it

flows

the point where

the

past

the

This method, however, does not give

cylinder.

crosses

line

the axis of

x.

therefore

calculated

this

from the equation


a;

calculating r for values of

= r + ^log^,

differing

by ^

The curves thus drawn appear to be


without a much greater amount of labour.
If a
straight

maker of " marbled


lines

of

"

inch.

as

near

the

truth as I could get

paper were to rule the surface of his bath with

paint at right angles,

and then to draw a

through the bath up to the middle, and apply the painted

he would produce the design of Fig.

1,

p.

211.

cylindrical

ruler

lines to his paper,

[From the

Address

XLI.

to

British Association Report, Vol. XL.]

Mathematical and Physical Sections of the British

the

Association.

[Liverpool,

At
and

several

important

the

of

SepUmber

15,

1870.]

recent l^Ieetings of the British

business

of

the

IVIathematical

Association the

introduced by an Address, the subject of which has been

the selection

to

left

The perplexing duty of choosing a

of the President for the time being.

varied

and Physical Section has been


subject

has not, however, fallen to me.


Professor

Sylvester,

the

President

of

Section

at

the Exeter Meeting,

ga\e us a noble vindication of pure mathematics by laying


the

very working

of

the

laare,

as

mathematical mind, and setting before

us,

it

were,

not the

array of symbols and brackets which form the armoury of the mathematician,
or

the

dry

which are only the monuments of

results

mathematician himself, with


to

sagacity

which he

and

the

feels

pursuit,

to be

condition of

the

all

his

metry formed by the combination of


but has

characteristic note

"

Mr

exhibition

has,

pointed

that

above

own

his

but the

his professional

harmony

ideal
all

all

pleasure,

things,

an

subject with those of the former

out the duties of hia successor

in

the

following

Spottiswoode favoured the Section, in his opening Address, with a com-

bined history of the progress of Mathematics and Physics

was virtually on the


Prof Sylvester,

"

Science

in

matical

of

by

and Professor Sylvester has not only recognized the sym-

eye for synmietry;

Presidents,

conquests,

knowledge, the fountain of

all

The mathematician

action.

his

faculties directed

and

apprehension,

the root of
all

human

is

limits of Physical Philosophy

an attempted

the abstract.

faint

What

Dr. Tyndall's address

the one here in print," says

adumbration of the nature of Matheis

wanting

(like

a fourth sphere resting

ADDRESS TO THE MATHEMATICAL AND PHYSICAL SECTIONS

216

on three others in contact) to build up the Ideal Pyramid is a discourse on


the Relation of the two branches (Mathematics and Physics) to, their action
and reaction upon, one another, a magnificent theme, with which it is to be

hoped that some future President of Section A will crown the


the Tetralogy (symbolizable by A + A\ A, A\ AA') complete."

The theme thus


is

indeed

realize.

distinctly laid

magnificent

one,

down

have endeavoured to follow

is

still

by our

Mr

and make

late President

of mine to

eflforts

Spottiswoode, aa with far-reaching

of science into which phenomena, our know-

vision he distinguishes the systems

ledge of which

for his successor

magnificent for any

too

far

edifice

in the nebulous stage, are growing.

I have been carried

Dr Tyndall

into that
the
sanctuary of minuteness and of power where molecules obey the laws of their
existence, clash together in fierce collision, or grapple in yet more fierce embrace,

by

penetrating

building

up

in

insight

and

forcible

expression

secret the forms of visible things.

of

I have been guided

by

Prof.

Sylvester towards those serene heights

"Where never creeps a cloud, or moves a wind.


Nor ever falls the least white star of snow.
Nor ever lowest roll of thunder moans,
Nor sound of human sorrow mounts to mar
Their sacred everlasting calm."

But who will lead me into that still more hidden and dimmer region where
Thought weds Fact, where the mental operation of the mathematician and the
physical action 'of the molecules are seen in their true relation? Does not the
to it pass through the very den of the metaphysician, strewed with the
remains of former explorers, and abhorred by every man of science? It would
indeed be a foolhardy adventure for me to take up the valuable time of the

way

Section

by leading you

into

those

speculations

which

require,

thousands of years even to shape themselves


But we are met as cultivators of mathematics and physics.

as

we know,

intelligibly.

In our daily

work we are led up to questions the same in kind with those of metaphysics;
and we approach them, not trusting to the native penetrating power of our
own minds, but trained by a long- continued adjustment of our modes of thought
to the facts of external nature.

As mathematicians, we perform
number

or of quantity,

more complex operations,

certain mental operations on the

symbols of

by proceeding step by step from more simple to


we are enabled to express the same thing in many

and,

;;

OF THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION.

The equivalence of these

forms.

different

consequence of self-evident
but

the

many

As students

in

more

our

to

What we

minds,

self-evident

intelligible language.

the

result

the

phenomenon

out

its

features

in

an

of

ourselves to do

set

our minds,

we observe phenomena under

of Physics

and endeavour to deduce the laws of their


is,

though a necessary

forms,
to

can often transform a perplexing expression into another \^hich

meaning

its

different

not always,

long practice has acquired a familiarity with


and "has become expert in the processes which lea^I from

of these forms,

explains

is

who by

mathematician,

one to another,

axioms,

217

is

one by one,

how

thus gradually learning

infinitely

unravel these conditions,

to

way which

varied circumstances,

Every natural phenomenon


complex S3''stem of conditions.

relations.

is

in

itself

partial

and by viewing

and imperfect,

beginning with that which strikes us


to look at the whole

phenomenon

a continually greater degree of clearness and distinctness.

so as to

and

obtain

In this process, the

feature which presents itself most forcibly to the untrained inquirer

that which

to piece
first,

may

not be

most fundamental by the experienced man of science


for the success of any physical investigation depends on the judicious selection
of what is to be observed as of primary importance, combined with a voluntary
abstraction

the

of

we

appear,

considered

is

mind

from

those

Intellectual

and most

first

which
after

our

accompanies

it.

words

however attractive they

which,

kind have been going on since the

of this

processes

mation of language, and are going on


us

features

are not yet sujSiciently advanced in science to investigate with profit.

in

forcibly
it,

and

still.

No

first

for-

doubt the feature which strikes

any phenomenon,

is

the pleasure or the pain

the agreeable or disagreeable results which follow


is embodied in many of
by no means extinct even in our deliberate

theory of nature from this point of view

and

and

phrases,

is

opinions.

It
to

was a great step

in

science

when men became convinced

that,

in order

understand the nature of things, they must begin by asking, not whether
thing

is

how much

good or bad, noxious or


is

there of

it

beneficial,

but of

what kind

Quality and Quantity were then

first

is

it ?

and

recognized as

the primary features to be observed in scientific inquiry.

As

science

has

been

developed, the

encroached on that of quality,

till

domain of quantity has everywhere

the process of

scientific inquiry

seems to have

become simply the measurement and registration of quantities, combined with


It is this scientific
a mathematical discussion of the numbers thus obtained.
VOL.

II.

28

ADDRESS TO THE MATHEMATICAL AND PHYSICAL SECTIONS

218

method of directing our attention to those features of phenomena which maybe regai'ded as quantities which brings physical research under the influence of
In the work of the Section we shall have abundant
mathematical reasoning.

examples of the successful application of this method to the most recent conquests of science; but I wish at present to direct your attention to some of
the reciprocal effects of the progress of science on those elementary conceptions

which are sometimes thought to be beyond the reach of change.


If the skill of the mathematician has enabled the experimentaHst to see
that the quantities which he has measured are connected by necessary relations,
discoveries of physics have revealed to the mathematician new forms of

the

quantities which he could never have imagined for himself.

Of the methods by which the mathematician may make


useful

to

portant

in

is

the

student of nature, that which I think

at

is

his

labours

most

present most im-

the systematic classification of quantities.

The quantities which we study in mathematics and physics may be classified


two different ways.
The student who wishes to master any particular science must make himself

familiar

with the various kinds of quantities which belong to that science. When
all the relations between these quantities, he regards them as

he understands

forming a connected system, and he classes the whole system of quantities together
This classification is the most natural
as belonging to that particular science.

from a physical point of view, and

it is

generally the

But when the student has become acquainted with

in order of time.

first

several different sciences,

he finds that the mathematical processes and trains of reasoning in one science
resemble those in another so much that his knowledge of the one science may
be made a most useful help in the study of the other.

he examines into the reason of this, he finds that in the two


which the mathehe has been dealing with systems of quantities,
matical forms of the relations of the quantities are the same in both systems,

When

sciences

though the physical nature of the quantities may be utterly

He

is

thus led to recognize a

classification

different.

of quantities on a

new

principle,

which the physical nature of the quantity is subordinated to its


This is the point of view which is characteristic of the
mathematical form.

according to

mathematician;
because the

but

it

stands second to the physical aspect in order of time,

human mind,

must have them presented

in

order to conceive of different kinds of quantities,

to it

by nature.

210

OF THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION.


I

do not here refer to the

that

fact

all

quantities, as

subject

are

such,

of arithmetic and algebra, and are therefore capable of being sub-

the rules

to

mitted to those dry calculations which represent, to so

many

minds,

only

their

idea of mathematics.

The human mind is seldom satisfied, and is certainly never exercising its
when it is doing the work of a calculating machine. What

highest functions,

the

man

aims at

of

whether

science,

acquire

to

is,

For this purpose he

is

he

a mathematician or a physical

is

and develope
willing to

clear

ideas

the

of

enter on long

things

and to be

calcidations,

make

inquirer,

he deals with.
for

if he can
he finds that clear ideas are not to be obtained by means of processes the steps of which he is sure to forget before he has reached the
conclusion, it is much better that he should turn to another method, and try

only at last

season a calculating machine,

But

to

if

understand

the

subject

subjects with which he

We
is

his ideas clearer.

is

by means of well-chosen

more

know how much more popular

all

illustrations

derived from

familiar.

the illustrative method of exposition

than that in which bare processes of reasoning and calculation form

found,

the principal subject of discourse.


is a method to enable the mind to grasp
one branch of science, by placing before it a conception or a law in a different branch of science, and directing the mind to
lay hold of that mathematical form which is common to the corresponding ideas

Now

a truly scientific illustration

some conception or law

in

two

the

The
in

leaving

sciences,

out

of

the physical nature of the real

between
of ideas

in

account

the present the difference

for

phenomena.

correctness of such an illustration depends on whether the

which are compared together are really analogous

When

class.

two systems

form, or

whether,

really belong to the

other words, the corresponding physical quantities

mathematical

in

same

this condition is fulfilled, the illustration is not only

convenient for teaching science in a pleasant and easy manner, but the recoga
nition of the formal analogy between the two systems of ideas leads to

knowledge

both,

of

more profound than could be obtained

by studying each

system separately.

men who, when any

There are
before

them

among

abstract

further

in

symbolical

quantities.

statement

that

form,

Such

quantities

relation

can

or

grasp

law,

men sometimes
actually

exist

however complex,
full

its

treat
in

meaning
with

nature

as

is

indifference

which

put

a relation

fulfil

the
this

ADDRESS TO THE MATHEMATICAL AND PHYSICAL SECTIONS

220

The

relation.

than to

mental

But

the

training,

great

retain

to

of

the concrete reality seems rather to disturb

of mankind are utterly unable, without long


minds the unembodied symbols of the pure mathescience is ever to become popular, and yet remain scientific,

majority
their

in

matician, so that, if
it

image

assist their contemplations.

must be by a profound study and a copious application of those

of the mathematical

classification

of quantities which,

as

we have

principles

seen, lie

at

the root of every truly scientific illustration.

There
satisfaction
in

are, as I

have

said,

some minds which can go on contemplating with

pure quantities presented to the eye by symbols, and to the mind

a form which none but mathematicians can conceive.

There are others who

feel

more enjoyment

in

following geometrical forms,

which they draw on paper, or build up in the empty space before them.
Others, again, are not content unless they can project their whole physical
energies into the scene which they conjure up.
They learn at what a rate the
through space, and they experience a delightful feeling of exhilaThey calculate the forces with which the heavenly bodies pull at one
another, and they feel their own muscles straining with the effort.
To such men momentum, energy, ma^s are not mere abstract expressions
They are words of power, which stir their
of the results of scientific inquiry.

planets rush
ration.

souls like the

memories of childhood.

For the sake of persons of these

different types, scientific truth should be

presented in different forms, and should be regarded as equally


it

scientific,

whether

appears in the robust form and the vivid colouring of a physical illustration,

or in the tenuity

Time
scientific

would

and paleness of a symbolical expression.


fail

me

if

were to attempt to

value of the classification of quantities.

illustrate

I shall only

by examples the
mention the name

of that important class of magnitudes having direction in space which Hamilton

has called vectors, and which form


ternions,

the subject-matter of the Calculus of Qua-

a branch of mathematics which,

understood by

men

when

it

shall

have been thoroughly

and clothed by them with physical


imagery, will become, perhaps under some new name, a most powerful method
of communicating truly scientific knowledge to persons apparently devoid of the
of the illustrative type,

calculating spirit.

The mutual
thought

is

so

action

and reaction between the

different

departments of

human

interesting to the student of scientific progress, that, at the risk

221

OF THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION.


of

encroaching on the valuable time of the Section,

further

still

shall say

few words on a branch of physics which not very long ago would have been
I mean the atomic theory, or, as
considered rather a branch of metaphysics.

now called, the molecular theory of the constitution of bodies.


Not many years ago if we had been asked in what regions of physical
pointed
science the advance of discovery was least apparent, we should have

it

is

the hopelessly distant fixed stars on the one hand, and to the inscrutable
delicacy of the texture of material bodies on the other.
to

Indeed,

we

if

are

to

Comte

regard

as

any degree representing the

in

the research into what takes place beyond our


solar system seemed then to be exceedingly unpromising, if not altogether
opinion

scientific

own

of

his

time,

illusory.

The opinion that the bodies which we

and handle, which we can

see

which we can

set

break in pieces and destroy, are

in motion or leave at rest,


composed of smaller bodies which we cannot see or handle, which are always
nor in any
in motion, and which can neither be stopped nor broken in pieces,
way destroyed or deprived of the least of their properties, was known by the

name

was associated with the names of Democritus,


was commonly supposed to admit the existence
to the exclusion of any other basis of things from the

Atomic theory.
and Lucretius, and

of the

Epicurus,

only of atoms and void,

It

universe.

many

In
to

argue

senses

as

we

physical reasonings and mathematical calculations

such substances as

if

and

uniform

continuous,

air,

were

or metal,

water,

strictly

are accustomed

which appear to our

and mathematically uniform and

continuous.

We
portions,

know
each

that

we can

of which

as the whole pint

is

was; and

as
it

a pint

divide
fully

of

water

endowed with

all

many

into

the

millions

properties

of

of water

seems only natural to conclude that we might


just as we can never come to a limit

go on subdividing the water for ever,


in subdividing the space in

divided a gi'ain

we may

see

of gold

which

it

is

contained.

into an inconceivable

We

number

Dr Tyndall produce from a mere

have heard how Faraday


of separate particles, and

suspicion

an immense cloud, the minute visible portion of which


fore must contain many molecules of nitrite of butyle.

is

of
still

nitrite

cloud,

of

butyle

and there-

But evidence from different and independent sources is now crowding in upon
compels us to admit that if we could push the process of subdivision
which
us

ADDRESS TO THE MATHEMATICAL AND PHYSICAL SECTIONS

222
still

further

we should come

power

to a limit, because each portion

an individual body, one and

only one molecule,

would then contain

by any

indivisible, unalterable

in nature.

Even

in

our ordinary experiments on very finely divided matter

we

find

beginning to lose the properties which it exhibits when


in a large mass, and that efiects depending on the individual action of molesubstance

that the

is

become prominent.
The study of these phenomena is at present the path which

cules are beginning to

development of molecular

That

leads to the

science.

superficial tension of liquids

which

is

called capillary attraction

is

one

phenomena. Another important class of phenomena are those which


are due to that motion of agitation by which the molecules of a liquid or gas
are continually working their way from one place to another, and continually
of

these

changing their course, like people hustled in a crowd.

On
other,

this

depends

the rate of diffusion of gases and liquids through each

study of which, as one of the keys of molecular science, that

the

to

unwearied inquirer

into

nature's

secrets,

Graham, devoted such

the late Prof.

arduous labour.

The

rate

of

electrolytic

conduction

is,

according to

Wiedemann's theorj^

and the conduction of heat in fluids depends


by the same cause
probably on the same kind of action. In the case of gases, a molecular theory
has been developed by Clausius and others, capable of mathematical treatment,
and subjected to experimental investigation; and by this theory nearly every
influenced

known mechanical property


so

the

that

properties

of gases has been explained on dynamical principles

of

individual gaseous

molecules are

become objects of scientific research.


Now Mr Stoney has pointed out""' that the numerical
on

render

gases

it

ordinary temperature and pressure


as a millionth of a millimetre,
several

mean

probable that the

as

the

electrification

Sir

of

and the

distance

between contiguous molecules

of

air,

particles

at

the

William Thomson has sincef shewn, by

metals

by

contact,

so

different

the tension of

is

less

in

soap-

than the hundred-millionth, and

greater than the two-thousand-millionth of a centimetre.


* PhU. Mag. Aug. 1868.

to

that in ordinary solids and liquids the average

bubbles,

friction

way

results of experiments

of their

independent lines of argument, drawn from phenomena

themselves

fair

a quantity of the same order of magnitude

is

and

distance

in

t Nature,

March

31,

1870.

223

OF THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION.

These, of course, are exceedingly rough estimates, for they are derived from
measurements some of which are still confessedly very rough; but if, at the
time, we can form even a rough plan for arriving at results of this
we may hope that, as our means of experimental inquiry become more

present
kind,

accurate and more varied, our conception of a molecule will become more definite,
so that we may be able at no distant period to estimate its weight with a
greater degree of precision.

theory,

which Sir

W. Thomson

on Helmholtz's splendid

founded

has

molecules in the nngSuch whirling rings may


be seen when an experienced smoker sends out a dexterous puff of smoke into
the still air, but a more evanescent phenomenon it is difficult to conceive.
This evanescence is owing to the viscosity of the air; but Helmholtz has shewn

hydrodynamical

seeks

theorems,

for

properties

the

incompressible

vortices of a uniform, frictionless,

of

fluid.

in a perfect fluid such a whirling ring, if once generated, would go on


whirling for ever, would always consist of the very same portion of the fluid
which was first set whirling, and could never be cut in two by any natural

that

The generation of a ring-vortex

cause.

is

of course

equally beyond the power

has the properties of individuality,


permanence in quantity, and indestructibility. It is also the recipient of impulse
and of energy, which is all we can affirm of matter; and these ring- vortices

of

are

natural

such varied

of

capable

once generated,

but

causes,

connexions

of differently knotted vortices

properties

it

and knotted self-involutions, that the


must be as different as those of diffe-

rent kinds of molecules can be.


If a theory

mathematical
properties

of this kind should

difficulties

of molecules,

after

be found,

of

the subject,

it

will stand in

to

represent

conquering the enormous


in

a very different

any degree the actual


scientific

position from

those theories of molecular action which are formed by investing the molecule
with an arbitrary system of central forces invented expressly to account for the

observed phenomena.

In the vortex theory


properties of

the

vortex

is

arbitrary, no central forces or occult


have nothing but matter and motion, and when
properties are all determined from the original

we have nothing

any other kind.


once started

We
its

impetus, and no further assumptions are possible.

Even
of

the

in

the

present undeveloped state

individuality

and

indestructibility

of

of

the theory,

a ring-vortex

the contemplation
in

a perfect fluid


ADDRESS TO THE MATHEMATICAL AND PHYSICAL SECTIONS

224
cannot

commonly received opinion that a

disturb the

to

fail

molecule, in order

must be a very hard body.


one of the first conditions which a molecule must

to be permanent,

In

fact

parently,

inconsistent with

which have thrown

spectroscopic researches
of

which

it

that

that

fact

when

the same periods,


I

been

brought

your

attention

those

on difierent branches

a very remarkable
others

to

it

definite

period

of vibration.

we can

The

procure for our

the

fact.

describe the progress of that splendid series

to

by which the chemistry of the heavenly bodies has

the range of

within
to

in

light of definite refrangibility

by the passage of an electric spark,


or, to speak more accurately, that

or

human

inquiry.

wish rather to direct

only has every molecule of

not

that,

fact

hydrogen the same system of periods of


scopic

ap-

is,

composed of a system of simple vibrations having always

discoveries

of spectroscopic

fulfil

know from

the same periodic time,

is

must leave

by heat

agitated

in

are

vibrations

their

light

molecules (say, of hydrogen) which

the

precisely

and

wave-length

definite

of

is,

all

experiments,
vibrate

medium

gives off to the surrounding

light,

much

so

We

molecule can be set into a state of internal vibration,

that

science,

being a single hard body.

its

vibration,

free

terrestrial

but that the spectro-

examination of the light of the sun and stars shews that, in regions
we can only feebly imagine, there are molecules vibrating

the distance of which


in

as

exact unison with the molecules of terrestrial hydrogen as two tuning-

forks tuned to concert pitch, or

Now

this absolute

parts of the universe,

The dimensions
as

in

the

case

of

is

of individual

as in the case of seeds,

tative

differences

Even

all

met

natural bodies are either quite indeterminate,

stones,

planets,

are

to solar time.

worth our consideration.

Ihnits,

properties

two watches regulated

equality in the magnitude of quantities, occurring in

trees,

eggs, &c.

which

with

&c.,

or

they vary within moderate

but even in these cases small quanti-

do

not

interfere

with

the essential

of the body.
crystals,

Avhich

are

so

definite in geometrical form, are variable

with

respect to their absolute dimensions.

Among

the works of

man we sometimes

find a certain degree of uniformity.

which are cast in the


same mould, and the different copies of a book printed from the same type.
If we examine the coins, or the weights and measures, of a civilized
country, we find a uniformity, which is produced by careful adjustment to
There

is

a uniformity

among the

different bullets

OF THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION.

made and provided by the

standards

standards

national

subject

The degree of uniformity

state.

of these

a measure of that spirit of justice in the nation which

is

them and appointed

has enacted laws to regulate

This

225

one

is

which we,

in

as

them.

oflBcers to test

body,

scientific

take a

warm

and you are all aware of the vast amount of scientific work which
has been expended, and profitably expended, in providing weights and measures
for commercial and scientific purposes.
interest;

The

has

earth

measured

been

as

basis

for

a permanent standard of

and every property of metals has been investigated to guard against


any alteration of the material standards when made. To weigh or measure any
thing with modern accuracy, requires a course of experiment and calculation
length,

in

which

almost

branch

every

of

physics

and mathematics

is

brought into

requisition.

Yet, after
relatively

all,

the dimensions of our earth and

to our present

any physical

necessity.

enlarged by a layer of meteorites falling on


slowly slacken, and yet

its

time of rotation, though,

means of comparison, very permanent, are not so by


The earth might contract by cooling, or it might be

it

would continue

it,

or its rate of revolution might

to be as

much a

planet as before.

But a molecule, say of hydrogen, if either its mass or its time of vibration
were to be altered in the least, would no longer be a molecule of hydrogen.

we wish

then,

If,

obtain standards of length,

to

be absolutely permanent,

shall

the motion,
vibration,

or the

and

the

we must

mass of our planet, but

mass

absolute

of

and mass which

time,

seek them not in the dimensions,

these

in

or

the w^ave-length, the period of

imperishable and unalterable and

perfectly similar molecules.

When we
multitudes of
to the grain,
in

a second,

find that here,


little

and

in the starry heavens,

bodies of exactly the same

and vibrating

there are innumerable

many, and no more,


same time, so many times, and no more,
that no power in nature can now alter in
mass,

so

in exactly the

and when we

reflect

we seem to have
advanced along the path of natural knowledge to one of those points at which
we must accept the guidance of that faith by which we understand that
the least either the mass or the period of any one of them,

" that

which

One
is

the

that

of

light

is,

VOL.

is

seen was not

made

of things which do

appear."

the most remarkable results of the progress of molecular


it

has thrown on the nature

of irreversible

processes

science

processes,

which always tend towards and never away from a certain limiting
II.

29

ADDRESS TO THE MATHEMATICAL AND PHYSICAL SECTIONS

226

Thus, if two gases be put into the same vessel, they become mixed,
and the mixture tends continually to become more uniform. If two unequally
heated portions of the same gas are put into the vessel, something of the
kind takes place, and the whole tends to become of the same temperature.
If two unequally heated solid bodies be placed in contact, a continual approxistate.

mation of both to an intermediate temperature takes place.


In the case of the two gases, a separation may be effected by chemical means
but in the other two cases the former state of things cannot be restored by

any natural

process.

In the case of the conduction or diffusion of heat the process is not only
in-eversible, but it involves the irreversible diminution of that part of the whole
stock of thermal energy which

is

capable of being converted into mechanical work.

Thomson's theory of the irreversible dissipation of energy, and


equivalent to the doctrine of Clausius concerning the growth of what he
This

is

it is

calls

Entropy.

The

irreversible character of this process is strikingly

embodied

in Fourier's

theory of the conduction of heat, where the formulae themselves indicate, for
all positive values of the time, a possible solution which continually tends to
the form of a uniform diffusion of heat.

But

we attempt

if

diminishing

continually

the

formula

has

what

we

called

is

state of things the instant before,

We

are

led

critical

we

find

thus arrive at the conception of


as

that

critical

this

physical

the

conceived

its symbol
up to a state of things in which
and if we inquire into the
value

ascend the stream of time by giving to

to

values,

condition

result

that the formula becomes absurd.

a state of things which cannot be

of a previous

actually

existed

at

state

of things,

an epoch not

in

and we find
the utmost

depths of a past eternity, but separated from the present time by a finite interval.
This idea of a beginning is one which the physical researches of recent

brought home to us, more than any observer of the course of


thought in former times would have had reason to expect.
But the mind of man is not, like Fourier's heated body, continually settling
down into an ultimate state of quiet uniformity, the character of which we

times

have

scientific

can already predict;


themselves to the

it

new

is

aspects of the sky towards which they climb, and roots

among the strange strata of the earth into which they


To us who breathe only the spirit of our own age, and know only the

which contort themselves


delve.

rather like a tree, shooting out branches which adapt


OF THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION.
contemporary thought,

characteristics of

tone of the science of the future as

which

is

is

as impossible to predict the general

to anticipate the particular discoveries

make.

it will

Physical

research

we

and

processes,

it

it

227

continually

is

revealing

compelled

thus

are

to

us

to

search

for

new features
new forms

Hence the importance of a

appropriate to these features.

of

natural

of thought

careful study of those

between Mathematics and Physics which determine the conditions under

relations

which the ideas derived from one department of physics may be safely used
forming ideas to be employed in a new department.

The
ideas

of speech or of thought

figure

of a familiar science

by which we

one with which

to

we

and

transfer the language

are

less

acquainted

in

may

be

Metaphor.

called Scientific

Thus the words Velocity, Momentum, Force, &c. have acquired certain precise
They are also employed in the Dynamics
of a Connected System in a sense which, though perfectly analogous to the
elementary sense, is wider and more general.
meanings in Elementary Dynamics.

These

forms

generalized

of

truly

of

teristic

use

metaphorical

system which
that

retains

had

it

only

not

is,

system

scientific

of

legitimate

to the

relations

The charac-

that each term in

is

The method

in its original use.

be called metaphorical

metaphorical.

is

metaphors

formal

the

all

may

elementary ideas

terms in the sense in which every abstract term

is

its

other terms of the

then truly

scientific

product of science, but capable of generating

science in its turn.

There are certain

by

relations

To apply

of

to these the

reservations

visional

is

a legitimate metaphor
those

who have been

Suppose, then,
to

an

phenomena, again, which are connected together

phrases of

dynamical

phenomena.

d}Tiamic8 with proper distinctions and pro-

an example of a metaphor of a bolder kind; but


if

it

it

is

conveys a true idea of the electrical relations to

already trained in dynamics.

that

we have

successfully introduced certain ideas belonging

elementary science by applying them metaphorically to some new class

of phenomena.

what

electrical

the same form as those which connect

degree

It becomes an important philosophical

the

applicability

taken as evidence that the

The

best

instances

of

the

old

new phenomena
for

the

ideas

to

question to determine in

the

new

subject

may

be

are physically similar to the old.

determination of

(this

question are those in

which two different explanations have been given of the same thing.

292

ADDRESS TO THE MATHEMATICAL AND PHYSICAL SECTIONS

228

The most celebrated

case

undulatory theories of light.

kind

Up

a certain point the phenomena of light

by both

are equally well explained

that of the corpuscular and the

of this
to
;

beyond

is

this point, one of

them

fails.

To understand the true relation of these theories in that part of the field
where they seem equally applicable we must look at them in the light which
Hamilton has thrown upon them by his discovery that to every brachistochrone
problem there corresponds a problem of free motion, involving different velocities
and times, but resulting in the same geometrical path. Professor Tait has
\\'ritten

a very interesting paper on this subject.

According

Germany,

to

two

a theory

electrical

of

electricity

particles

act

on

which
one

is

making great progress

in

another directly at a distance,

but with a force which, according to Weber, depends on their relative velocity,
and according to a theory hinted at by Gauss, and developed by Riemann,

and Neumann, acts not instantaneously, but after a time depending


The power with which this theory, in the hands of these
on the distance.
eminent men, explains every kind of electrical phenomena must be studied in

Lorenz,

order to be appreciated.

Another theory of

and attributes

electricity,

which I

electric action to tensions

denies action at a distance

prefer,

and pressures

in

an all-pervading medium,

these stresses being the same in kind with those familiar to engineers, and the
medium being identical with that in which light is supposed to be propagated.
Both these theories are found to explain not only the phenomena by the
of which they were originally constructed, but other phenomena, which
were not thought of or perhaps not known at the time; and both have independently arrived at the same numerical result, which gives the absolute

aid

velocity of light in terms of electrical quantities.

That
a

field of

we cannot

theories

truth

apparently

common

so

to both

fully appreciate

till

is

fundamentally opposed should have so large


a fact the philosophical importance of which

we have

reached a

scientific altitude

from which

the true relation between hypotheses so different can be seen.


I shall only make one more remark on the relation between Mathematics
and Physics. In themselves, one is an operation of the mind, the other is a

The molecules have laws of their own, some of which we


We
to us and most amenable to our calculation.
form a theory from these partial data, and we ascribe any deviation of the
At the same time we
actual phenomena from this theory to disturbing causes.

dance of molecules.
select

as

most

intelligible

OF THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION.


confess

229

we call disturbing causes are simply those parts of the true


we do not know or have neglected, and we endeavour in

that what

circumstances which

future to take account

turbance

is

natural action there

But

this

mental

the

conclusions;

make
I

thus acknowledge that the so-called dis-

way

not the only

is

may

be

it

in

which the harmony of the material with

The mind of the mathematician is


loss of memory, and hasty

disturbed.

disturbing causes,

and

in

such as fatigue,

found that, from these and other causes, mathematicians

is

mistakes.

am

not

prepared to deny that, to some mind of a higher order than

each of these errors might be traced to the regular operation of the laws

ours,

of

We

no disturbance.

is

operation

many

subject to

of them.

a mere figment of the mind, not a fact of nature, and that

thinking;

actual

in

fact

we

ourselves

but the causes of these

calculation,

our conviction that they are errors,

often

do detect, not only errors of

however, by no means alters


and that one process of thought is right

errors.

This,

and another process wrong.


One of the most profound mathematicians and thinkers of our time, the
when reflecting on the precise and almost mathematical
late George Boole,
character of the laws of right thinking as compared with the exceedingly perplexing though perhaps equally determinate laws of actual and fallible thinking,
was led to another of those points of view from which Science seems to look
out into a region beyond her own domain.
"

even

We

We

must admit," he

the rigour of

must

in power,

ascribe

to

their

says,

" that there

exist

laws

"

(of thought)

" which

mathematical forms does not preserve from violation.

them an

authority,

the essence of which does not consist

a supremacy which the analogy of the inviolable order of the natural

world in no

way

assists us to

comprehend."

[From the Beport of

On

XLII.

the British Association, 1870.]

Colour-vision at different points of the Retina.

long been known that near that point of the retina where it is
by the axis of the eye there is a yellowish spot, the existence of
which can be shewn not only by the ophthalmoscope, but by its effect on
vision.
At the Cheltenham Meeting in 1856 the author pointed out a method
of seeing this spot by looking at that part of a very narrow spectrum which
Since that time the spot has been described by Helmholtz
lies near the line F.
and others and the author has made a number of experiments, not yet pubIt

has

intersected

determine

lished, in order to

One of the
author by Prof

Stokes.

its effects

methods

simplest

of

on colour-vision.
seeing

the

of a white cloud, through a solution of chloride of


it

spot was suggested to the

consists in looking at a white surface, such as that

It

appears of a bluish-green

colour.

If

chromium made

so

weak that

the observer directs his attention to

what he sees before him before his eyes have got accustomed to the new tone of
he sees a pinkish spot like a wafer on a bluish-green ground; and this
The solution transmits the red
spot is always at the place he is looking at.
colour,

end of the spectnim, and

The

latter

portion

is

also

a portion of bluish-green light near the

line F.

absorbed by the spot, so that the red light has

partially

the preponderance.

Experiments of a more accurate kind were made with an instrument the


original conception

of which

his Lectiones Opticce,


till

It

the author set


consists

though
it

up

of two parts,

is
it

in

side

due to Sir Isaac Nevrton, and

selected

portions

are

by being allowed

made

to

described in

1862, with a solid frame and careful adjustments.

by

side.

In the

persed by a prism so as to form a spectram.


are

is

does not appear to have been actually constructed

to

pass through

first

part,

white light

is

dis-

Certain portions of this spectrum


slits

in a screen.

These selected

converge on a second prism, which unites them into a

COLOUR- VISION AT DIFFERENT POINTS OF THE RETINA.

beam

single

of light,

The second part

which state they enter the eye.

in

231
of

the instrument consists of an arrangement by which a beam of light from the


very same source is weakened by two reflections from glass surfaces, and enters
the eye alongside of the

The

instrument

being

length

beam

about

of

formed

is

nine

feet.

compound

colours.

wooden
two prisms, two

of three rectangular
It contains

lenses, which are so adjusted that,

in

spite

tubes,

the whole

mirrors,

and

six

of the very different treatment to

which the two portions of a beam of light are subjected, they shall enter the
eye so as to form exactly equal and coincident images of the source of light.
In fact, by looking through the instrument a man's face may be distinctly
seen by means of the red, the green, or the blue light which it emits, or by

any combination of these at pleasure.


The arrangement of the three slits is made by means of six brass slides,
which can be worked with screws outside the instrument and the breadth of
the slits can be read off with a gauge very accurately.
In each observation three colours of the spectrum are mixed and so adjusted
;

that their mixture

is

so

exactly equivalent to the white light beside

the line which divides the two can no


It

is

found that in certain

cases,

it,

that

longer be seen.

when

this

adjustment

is

made

so

as

to

satisfy one person, a second will find the mixed colour of a green hue, while
to a third it will appear of a reddish colour, compared with the white beam.

But, besides this,


that,

if

we

it

is

look directly at

found that the mixed colour may be so adjusted


it appears red, while if we direct the eye away

it,

and cast a sidelong glance at it, we see it green. The cause of this
the yellow spot, w^hich acts somewhat as a piece of yellow glass would do,
absorbing certain kinds of light more than others; and the difference between

from

it,

is

different

persons arises from different intensities of

the absorbing spot.

It

is

found in

persona of every nation, but generally stronger in those of dark com-

plexion.

The degree

of

intensity

does

not seem to depend so much

on

tlie

COLOUR-VISION AT DIFFERENT POINTS OF THE RETINA.

232
colour

the

of

hair

the

or

iris

of the

individual,

as

to

run through families

independent of outward complexion.


The same difference is found between different colour-blind persons; so that
in the comparison of their vision with that of the normal eye, persons should
be selected for comparison

In my own eye the

who have the yellow

spot of nearly the same intensity.

part of the spectrum from

to '

seen decidedly

is

by the central part of the retina than by the surrounding parts. Near F
this is reversed, and the central part gives a sensation of about half the
Beyond G the central part is again the most sensitive,
intensity of the rest.
better

and

it is

decidedly so near

Before

study

at

to

colour

described by

H.

conclude I wish

the

to

exceedingly

Mr W. Benson

in his

direct

simple

the attention of those

and

works on

beautiful

colour.

the black and white diagrams in his book, any

true

relations

of

colour

By

series

of

who wish

looking through a prism

one can see more of the

than can be got from the most elaborately

theoretical arrangements of tints.

to

experiments

coloiured

[From the Philosophical Magazine

On

XLIII.

To

for

and

Hills

December, 1870.]

Dales.

Magazine and Journal.

the Editors of the Philosophical

Gentlemen,
FIND

that

the

in

part

greater

of

the following

the substance of

paper I have been anticipated by Professor Cayley, in a memoir " On Contour


and Slope Lines," published in the Philosophical Magazine in 1859 (S. 4. Vol.

xvin.

264).

p.

however,

so

is

that I have
scruple

in

no

An

exact knowledge of the

important,

and

hesitation

rejecting

if

in

elements of physical geography,


subject are

so

prevalent,

what you, I hope, will have no


superfluous after what has been done by
you

sending

you think

first

notions on the

loose

it

Professor Cayley.
I

am. Gentlemen,

Your obedient Servant,


J.

CLERK MAXWELL.

Glenlair, Dalbeattie,
Octoher 12, 1870.

1.

The

results

On

Contouiulines and Measurement of Heights.

of the survey of the surface of a country are most conveniently

exhibited by means of a

map on which

representing the intersection

and

being

which

it

by

surface

numeral

which

with the surface


indicates

the

of

level

the

earth,

surface

to

belongs.

When
VOL.

distinguished

are traced contour-lines, each contour-line

of a level

II.

the extent of country surveyed

is

smaU, the contour-hnes are defined


30

AND DALES.

HILLS

234
with

accuracy by the number of

sufficient

above the mean level of the

feet

the force of
but when the survey is
of the
new
definition
a
must
adopt
we
account,
into
taken
gravity must be
If we could deterheight of a place in order to be mathematically accurate.
so extensive that the variation of

sea;

the exact form of the surface of equilibrium of the sea, so as to know


in the interior of a continent, we might draw a normal to this

mine
its

position

the top of a mountain, and

surface from

would

This
is

be

perfectly

convex;

everywhere

but

the

call

the case

in

definite

lines

of

this

the height of the mountain.

when the

equal

height

surface

would

of

equilibrium

not

be

level

surfaces.

Level surfaces are surfaces of equilibrium, and they are not equidistant.
The only thing which is constant is the amount of work required to rise from
Hence the only consistent definition of a level surface is
one to another.
obtained by assuming a standard station, say, at the mean level of the sea
at a particular place, and defining every other level surface by the work
required to raise unit of mass from the standard station to that level surface.
This work must, of course, be expressed in absolute measure, not in local foot-

pounds.

At every
places,

step,

surveyor

the

therefore,

should

in

ascertaining

ascertain

the

the

force

of

difference

gravity,

of level of two
and multiply the

by the numerical value of the force of gi'avity.


The height of a place, according to this system, will be defined by a
number which represents, not a lineal quantity, but the half square of the
velocity which an unresisted body would acquire in sliding along any path from

linear difference of level observed

This is the only definition of the height


that places of equal height should be
condition
the
of a place
If by any means we can ascertain the mean value of
on the same level.
gravity along the line of force drawn from the place to the standard level
surface, then, if we divide the number already found by this mean value, we

that place to the standard station.


consistent with

obtain the length

shall

of this line

of

force,

which may be called the linear

height of the place.

On
Let
earth,

us

and

Forms of

Contour-lines.

with a level surface entirely wdthin the solid part of the


us suppose it to ascend till it reaches the bottom of the deepest

begin

let

the

AND DALES.

HILLS

At

sea.

it

will

touch the surface of the earth; and

continues

if it

a contour-line will be formed surrounding this bottom (or Immit, as


As the
called by Professor Cayley) and enclosing a region of depression.

ascend,

to
it

point

that

235

is

continues to ascend,

surface

level

will reach

it

the next deepest bottom of the

form another contour-line, surrounding this point,


sea; and as
and enclosing another region of depression below the level surface. As the level
surface rises these regions of depression will continually expand, and new ones
it ascends it will

be

will

corresponding

formed

the

to

different

lowest

points

the

of

earth's

surface.

but one region of depression, the whole of the rest of


The number
the earth's surface forming a region of elevation surrounding it.
of regions of elevation and depression can be altered in two ways.

At

there

fii-st

Two

1st.

is

of depression

regions

may expand

till

they meet and so run

If a contour-line be drawn through the point where they meet, it


into one.
This contour-line
forms a closed curve having a double point at this place.
shall call the point where these two
encloses two regions of depression.

We

regions meet a Bar.

that more than two regions run into

may happen

It

Such cases are

singular,

2ndly.

and we

shall

region of depression

reserve

them

each other at once.

for separate consideration.

thrust out arms, which

may

may meet

each

a region of elevation in the midst of the region of


depression, which thus becomes a cyclic region, while a new region of elevation
The contour-line through the point of meeting cuts off two
introduced.
is
other

and

cut

thus

off

regions of elevation from one region of depression,

a Pass.

There

may

and the point

itself

be in singular cases passes between more than

is

called

two regions

of elevation.
3rdly.
last are

As the

level

reduced to points.

surface

rises,

the regions of elevation contract and at


Summits or Tops.

These points are called

Relation between the Nuinher of Summits

At
of

first

elevation

point

there

the whole earth


there
is

is

a Pass,

Summit.

is

a region of elevation.

and

And

and

for

at

every

last

region

Passes.

For every new region

of elevation

reduced to a

the whole surface of the earth

302

is

HILLS

236
region

of depression.

number of

If

Passes.

AND DALES.

Hence the number of Summits is one more than the


is the number of Summits and P the number of passes,

S = P + l.
Number

Relation between the

For

every

new

region

of BottoTus
there

depression

of

diminution of the number of these regions there

and for every


Hence the number
/ is the number of

a Bottom,

is
is

and Bars.

a Bar.

Bottoms is one more than the number of Bars.


Bottoms or Immits and B the number of Bars, then

If

of

1 = B+1.

From
reckon

this

pass

it

is

as

regions of elevation
as

two,

may

census
If

three,

one

plain that

single,

or

if,

in the singular cases of passes

double,

or

w-ple,

and a bar as

meet at that

point,

n+l

of depression

regions

depression

of

bars,

or

we

n+l

double, or n-ple,

single,

meet at that

be taken as before, giving each singular point

region

and

according as two, three,

point,

its

then the

proper number.

meets another in several places at once, one of

these must be taken as a bar and the rest as passes.

The whole
of

function

of this

two

of

maxima and minima

theory applies to the case of the

which

variables

is

everywhere

finite,

determinate,

and

The summits correspond to maxima and the bottoms to minima.


If there are p maxima and q minima, there must be p + q 2 cases of stationary
If we regard those points in
values which are neither maxima nor minima.
but if we consider
themselves, we cannot make any distinction among them
continuous.

the regions cut off by the curves of


call

p1

of

them

false

maxima and ^

On
If

we suppose

every

negative

of

them

false

we may

minima.

Functions of Three Variables.

the three variables to be the three co-ordinates of a point,

and the regions where the function


called the positive and the negative
for

constant value of the function,

is

greater or less than a given value to be

regions, then, as the given value increases,

region formed there will be a

region will have an increase of


ferent negative regions there

its

will

periphraxy.

minimum, and the

positive

For every junction of two

dif-

be a false minimum, and the positive region

AND

HILLS

have a diminution of

\sill

there will

q\

\)e

false

its

237

DALES.

Hence

peripLraxy.

if

there are

true

minima

minima.

There are different orders of these stationary points according to the number

which meet

of regions

meet

and so

regions meet,
third

the

on.

and

three,

for

In

The

tliem.

by a positive

surrounded

order

first

Points of the second


so

in

on,

is

when two negative regions


when tliree negative

the second order

region,

relation

this

order count for two, those

of

between the true minima and

the false ones.

at

In like manner, when a negative region expands round a hollow part and
surrounds it, thus cutting off a new positive region, the negative region

last

new
maximum.

acquires perlphraxy, a

there

is

a false

When
region

any

positive region

positive region

is

reduced to a point and vanishes, the negative

perlphraxy and there

loses

Is

may

thrust out arms which

maximum.

a true

maxima there are p \ false maxima.


But these are not the only forma
region

formed, and at the point of contact

is

stationary

of

may meet

Hence
points

in a stationary point.

there are

if

for

a negative

The negative

and the positive region both become cyclic. Again, a cyclic region may close
in so as to become acyclic, forming another kind of stationary point where the
If there are r points at which cyclosis is gained and r
ring first fills up.
points at which

it

is

lost,

then we know that


r

but we cannot determine any relation between the number of these points and
that of either the true or the false maxima and minima.
If the

points

are

function
of stable

of three variables

is

a potential function, the true

equilibrium, the true

and at the other stationary points the equilibrium

in

every direction,

in

some directions and unstable

maxima

minima points of equilibrium unstable


is

stable

in others.

On

Line's

of

Slojoe.

Lines drawn so as to be everywhere at right angles to the contour-lines


are

and

called

general reach
general reach

a bar.

At every point of such a line there is an upward


If we follow the upward direction we shall in
a summit, and if we follow the downward direction we shall in
In particular cases, however, we may reach a pass or
a bottom.

lines

of slope.

downward

direction.

HILLS

238

On

AND

Hills

DALES.

and Dales.

Hence each point of the earth's surface has a line of slope, which begins
Districts whose lines of
and ends in a certain bottom.
Those whose lines
slope run to the same bottom are called Basins or Dales.
of slope come from the same summit may be called, for want of a better name,

at

a certain summit

HiUs.

Hence the whole earth may be naturally divided into Basins or Dales, and
by an independent division, into hills, each point of the surface belonging
a certain dale and also to a certain hill.

also,

to

On Watersheds and

Watercourses.

Dales are divided from each other by Watersheds, and Hills by Watercourses.

To draw these

we cannot

so that

begin at a pass or a bar.

lines,

begin to draw a line of slope

but

Here the ground is level,


if we draw a very small

and lowest points, the


and each one more
than the index number of the pass or bar. From each maximum point draw
a line of slope upwards till it reaches a summit. This will be a line of WaterFrom each minimum point draw a line of slope downwards till it reaches
shed.
Lines of Watershed are the
This will be a line of Watercourse.
a bottom.
only lines of slope which do not reach a bottom, and lines of Watercourse
All other lines of
are the only lines of slope which do not reach a summit.
slope diverge from some summit and converge to some bottom, remaining
throughout their course in the district belonging to that summit and that
closed

round

curve

point,

this

it

will

have

highest

number of maxima being equal to the number of minima,

bottom, which

is

bounded by two watersheds and two watercourses.

In the pure theory of surfaces there


of

watershed

drawing the

down the

or
line

lines

watercourses,

of

watercourse,

though

quantity,

except by

from that point.

of slope
of

is

slope,

no method of determining a
first

finding a pass

In nature, water actually trickles

which generally converge towards the mathematical

they do not actually join them

but when the streams

they join and excavate courses for themselves

increase

in

actually

run into the main watercourse which bounds the

out

river-bed,

which,

line

a bar and

or

whether

full

or

empty, forms a

district,

visible

and these

and

so

cut

mark on the

HILLS

No

surface.

earth's

such

AND

takes

action

239

DALES.

which therefore

a watershed,

at

place

generally remains invisible..

There is another difficulty in the application of the mathematical theory,


on account of the principal regions of depression being covered with water, so
that very little is known about the positions of the singular points from which
the lines of watershed must be drawn to the summits of

complete

of

divi'^'on

the

dry land into

knowledge of the form of the bottom of the sea

On
Let

Let

Z>

the

Number of Natural

The number

will be

of watersheds will be

W= 2
The number

72

number

to find the

is

= 2,

{h, -\-2\)

+3

{k +}),)

+ &c.

of watercourses will be the same.

the number of

that of regions,

Here

Distiicts.

what we have proved,

and the number of bottoms

some

&c.

of summits will be, by

where

requires

lakes.

be the number of single passes, jh that of double passes, and so on.


Then the number
be the numbers of single, double, &c. bars.

pi
Z>2,

Now,

and of

near the coast.

hills

therefore,

districts,

viz.

of faces,

points,

we have by

that of

there being in this case no

Listing's rule

lines,

instance

the earth and the surrounding space

that

of

of cyclosis

faces,

or

and

periphraxy.

hence

F=L-P+2.
If

we put L

equal to the

summits, passes, and bars, then


equal to the
If
passes,

number

we put L
bars,

equal to the

is

of watersheds,

and

equal to that of

the number of Dales, which

is

evidently

of bottoms.

for

the number of

and bottoms, then

number

number

of summits.

is

watercourses,

and

the number of *Hills,

for

the number of

which

is

evidently

240

HILLS
If

whole

we put
number

named from a
sheds

or

L
of
hill

AND DALES.

lines, and P equal to the


number of natural districts
together, is equal to W, the number of waterthe whole number of summits, bottoms, passes,

equal to the whole

we

points,

find

and a dale

watercourses,

and bars diminished by

or

to

number

that F,

of

the

2.

Chart of an Inland Basin.

/,,

7^,

S^,

/S',,

/j,

/,.

S^, S^.

B^, B^, B^.

7,

B^

7j,

he.

aS',

Pj S^

(fee.

Dotted

line.

Lowest points, Bottoms or Immits.


Highest points, Tops or Summits.
Bars between regions of depression.
Lines of Watercourse.
Lines of Watershed.
Contour-lines.

XLIV.

The
by

University of Cambridge, in accordance with that law of

which,

phases

Introductory Lecture on Experimental Physics.

maintaining

while

of

its

requirements

itself

has

lately

it

the

times,

This course of

Physics.

study, while

of attention and

those powers

the University,

calls

strictest

adapts

history,

of

the

analysis

continuity

with more or
instituted

it

requires

ita

evolution,

between the successive


less

promptness to the

course

of

Experimental

us to maintain in action

all

which have been so long cultivated in

on us to exercise our senses

in observation,

and our hands

The familiar apparatus of pen, ink, and paper will no longer be


sufficient for us, and we shall require more room than that afforded by a seat at
a desk, and a wider area than that of the black board. We owe it to the
in manipulation.

munificence
of the
for

of our

Chancellor, that, whatever be the character in other respects

experiments w^hich

their

full

development

we hope
will

hereafter to conduct,

the material

facilities

be upon a scale which has not hitherto been

surpassed.

The main
Devonshire
occasion,

feature,

therefore,

of Experimental Physics at Cambridge

Physical Laboratory, and I think

before

we

it

desirable

is

the

that on the present

enter on the details of any special study,

we should

con-

by what means we, the University of Cambridge, may, as a living body,


appropriate and vitalise this new organ, the outward shell of which we expect
soon to rise before us.
The course of study at this University has always
included Natural Philosophy, as well as Pure Mathematics. To diffuse a sound
knowledge of Physics, and to imbue the minds of our students with correct
sider

dynamical principles, have been long regarded as among our highest functions,

and very few of us can now place ourselves

in the

mental condition in which

even such philosophers as the great Descartes were involved in the days before
Newton had announced the true laws of the motion of bodies. Indeed the

and diffusion of sound dynamical ideas has already effected a great


change in the language and thoughts even of those who make no pretensions

cultivation

VOL.

II.

31

INTRODUCTORY LECtURE ON EXPERIMENTAL PHYSICS.

242
to

and we are daily receiving

science,

doctrines

scientific

society as the

Such indeed

material applications

is

proofs

fresh

that the popularisation of

producing as great an alteration in the mental state of

is

of science are

effecting in

its

outward

the respect paid to science, that the most absurd opinions

life.

may

become current, provided they are expressed in language, the sound of which
some well-known scientific phrase. If society is thus prepared to receive
all kinds of scientific doctrines, it is our part to provide for the diffusion and
recals

only

not

cultivation,
criticism,

apparently

scientific

we

"When

true

principles,

scientific

examination

an

the

of

but

evidences

of

a spirit of sound

on which

statements

depend.

shall

of

attention

trained

of

on

founded

be

able

the

to

employ

and

student,

in

his

education,

scientific

familiarity

not only the

with symbols,

but the

keenness of his eye, the quickness of his ear, the delicacy of his touch, and
the adroitness of his fingers, we shall not only extend our influence over a
of

class
all

men who

are

not fond of

the gateways of knowledge,

we

cold abstractions,

but,

by opening

shall ensure the association

of science with those elementary sensations

at

once

of the doctrines

which form the obscure background

our conscious thoughts, and which lend a vividness and relief to ideas,
which, when presented as mere abstract terms, are apt to fade entirely from
of

all

the memory.

In a course of Experimental
or the

Experiments as the leading

ments

to

illustrate

may make some


method.

the

we may consider either the Physics


We may either employ the experia particular branch of Physics, or we

Physics

feature.

phenomena of

physical research in order to exemplify a particular experimental

we should begin, in the Lecture Room, with


some branch of Physics aided by experiments of illus-

In the order of time,

a course of lectures on

and conclude, in the Laboratory, with a course of experiments of research.


me say a few words on these two classes of experiments, Experiments
The aim of an experiment of
of Illustration and Experiments of Research.
illustration is to throw light upon some scientific idea so that the student may

tration,

Let

The circumstances of the experiment are so arranged


it.
we wish to observe or to exhibit is brought into
which
phenomenon
that the
prominence, instead of being obscured and entangled among other phenomena, as
To exhibit illustrative
it is when it occurs in the ordinary course of nature.
experiments, to encourage others to make them, and to cultivate in every
be

enabled to grasp

way the

ideas on which they

throw

light,

forms an important part of our duty.

INTRODUCTORY LECTURE ON EXPERIMENTAL PHYSICS.

243

The simpler the materials of an illustrative experiment, and the more familiar
they are to the student, the more thoroughly is he likely to acquire the idea
which it is meant to illustrate. The educational value of such experiments is
often

who

inversely proportional

to

complexity

the

home-made apparatus, which

uses

The

the apparatus.

of

student

always going wrong, often learnS more

is

than one who has the use of carefully adjusted instruments, to which he

and which he dares not take to

to trust,
It
flicts

apt

very necessary that those who are trying to learn from books the

is

should be enabled by the help of a few illustrative

physical science

of

is

pieces.

experiments to recognise these facts when they meet with them out of doors.
Science

appears

that

is

it

with a very different

us

to

jected on a screen, that


find
in

we have found out

aspect after

not in lecture rooms only, and by means of the electric light pro-

of the

illustrations

we may

witness physical phenomena, but that

by land and by water,

travelling

wherever there

is

in

we may

games and gymnastics,


storms of the air and of the sea, and

highest doctrines of science

in

matter in motion.

This habit of recognising principles amid the endless variety of their action
can never degrade our sense of the sublimity of nature, or mar our enjoyment
On the contrary, it tends to rescue our scientific ideas from
of its beauty.
that

vague

condition

in

we

which

too

often

other products of a lazy credulity, and to raise


doctrines in which our faith

among the

is

leave them,

them

buried

so assured, that

we

among the

proper position

into their

ready at

are

all

times to act on them.

Experiments of

may be

illustration

of very

They

conditions.

phenomenon
with

it

to

the

all,

however, agree in

this,

life,

appropriate

scientific
it

way

its

Some may be

may

be carefully

only under peculiar

that their aim

When

idea.

has served

others

occurs

the senses of the student in such a

experiment which illustrates

kinds.

difierent

adaptations of the commonest operations of ordinary


arranged exhibitions of some phenomenon which

is

to present

that he

may

he has grasped this

some

associate
idea,

the

purpose.

In an experiment of research, on the other hand, this is not the principal


aim.
It is true that an experiment, in which the principal aim is to see what
happens under certain conditions, may be regarded as an experiment of research

by

who

those

researches,

we have

are

strictly so

already seen

not

yet

familiar

called, the

to

with

the

ultimate object

result,
is

but

in

experimental

to measure something which

obtain a numerical estimate of some magnitude.

312

INTRODUCTORY LECTURE ON EXPERIMENTAL PHYSICS.

244

those

which measurement of some kind is


In every experiment
involved, are the proper work of a Physical Laboratory.
but we must
phenomenon,
the
with
famihar
senses
we have first to make our
of measurecapable
are
features
its
of
which
out
find
must
we
not stop here,
Experiments

of

specification

class

this

measurements

what

and

ment,

of

required

are

We

phenomenon.

the

in

in

order

to

make a complete

must then make these measurements,

which we require to find.


This characteristic of modem experimentsthat they consist principally of
measurements, is so prominent, that the opinion seems to have got abroad,
approxithat in a few years all the great physical constants will have been
men
mately estimated, and that the only occupation which will then be left to

and deduce from them the

result

place of decimals.
of science will be to carry on these measurements to another
approaching, our
are
we
which
to
things
If this is really the state of
labour
conscientious
of
place
a
as
celebrated
become
perhaps
Laboratory may

and consummate

skill,

but

will

it

be out of place in the University, and ought

rather to be classed with the other great workshops of our country, where equal

more useful ends.

ability is directed to

But we have no
or

of

untried

the

right to think thus of the unsearchable riches of creation,

continue to be poured.

those

of

fertility

may

It

fi:esh

minds into which these riches will


true that, in some of those fields

possibly be

of discovery which He open to such rough observations as can be made without


artificial methods, the great explorers of former times have appropriated most

of

what

is

valuable,

and that

rather for their abstruseness,

of

science

devotes

shews

herself

that even

than

for

the

their

intrinsic

worth.

But the

after,

history

that phase of her progress in which she

during

improving

to

the gleanings which remain are sought

accuracy of

the

quantities with which she has long been familiar, she

numerical measurement of
is

preparing the materials

which would have remained unknown if


she had been contented with the rough methods of her early pioneers. I might
bring forward instances gathered from every branch of science, shewing how
the labour of careful measurement has been rewarded by the discovery of new

for

the

fields

of

subjugation

of

research,

and

new

regions,

by the development of new

scientific

ideas.

But the

the science of terrestrial magnetism affords us a sufficient example


of what may be done by Experiments in Concert, such as we hope some day

history of

to perform in our Laboratory.

That

celebrated

traveller,

Humboldt,

was profoundly impressed with the

INTRODUCTORY LECTURE ON EXPERIMENTAL PHYSICS.


value of a combined effort to be

scientific

made by the

observers of

obtain accurate measurements of the magnetism of the

it

mainly

to

most

the

of

take

enthusiasm

his

men of science, but the governments


own among the number, were induced

our

nations,

But the

the enterprise.

part in

his

earth

only private

that not

civilised

science,

for

nations,

all

and we owe
great reputation and his wide-

to

spread influence,

245

of
to

working out of the scheme, and

actual

the arrangements by which the labours of the observers were so directed as to


obtain the best results,

we owe

to the great mathematician Gauss, working along

with Weber, the future founder of the science of electro-magnetic measurement,


in

magnetic

the

observatory

men

of scientific

Gottingen,

of

and

by

aided

the

of

skill

the

Numbers
the new instru-

These men, however, did not work alone.

instrument-maker Leyser.

joined the Magnetic Union, learned the use of

ments and the new methods of reducing the observations; and in every
of Europe you might see them, at certain stated times, sitting, each in

wooden shed, with his eye


clock, and his pencil recording
cold

fixed at the telescope,


in

his

city
his

his ear attentive to the

note-book the instantaneous position of

the suspended magnet.


conception

Bacon's

of

scattered forces

" Experiments

of

science were converted

concert

in

into

"

was thus

realised,

the

a regular army, and emulation

and jealousy became out of place, for the results obtained by any one observer
were of no value till they were combined with those of the others.
The increase in the accuracy and completeness of magnetic observ^ations
which was obtained by the new method, opened up fields of research which
hardly suspected

were

to

exist

by those whose observations of the magnetic


We must reserve for

needle had been conducted in a more primitive manner.


its

proper place in our course any detailed description of

which

magnetism

the

are

disturbances

Others

atmosphere,

the

most

which

and

they

mysterious

the

modified,
their

periodic,

sudden,

are

the

of

our

are

called

these

the

magnetic

magnetic

seasons

of

changes

is

earth, as

poles

the distui'bances to

Some

found to be subject.

of the sun

of

these

and moon.

magnetic storms, but, like the storms of

known

their

whole character of the

while

is

following the regular courses

have
of

planet

creep

on,

The

frequency.

last

that secular variation

a great magnet,

is

being

and

by

slowly

from century to century, along

winding track in the polar regions.

We
influences

have
of

thus

learned

that

the heavenly bodies,

the interior of

the earth

is

but that besides this there

subject to
is

the

a constantly

INTRODUCTORY LECTURE ON EXPERIMENTAL PHYSICS.

246

change going on, the cause of which

progressive

is

entirely

unknown.

of the magnetic observatories throughout the world an arrangement

by means

of which a suspended

moved by
now tracing,

sheet of paper

the earth

is

magnet

clockwork.

at work,

a ray of light on a prepared

directs

On

In each

is

that paper the never-resting heart of

telegraphic symbols which will one day be inter-

in

and its flutterings, as well as of that slow


but mighty working which warns us that we must not suppose that the inner
a record of

preted,

its

history of our planet

But
lasting
or

two

is

ended.

experimental

great

this

pulsations

on

research

The new methods of measuring

instances.

Magnetism produced

Terrestrial

on the progress of science in general.

effects

need only mention one

were successfully applied

forces

by Weber to the numerical determination of all the phenomena of electricity,


and very soon afterw^ards the electric telegraph, by conferring a commercial
value on exact numerical measurements, contributed largely to the advancement,
as well as to the diffusion of scientific knowledge.

But

it

influence

is

felt.

observers

in

general, that

is

not in these more


It

is

to

modern branches of

Gauss,

we owe our

science

alone that this

the Magnetic Union, and to magnetic

to

deliverance from that absurd

method

estimating forces by a variable standard which prevailed so long even

men

of

science.

magnetic

force

It

w^as

Gauss who

(and therefore of

of

among

based the practical measurement of

first

every other force) on those long established

principles, w^hich, though they are embodied in every dynamical equation, have
been so generally set aside, that these very equations, though correctly given

in our

to

Cambridge textbooks, are usually explained there by assuming,

the variable standard of force, a variable, and therefore

illegal,

in addition

standard of

mass.

Such, then, were some of the scientific results which followed in this case

from bringing together mathematical power, experimental sagacity, and manipu


lative

skill,

therefore

the

that

maintain
body.

we

to direct
desire, for

Devonshire
it

We

in

and

assist the labours

our

Laboratory should

living union

shall

therefore

of a body of zealous observers.

own advantage and

for the

be successful,

we must endeavour

first

with our own subjects, and which

mode

in

to

with the other organs and faculties of our learned


consider

the

relation

those mathematical studies which have so long flourished

the

If

honour of our University,

difler

in

which we stand to

among

us,

which deal

from our experunental studies only in

which they are presented to the mind.

247

INTRODUCTORY LECTURE ON EXPERIMENTAL PHYSICS.


There

is

more

no

method

powerful

mind than that of presenting

in

it

knowledge

introducing

for

many

as

different

ways

as

we

into

the

When

can.

entering through different gateways, effect a junction in the


mind, the position they occupy becomes impregnable. Opticians
obtain
tell us that the mental combination of the views of an object which we
in
produce
sufficient
to
is
from stations no further apart than our two eyes
tlie

ideas,

after

of the

citadel

and we find that


our minds an impression of the solidity of the object seen
are really looking
we
that
aware
are
we
when
even
produced
is
impression
this
;

at

two

flat

pictures placed in a stereoscope.

It

is

therefore natural to expect that

the knowledge of physical science obtained by the combined use of mathematical


analysis and experimental research will be of a more solid, available, and enduring

kind than that possessed by the mere mathematician or the mere experimenter.
But \vhat will be the effect on the University, if men pursuing that course
of readino-

work

which has produced so many distinguished Wranglers, turn aside to


Will not their attendance at the Laboratory count not

experiments?

merely as time withdrawn from their more legitimate studies, but as the introduction of a disturbing element, tainting their mathematical conceptions with
material

and sapping their

imagery,

in

faith

the formulae of

the textbooks'?

studies,

we have already heard complaints of the undue extension of our


of the strain put upon our questionists by the weight of learning

them

to get

up

time

by observation and manipulation,

Besides this,

and
which they try to carry with

The

Physical

them

into

their subjects not only

Laboratory,

we

are

the

Senate-House.

by books and
will

If

we now ask
same

writing, but at the

they not break down altogether?

may perhaps be useful to those who


and who do not take in Mathematics, but to
told,

going out in Natural Science,


attempt to combine both kinds of study during the time of residence at the
University is more than one mind can bear.
No doubt there is some reason for this feeling. Many of us have already
are

overcome the

initial

with our study, we

mathematical training.

difficulties of

that

feel

it

requires exertion

When we now

and involves

fatigue,

go on

but we

we only work hard our progress will be certain.


the other hand, may have had some experience
experimental work. As soon as we can read scales, observe

are confident that if

Some
routine of
focus

mental

of us,

telescopes,
effort.

on

and

We

so

may

on,

this

perhaps

not greatly fatigue our minds.

kind

tire

of

work

ceases

to

require

of

the

times,

any great
we do

our eyes and weary our backs, but

INTRODUCTORY LECTURE ON EXPERIMENTAL PHYSICS.

248
It

not

is

we attempt

till

to bring the theoretical part of our training into

contact with the practical that

Faraday has

among the

"mental

called

concrete

objects

we begin

inertia"

before

experience the

to

not

us,

only

the

the

full

difficulty

abstract

relation

learned from books, but the distracting pain of wrenching the

the symbols

however

is

the

objects,

the price

we have

to

and from the


pay for new

what

of

recognising,

we

which

have

mind away from

objects back to the symbols.

to

This

ideas.

But when we have overcome these difficulties, and


gulph between the abstract and the concrete, it

the

effect

of

successfully bridged over

is not a mere piece of


knowledge that we have obtained: we have acquired the rudiment of a permanent mental endowment. When, by a repetition of efforts of this kind, we have

more

fully developed the scientific faculty, the exercise of this faculty in detecting

scientific

in nature, and in directing practice by theory, is no longer


becomes an unfailing source of enjoyment, to which we return so

principles

irksome, but
often,

that

at

even our

last

thoughts

careless

begin to

run

in

scientific

channel.
I quite admit that our mental energy

many

that

question

zealous

students

about the introduction

quantity.

It

in

good

is

experimental study

is

for

of

case

efforts

from

are

those

which

of

attention

are

more useful than

study,

not entirely one of

others, because

a great part of our fatigue often

by which we obtain the mastery of the

spent

know

But the

them.

Some

they are

which we desire to accomplish.

for those purposes

the

from those mental

efforts

of

we know,

distributions of energy,

Now

limited in quantity, and I

to a great extent a question of distribution of energy.

is

more available

is

try to do more than

in

our wandering thoughts

recalling

would be much

fatiguing

less

if

the

arises,

not

subject,

but

and these

disturbing force of

mental distraction could be removed.


This

is

the

reason

why

man whose

more progress than one whose aim


his occupation.

is

soul

is

in

his

work always makes

something not immediately connected with

In the latter case the very motive of which he makes use to

stimulate his flagging powers becomes the means of distracting his

mind from

the work before him.

their
is

There

may

own

sake.

be some mathematicians who pursue their studies entirely

Most men, however, think that the

found in the interpretation of nature.

mathematics

in

order

to

understand

Now

some

chief use

man who

natural

for

of mathematics

studies

a piece of

phenomenon which he has

INTRODUCTORY LECTURE ON EXPERIMENTAL PUYSICS.


or to

seen,

make,

to

calculate

is

249

the best arrangement of some experiment which he means

likely to

meet with far less distraction of mind tlian if his sole


his mind for the successful practice of the Law, or to

aim had been to sharpen

obtain a high place in the Mathematical Tripos.

have known men, who when they were at school, never could see the

good of mathematics,

but

who, when in after

life

they made this discovery,

made

not only became eminent as scientific engineers, but


the study of abstract mathematics.

in

any of you to see the good of mathematics,


for
it

it

will not only ensure the success of

much

less likely

University

course should

will relieve us of

much

your future studies, but

to

it

help

anxiety,

make

will

prove the advantage of practical science to

Let us rather speak of the help which the

give to science,

it

that they will prove injurious to your health.

But why should we labour


the

considerable progress

If our experimental

when men

University

may

well trained in mathematics and enjoying the advan-

tages of a well-appointed Laboratory, shall unite their

eflforts

some

to carry out

experimental research which no solitary worker could attempt.

At

first

illustration

this the

by

its

it

is

probable

that our principal experimental work must be the

of particular branches of science, but as

study of

scientific

we go on we must add

to

methods, the same method being sometimes illustrated

application to researches belonging to difierent branches of science.

We

might even imagine a course of experimental study the arrangement of


classification of methods, and not on that of the

which should be founded on a


objects

of investigation.

combination of the two plans seems to

me

better

and while we take every opportunity of studying methods, we shall


take care not to dissociate the method from the scientific research to which it
is applied, and to which it owes its value.
than

either,

We

shall therefore arrange our lectures according to the classification of the

phenomena, such as heat, electricity, magnetism and so on.


In the laboratory, on the other hand, the place of the difierent instruments
be determined by a classification according to methods, such as weighing

principal natural

will

and measuring, observations of time,

optical

and

electrical

methods of observa-

and so on.
The determination of the experiments to be performed at a particular time
must often depend upon the means we have at command, and in the case of
the more elaborate experiments, this may imply a long time of preparation, during

tion,

VOL. n.

32

INTRODUCTORY LECTURE ON EXPERIMENTAL PHYSICS.

250

the

which the instruments,


gradually

fitted

requisites,

both

sometimes

be

their

for

and

material

that

desirable

methods, and the observers themselves, are being

When we

work.

thus brought

it

the

may

dismounted and the

other experiment, requiring the same


of physical

but deahng perhaps with an entirely different class

method,

together

a particular experiment,

instruments are

the

before

we should make some

observers dispersed,

have

for

intellectual,

phe-

nomena.

Our

with

selves

all

and

think, be

It vnll,

their value.

of the relative

discussion

full

and more

a result worthy of our University,

be accomplished here than in any private laboratory,

to

likely

work, however, in the Laboratory must be to acquaint ourkinds of scientific methods, to compare them, and to estimate

principal

value

of different

scientific

if,

by the

free

we

procedures,

succeed in forming a school of scientific criticism, and in assisting the develop-

ment of the doctrine of method.


But admitting that a practical acquaintance with the methods of Physical
Science is an essential part of a mathematical and scientific education, we may

we

be asked whether

are not attributing too

much importance

to science

alto-

gether as part of a liberal education.


Fortunately,
tinue

young men
see

there

is

be a place of

to

reason

for

to

no question here whether the University should conliberal

or

education,

should devote

itself

preparing

to

Hence though some of us may,


make the pursuit of science the main business of our
particular

professions.

I hope,
lives,

it

must be one of our most constant aims to maintain a living connexion between
our work and the other liberal studies of Cambridge, whether literary, philological,
historical or philosophical.

There
science,

is

just

a narrow professional
as

does

it

But surely a University is the very


come this tendency of men to become,
which are all the more worldly for
vantage of having

men

It
or to

is
is

different

any other

special

business.

where we should be able to over-

as

were, granulated into small worlds,

it

their

very smallness.

We

lose

spirit

the ad-

we do not

even of those whose special branch of

from our own.

not so long ago since any

any science requiring continued

misanthrope,

practise

place

of varied pui'suits collected into one body, if

endeavour to imbibe some of the


learning

which may grow up among men of

spirit

among men who

man who devoted

application,

who must have abandoned

all

himself to geometry,

was looked upon as necessarily

human

interests,

and betaken

251

INTRODUCTORY LECTURE ON EXPERIMENTAL PHYSICS.

action that
himself to abstractions so far removed from the world of life and
the claims
to
and
pleasure
of
attractions
the
to
alike
he has become insensible
of duty.

men

In the present day,

material spirit

men

not looked

are

upon with the same

supposed to be in league with the


among
of the age, and to form a kind of advanced Radical party

or with the

awe

of science

same

They

suspicion.

are

of learning.

We

study

proper

the

We

are not

admit that
here to defend literary and historical studies.
But is the student of science to be
of mankind is man.

withdrawn from the study of man, or cut


Hves in intellectual feUowship with

as he

off

from every noble

men who

feeling,

so long

have devoted their lives to

have impressed themthe discovery of truth, and the results of whose enquiries
who never heard
men
of
thinking
of
way
selves on the ordinary speech and
from his conomit
to
man
of
and
history
of
student
names? Or is the
their

sideration

which have
the history of the origin and diffusion of those ideas
between one age of the world and another?
from the science of
true that the history of science is very different
working of those
the
study
We are not studying or attempting to

produced so great a difference


It

is

history.

we

which,

forces

blind

are told,

are

operating on

crowds of obscure people,

reasonable
shaking principaUties and powers, and compelling
to pass in an

order laid

down by

The men whose names are found


hypothetical constituents
recognise

more

free

of other
of

human

in

the history of science are not mere

of a crowd, to be reasoned

men, are aU the better materials

upon only

history
It

of science

has to

is

tell

for

the study of the calmer parts

not restricted to the enumeration of successof unsuccessful inquiries, and to

some of the ablest men have

failed

has

only

reputation

which they

of

others

why

explain

of knowledge, and how

to find the key


given a firmer footing to the errors into

fell.

The history of the development, whether normal


all

We

in masses.

nature.

ful investigations.

of

to bring events

them as men like ourselves, and their actions and thoughts, being
from the influence of passion, and recorded more accurately than those

But the

the

men

philosophers.

subjects that

in

or

abnormal, of ideas

which we, as thinking men, take the deepest

stage,
But when the action of the mind passes out of the intellectual
violently emotional
truth and error are the alternatives, into the more

is

interest.

in

which

states of

322

INTRODUCTORY LECTURE ON EXPERIMENTAL PHYSICS.

252

anger and passion, malice and envy, fiiry and madness; the student of science,
though he is obliged to recognise the powerful influence which these wild forces
have exercised on mankind, is perhaps in some measure disqualified from pursuing
the study of this part of

We

human

nature.

of us are capable of deriving profit from

But then how few

such studies.

sympathy with these lower phases of our nature


without losing some of that antipathy to them which is our surest safeguard
against a reversion to a meaner type, and we gladly return to the company of
those illustrious men who by aspiring to noble ends, whether intellectual or
practical, have risen above the region of storms into a clearer atmosphere, where
there is no misrepresentation of opinion, nor ambiguity of expressiwi, but where
cannot enter into

one mind

comes into

full

closest

contact

with

another

the point where both

at

approach nearest to the truth.


I propose to lecture during this term on Heat, and, as our facilities for
experimental work are not yet fully developed, I shall endeavour to place before
you the relative position and scientific connexion of the different branches of the

science, rather

We

shall begin

Calorimetry,
to

than to discuss the details of experimental methods.

or the

with Thermometry, or the registration of temperatures, and


measurement of quantities of heat. We shall then go on

Thermodynamics, which investigates the relations between the thermal proand their other dynamical properties, in so far as these relations

perties of bodies

may

be traced without any assumption as to the particular constitution of these

bodies.

The

of

principles

of nature,

and

is

it

Thermodynamics throw great

probable that

many

light

on

all

the phenomena

valuable applications of these principles

but we shall have to point out the limits of this


to be made
and to shew that many problems in nature, especially those in which
the Dissipation of Energy comes into play, are not capable of solution by the
principles of Thermodynamics alone, but that in order to understand them, we

have

yet

science,

are obliged to form some more definite theory of the constitution of bodies.

Two

of the constitution of bodies have struggled for victory with

theories

various fortunes since the earliest ages of speculation


universal plenum, the other

The theory

of

matical continuity,

the

and

is

plenum
its

one

is

the

theory of a

that of atoms and void.


is

associated

with

the

mathematical methods are those

doctrine
of

of

mathe-

the Difierential

INTRODUCTORY LECTURE ON EXPERIMENTAL PHYSICS.


which

Calculus,

the

is

appropriate

expression

the

of

253
of

relations

continuous

quantity.

The theory of atoms and void leads us to attach more importance to the
numbers and definite proportions but, in applying dynamical
principles to the motion of immense numbers of atoms, the limitation of our
doctrines of integral

faculties forces us

to

abandon the attempt to express the exact history of each

atom, and to be content with estimating the average condition of a group of

atoms large enough to be

which

may

knowledge

is

call

the only available method of studying the properties of real bodies,

abandonment of

involves an

mathematical

This method of dealing with groups of atoms,

visible.

the statistical method, and which in the present state of our

strict

methods belonging

dynamical principles, and an adoption of the

to

the theory of

probability.

It

is

probable

that important results will be obtained by the application of this method, which

known and is not familiar to our minds. If the actual history


had been different, and if the scientific doctrines most familiar to
us had been those which must be expressed in this way, it is possible that
we might have considered the existence of a certain kind of contingency a selfevident truth, and treated the doctrine of philosophical necessity as a mere
is

of

as

yet

little

Science

sophism.

About the beginning of this century, the properties of bodies were investiby several distinguished French mathematicians on the hypothesis that
they are systems of molecules in equilibrium. The somewhat unsatisfactory nature
gated

of

the

results

reaction

in

of

these

favour of

investigations

produced,

especially

in

this

the opposite method of treating bodies as

so far at least as our experiments are concerned, truly continuous.


in the

hands of Green, Stokes, and others, has led to

does not at

all

if

country,

they were,

This method,

which
depend on what theory we adopt as to the ultimate constitution
results, the value of

of bodies.

One very important

result

of the

investigation of the properties of bodies

on the hypothesis that they are truly continuous

is

that

it

furnishes us with

by which we can ascertain, by experiments on a real body, to what


degree of tenuity it must be reduced before it begins to give evidence that its
properties are no longer the same as those of the body in mass.
Investigations
of this kind, combined with a study of various phenomena of diffusion and of
a

test

dissipation

of energy, have

recently added greatly to

the evidence in favour of

the hypothesis that bodies are systems of molecules in motion.

INTRODUCTORY LECTURE ON EXPERIMENTAL PHYSICS.

254

hope to be able to lay before you in the course of the term some of

evidence

the

having

the

for

definite
is

made us

the

properties,

of

are

may form

as

it

is

as

individual bodies

presented to the scientific

acquainted.

place

first

its

mass,

and

invariable;

absolutely

the

other

constants

which define

its

the individual molecule can neither grow

nor decay, but remains unchanged amid


it

considered

molecules,

The molecule,

a very different body firom any of those with which experience

imagination,

has hitherto

In

existence

properties.

the changes of the bodies of which

all

a constituent.

In the second place

it

is

not the only molecule of

its

kind, for there

are

innumerable other molecules, whose constants are not approximately, but absoidentical

lutely

with those

the

of

first

molecule,

found on the earth, in the sun, or in the fixed

By what
to

account

and

this

whether they are

stars.

process of evolution the philosophers of the future

for

identity in the properties

this

will

attempt

of such a multitude of bodies,

them unchangeable in magnitude, and some of them separated from


by distances which Astronomy attempts in vain to measure, I cannot
conjecture.
My mind is limited in its power of speculation, and I am forced

each

of

others

to believe

that

these

molecules

must have been made as they are from the

beginning of their existence.


also

conclude

varied action on

that since

none of the processes of nature, during their

different individual

have produced, in the course of

molecules,

the slightest difference between the properties of one molecule and those

ages,

of another, the

history of

whose combinations

ascribe either their existence or

of any of those causes which


Is

it

true

then

that

we
our

has been different,

we cannot

the identity of their properties to the operation


call natural.

scientific

speculations

have

really

penetrated

beneath the visible appearance of things, which seem to be subject

to gene-

and corruption, and reached the entrance of that world of order and perfection, which continues this day as it was created, perfect in number and
ration

measure and weight

We

may

"?

be mistaken.

No

one has as yet seen or handled an individual

molecule, and our molecular hypothesis may, in its turn, be supplanted

new theory

of the

constitution

of

matter; but the idea of the

unnumbered individual things, all alike and


enter the human mind and remain without

all

unchangeable,

fruit.

is

by some

existence of

one which cannot

255

INTRODUCTORY LECTURE ON EXPERIMENTAL PHYSICS.

But what if these molecules, indestructible as they are, turn out to be not
substances themselves, but mere affections of some other substance ?
According to Sir W. Thomson's theory of Vortex Atoms, the substance of
which the molecule consists
of a

are those

motion

perfect

is

fluid,

a uniformly dense plenum, the properties of which


the molecule itself being nothing but a certain

impressed on a portion of this

and

fluid,

matter to

motion

this

theorem due to Helmholtz, to be as indestructible

as

we

is

believe

shewn, by a
a

portion

of

be.

If a theory

of this kind

is

true, or

even

if

it

is

conceivable,

our idea of

matter may have been introduced into our minds through our experience of those
systems of vortices which we call bodies, but which are not substances, but
motions of a substance; and yet the idea which we have thus axxjuired of
matter,

as

a substance possessing

inertia,

may

be truly applicable to that fluid


existence, apart from the

of which the vortices are the motion, but of whose

motion

vortical

of

some

of

its

parts,

our

experience

gives

us

no

evidence

whatever.
It

has been asserted that metaphysical speculation

and that physical science has extirpated

it.

The

is

a thing of the past,

discussion of the categories of

existence, however, does not appear to be in danger of coming to an end


our time, and the exercise of speculation continues as fascinating to every fresh

mind

as

it

was

in the

days of Thales.

[From the Proceedings of

XLV.

On

the

Cambridge Philosophical

Problems hy

the Solution of Electrical

Society^ Vol.

ii.]

the Transformation

of Conjugate Functions'^.

The general problem in electricity is to determine a function which shall


have given values at the various surfaces which bound a region of space, and
which shall satisfy Laplace's partial differential equation at every point within
this

region.

The

solution

when the

of this problem,

conditions are

arbitrarily

beyond the power of any known method, but it is easy to find any
number of functions which satisfy Laplace's equation, and from any one of these
we may find the form of a system of conductors for which the function is a
given,

is

solution of the problem.

The only known method


is

one electrical problem into another

for transforming

that of Electric Inversion, invented by Sir William Thomson; but in problems

involving only

may

two dimensions, any problem of which we

know the solution


we can solve.

be made to furnish an inexhaustible supply of problems which

The

condition that two functions a and

of x and y

may be

conjugate

is

a + J~^l3 = F(x + J~^y).


This condition

may

be expressed in the form of the two equations

dx
If a denotes the

As examples

of

dy

'

dx~

dy

"potential function,"

/8

the method, the theory of

of a wire grating, used as an

electric

screen,

is

'

the

" function

of induction."

Thomson's Guard Ring and that

were

illustrated

by drawings

of

the lines of force and equipotential surfaces.


* [The author's treatment of this subject and a
the text

will

Magnetism.]

be found in

the

full

chapter on Conjugate

explanation of the examples mentioned in

Functions

in

his

treatise

on Electricity and

[From the Proceedings of

XLVL
The

On

London Mathematical

the

Society, Vol. in. No. 34.]

Mathematical Classijication of Physical Quantities.

the

part of the growth of a physical science consists in the discovery

first

of a system of quantities on which its

phenomena may be conceived

The next stage

the

the

is

discovery

After

between these quantities.


matical

and the

science,

the

of

investigation

become acquainted with

them

One

very

is

latent heat,

by a

quantities

theoretical

can be most

in

recent times that

we have

physical quantities that a

classifi-

desirable.

obvious

&c.,

science

number of

large a

so

are

of quantities

classification

which they occur.

sciences in

certain

be treated as a matheefiected

quantities.

only through the progress of

cation of

is

followed by an experimental realisation of these conditions,

accurately measured,

is

may

laws

which

under

conditions

the

of

to depend.

mathematical form of the relations

the science

this,

verification

and actual measurement of the


It

of

Thus temperature,

quantities

is

founded

on

that

of the

pressure, density, specific heat,

occurring in the theory of the action of heat on

bodies.

But the
or

classification

which

now

refer to

is

founded on the mathematical

formal analogy of the diiferent quantities, and not on the matter to which

they belong.
are

quantities,

matical form.

the

first

A
both

The

Thus a

finite

differing

We

may

in

straight

their

line,

distinguish

velocity

of rotation,

&c.,

agreeing in their mathe-

the two methods of classification by calling

classification

of quantities

is

of great use

the original investigator and to the ordinary student of the science.

most

quantities

VOL.

but

a physical, and the second a mathematical classification of quantities.

knowledge of the mathematical

to

a force, a

physical nature,

obvious
in

II.

case

new

is

science

that

in

which we learn that a certain system of


one another in the same mathematical

stand to

33

MATHEMATICAL CLASSIFICATION

258
as a certain

relations

other system in an old science, which has already been

reduced to a mathematical form, and

when Mossotti observed

Thus,
static

its

problems solved by mathematicians.

that certain quantities relating

to

electro-

induction in dielectrics had been shewn by Faraday to be analogous to


quantities

certain

magnetic induction in iron and other bodies, he

to

relating

was enabled to make use of the mathematical investigation of Poisson relative


to magnetic induction, merely translating it from the magnetic language into
the electric, and from French into Italian.
Another example, by no means so obvious, is that which was originally
pointed out by Sir William Thomson, of the analogy between problems in

and problems

attractions

we

make

are able to

electrical distributions,

in the steady conduction

use of

many

and of

of heat,

by the use of which

of the results of Fourier for heat in explaining

the results of Poisson in electricity in explaining

all

problems in heat.

But

it

evident that

is

more fundamental nature

we should be

of quantities,

analogies of this kind depend on principles of a

all

and

that,

able

if

we had a

at once to

true mathematical classification

any

detect the analogy between

system of quantities presented to us and other systems of quantities in known


sciences, so that we should lose no time in availing ourselves of the mathematical labours of those
All quantities

defined

by means

the second

who had

may
of

two

already solved problems essentially the same.

be classed together in one


factoi's,

the

first

of which

respect,
is

may be

that they

a numerical quantity, and

a standard quantity of the same kind with that to be defined.


said to rule the whole world of quantity, and the

is

Thus number may be


of

four rules

arithmetic

may

complete equipment

be regarded as the

of the

mathematician.
Position
of

possession

arithmetic by

made the

and

foim,

which were formerly supposed to be in the exclusive


Descartes to submit to the rules of

geometers, were reduced by

means of that ingenious

scaffolding

of co-ordinate axes

which he

basis of his operations.

Since this great step was taken in mathematics,

all

quantities

have been

and presented to the mind by means of numbers, or


numbers, so that as soon as any science has been

treated in the same way,

symbols

which

denote

thoroughly reduced to the mathematical form, the solution of problems in that


science,

as

a mental process,

carried on without the aid of

is

supposed

(at

least

by the outer world)

any of the physical ideas of the

science.

to

be

OF PHYSICAL QUANTITIES.
is

not true, and that mathematicians, in solving

much

aided by a knowledge of the science in which

need not say that this

are very

problems,

physical

259

the problems occur.

At

the same time, I think that the progress of science, both in the

discovery,

and

were paid

in a direct

in the

way
way

of diflfusion,

would be greatly aided

if

way

of

more attention

to the classification of quantities.

most important distinction was drawn by Hamilton when he divided the


quantities with which he had to do into Scalar quantities, which are completely
represented by one numerical quantity, and Vectors, which require three numerical
quantities to define them.

The invention of the

calculus of Quaternions

ledge of quantities related to

with the invention of

tance,

the greatest use in

We

may

invention

As our
for

all

for

impor-

its

its

parts of science.

imagine

conceptions

a step towards the know-

by Descartes. The ideas of this


operations and symbols, are fitted to be of

another step in the advancement of science to be the

a method, equally appropriate,

of

is

which can only be compared

co-ordinates

triple

distinguished from

as

calculus,

space

of physical science

of conceiving dynamical quantities.

rendered more vivid by substituting

are

the mere numerical ideas of Cartesian mathematics the geometrical ideas of

Hamiltonian

mathematics,

higher development

still

so

to dynamics as Hamilton's

in

the higher sciences the ideas might receive a

they could be expressed in language as appropriate

if
is

to geometry.

Another advantage of such a


of the

four

rules

of arithmetic.

classification

We

know

is,

that

it

guides us in the use

we must not apply

that

the rules

of addition or subtraction unless the quantities are of the same kind.

we may multiply

cases

the result of the process


It has
called

divide

or
is

In certain

one quantity by another, but in other cases

of no intellectual value.

been pointed out by Professor Rankine that the physical quantity

Energy

or

Work

can be conceived as the product of two factors in

many

different ways.

The dimensions of

this

MU

quantity are jip

the concrete units of length, time, and mass.


factors,

If

where L, M, and

we

represent

divide the energy into two

one of which contains D, both factors will be

scalars.

hand, both factors contain L, they will be both vectors.

If,

on the other

The energy

itself is

always a scalar quantity.

332

260

MATHEMATICAL CLASSIFICATION
Thus,

we take the mass and the square

if

of the velocity as the factors,

done in the ordinary definitions of vis-viva or kinetic energy, both factors


are scalar, though one of them, the square of the velocity, has no distinct physical
as

is

meaning.

Another

division

into

apparently

hydrostatic pressure, though

scalar

we must

here

factors

consider

that into volume and

is

the volume,

not in itself,
but as a quantity subject to increase and diminution, and this change of volume
can only occur at the surface, and is due to a variation of the surface in the
direction of the normal, so that

it is not a scalar but a vector quantity.


The pressure
though the abstract conception of a hydrostatic pressure is scalar, must be

also,

conceived as applied at a surface, and thus becomes a directed quantity or vector.


The division of the energy into vector factors affords results always capable
of satisfactory interpretation. Of the two factors, one ia conceived as a tendency
towards a certain change, and the other as that change itself.
Thus the elementary definition of Work regards it as the product of a force

the distance through which

into

direction

of the force.

its

point of application moves, resolved in the

In the language of Quaternions,

it

is

the scalar part of

the product of the force and the displacement.

These two vectors, the force and the displacement,


types

many

of

scalar part

other

of vectors,

pairs

the products

may be

regarded

of which have

for

as

their

some form of energy.

Thus, instead of dividing kinetic energy into the factors " mass " and " square
of velocity," the latter of which has no meaning, we may divide it into "mo-

mentum" and
in the
tions,

same

"velocity,"

in taking

so that

the scalar part of

But

is

it

factors is

its

intensity

their

when we have

most

When we

in

in the

generalized dynamics,

product

dynamics of a

may

particle, are

be in different direc-

we must remember the

rule

for

finding

it.

distributed in space,

two

two vectors which,

but,

direction,

to

deal with

continuous

bodies,

and quantities

that the general principle of the division of energy into

clearly seen.

regard energy as residing intrinsically in a body,

by the amount contained

in

unit of volume.

This

we may measure
is,

of course, a

scalar quantity.

Of the

factors

which compose

other to unit of area.

among

it,

one

is

referred to unit of length,

and the

This gives what I regard as a very important distinction

vector quantities.

261

OF PHYSICAL QUANTITIES.
Vectors which are referred to unit of length I shall

word
the

integral

the

of

The

extremities.

result

of

force

surface

In certain cases the

call

The opera-

Fluxes.

the resolved part of a flux perpendicular to a

In

every element of the surface has always a physical meaning.

for

result of the integration over a closed surface

the

certain

cases

within

certain

its

then called a Potential.

is

taking the integral of

of

of taking

path of the line between

independent of the

is

Forces, using the

the direction of a line for

in

Vectors which are refeiTed to unit of area I shall


tion

call

The operation

shall see.

has always a physical meaning.

line,

the integration

of

part

resolved

every element of that


result

we

a somewhat generalized sense, as

in

the

of

restrictions,

position

the

of

is

independent,

The

surface.

result

then

expresses the Quantity of some kind of matter, either existing within the surface,
or flowing out of

In

many

it,

according to the physical nature of the flux.

physical

the

cases,

and proportional

direction,

and the flux are always in the same


The one is therefore used as the

force

each

to

other.

measure of the other, their symbols degenerate into one, and their ideas become
confounded

together.

One

most important mathematical

of the

results of the

discovery of substances having different physical properties in different directions,

has been to enable us to distinguish between the force and the

may be

us see that their directions

Thus, in the ordinary theory of


is

in

we can

that which

two

We

may

in

fluids,

directly perceive,

different ways.

with

reference

define

unit

to

define

passes

through unit of area

it

define the velocity equally well

with reference to unit of length, as

of area,

as

unit of time.

in

belongs to the category of forces

letting

which the only motion considered

we may

the number of such units described by a particle in unit of time


it

by

flux,

different.

the volume

If defined in

the

defined in the second way,

if

or

we may

the fluid which

of

to

first

way,

it

the category

of fluxes.

But
shall

if

take

we endeavour
into

to

account the

velocity from another in the

molecules of a
agitation

fluid,

in

develope a more complete theory of


facts

same place; or

virtue

then though we

of diff'usion,

may

of the

and measuring

we

fluids,

which

has a different

accept the doctrine, that the

heat of the substance, are in a state of

we cannot do

of defining the motion of the fluid


it

fluid

give a definition of the velocity of a single mole-

cule with reference to unit of length,

way we have

if

where one

by the mass of the

fluid

so for the fluid


is

by considering

and the only


it

as a flux,

which flows through unit of

area.

MATHEMATICAL CLASSIFICATION

262

more necessary when we come to heat and electricity.


even thought of in any way except
as the quantity which flows through a given area in a given time.
To form a
conception of the velocity, properly so called, of either agent, would require
This distinction

The

is

still

flux of heat or of electricity cannot be

heat or electricity as a continuous

us to conceive

having a known

substance

density.

We

must

consider

therefore

sponding to them

are, in

The

these quantities as fluxes.

forces

corre-

the case of heat, the rate of variation of temperature,

and, in the case of electricity, the rate of variation of potential.

enough to point out the distinction between

I have said

In statical electricity the resultant force at a point


potential,

and the

flux

forces

and

fluxes.

the rate of variation of

is

a quantity, hitherto confounded with the force, which

is

I have called the electric displacement.

magnetism

In
potential,

and

the

resultant

the flux

force

also

is

what Faraday

is

the

rate

of

of the

variation

the magnetic induction, and

calls

is

measured, as Thomson has shewn, by the force on a unit pole placed in a narrow
crevasse cut perpendicular to the direction of magnetization of the magnet.

the

not

must

briefly state the nature of a ratio of

detain

with the explanation of these quantities, but I

shall

Society

a force to a flux in

its

most general

form.

When
the

one vector

second

is,

in

is

a function of another vector, the ratio of the

which

quaternion

general,

is

function

first

to

of the

second

is

always

vector.

When,
case

the second vector varies in magnitude only, the

if

proportional

to

it,

and remains constant

of the function being a linear one.

linear

in direction,

The

and vector function of the second.

nents of the

first vector,

and

a,

6,

first

If a,

y8,

vector

first

we have the important


is

then said to be a

are the Cartesian compo-

c those of the second,

then

fi=p/i + rJ} + qjC,

y = q^a +pfi + r,c,


where the

coefficients p, q,

corresponding
represented

q's,

the

geometrically

When

r are constants.

function
as

is

the

said to
relation

be

the ^'s are equal to the

self-conjugate.

It

may

then be

between the radius vector from the

centre of an ellipsoid, and the perpendicular on the tangent plane.

OF PHYSICAL QUANTITIES.

We may
purer

remark that even here, where we may seem to have reached a

uncontaminated by physical applications, one vector

air,

while

line,

263

the

other

is

essentially

is

the normal to a plane, as in

defined as

all

the other

pairs of vectors already mentioned*.

Another distinction among physical vectors

and divides them

ciple,

and those which are defined with reference to


between

these

of vectors

classes

rotation.

But the most remarkable

derived from the two different ways in which

is

plate the relation

between

The remarkable analogies

pointed out by Poinsdt in his

well

is

on the motion of a rigid body.

treatise

them

two

founded on a different prin-

is

into those which are defined with reference to translation

it

is

and magnetism.

electricity

how

Helmholtz, in his great paper on Vortex Motion, has shewn

an

analogy

between electro-magnetic

meignetic force

is

He

the analogy

is

According

which

in

a species of translation,

an explanation of electro-magnetism

as

perfect in form, the dynamics of the


to

fluid,

represented by the rotation of the elements of the

is

propose this

does not

to construct

and hydro-kinetic phenomena,

represented by the velocity of the

while electric current

illustration of

possible to contem-

Ampere and

followers,

his

all

two systems

for

fluid.

though

are different.

however, electric currents are

regarded as a species of translation, and magnetic force as depending on rotation.


I

am

constrained

agree

to

associated with electrolysis,

magnetism
which, as

associated with

is

with

because

view,

this

the

electric

and other undoubted instances of

current

translation,

is

whUe

the rotation of the plane of polarization of light,

Thomson has shewn,

involves actual motion of rotation.

The Hamiltonian operator FV, applied

any vector function, converts

to

it

from translation to rotation, or from rotation to translation, according to the kind


of vector to which

it is

I shall conclude

phrases

to

feel

the

express

obliged to

greatly

applied.

by proposing
results

for

of

the consideration of mathematicians certain

Hamiltonian operator A.

the

me

anyone who can give

that the onomastic power

suggestions on

very faint in me, and that

is

this
it

should be

subject,

as

can be success-

fully exercised only in societies.


.

V
where

^.

,,

IS

the operation

i,

j,

The

are

"^

unit

subject of linear

vectors

d
1~

'^^

parallel

d
'J"^

d
Tfy'

to x, y, z respectively.

The

result

of

equations in quaternions has been developed by Professor Tait, in severil

communications to the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

MATHEMATICAL CLASSIFICATION

264

performing this operation twice on any subject

is

the well

known

operation

(of

Laplace)

The discovery

the square root of this operation

of

due to Hamilton

is

and the whole

of the applications here given,

but most

development of the

theory of this operation, are due to Prof. Tait, and are given in several papers,

which

of

April

the

first

in

is

the Proceedings of the

1862, and the most complete

28,

is

Royal Society of Edinburgh,


"Green's and other allied

that on

Theorems," Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 1869 70.


(Laplace's operation with the
And, first, I propose to call the result of

negative sign) the Concentration of the quantity to which

it

applied.

is

be a quantity, either scalar or vector, which is a function of the


position of a point; and if we find the integral of Q taken throughout the
volume of a sphere whose radius is r; then, if we divide this by the volume

For

if

of the sphere,

we

shall

the value of

Qa

\b

or

the value of

obtain Q,

the mean value of

at the centre of the sphere, then,

at the centre

of the

within the sphere.

when r

sphere exceeds the

If

is small,

mean value

of

within the sphere by a quantity depending on the radius, and on V^*^. Since,
therefore, V=Q indicates the excess of the value of Q at the centre above its

mean value

If
if

is

an

in the sphere, I shall call

a scalar quantity,

is

electric potential,

its

V'^

it

the concentration of Q.

concentration
is

is,

of course, also scalar.

Thus,

the density of the matter which produces

the potential.

^ is a vector quantity, then both ^o and Q are vectors, and V-^ is


a vector, indicating the excess of the uniform force ^o applied to the whole
substance of the sphere above the resultant of the actual force Q acting on all
If

also

the parts of the sphere.

Let us next consider the Hanultonian operator V.

First apply it to a scalar

The quantity VP is a vector, indicating the direction in which P


function P.
I venture, with
decreases most rapidly, and measuring the rate of that decrease.

much
the

"

diffidence^,
first

to call

differential

this

the slope of P.

parameter

"

Lamd

calls

the magnitude of

VP

of P, but its direction does not enter into his


OF PHYSICAL QUANTITIES.

265

We require a vector word, which shall indicate both direction and


magnitude, and one not already employed in another mathematical sense.
I have
taken the liberty of extending the ordinary sense of the word slope from topoconception.

where

graphy,

two

only

independent

variables

are

used,

to

space

three

of

dimensions.

If

represents

vector part, which


I

surface

propose to

vector

may

function,

Vtr

be wTitten *SVcr and

may

the scalar part the Convergence of

call

both a

contain

because,

cr,

be described about any point, the surface integral of

the effect of the vector

equal to the volume

o-

considered as an

that vector function in carrying

But

vcr

has,

great diffidence,

in

to

general,
this

call

also

a closed

if

which expresses

inward flux through the surface,

therefore, that the convergence of a vector function


effect of

cr,

throughout the enclosed space.

of SVo-

integral

its

and a

scalar

FVo-.

is

is

think,

a very good name for the

subject inwards towards a point.

vector portion,

vector the Curl or

and

with

propose, but

Version of the original vector

function.

represents

It

the

direction

matter carried by the vector

cr.

like Rotation, Whirl, or Twirl,

or screw structure which

is

and magnitude of the rotation of the subject


I have sought for a word which shall neither,

connote motion, nor, like Twist, indicate a helical

not of the nature of a vector at

all.

N
CONVERGENCE.

If
cTo

we

at the

convergence,
gentially
in

CONVERGENCE AND CURL.

CITRLb

subtract from the general value

point P,

point

of the

then the remaining vector

towards

P.

When

round P; and when there

is

there

cr

is

vector function

a^
pure

will,

when

curl,

both convergence and

it

cr

will

curl,

its

it

value

is

pure

point

tan-

there

will point

a spiral manner.

The following statements

are true

The

slope of a scalar function has no curl.

The

curl of a vector function has no convergence.

VOL.

11.

34

MATHEMATICAL CLASSIFICATION OF PHYSICAL QUANTITIES.

266

The convergence of the

slope of a scalar function

The

concentration

of

together with the curl of

The quaternion

vector

function

is

is

its

concentration.

the slope of

its

convergence,

its curl.

expressions, of which the above statements are a translation,

were given by Prof. Tait, in his paper in the Proceedings of the Royal Society
of Edinburgh, April 28th, 1862; but for the more complete mathematical treat-

ment of the operator

v,

see

and other Allied Theorems"

a very able paper by Prof.

Tait,

"On

Green's

Royal Society of Edinburgh,


1870), and another paper in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh,

for

187071,

p.

318.

(Transactions of the

[From the Proceedings of

the

Royal Imtitution of Great Britain, Vol.

On

XLVII.

that

All
we

is

among

or shade
It

vision

colour vision, for

distinguish the

was

forms of

are

of

Colour Vision.

only by observing differences of colour

is

include differences

objects.

the .Eoyal Institution, about the beginning of this century, that

in

first

announcement of that doctrine

distinct

which I propose to

colours

We

illustrate.

these

sensations

different

in

proportions,

colour

produced.

are

In this statement there

That word

our attention.

is,

Sensation.

is

It

state

it

all

there

are

is

sensation

three

the

We

is

by the

different

the varieties of visible

one word on which

we must

seems almost a truism to say

and yet Young, by honestly recognising


So
mentary truth, established the first consistent theory of colour.
know, Thomas Young was the first who, starting from the well-known
that colour

of

thus

it

Light of different kinds

and

combinations of these three primary sensations that

fix

may

capable of feeling three different colour-sensations.

excites

brightness

of

differences of colour.

Thomas Young made the


vision

it

vi.]

primary colours, sought for the explanation of this

the nature of light, but in the constitution of man.

Even

this
far

fact that

fact,

of those

ele-

as

not in

who have

written on colour since the time of Young, some have supposed that they ought
to study the properties of pigments, and others that they ought to analyse

the rays of light.

They have sought

something in external nature

for

something

a knowledge of colour by examining

out of themselves.

Now, if the sensation which we call colour has any laws, it must be
something in our own nature which determines the form of these laws and I
need not tell you that the only evidence we can obtain respecting ourselves
;

is

derived from consciousness.

The

science

of

colour

must therefore be regarded

as

essentially

a mental

342

COLOUR

268
It

science.

from the greater part of what

differs

the large use which


optics

But

of

it

we always
shall

science.

coveries

gives evidence that

it

which

illustrations

In this place
physical

makes of the physical

it

and anatomy.

numerous

VISION.

Newton

to

is

it

is

mental science in

called

sciences,

and

in

particular

of

a mental science by the

furnishes of various operations of the mind.

we are dealing with


how we apply the dis-

on firmer ground when

feel

therefore

begin by shewing

the manipulation of light, so as to give you an oppor-

tunity of feeling for yourselves the different sensations of colour.

Before the time of Newton, white light was supposed to be of


things

the

When

purest.

light

appears

coloured,

it

known

all

was supposed

to

have

become contaminated by coming into contact with gross bodies. We may still
think white light the emblem of purity, though Newton has taught us that
its

purity does not consist in simplicity.

We

now form

the prismatic spectrum on the screen [exhibited]. These are


can distinguish
which white light is always made up.

We

the simple colours of

a great

many hues

in

passing from the one end to the other; but

we employ powerful spectroscopes, or


who have mapped out the spectrum,

avail

that

ourselves

of

the

we become aware

it

labours
of

the

is

when

of

those

immense

multitude of different kinds of light, every one of which has been the object
Every increase of the power of our instruments increases in
of special study.
the same proportion the number of lines visible in the spectrum.
All light, as Newton proved, is composed of these rays taken in different
Objects which

proportions.

make a

selection

of

we

these rays,

coloured when illuminated by white light,


and our eyes receive from them only a part

call

on them. But if they receive only the pure rays of


I
they can appear only of that colour.
spectrum
a single colour of the
the
in
paper,
green
and
red
of
quadrants
alternate
containing
disk,
place this
of the light which

falls

red rays, it appears all red, but the red quadrants brightest.
the green rays both papers appear green, but the red paper is
This, then, is the optical explanation of the colours of bodies

If I place

it

in

now the darkest.


when illuminated

They separate the white light into its component parts,


others.
scattering
and
absorbing some
One appears yellow, it
Here are two transparent solutions [exhibited].

with white

light.

of potash; the other appears blue, it contains sulphate of


transmit the light of the electric lamp through the two solutions
By means of the spectrum we
at once, the spot on the screen appears green.

contains bichromate
copper.

If I

COLOUR
be able to explain

shall

The yellow

this.

269

VISION.

solution

the blue

cuts off

end

of

the spectrum, leaving only the red, orange, yellow, and green.
cuts

off

The blue solution


and violet. The only light
you see. In the same way

the red end, leaving only the green, blue,

which can get through both is the green Ught, as


most blue and yellow paints, when mixed, appear green.
on the mixture is so beaten about between the yellow
that the

only light which survives

when mixed do not make

green,

you

will

see

which

light

falls

and the blue

But yellow and blue light


we allow them to fall on

the green.

is

as

The

particles

if

the same part of the screen together.


It

many

a striking illustration of our mental processes that

is

persons have

not only gone on believing, on the evidence of the mixture of pigments, that
blue and yellow

make

green,

in

even

persuaded

themselves

and of yellowness

blueness

of

sensations

the sensation of green.

We

have availed ourselves hitherto

substances.

We

must now

prismatic spectrum.

return,

but shewed how to put


but instead of catching

enough to receive

large

well-known principles

it
it

the

of

analysis

light

by coloured

all

in

the shining robe of day,"

all

together again.

We

on a screen we

allow

the coloured

But

see

image

no longer white, but coloured

is

white.

pure

spectrun),

through

pass

to

it

lens

These rays proceed, according

rays.

This image

and you

the result

have here a

form an image of the prism on a screen

optics, to

placed at the proper distance.

is

of

under the guidance of Newton, to the

still

Newton not only


"Untwisted

to

they have

but that

that they could detect the separate

if
;

formed by rays of

is

all

colours,

stop any of the coloured rays the

and

if

only

let

through

rays

of

one colour, the image of the prism appears of that colour.


I have
three

here an arrangement of

portions

of the

of the prism while


of the

light

all

slits

by which I can select one, two, or


them to form an image

of the spectrum, and allow

the rest are stopped.

colours of the spectrum,

and

This gives

me

a perfect conunand

can produce on the screen every possible

shade of colour by adjusting the breadth and the position of the sUts through

which the light

passes.

can

also,

by interposing a

the light, shew you a magnified image of the


different kinds of light

The

colours

are

at

slits,

lens

in

the

by which you

passage
will

of

see the

which compose the mixture.


present red,

green, and

blue^

and the mixture of the


COLOUR VISION.

270
as

you

three colours

is,

two of these

colours.

nearly

see,

Red and

Let us try the

white.

of

effect

Tiniying

blue form a fine purple or crimson, green and

blue form a sea-green or sky-blue, red and green form a yellow.

Here again we have a

fact not universally

mixes his red with his green.

very dirty drab colour.

He

is

No

known.

produce a fine yellow,

The

painter, wishing to

result

would be a

furnished by nature with brilliant yellow pigments,

When he mixes red and green paint, the


these.
paint
is robbed of nearly all its brightness by
red
the
by
red
getting among particles of green, and the green light fares no better, for it
But when the pencil with which
is sure to fall in with particles of red paint.
we paint is composed of the rays of light, the effect of two coats of colour
and he takes advantage of
scattered

light

The red and the green form a yeUow of great splendour,


very different.
which may be shewn to be as intense as the purest yellow of the spectrum.

is

You

have now arranged

see

it

is

the

to

slits

transmit

similar in colour to the yellow

It differs from the mixture, however, in being strictly

point of
as

it

is

The
of a

result

warm

you

as

see,

certainly not green;

is

hue, but

we

if

spectrum.

homogeneous in a physical
it into two portions

does not divide

Let us now combine

did the mixture.

spectrum.

yeUow

The prism,

view.

yellow of the

the

formed by mixing red and green.

this yellow

with the blue of the

we may make

choose a greenish

pink

it

if

our

yeUow we can produce

a good white.

You have now

seen the most remarkable of the combinations of colours


from them in degree, not in kind. I must now ask you to
think no more of the physical arrangements by which you were enabled to see

the others

differ

these colours, and to concentrate your attention upon the colours you saw, that
are here
is to say on certain sensations of which you were conscious.

We

surrounded by

physical inquiries.

They
have names
them.

of a kind which

difficulties

We

can

all feel

we do not meet with

are not only private property, but they are


for

in

purely

these sensations, but none of us can describe

the external objects which excite our

We

incommunicable.

sensations,

but not

for

the sensations themselves.

When we

look

at

broad

field

of

uniform

colour,

whether

it

is

really

that the sensation of colour appears to our concannot directly recognise the elementary
sciousness as one and indivisible.
sensations of which it is composed, as we can distinguish the component notes

simple or compound,

we

find

We

COLOUR VISION.
of a musical

chord.

the quality of which

To bring a

must be regarded

therefore,

colour,

271
a single

aa

quality within

the grasp of exact science,

we must

conceive

depending on the values of one or more variable quantities, and

as

step

our

in

scientific

thing,

capable of variation.

is

progress

which are necessary and

number

of

these

to determine the quality

of

determine

to

is

sufficient

the

the

it

first

variables

We

colour.

do not require any elaborate experiments to prove that the quality of colour
can vary in three and only in three independent ways.

One way

may

The
colours

in

tint,

difference in

The

the spectrum.

Tint

may

yellow, buff,

by the

illustrated

series

of hues

in the

we must blend

difference

The

tint.

colour

spectrum

is

tints,

the spectrum

between adjoining
is

not complete

the red and the blue.

be defined as the degree of purity of a colour.

and cream-colour, form a

but varying in

that

painters,

of colours, varying in hue,

series

hue may be

in order to get purple hues,

for,

by saying, with the

is

and shade.

example of a

finest

itself.

expressing this

of

vary in hue,

series of colours

Thus,

bright

of nearly the same hue,

corresponding to any given hue, form a

series,

beginning with the most pronounced colour, and ending with a perfectly neutral
tint.

Shade may be
we begin with any
black,

to

may

and

this

say that brown

The quality

We
80

defined

as

the greater

may vary

cannot conceive of any others.


as

to

less

defect

of

illumination.

If

a dark shade of orange.

is

of a colour

agree in hue,

indistinguishable.

or

any hue, we can form a gradation from that colour


gradation is a series of shades of that colour.
Thus we
tint of

in

tint,

in three different

In

and

fact,

in

if

shade,

we

and independent ways.

adjust one colour to another,

the two colours are

absolutely

There are therefore three, and only three, ways in which a

colour can vary.


I

have purposely avoided introducing at

which may be

called

this stage of our inquiry

anything

order to shew that

we may

experiment,

scientific

in

determine the number of quantities upon which the variation of colour depends

by means of our ordinary experience alone.


Here is a point in this room if I wish to specify its position, I may do
namely, the height above the
so by giving the measurements of three distances
:

floor,

at

my

the
left

distance

hand.

from the wall behind me, and the distance from the wall


COLOUR

272
This
is

If

we

we

only one of

is

many ways

one of the most convenient.

it

VISION.

of

Now,

stating the

of

a point, but

colour also depends on

three things.

position

and

these the intensities of the three primary colour sensations,

call

are able in

any way to measure these three

intensities,

the colour as specified by these three measurements.

we may

Hence the

if

consider

specification of

a colour agrees with the specification of a point in the room in depending on


three measurements.
Let us go a step farther and suppose the colour sensations measured on
scale of intensity, and a point found for which the three distances, or

some

number of feet as the sensations contain degrees


by a useful geometrical convention, that the
colour is represented, to our mathematical imagination, by the point so found
in the room; and if there are several colours, represented by several points, the
chromatic relations of the colours will be represented by the geometrical relaThis method of expressing the relations of colours is a
tions of the points.
co-ordinates,

contain the same

of intensity.

Then we may

say,

great help to the imagination.


in an

exceedingly clear

manner

You
in

will find

Mr

these relations of colours

Benson's

Manual of Colour one

stated
of the

very few books on colour in which the statements are founded on legitimate
experiments.
still more convenient method of representing the
relations of
is a
by means of Young's triangle of colours. It is impossible to represent
on a plane piece of paper every conceivable colour, to do this requires space of
If, however, we consider only colours of the same shade
three dimensions.

There

colours

that

is,

colours

in

which the sum of the

intensities of the

the same, then the variations in tint and in hue of


represented

by points on a

For

plane.

this

purpose

all

three sensations

is

may be

such colours

we must draw a

plane

cutting off equal lengths from the three lines representing the primary sensations.

The part

of this plane within the space in which

colours will be

an equilateral

triangle.

we have been

The three primary

distributing our

colours will be at the

three angles, white or gray will be in the middle, the tint or degree of purity

of any colour will be expressed by

hue

will

its

distance from the middle point,

depend on the angular position of the

line

which joins

it

and

its

with the

middle point.

Thus the ideas of tint and hue can be expressed geometrically on Young's
To understand what is meant by shade we have only to suppose the
illumination of the whole triangle increased or diminished, so that by means of
triangle.

COLOUR

VISION.

273

adjustment of illumination Young's triangle

this

them

may

we now take any two colours


any proportions, we shall find the resultant

variety

of colour.

in

If

be made to exhibit every


the triangle and mix

in

in the line joining

colour

the component colours at the point corresponding to their centre of gravity.

have said nothing about the nature of the three primary sensations, or
colours they most resemble.
In order to lay down on paper

what
the

particular
relations

primary

between actual

colours

colours,

may

it

not

is

necessary

any three

take

to

know what

provisionally,

colours,

the

as the

and determine the position of any other observed colour

of a triangle,

angles

We

are.

with respect to these, so as to form a kind of chart of colours.

Of

which we

colours

all

have

see,

prismatic

spectrum

either

some one kind of these

of

the

colours of all natural bodies are

by the

those excited

greatest

rays

different

importance.

scientific

All light

of the
consists

rays, or of some combination of them.


The
compounded of the colours of the spectrum. If

therefore

we can form

a chromatic chart of the spectrum, expressing the relations

between

the

of

bodies will

colours

different portions,

its

then the colours of

all

natural

within a certain boundary on the chart defined by the

be found

positions of the colours of the spectrum.

But the chart

of the spectrum will

also

nature of the three primary sensations.

which the primary colours are the angles.

trum must be
in

entirely

the spectrum

is

must be

spectrum

us to

the knowledge of the

every sensation

essentially

is

every compound colour-sensation must be within the triangle of

thing,

positive

help

Since

identical
in

In particular, the chart of the spec-

within Young's triangle of colours, so that

if

any colour

with one of the colour-sensations, the chart of the

the form of

line

having a sharp angle at the point

corresponding to this colour.


I

have

already shewn you

colours

the

intensity

colour side
till

it

any

of

by

side

when the

instrument

it

make a mixture

of

any three of

of

the

three

components.

requires

If

we

place

by altering
compound

this

with any other colour, we can alter the compound colour


resultant colour

which

matches between two

and

can

appears exactly similar to the other.

exactness

an

how we

of the spectrum, and vary the colour of the mixture

the

may

call

so

It can

colours.

daylight,

is

This can be done with the greatest

nearly white.
colour-box,

for

have therefore constructed


the

purpose

of

making

only be used by one observer at a time,

have not brought

it

with

me

to-night.

It

is

nothing but the realisation of the construction of one of Newton's propositions


VOL.

II.

35

COLOUR

274
in

separate

left

the box through a small

two

of

sisting

and afterwards to unite them into a beam again. The observer


He sees a round field of light conslit.

slits,

into

looks

into its

it

means of

where he shews how to take a beam of light, to


components, to deal with these components as we please by

Optica,

Lectiones

his

VISION.

which has been enfeebled by two

of light

consists

The

divided by a vertical diameter.

semicircles

semicircle on the

reflexions at the surface

That on the right is a mixture of colours of the spectrum, the positions


and intensities of which are regulated by a system of slits.
The observer forms a judgment respecting the colours of the two semicircles.
Suppose he finds the one on the right hand redder than the other, he says so,
of glass.

breadth of
and the operator, by means of screws outside the box, alters the
the right
till
on,
so
and
red
less
mixture
one of the slits, so as to make the
hne of
the
and
left,
the
as
appearance
same
the
of
semicircle is made exactly
;

separation becomes almost invisible.

the operator and the observer have worked together for some time,
and the colours are adjusted much more

When

they get to understand each other,


rapidly than at

When

first.

the match

pronounced

is

perfect, the positions of the slits, as indicated

and the breadth of each slit is carefully measured by


The registered result of an observation is called a "colour

are registered,

by a scale,
means of a gauge.

asserts

It

equation."

that a mixture of three colours

name is
Each
Standard White.

observer (whose

scale,
slit,

which

which

a measure of

is

of

is

indicates its position

In order to
purposes

colour

make

comparison,

is,

in

identical with a neutral tint,

given),

specified

in the

by the

the opinion of the

which we

position of the

shall call

slit

on the

spectrum, and by the breadth of the

its intensity.

survey

and

we

of the
call

spectrum

we

these the three

select

three

points

Standard Colours.

for

The

standard colours are selected on the same principles as those which guide the
They must be conspicuous and
enoineer in selecting stations for a survey.
invariable

and not

In the chart

in the

of

same straight

line.

the spectrum you

may

see

the relations of

the various

spectrum to the three standard colours, and to each other. It


be one of the
is manifest that the standard green which I have chosen cannot
the triangle
within
lie
true primary colours, for the other colours do not all
colours

of the

formed by joining them.


sisting of

two

But the chart

of the spectrum

straight lines meeting in a point.

may

be described as con-

This point corresponds to a green

COLOUR
auout a

275

VISION.

of the distance from h towards F.

fifth

This green

lias

a wave length

of about 510 millionths of a millimetre by Ditscheiner's measurement.


is

the true primary green,

either

we can

which

ever

we

the spectrum,

or at

it

This green

the nearest approach

is

to

it

Proceeding from this green towards the red end of

see.

the different colours lying almost exactly in a straight

find

This indicates that any colour

line.

least

chromatically equivalent to a mixture of

is

any two colours on opposite sides of it, and in the same straight line. The
extreme red is considerably beyond the standard red, but it is in the same
straight line, and therefore we might, if we had no other evidence, assume the
extreme

red

primary red
It

the

as

primary

true

somewhat beyond the extreme

lies

On

the

blue

The

accurate.

We

red.

however, that the true

shall see,

not exactly represented in colour by any part of the spectrum.

is

of

side

colours,

primary

however,

lie

red,

but

green

the

in a

line

same straight

in the

equations

colour

which

is

line.

are

seldom so

nearly straight.

have

not been able to detect any measurable chromatic difference between the extreme
indigo and the violet.
The colours
by a number of points very close

primary blue

is

a sensation differing

of this

end of the spectrum are represented

We

each other.

to

little

may

suppose that the

from that excited by the parts of the

spectrum near G,

Now, the

first

thing which occurs to most people about this result

by no means a

is

that

Between the red and


the green we have a series of colours apparently very different from either, and
having such marked characteristics that two of them, orange and yellow, have
the division of the spectrum

separate

received

names.

is

The

colours between

fair

one.

the green and the blue, on the

other hand, have an obvious resemblance to one or both of the extreme colours,

and no

distinct

experience.
to

names

have ever become popularly recognised,

for these colours

do not profess to reconcile this discrepancy between ordinary and

make

It

only shews that

it

is

impossible

a true analysis of our sensations.

by a mere act

Consciousness

scientific

of introspection

our only authority

is

but consciousness must be methodically examined in order to obtain any trust-

worthy

results.

have here, through the kindness of Professor Huxley, a picture of the


There is a minute
structure upon which the light falls at the back of the eye.
I

structure of bodies

mode
which

in

like rods

and cones

or pegs,

and

it

is

which we become aw*are of the shapes of things

differs

according to the

particular

conceivable that

the

by a consciousness
rods on the ends of which the light
is

352

276

COLOUR

faUg, just as the pattern

mode

VISION.

on the web formed by a Jacquard loom depends on the

in which the perforated cards act on the system of moveable rods in that

we have on the one hand light falling on this wonderful


and on the other hand we have the sensation of sight. We cannot
compare these two things
they belong to opposite categories. The whole of
In the eye

machine.

structure,

Metaphysics

lies like

in physiology

may

a great gulf between them.

It

possible that discoveries

is

be made by tracing the course of the nervous disturbance

"Up

the fine fibres to the sentient brain;"

but this would make us no wiser than we are about those colour-sensations
which we can only know by feeling them ourselves. Still, though it is impossible
to become acquainted with a sensation by the anatomical study of the organ
with which

it

is

connected,

we may make use

of the

sensation as a means of

investigating the anatomical structure.

remarkable instance of this

is

the deduction of

the structure of the retina from that of


of colour.

Young

asserts

Young with

Helmholtz's

that there are three elementary sensations of colour;

Helmholtz asserts that there are three systems of nerves


of which has

for

its

theory of

respect to the sensation

function,

when acted on by

light or

in

the

retina,

each

any other disturbing

agent, to excite in us one of these three sensations.

No

anatomist has hitherto been able to distinguish these three systems of

But it is admitted in physiology that the


which the sensation excited by a particular nerve can vary is by
The intensity of the sensation may vary from the faintest
degrees of intensity.
impression up to an insupportable pain
but whatever be the exciting cause,

nerves by microscopic observation.


only

way

in

the sensation will be the same

when

it

reaches the same intensity.

doctrine of the function of a nerve be admitted,

the fact that colour

may

it

is

If

this

legitimate to reason from

vary in three different ways, to the

inference

that

these three modes of variation arise from the independent action of three differ-

ent nerves or sets of nerves.

Some very remarkable observations on the sensation of colour have been


made by M. Sigmund Exner in Professor Helmholtz's physiological laboratory at
Heidelberg.
While looking at an intense light of a brilliant colour, he exposed
his eye to rapid alternations of light and darkness by waving his fingers before
Under these circumstances a peculiar minute structure made its
his eyes.
appearance in the

field

of view, which

many

of us

may have

casually observed.

COLOUB VISION.
M. Exner states that the character of
the colour of the light employed.
is

seen

when the

light

green, the

is

and when the light

dots,

is

blue,

structure

this

When

red light

according to

different

is

used a veined structure

is

appears covered with minute black

field

spots

277

are

a larger

of

seen,

size

than

the

dots in the green, and of a lighter colour.

Whether
they have

their

physical

that

if

themselves

present

cause any difference

the three systems in

nerves of
sure

appearances

these

for

Helmholtz's

to

theory I

and whether

eyes,

all

arrangement

the

in

cannot

systems of nerves have a real existence, no method

these

likely to demonstrate their existence

the

of

but

say,

am

more

is

than that which M. Exner has followed.

Colour Blindnesn.

The most valuable evidence which we possess with respect to colour vision
by the colour-blind.
A considerable number of persons in
every large community are unable to distinguish between certain pairs of colours
is

furnished to us

Dr

which to ordinary people appear in glaring contrast.

The true nature of


John Herschel
world
in

this

peculiarity

a letter written

in

to

of vision

was

first

his

Dr Henry.

The

depends on the variable intensities of two sensations

The best

description

his account of his

In

cases

all

of

own

colour-blind

vision

is

been

we

sufi&cient

appears to resemble that which

chart of

the spectrum represents the relation of the

call

care,

The point

red.

absent

If
chart,
lie

it
it

three.

the absent

on

the
the

box furnished

Pole.

were possible to exhibit the colour corresponding to this point on the

would be

absolutely black,

invisible,

to

Professor

within the range of the colours of the spectrum

and, in fact, colour-blind people can perceive the extreme

which we

of

sensation to

colours of the spectrum, deduced from observations with the colour

by Professor

Colour-blind

instead

1859.

examined with

sensation

not

defect consists

given by Professor Pole in

that-

case in the Phil. Trans.,

which have

case.

pointed out by Sir

the absence of one of the three primary sensations of colour.

vision

the founder

own

Dalton in 1832, but not known to the

the publication of Dalton's Life by

till

Dalton,

an account of

of the atomic theory of chemistry, has given us

call

red,

though

it

Pole.

we cannot

As

it

does

exhibit

it

end of the spectrum

much darker than to us, and


we call red. In the diagram of

appears to them

does not excite in them the sensation which

the intensities of the three sensations excited by different parts of the spectrum,

COLOUR

278
the upper

marked P,

figure,

VISION.

deduced from the observations of Professor Pole;

is

while the lower one, marked K,

founded on observations by a very accurate

is

observer of the normal type.

The only
same

absent.

sensations which

the

is

of

result

one

that in

the

upper

are

nearly the

We

both observers.

for

colour

This

is

The forms of the other two curves

between the two diagrams

difference

the red curve

is

have great reason therefore to conclude that the


are what we call green and blue.

Professor Pole sees

my

other colour-blind person

calculations;

whom

The colour-blind
confounding them with red.

sensations.

know

in

with every

agrees

denying that green

one

is

of his

making mistakes about green things and

are always

The

but Professor Pole

colours they have

no doubts about are

cer-

tainly blue and yellow, and they persist in saying that yellow, and not green,
is

the colour which they are able to

see.

To explain this discrepancy we must remember that colour-blind persons


They are told
learn the names of colours by the same method as ourselves.
that the sky is blue, that grass is green, that gold is yellow, and that soldiers'
They observe difference in the colours of these objects, and they
coats are red.
But
often suppose that they see the same colours as we do, only not so well.
if

we

look at the diagram

we

we

call

yellow,

see

shall

second sensation in the spectrum

is

that the brightest

example

of

their

not in the green, but in the part which

and which we teach them to

spectrum below Professor Pole's curves

is

call

yellow.

The

figure

of

the

intended to represent to ordinary eyes

would see in the spectrum. I hardly dare to draw your


you were to think that any painted picture would enable you
to see with other people's vision I should certainly have lectured in vain.

what a

colour-blind person

attention to

for if

it,

On
Experiments on
vision
for

colour

of different persons,

instance,

pinkish,

which one

the

indicate
all

of

person

Yelloiv Spot.

very considerable

whom

are

between

differences

of the ordinary type.

on comparing

another person will pronounce greenish.

it

white

with

will

the

colour,

pronounce

This difference, however, does

not arise from any diversity in the nature of the colour sensations in different
persons.

It

is

exactly of the same kind as would be

persons wore yellow spectacles.

In

fact,

observed

if

one of the

most of us have near the middle of

the retina a yellow spot through which the rays must pass before they reach
the sensitive organ

this

spot appears yellow because

it

absorbs the rays near

COLOUR

which are of a greenish-blue

the line F,

My own

strongly developed.
of very

yellow spot.
chloride

of

have this spot

us

am

which anyone may see


white object

looking at a

in

indebted to Professor

whether
through

has

he
a

are

Stokes

for

this

solution

of

of chromium, or at a screen on which light which has passed through

solution

this

account.

a method by
consists

It

Some

colour.

observations of the spectrum near the line

on this

value

little

the knowledge of

27!)

VISION.

thrown

is

the light which

is

This light

[exhibited].

the ordinary surface of the retina

it

of a neutral tint, but

is

spot only the red light reaches the

the yellow

a mixture of red light with


When it falls on

is

so strongly absorbed by the yellow spot.

nerve,

optic

spot floating like a rosy cloud over the illuminated

when

and we

falls

it

on

see a red

field.

Very few persons are unable to detect the yellow spot in this way. The
observer K, whose colour equations have been used in preparing the chart of
the spectrum,

As

yellow spectacles.

parts

in

if

through

the chart of

is

of the
as

see everything as

for myself, the position of white light

on the yellow side of true white even when I use the outer
retina; but as soon as I look direct at it, it becomes much

the spectrum

yellower,

who do not

one of the very few

is

is

shewn by the point

WC.

It is a curious fact that

we do not

and that we do not think white objects


of any colour for some time, or if we live
of one colour, we soon come to recognize

see this yellow spot on every occasion,

yellow.

But

if

we wear

spectacles

a room lighted by windows all


white paper as white. This shews that
in

we

place in our sensations, that

There are several interesting


only mention briefly.

One

is

it

is

only

when some

alteration takes

are conscious of their quality.


facts

about the colour sensation which

that the extreme parts of the. retina are

can

nearly

you hold a red flower and a blue flower in your hand


flower,
as far back as you can see your hand, you will lose sight of the red
diminished
is
light
the
when
that
is,
Another
while you still see the blue one.
The third is,
red objects become darkened more in proportion than blue ones.
insensible

to

red.

If

that a kind of colour bUndness

produced
is

artificially

described by

in

by taking doses

Dr Edmund

Rose,

which blue

is

of Santonine.

of Berlin.

It

the absent sensation can be


This kind of colour blindness
is

only temporary, and does

than headaches.
not appear to be followed by any more serious
this medicine,
of
course
a
undergone
I must ask your pardon for not having
hand about
firat
at
information
give
you
able
to
becoming
even for the sake of
consequences

colour blindness.

P'rom the Transactions of

XLVIII. On

Royal Society of Edinburgh,

the

the Geometrical

Mean

Vol. xxvi.]

Distance of Tivo Figures on a Plane.

[Received January 5th; read January 15th, 1872.]

There

are several problems of great practical importance in electro-magnetic

measurements, in -which the value of a quantity has to be calculated by taking


the

we

of the logarithms of the distances of a system of parallel wires from a

sum

given

The

point.

calculation

in

is

some respects analogous

to

that in which

the potential at a point due to a given system of equal particles, by

find

adding the reciprocals of the distances of the particles from the given point.
There is this difference, however, that whereas the reciprocal of a line is com-

when we know the


we know not only the

pletely defined

unit of length, the logarithm of a line has no

meaning

unit of length, but the modulus of the system

till

of logarithms.

In both

cases,

however, an additional clearness

may

be given to the state-

ment of the result by dividing, by the number of wires in the first case, and
by the number of particles in the second. The result in the first case is the
logarithm of a distance, and in the second

and

in

both cases this distance

centrated

at

potential as

In the

this

it

distance

is

it

such that,

is

if

from the given point,

the reciprocal of a distance


the

whole system were con-

it

would produce the same

actually does.

first case,

since the logarithm of the resultant distance is the arith-

mean of the logarithms of the distances of the various components


the system, we may call the resultant distance the geometrical mean distance
metical

of
of

the system from the given point.

In the second
arithmetical

mean

case,

since

the reciprocal of the resultant distance

of the reciprocals of the distances of the particles,

is

the

we may


THE GEOMETRICAL MEAN DISTANCE OF TWO FIGURES ON A PLANE.

mean

the harmonic

the resultant distance

call

distance

of the

281

system from the

given point.

The
of

of a

result

process

we cannot

which

mean

distances

may

be cotapared with that of

and distances which are known

length

the

gyration,

of these

use

practical

several artificial lines

of

in

Dynamics

as the radius

the equivalent simple pendulum, and

of

integration

recorded,

is

and presented

to

and which we may substitute

misunderstand,

mentary formulae which apply to the case of single


doubts about the value of the numerical

co-efficients,

particles.

we may

so

form

those

in

If

The

on.

us in

ele-

we have anv

test the expression

the mean distance by taking the point at a great distance from the system,

for

which case the mean distance must approximate to the distance of the centre

in

of gravity.

Thus
of which

it is

is

shall

which lead to
I

that the harmonic

distance

of

is

any

figure

distance of two spheres, each

from a thin shell which completely

equal to the radius of the

shell.

not discuss the harmonic

mean

distance,

because

the

calculations

and because we can do very well without

are well known,

it

mean

the distance between their centres, and that

it.

however, give a few examples of the geometric mean distance, in order

shall,

shew

to

known

mean

the harmonic
encloses it

well

external to the other,

is

its

use in electro-magnetic calculations,

some of which seem

to

me

to

be rendered both easier to follow and more secure against error by a free use
of this imaginary line.
If the co-ordinates of a point in the first of

and those of a point


these

points,

^ and

in the second

then R,

the

geometrical

rj,

and

mean

if

two plane

figures be

x and

distance

the

of

two

figures,

defined by the equation


log

Let

(1)

in

jjjjdxdyd^dr) = jjjj log r dxdyd^d-q.

following are some examples of the results of this calculation

The
not

the

AB

he

2i

and

line,

uniform Hne, and


let

OP

on the line AB, produced

is

the geometric

if

line

mean

a point

be the perpendicular

from

if

necessary, then

distance of

from the

AB,

AB
VOL.

II.

(\ogR+l) = PB

log

y,

r denote the distance between

OB -PA log OA + OP AOB.


.

36

is

THE GEOMETRICAL MEAN DISTANCE

282

is

of P, a point in the line

The geometrical mean distance

(2)

itself,

from

AB

found from the equation

AB{\ogR + l) = PB\ogPB-PA\ogPA.

When P

logarithm of
If

(3)

between

lies

PA

we

PA

the geometric

is

CD, lying in the same straight

AB.CD(2\ogR +
If

(4)

of

AB

must be taken

negative, but in taking the

as a positive numerical quantity.

distance between

mean

two

finite

lines

AB

with

CD, we

find

the geometric

for

mean

from each other

R = ABe-K
If

(5)

rectangle

POR

72

from the

QOS

and

mean

geometric

the

is

ABCD

are

point

parallel

distance of the

in

to

the

its

plane,

and

of

the

sides

rectangle through 0,

ABCD

(2\ogR + 2;) = 20P OQ\ogOA + 20Q.OR\ogOB


.

+ 20R. OS log 0C+20S.0P log CD


+0Q"- .a6b
+ op'.d6a
+ OS' COD
+ OR^ BOC
.

(6)

of

all

If

is

geometric

the
of

the

mean

rectangle

of

the

ABCD

distances

from

the

points

logi2

= log^(7-i-g^log^-i^^log-g^

each

other,

When

AB

and

line,

= ADnogAD + BCnogBC-ACnogAC-BDno^BD.

coincides

the points oi

all

2>)

PA

and B,

regard

the rectangle

is

a square, whose side

logi2 = loga

= a,

+ ilog2 + ^-f|

= log a -0-8050866,
i2

= 0-44705o.

distance

283

OF TWO FIGURES ON A PLANE.

The

(7)

point in

the

circle,

mean

geometric

and a

the point be within the

if

encloses

it

distance of any figure

both of which completely enclose


{a,'

- a/)

(log

being the radius of the outer

mean

concentric

any

of

distance

circles,

the

radius

from a

the point be without

if

figure

it,

is

of

figure

the

from a

circle

which 'com-

circle.

R, where

R + l) = a,' log a, - a* log a


circle,

from a

and

a,

circle

that of the inner.


or

an annular space

The geometric
between two

being completely external to the outer

figure

distance of the figure from the centre of the

mean

the geometric

The geometric mean


from the annular space between two concentric circles,

equal to the radius

is

of

line

is

circle.

The geometric mean distance of any

(8)

pletely

a,

of a circular

distance

plane at a distance r from the centre,

its

circle,

is

circle.

The geometric mean distance of all the points of the annular space
between two concentric circles from ^ach other is R, where
(9)

(,'

When

- clJ

(log

R - log aO = i (3a/ - a,^) (a/ - a,^) - a,' log |

the radius of the inner

a,,

vanishes,

circle,

we

find

R = ae-i.
When
outer

the radius of the inner

a^,

circle,

becomes nearly equal to a that of the

circle,

R=

a,.

coil

As an example of the application of this method, let us take the case of a


of wire, in which the wires are arranged so that the transverse section of

the

coil

exhibits the sections of the wires arranged in square order, the distance

between two consecutive wires being D, and the diameter of each


Let the whole section of the

coil

be

of dimensions

pared with the radius of curvature of the wires, and let


the geometrical mean distance of the section from itself
be R.

Let

it

be required to find the

of this coil on
1st.

the

If

whole

insulating

itself,

we

coefficient

matter,

of

the

then

if

coil,

is

which are small com-

of induction

the number of windings being

begin by supposing that the wires

section

Avire d.

n.
fill

up

without any interval^ of


the coefficient of induc-

3C

THE GEOMETRICAL MEAN DISTANCE

284
tion

circuit of the

of a linear

same shape as the

coil

on a similar

parallel cir-

cuit at a distance R, the coefficient of induction of the coil on itself will be

The

2nd.

It is confined

current, however,

to

length of a conductor

not uniformly distributed over the section.

is

Now

the wires.

the coefficient of self-induction of a unit of

is

C-2logjR,

where

is

the

Now

is

a constant depending on the form of the axis of the conductor, and


distance of the section from

mean geometric
for

itself.

a square of side D,

logA = logZ)-Hjlog2 + |-f|,


and

for a circle of

diameter d
log Ri = log

Hence
and the

log;^'

coefficient

d log ^ i-

= log^ + f log2-l-|-^,
of

of self-induction

the cylindric wire exceeds that of the

square wire by
2 {log

^-f 0-1380606}

per unit of length.

3rd.

We

must

wire and the other

and

the

also

neighbouring

squares side by side

compare the mutual induction between the

cylindric

is

square

wires next
wires.

it

The

cylindric

with that between the square wire


geometric

to the distance of their centres

mean

distance

of gravity as

of

two

0*99401

is

to unity.

The geometric mean distance of two squares placed comer

comer

is

correction for the eight wires nearest to the wire considered

is

the distance between their centres of gravity as

Hence the

-2

X (0-01971).

TOO 11

is

to

to unity.

to

OF TWO FIGURES ON A PLANE.

The

correction for the wires at a greater distance

is

285
less

than one-thousandth

per unit of length.

The

total self-induction of the coil

therefore

is

7r3f+2/|log^ + 0-11835},
wliere n

is

the

number

For a circular

coil

of windings,

of radius

and

the length of wire.

= a,

M= imi (log 8a - log R where

is

the geometrical

mean

2),

distance of the section of the coil from itself

[From the Proceedings of

XLIX.

On

the Induction

the

Royal

No. 132, 1872.]

Society,

of Electnc Currents in an Infinite Plane Sheet of

Uniform Conductivity.

"When, on account of the motion or the change of strength


1.
magnet or electro-magnet, a change takes place in the magnetic field,
motive forces are called into play, and,

the

if

conductor, electric currents are produced.


tion of electric currents, discovered

This

of

material in which they act


is

any

electrois

the phenomenon of the induc-

by Faraday.

I propose to investigate the case in which the conducting


substance is in
the form of a thin stratum or sheet, bounded by parallel planes, and
of indefi-

nite extent.
system of magnets or electro-magnets is supposed to exist on
the positive side of this sheet, and to vary in any way by changing its
position

We

or its intensity.

the

and

sheet,

their

have to determine the nature of the currents induced in


magnetic effect at any point, and, in particular, their

reaction on the electro-magnetic system which gave rise to them.


The induced
currents are due, partly to the direct action of the external system,
and partly
to

mutual

their

somewhat
2.

inductive

action;

so

that the problem

The

result

of

markably simple form,

the

investigation,

by the

aid

however,

of the

part

of this principle

positive side of a

certain

closed

is,

or

that

we

at

first

sight,

infinite

surface

if it

presented in a re-

of images

by

conceive the

actions having their seat on that surface) to be due

the negative side of the surface, which,

may be

principle

applied to problems in electricity and hydrokinetics


essential

appears,

difficult.

Sir

existed,

which was

first

Thomson.

The

state of things on the

(which
to

W.

is really caused by
an imaginary system on
and if the action of the

287

ELECTRIC INDUCTION.

were

surface

abolished,

would give

the

of things in

actual state

the

to

rise

space on the positive side of the surface.

The

the positive side of the surface

of things on

state

mathematical function, which

expressed by a

is

form from that which expresses the

different in

is

of things on the negative side, but which is identical with that which
would be due to the existence, on the negative side, of a certain system which

state

is

called the Image.

The image,

what we should

therefore, is

mathematical function as

the

far

as

arrive at

go; just

will

it

by producing,
as,

in

as

it

the

optics,

were,

\'irtual

image is found by producing the rays, in straight lines, backwards from the place
where their direction has been altered by reflexion or refraction.

The position of the image of a point in a plane surface is found by


3.
drawing a perpendicular from the point to the surface and producing it to an
If the image is of the same
equal distance on the other side of the surface.
sign as the point, as
is

it

in hydrokinetics

is

If

called a positive image.

when the

surface

conducting circuit

is
is

it

is

a conductor,

it

reckoned

of the

when the

surface

is

a rigid plane,

opposite sign, as in statical

The image of a

called a negative image.

is

positive

when the

electric

current flows

corresponding directions through corresponding parts of the object

The image

is

it

electricity,

in

the

and the image.

reckoned negative when the direction of the current

is

reversed.

In the case of the plane conducting sheet, the imaginary system on the
not the simple image, positive or negative, of the
of a mo\nng
real magnet or electro-magnet on the positive side, but consists
define.
to
proceed
now
we
which
of
train of images, the nature
negative side of the sheet

length

a,

is

be

resistance of a rectangular portion of the sheet

the specific

and

if

is

is

is

whose

2na, be E.

on the electro-magnetic

measured

the value of which

p denotes

cube

electric

and whose breadth

to

is

velocity,

[If

the

Let

4.

is

independent

resistance

of

the

the thickness of the sheet,

of

system, and

material

then

is

therefore

magnitude of the

the

of

line

a
a.

the sheet for a unit

R = -^/,

and

the specific resistance of the sheet for a unit (or any other) square,

if cr

denotes

^ = ^-]

ELECTRIC INDUCTION.

288

Let us begin by dividing the time into a num-

5.

ber of equal intervals, each equal to

we take

The smaller

Bt.

these intervals the more accurate will be the


of the

definition

which we

of images

train

shall

now

describe.
6.

magnet

At

a given time

image of the

let a positive

t,

electro-magnet be formed

or

on

negative

the

:
i

side of the sheet.

As soon as it is formed,
move away from the sheet
normal,

with

remaining

the

After

at the time

an

interval

the

direction

that

as

the

of

and intensity

form

its

same

the

constantly

magnet had

R,

velocity

image begin to

this

let

in

which

the

t.

that

Bt,

is

to

at

say,

time

the

+ Bt,

let

a negative

image, equal in magnitude and opposite in sign to this positive image, be formed
in the original position of the positive image,

and

let it

then begin to move along

The

the normal, after the positive image, with the velocity H.

between the

images at any point will be

arrival of these

between corresponding points


7.

Leaving

this

pair

attend to the real magnet,


this

instant

let

position,

and

velocity

E,

new

let this

will

Let these

be RBt.

images to pursue their endless journey,

or

electro-magnet,

it

is

at the time

formed of the magnet

image be

after

an

operations

each of these intervals being equal to


8.

as

also travel in the direction of the

and be followed

negative image.

interval of time

and the distance

of

positive

image

Bt,

interval

of

time

Bt

let

+ Bt.

in

its

us

At
new

normal with the

by a corresponding

be repeated at equal intervals of time,


8^.

Thus at any given instant there

will

be a train or

trail

of

images,

beginning with a single positive image, and followed by an endless succession of


This trail, when once formed, continues unchangeable in form
pairs of images.

and

intensity,

and moves

as

whole away

from

the

conducting

sheet

with

the constant velocity B.


9.

If

we now suppose

the interval of time

Bt

to

be diminished without

limit, and the train to be extended without limit in the negative direction, so
as to include all the images which have been formed in all past time, the
magnetic effect of this imaginary train at any point on the positive side of the

ELECTRIC INDUCTION.
sheet

conducting

with

be identical

will

that

28l>

the

of

which

currents

electric

actually exist in the sheet.

Before proceeding to prove this statement,

which

assumes in certain

it

Let us suppose the

10.

originally

intensity,

instant

this

positive

real

system to be an electro-magnet, and that

suddenly becomes

zero,

image

normal with velocity R.

us take notice of the form

let

cases.

is

formed,

After an interval

/,

which

begins

to

travel

another positive image

ht

its

At

and then remains constant.

the

along
is

formed;

but at the same instant a second negative image is formed at the same place,
which exactly neutralizes its effect. Hence the result is, that a single positive
image travels by itself along the normal with velocity R. The magnetic effect of

image on the positive side of the sheet

this

is

equivalent to that of the currents

of induction actually existing in the sheet, and the diminution of this effect, as

the unage moves away from

the

sheet,

accurately

represents

the

of the

effect

currents of induction, which gradually decay on account of the resistance of the

After a sufficient time,

sheet.

the image

is

so

distant that its effects are

no

on the positive side of the sheet. If the current of the electrolonger


magnet be now broken, there will be no more images but the last negative
image of the train will be left unneutralized, and will move away from the sheet
sensible

with

R.

velocity

The currents

in

the sheet will

therefore

be

of

same

the

magnitude as those which followed the excitement of the electro-magnet, but

in

the opposite direction.


It

11.

intensity,
its

it

intensity
also

It

appears

from

this

that,

when the electro-magnet

is

increasing in

be acted on by a repulsive force from the sheet,


diminishing, it will be attracted towards the sheet.

will
is

appears that

if

any system of currents

is

produced

and when

in the

sheet

and then left to itself, the effect of the decay of the currents, as observed at
a point on the positive side of the sheet, will be the same as if the sheet, with
its currents remaining constant, had been carried away in the negative direction
w^ith velocity
12.

R.

If a

magnetic pole of strength

is

along a normal to the sheet with a uniform


will be repelled

z is

VOL.

infinite

distance

towards the sheet,

with a force

4?
where

brought from an
velocity v

R^'

the distance from the sheet at the given instant.

II.

37

it

ELECTRIC INDUCTION.

290

This formula will not apply to the case of the pole moving away from the
because in that case we must take account of the currents which are

sheet,

excited

when the

13.

pole begins to move, which

when near

does

magnetic pole moves in a straight line

If the

with uniform velocity


to its motion,

it

will be acted

it

v,

the sheet.

parallel

to

the

sheet,

on by a force in the opposite direction

and equal to
7)v

jR + ^- + R-v
'

{^E'+'if+Ey

42^

Besides this retarding force,

acted on by a force repelling

it is

it

from the

sheet, equal to

42=

E+

v'

+ EjE + v''

If the pole moves uniformly in a circle, the trail is in the form of a


and the calculation of its effect is more difficult it is easy, however, to
see that, besides the retarding force and the repelling force, there is also a force
14.

helix,

towards the centre of the


It

15.

shewn,

is

circle.

my

in

treatise

0)i

Electricity

and Magnetism

(Vol.

n.

any system are the same, whether the conducting


system or the inducing system be in motion, provided the relative motion is
the same. Hence the results already given are directly applicable to the case
Art. 600), tliat the currents in

of Arago's rotating disk, provided the induced currents are not sensibly affected

by the

limitation arising from the edge of the disk.

sets of images,

which we

The greater the

16.

now

shall not

Hence

in

most actual cases

the external system, and the


the induced currents

differ

of the external system (see

17.

If the

would be

will introduce other

sheet,

material,

whether from

the greater

is

its

thinness or

the velocity E.

very great compared with v the velocity of

images is nearly normal to the sheet, and


from those which arise from the direct action

trail of

little

is

its

1).

conductivity of the sheet were infinite,

or its

resistance

zero,

The images, once formed, would remain stationary, and all


Hence the trail
formed positive image would be neutralized.

zero.

except the last

of the

resistance

from the low conducting-power of

These

investigate.

291

ELECTRIC INDUCTION.

would be reduced to a
~, on the

sive force
I

and the sheet would exert a repul-

single positive image,

whether the pole be

pole,

in

motion or at

need not say that this case does not occur

Something of the kind

supposed

is

exist

to

in

in

the

rest.

nature as
interior

we know

it.

of molecules in

Weber's Theory of Diamagnetiam,

Mathematical Investigation.

Let the conducting sheet coincide with the plane of xy, and let its
so small that we may neglect the variation of magnetic force at

18.

thickness be

different points of the

same normal within

its

and

substance,

that, for the

same

the only currents which can produce sensible effects are those which are

reason,

parallel to the surface of the sheet.

Current-function.

We

19.

function
of time,

j).

define

shall

This

the currents in the sheet

function expresses the

crosses from

right

to

left

by means of the current-

quantity of electricity which,

unit

in

a curve drawn from a point at infinity to

the point P.

This quantity will be the same for any two curves drawn from this point

P, provided no electricity enters or leaves the sheet at any point between


Hence <^ is a single-valued function of the position of the point P.
these curves.
to

The quantity which

crosses the element ds of

any curve from right to

left is

-y- as.

ds

By drawing
to

the axis of

directions of

ds

y,

first

we

perpendicular to the axis of

The curves
20.

and

for

which

</>

is

The annular portion


<f)-{-B(f)

and then perpendicular

x and of y respectively

=#,
ay

<^

x,

obtain for the components of the electric current in the

is

,=

_#
ax

constant are called current


of the

(I).

lines.

sheet included between the current lines

a conducting circuit round which an electric current of strength

372

ELECTRIC INDUCTION.

292
S<j>

flowing in

Is

circuit

the

having the circuit for

magnetic

its

its

that

direction,

positive

equivalent In

Is

is,

from

x towards

to a magnetic

effects

shell

Such a

y.

of strength

B(j>,

edge*.
electric currents

The whole system of

in

the sheet will therefore be equi-

valent to a complex magnetic shell, consisting of all the simple shells, defined
The strength of the equivalent complex
as above, into which it can be divided.
shell at

any point

We

may

will

suppose

be

<^.

shell

this

to

consist

of

two

imaginary magnetic matter at a very small distance

^ on the

positive sheet,

To

21.

{^,

density

C)

7),

is

<f>,

--

plane

sheets

of

the surface-density being

on the negative sheet.

this complex plane shell at


by finding P, the potential at the
due to a plane sheet of imaginary magnetic matter whose surfaceand which coincides with the plane of xy. The potential due to

find the

any point not in


point

and

parallel

c,

its

magnetic potential due to

substance, let us begin

the positive sheet whose surface-density


the positive side of the plane of

xij,

is

-, and which

is

at a distance

on

is

l(p-4of..c.).
That due to the negative
plane of xy is

Hence the magnetic

sheet,

at a distance

potential of the shell

on the negative side of the

is

(^)-

^--'i
This,

any

therefore, is

point

given

magnetic

potential,

sheet the

potential

on the positive
'

W.

the value of the magnetic potential of the current-sheet at


on the positive side of it. Within the sheet there is no

and at
is

any point

(^,

rj,

-Q

on the negative side of the

equal and of opposite sign to that at the point

side.

Thomson, "Mathematical Theoiy of Magnetism,"

Phil. Trans. 1850.

(i,

-q,

Cj

293

ELECTRIC INDUCTION.

At the

22.

positive surface the magnetic potential

is

K=-g = 2..^
At the negative

(3).

surface

f=M

W-

;-

of magnetic force at the positive surface

The normal component

dV

is

d'P

/-x

^^'

^^-dC^W
In the case of the magnetic
the surface

shell,

the magnetic force

is

discontinuous at

but in the case of the current-sheet this expression gives the value

of y within the sheet

itself,

as well as in the space outside.

Let F, G, II be the components of the electro-magnetic momentum at


in the sheet, due to external electro-magnetic action as well as to

23.

any point

that of the currents in the sheet, then the electromotive force in the direction
of

is

_dF_d^
dx'

dt

where

is

xft

where

cr

is

the

electric

potential'^;

and by

Ohm's law

this

is

equal to

au,

the specific resistance of the sheet.

dF dxP]
^''=dt~di

Hence

(6).

cru=

Similarly,

dG_dxp
dt

Let the external system be such that

by

dP
~

dy
its

magnetic potential

is

represented

then the actual magnetic potential will be

r=-|(P.+P)
and

F=-^{P. + P),
"Dynamical Theory

G=-^^{P, + P), H=0

of the Electromagnetic Field," Phil. Trans. 1865, p. 483.

(7),

(8).

ELECTRIC INDUCTION.

294

Hence equations

become, by introducing the stream-function

(6)

dtdy^

dy

'

<j>

from

(1),

dx

'

(9).

dtdx^

dx

solution of these equations

is

o-<^=-^(P + P),
Substituting the value of

<}>

dy

'

"

i/,

= constant

(10).

in terms of P, as given in equation (4),

(")

2^f=-l(^+^)
The quantity
call it

is

evidently a velocity; let us therefore for conciseness

R, then

-f-f-^f24.

(-)

Let Po' be the value of P^ at the time t-T, and at a point on the
y, (z Rt), and let

negative side of the sheet, whose co-ordinates are x,

=\>
At the upper limit when t is infinite P^
when T = and P^ = P^, we must have

(13).

vanishes.

dQ

Hence

at the

dQ

lower limit,

but by equation (12)

^^o^_dPj,dP
dt

dt

Hence the equation

will be satisfied if

dz

we make
(^)-

^=-f=-y>--^^
25.
differ

This,

then,

is

a solution

of the

problem.

Any

other solution must

from this by a system of closed currents, depending on the

of the sheet,

initial

state

not due to any external cause, and which therefore must decay

ELECTRIC INDUCTION.

Hence,

rapidly.

we assume an

since

eternity

295

of

past time,

this

tlie

is

only

solution of the problem.

This

expresses P,

solution

current, in terms

function due to

and through

of P/,

due to the external magnetic system.


to

z,

to

t,

we
we

the induced

differentiating

and P^ with respect

by equation (10), the current-function.


Hence the
and P,, as expressed by equation (16), is similar to the

obtain,

between the external system and


of these images in the

first

relation
relation

of images as expressed in the descrip-

its trail

paper

part of this

6,

meaning of equation

an explanation of the

simply

of

obtain the magnetic potential, and by differentiating them with respect

between

tion

By

the action

a function of the same kind

this of P,

7,

8,

which

9),

combined

(16)

is

with

the

to refer to

two

definition of P^' in 24.

Note to the preceding Paper.

At

when

the time

this paper

was written,

was not able

papers by Prof. Felici, in Tortolini's Annali di Scienze for

1853 and 1854, in

which he discusses the induction of currents in

solid homogeneous conductors and


two papers by E. Jochmann in Crelle's
Journal for 1864, and one in Poggendorff's Annalen for 1864, on the currents
induced in a rotating conductor by a magnet.

in

a plane conducting sheet, and

to

Neither of these writers have attempted to take into account the inductive
action of the currents on each other, though both have recognised the existence

of such an action,
of

case

Jochmann
plane

the

and given equations expressing

magnetic
solves

of the

He

disk.

lines,

poles of opposite

name

sides

Matteucci at

of
first

it,

it.

M.

Felici

almost in contact with a

the case in which the

equipotential

opposite

placed

pole

pole

is

at

finite

considers

the

rotating

disk.

distance

from the

E.

has also draAvn the forms of the current-lines and of


in

the

case

at equal

of a single pole,

distances

and

in

the case of two

from the axis of the

supposed, perpendicular to the equipotential

but on

disk,

and has pointed out why the current-Unes are


lines,

not,

as

which he

traced experimentally.
I am not aware that the principle of images, as described in the paper
presented to the Royal Society, has been previously applied to the phenomena

of induced

currents,

or

that the

problem of the

induction

of

currents

in

an

ELECTRIC INDUCTION.

29 G

taking into account the mutual induction

plane sheet has been solved,

infinite

of these currents, so as to

make the

solution applicable to a sheet of

any degree

of conductivity.

The statement
what

strange,

equation

in

(10),

that the

we know

since

that

touching the sheet at different points.

currents

to

the whole circuit

lies

may

be

a magnetic system

may appear someby

collected

electrodes

circuit

not included in the sheet

in the plane of the sheet, but

is

so arranged as not

with the uniform conductivity of the sheet, there will be no

interfere

of potential in

ference

of

These currents, however, depend entirely

on the inductive action on the part of the


for if

motion

differences of potential in the infinite sheet,

does not produce

who shews

that

any part of the

when the

This

circuit.

currents are induced

is

pointed out by

dif-

Felici,

by the instantaneous magnetiza-

tion of a magnet, these currents are not accompanied with differences of potential
in different parts of

When

the sheet

the sheet.
is itself

in motion, it appears,

from Art. 600 of

and Magnetism, that the electric potential


measured by means of the electrodes of a fixed circuit, is
0)1

Electricity

where

^ ^

are

to which the electrode

of

any

my

treatise

point,

as

the components of the velocity of the part of the sheet


is

applied.

In the case of a sheet revolving with velocity w about the axis of

z,

this

becomes

dP
dx
Note
thickness
cities

of

2.

The

velocity

for

dP}
dy

a copper plate of best quality

millimetre in

Hence it is only for very small velothe apparatus that we can obtain any approximation to the true result
is

about 25 metres per second.

by neglecting the mutual induction of the

currents.

Feb.

13.

[From the Proceedings of

L.

0)1

the

Condition that, in the Transformation of any Figure hy Curvilinear

Co-ordinates in

equal

Society, Vol. iv.]

London Mathematical

the

Three Dimensions, every Angle in the new Figure shall he

corresponding Angle in the original Figure.

to the

May

[Read

In the corresponding problem

in

9th, 1872.]

two dimensions, the only condition

x + >r:^ly=f{^+J^lr))
where

x,

y are the co-ordinates in one system, and

In three dimensions the solution

is

more

|,

is

(1).
t^

in the other.

restricted.

be functions of $,7), C, then the point in the system x, y, z,


a series
for which f is constant, will be in a certain surface, and by giving ^
of
series
other
two
There will be
of values we obtain a series of such surfaces.
rj,
system
second
the
in
C
If
^,
surfaces, corresponding to t) and ^ respectively.

Let

X,

y,

are rectangular

system

co-ordinates,

corresponding to

the surfaces

will intersect at right angles.

dx dx

The condition of

dzdz^_
dr)dC~

dy dy

d^dC'^d^dl
with two other equations in
If

we now

and

^,

and ^ and

dyy

d-n.

t;,

in

the

(2).

rj.

dzV
/
d-n.

^-*{i)'*(f
II.

^,
is

WTite

^
VOL.

this

(3);

first

TRANSFORMATION OF ANY FIGURE BY

298

and d^

the

is

surfaces ^

intercept

of the line

(7^

= const.,

= const.)

cut off between the

and ^+d^.

The angle e, at which a line whose co-ordinates are functions of


whose co-ordinates are functions of q, is found from the equation
dx dx dy dij dz dz
dp dq dp dq dp dq

line

mh&<PMm<i)-*m
Expressing this in terms of

$,

rj,

^.dldl_^
dp dq

= cose
In
{x,

y,

lines in

that

the system

these

'

dCdC
dp dq

the angle

e,

at which these lines intersect in the

should be always equal to the angle


{$,

rj,

are

at which the

e,

and

intersect, it is necessary
c^

for

drjdrj

dp dq

(4).

becomes

it

C,

f(f-^(i)-^(i)}'{-'*'''-^r-^

order
z),

and

cuts

2^

system

corresponding

sufficient that

=^=7

(6).

the conditions that equations

(4)

and

(5)

should be of the same

form.

Now
the
7}

consider

surface

the quadrilateral

(^ = const.) by

A BCD,

the surfaces

$,

cut off from

^+d^,

rj,

and

+ drj.

AB = adl
AD = ^drj,
OD=[a^%d,)dl
BC=[^^^f^di^dyj.
Since the three sets of surfaces are orthogonal, their intersections are lines
of curvature,

by Dupin's Theorem.

Hence

AB

is

a line of

curvature

of the

299

CURVILINEAR CO-ORDINATKS IN THREE DIMENSIONS.


surface

drawn

t),

at

some point 0.

of

a,

Hence the normals at A and B


OA, the radius of curvature of t)

parallel to a.

Let us

call

AB

DC

7^

::

J^,^

+ '^D.

^^'^"^

^"^^^''^^^^^

Hence

^^"^^Zl'

dr]

cIt)

These values of the radii of curvature are true

or the

in the xdanc

then

/*,,

surfaces,

intersect

will

but since in this case a = y,

principal

= y8 = 7,

Hence the

the other

any system of orthogonal

for

find

of cur\'ature of the surface

radii

every point of the surface.


Since a

we

surfaces

t]

flimilies of surfaces

r)

equal to each other at

are

must be spherical.
| and

must

also

be spherical.

take one of the points where three spherical surfaces meet at right
These spheres when inverted
angles for the origin, and invert the system.
and the other spheres become
angles,
right
at
intersecting
planes
three
become

Now

spheres,

centres

from

each
lie

the

intersecting

point of intersection of the three

are

(/

?-'

= 6- + r,
p'

whence
the

planes,

systems, and

three

these

Let

planes.

a, b,

of the
let

their

Hence

their

c be the distances,

centres
radii

of spheres

be

p,

q,

Then the conditions that these spheres intersect at right angles

respectively.

all

of

in the lines of intersection of the planes.

belonging each to one of the

or

angles two

right

at

spheres

tangent plane.

pass

Hence

if

r-+p-

= a-,

q-

= c- + (r,
= h-,

r^

_2)'

+ 2' = ' + ^^

= c-;
system has a common

through

the origin, and each

we take

these three planes as co-ordinate planes, and

write
x"-

we have rp = R\

+ 7f-{-z- = r,

a constant quantity,

?/

382

300

whence

TRANSFORMATION OF ANY FIGURE,

X--

&C.

[From Nature,

LI.

Vol. vii.]

Reprint of Papers on Electrostatics and Magnetism.


D.C.L., LL.D.,

By

Sir

W. Thomson,

F.KS., F.R.S.E., Fellow of St Peter's CoUege, Cambridge,

and Professor of Natural Philosophy


Macmillan and Co., 1872.)

To obtain any adequate


we must study these papers

in the University of

Glasgow.

(London:

idea of the present state of electro-magnetic science


of Sir

W.

Thomson's.

It

is

true that a great deal

work has been done, chiefly by the Germans, both in analytical


calculation and in experimental researches, by methods which are independent
of, or at least different from, those developed in these papers, and it
is
the
glory of true science that all legitimate methods must lead, to the same final
But if we are to count the gain to science by the number and value
results.
of admirable

of the ideas developed in the course of the inquiry, which preserve the results

thought in a form capable of being employed in future investigation,

of former

we must

place

the very highest

One
is

Sir

W.

Thomson's contributions to electro-magnetic science

of the most valuable of these truly scientific, or science-forming ideas,

that which forms the

scientific

on

level.

problems,

considered

from

subject

of

the

first

paper

each of the highest order of

quite

different

points

of

view.

in

this

collection.

Two

had hitherto been


Cavendish and Poisson had

difficulty,

investigated the distribution of electricity on conductors on the hypothesis that

the particles of electricity exert on each other forces which vary inversely as

the square of the distance between them.

On

the

other

hand Fourier had

investigated the laws of the steady conduction of heat on the hypothesis that

the flow of
are

colder

is

heat from the hotter parts of a body to contiguous parts which


proportional to

point to point of the body.

the

rate

at

The physical

which

the

temperature

ideas involved in these

varies

from

two problems

quite

are
at

AND MAGNETISM.

ELECTROSTATICS

30-2

electricity

problems,

determined

In the other

expresses

their

in

this

as

colder

to

parts.

on a

force

the

of

resultant

the

we have

relation

paper,

elementary

mathematically identical, and

methods, are

hotter

In the one the

different.

to solve a certain

between

the

of

rates

passing along lines drawn in three different direc-

in

both

different,

so

be

Thomson, in

a point.

throuo-h

to

which

equation

of temperature

variation

has

the other particles.

differential

partial

were also

investigation

of

particle

attraction of all

tions

the other heat creeping along from

in

The methods of
given

In the one we have an attraction acting instantaneously

dift'erent.

a distance,

that,

points
ideas

that

out

and

by a proper

these

their

two

analytical

substitution

of

thermal terms in the original statement, any of Fourier's wonderful


methods of solution may be applied to electrical problems. The electrician has
only to substitute an electrified surface for the surface through which heat is
supplied, and to translate temperature into electric potential, and he may at

electrical for

once take possession of

Fourier's solutions

all

of

the problem of the uniform

flow of heat.

To render the

results obtained in the prosecution of one branch of inquiry

another is an important service done to science,


more important to introduce into a science a new set of ideas,
belono-ino- as in this case, to what was, till then, considered an entirely unconnected science. This paper of Thomson's, published in February 1842, when he
to

available

but

it

is

the students of

still

was a very young freshman at Cambridge,


science

that

idea

of

electrical

medium which, though

it

as the guiding idea of his

action

first

earned

on

introduced

by means

into

of

mathematical
a

continuous

had been announced by Faraday, and used by him


researches, had never been appreciated by other men

and was supposed by mathematicians to be inconsistent with the


action, as established by Coulomb, and built on by Poisson.
laws
It was Thomson who pointed out that the ideas employed by Faraday under
the names of Induction, Lines of Force, &c., and implying an action transmitted

of

science,

of electrical

from one part


results

of

medium

obtained by the

to

another,

were not

only consistent

mathematicians, but might be employed

in

with
a

the

mathe-

new results. One of these new results, which


we have reason to believe, obtained by this method, though demonstrated
by Thomson by a very elegant adaptation of Newton's method in the theory
of attraction, is the "Method of Electrical Images," leading to the "Method
matical form so as to lead to
was,

of Electrical Inversion."

AND MAGNETISM.

ELECTROSTATICS

303

Poisson had already,


harmonics,
electricity

by means of Laplace's powerful method of spherical


the form of an infinite series, the distribution of
on a sphere acted on by an electrified system.
No one, however,
determined,

in

seems to liave observed that when the external electrified system is reduced
to a point, the resultant external action is equivalent to that of this point,
together with an imaginary electrified point within the sphere, which Thomson
the electnc image of the external point.

calls

Now

if in an infinite conducting solid heat is flowing outwards uniformly


from a very small spherical source, and part of this heat is absorbed at another

small

spherical

directions

all

calculate

surface,

which we may

through the

infinite

call

solid,

it

a sink, while the rest flows out in


is

One

the isothermal surfaces.

of

these

by

easy,

the stationary temperature at any point


surfaces

methods, to

Fourier's

the

in

solid,

sphere,

and

and

to

draw

the
problem, this sphere becomes a conducting surface in connection with
the earth, and the external source of heat is transformed into an electrified
is

if,

in

electrical

point, the

flow

sink will become the

image of that point, and the temperature and

of heat at any point outside the sphere will become the electric potential

and resultant force.


Thus Thomson obtained the rigorous solution of electrical problems relating
to spheres by the introduction of an imaginary electrified system within the
sphere.
But this imaginary system itself next became the subject of examination, as

the result of the transformation of the external electrified system by

By this method, called


many new problems was obtained by

reciprocal radii vectores.

solution of

already solved.
in

a letter to M.

beautiful
Liouville,

example of

this

dated October

8,

that of electrical inversion, the

the transformation of problems

method

is

suggested by Thomson

1845, and published in

Liouville's

Journal, for 1845,

but which does not seem to have been taken up

mathematician,

Thomson

till

of the book before us),

himself,

by any

a hitherto unpublished paper (No. xv.

in

wrote out the investigation complete.

This,

the

most

remarkable problem of electrostatics hitherto solved, relates to the distribution


of electricity on a segment of spherical surface, or a houi, as Thomson calls
it,

under the influence of any

important case of a

flat

circular hole cut out of


If,

method

electrical

circular

dish,

forces.

and of an

The

solution

infinite

flat

includes

screen

a very

with

it.

however, the mathematicians were slow in making use of the physical


of electric inversion, they were

more ready to appropriate the geometrical

idea

AND MAGNETISM.

ELECTROSTATICS

304

by

of inversion

having

geometers,

we

though, unless

radii vectores, which

reciprocal

we

been,

is

and

discovered

suppose,

now

well

most of these discoveries are

are mistaken,

known

re-discovered

to all

repeatedly,

than 1845,

later

the date of Thomson's paper.

But

we have

science,

No.

in

a paper of even

vii.

Thomson shews how the force acting on an elecbody can be exactly accounted for by the diminution of the atmospheric

trified

pressure
to

return to physical

to

date (1843), in which

earlier

on

pressure

name

only another

is

Now

by means of which,

in

This short paper,

of that

diminution of

Faraday's opinion, the mutual action between electrified


therefore, may be regarded as the germ
by which Maxwell has gradually developed the

of speculation

course

this

tension along the lines of electric force,

for that

bodies

takes place.

everywhere proportional

surface, this diminution being

electrified

its

the square of the electrification per unit of area.

mathematical significance of Faraday's idea of the physical action of the

lines

of force.

to

"We have dwelt, perhaps at too great length, on these youthful contributions
in order to shew how early in his career, Thomson laid a soHd

science,

foundation
theories

his

for

and

future

labours,

both

in

the

development

ever will do well to take note of the theorem in No.


of which

various branches

to

the apphcations

xni.,

them,

furnish

of science will

mathematical

of

Mathematicians how-

the prosecution of experimental research.

in

if

they be dihgent,

both occupation and renown for some time to come.

We

now turn to
now

must

mathematical

electrician,

attention to the

practical

the mathematician,

if

the

next

part

established

as

of

and experimental work of

he succeeds at

but a thoroughly furnished

man

volume,

this

which

in

a Professor at Glasgow, turns

the
his

In such work

his science.

proves himself no mere mathematician,

all,

of science.

And

we have an account of
demand for electro-

first

that research into atmospheric electricity which created a

meters

then a

series of electrometers of gradually

improving species

and

lastly,

an admirable report on electrometers and electrostatic measurements, in which


the

results

many

of

but

classified,

years'

experience

are

given

in

most

instructive

and

In this report the different instruments are not merely described,

scientific form.

so

new instrument

that the student


to

suit his

own

is

furnished with the means of devising a

wants.

He may

also

study,

in

the recorded

history of electrometers, the principles of natural selection, the conditions of the

permanence

of

species,

the

retention

of

rudimentary organs

in

manufactured

AND MAGNETISM.

ELECTROSTATICS
articles,

and the tendency to reversion

305

to older types in the absence of scientific

control.

A
to

good deal of Sir

in this volume.

ELCCount

pended

many

of his
coils,

papers on

It

W.

is

Thomson's practical

to be

hoped that he

measurement

of

resistance,

is

not referred

time to give some

admirable telegraphic contrivances in

and recording instruments, and to complete

electrolysis,

work

electrical

will yet find

galvanometers,

this

collection

qualities

electric

of

sus-

by

his

metals,

and electro- magnetism in generar'\


The second division of the book contains the theory of magnetism.
The first paper, communicated to the Royal Society in 1849 and 1850, is
The
the best introduction to the theory of magnetism that we know of.
discussion of particular distributions of magnetisation is altogether original, and

thermo-electricity,

way

prepares the

for

on electro-magnets
years, during

is

the theory of electro-magnets which follows.

This paper

interesting as having been in manuscript for twenty-three

which time a great deal has been done both at home and abroad

on the same subject, but without in any degree

Though

occupied by Thomson in 1847.

upon the ground

trenching

in these papers

we

find several formidable

equations bristling with old English capitals, the reader will do well to obser^*e

that the most important results are

often

obtained

without

mathematical apparatus, and are always expressed in plain

As regards the most interesting of all subjects, the


ment of scientific ideas we know of few statements so

note at
electric

419

p.

relating

flowing in

currents,

goes on to say

to

"

Ampere's
circuits

From twenty

use

of

this

history of the developof

full

theory of magnetism,

within the

the

scientific English.

molecules

as

of

to five-and-twenty years ago,

meaning as the
depending on

the

magnet

when the

he

materials

of the present compilation were worked out, I had no belief in the reality of
this theory

but I did not then know that motion

has been hitherto called matter.

At

is

the very essence of what

the 1847 meeting of the British Association

Oxford, I learned from Joule the dynamical theory of heat, and was forced
abandon at once many, and gradually from year to year all other, statical
preconceptions regarding the ultimate causes of apparently statical phenomena."

in

to

After a short, but sufficient, proof that the magnetic rotation of the plane
of

polarised

light

discovered by Faraday

something, and that this motion


* [See

is

part

implies an actual
of the

Mathematical a-nd Physical Papers, hj Sir

W.

rotatory motion

Thomson, Vol.

L,

Cambridge University

Press, 1882.]

VOL. XL

of

phenomenon of magnetism, he

39

AND MAGNETISM.

ELECTROSTATICS

30G

"The

adds:

of

explanation

all

phenomena of

electro -magnetic

attraction

or

and of electro-magnetic induction, is to be looked for simply in the


and pressure of the matter of which the motions constitute heat. Whether

repulsion,
inertia

matter

this

or

is

is

not electricity, whether

whether

or

finite

impossible

matter

all

vortical

decide,

to

or

is

itself

interper-

fluid

molecularly grouped

continuous, and molecular heterogeneousness consists in

is

other relative motions of

or

a continuous

is

it

meating the spaces between molecular nuclei,

and perhaps

contiguous parts of

a body

it

is

to speculate, in the present state of

in vain

science."

The date

of these remarks

is

In 1861 and 1862 appeared Maxwell's

1856.

"theory of molecular vortices applied to magnetism, electricity, &c." which may


be considered as a development of Thomson's idea in a form which, though
rough and clumsy compared with the

of nature,

realities

may have

served

its

turn as a provisional hypothesis.

The concluding
of magnetic

force

sections

of the book before us

derived from the motion of

put forward as explanations

of magnetic

are devoted to illustrations

a perfect

force,

for

in

They

fluid.

fact

the

forces

are

are

not
of

They belong more properly to that


remarkable extension of the science of hydrokinetics which was begun by
Helmholtz and so ably followed up by Thomson himself.
the

opposite

Tlie
is

It

kind to those of magnets.

conception of a perfectly homogeneous,

incompressible frictionless fluid

as essential a part of pure dynamics as that of a circle


is

true

of those

that the motions

of the

perfect

fluid.

which we are pleased to

of ordinary

But

it

is

of pure geometry.

very imperfect

illustrations

equally true that most of the objects

is

call circles are

are

fluids

very imperfect representations of a true

circle.

Neither a perfect fluid nor a perfect

which we deal with,


liomogeneous except
is

truly continuous

for

when regarded roughly

and the perfect

It follows, however,
if

fluid

can be formed from the materials

in large masses.

fluid is truly

The

perfect circle

homogeneous.

from the investigations of Helmholtz and Thomson that

a motion of the kind called rotational

of the

circle

they are assemblages of molecules, and therefore not

to which this motion

is

is

once set up in the

fluid,

the portion

communicated, retains for ever, during

all

its

wanderings through the fluid mass, the character of the motion thus impressed

on

it.

This vortex then, as Helmlioltz

calls

it,

be

it

large or small, possesses that

ELECTROSTATICS
of

molecule,

while

characteristics

and

permanence

character

at

individuality

the same time

unchanged both

infinite variety of

AND MAGNETISM.

in

it

is

which we

capable,

307
attribute

while

nature and value, of clianging

to

retaining

its

its

material
essential

form in an

ways, and of executing the vibrations which excite those rays

spectrum by which the species of the molecule may be discovered. It


would puzzle one of the old-fashioned little round hard molecules to execute
There was no music in those spheres.
vibrations at all.

of the

But

besides this application of hydrokinetics to this

old atom, there

is

papers of Helmholtz and Thomson.

complete

his

new conception

of the

a vast field of high mathematical inquiry opened up by the

papers on

It

is

to be

hoped that the

latter will soon

Vortex Motion and give them to the world.

does no one else work in

the same

field

put a stop to the development of ideas

Has the

But why

multiplication of symbols

[From the Proceedings of

LII.

On

the

Proof

the

of the

Cambridge Philosophical

of a system the forces which act on

the primary aim of the science of Dynamics.

when the

forces are

known, though a more

The

difficult

tant, nor so capable of application to the analytical

The expressions

for

the

forces

motion of the system were

1876.]

ii.,

Equations of Motion of a Connected System.

To deduce from the known motions


is

Society, Vol.

first

it

calculation of the motion


operation,

is

not so impor-

method of physical

science.

which act on the system in terms of the

given

by Lagrange

the second part of his Mecanique Analytique.

in

the fourth section of

Lagrange's investigation

may

be

regarded from a mathematical point of view as a method of reducing the dy-

namical equations, of which there are originally three for every particle of the
system, to a

number equal to that of the degrees of freedom of the system.


it is a method of eliminating certain quantities called reactions

In other words

from the equations.

The aim of Lagrange was,

as

he

tells

us himself, to bring dynamics under

the power of the calculus, and therefore he had to express dynamical relations in
teiTQS of the corresponding relations of numerical quantities.

In the present day


in

dynamics that they

sciences.

We

must

and selecting from

necessary for physical inquirers to obtain clear ideas

it is

may

be able to study dynamical theories of the physical

therefore avail ourselves of the labours of the mathematician,


his

symbols those which correspond to conceivable physical

we must retranslate them


In this way our words will

quantities,

into the language of dynamics.


call

up the mental image, not of

certain

operations of the calculus, but of certain characteristics of the motion of bodies.

The nomenclature of dynamics has been greatly developed by those who in


the doctrine of the Conservation of Energy, and
will be seen that most of the following statement is suggested by the investi-

recent times have expounded


it

309

PROOF OF THE EQUATIONS OF MOTION OF A CONNECTED SYSTEM.


gallons

Thomson and

in

Xatuml

Tait's

especially

Philosophy,

method

the

of

beginning with the case of impulsive forces.

*I have applied this method in such a way as to get rid of the explicit
consideration of the motion of any part of the system except the co-ordinates or
It is important to the
variables on which the motion of the whole depends.
be

student to

able

to

way

the

trace

in

which the motion of each part

determined by that of the variables, but I think

it

is

desirable that the final equa-

That

tions should be obtained independently of this process.

this

can be done

is

evident from the fact that the symbols by which the dependence of the motion
of the parts on that of the variables was expressed, are not found in the final
equations.

of motion

The whole theory of the equations


maticians.
in

It

ought to be

application

its

to

for it is

so,

is

But the importance

matter.

no doubt familiar to mathe-

the most important part of their science


of these

equations does not

depend on their being useful in solving problems in dynamics. A higher function


which they must discharge is that of presenting to the mind in the clearest
and most general form the fundamental principles of dynamical reasoning.
In forming dynamical theories of the physical sciences, it has been a too
frequent practice to invent a particular dynamical hypothesis and then by means
The agreement of these
of the equations of motion to deduce certain results.
results

with real phenomena has been supposed to furnish a certain amount of

evidence in favour of the hypothesis.

to

The true method of physical reasoning is to begin with the phenomena and
forces from them by a direct application of the equations of

deduce the

The

motion.

during

the

difficulty

first

stages

we have no terms

that

some notion not


It

is

has hitherto been that

of doing so
of the

investigation,

sufficiently general to

strictly deducible

at

results

express

we

arrive,

which are so

at

least

indefinite

them without introducing

from our premisses.

therefore very desirable that

men

of science should invent

some method

of statement by which ideas, precise so far as they go, may be conveyed to the
mind, and yet sufficiently general to avoid the introduction of unwarrantable
details.

For

instance,

such a method

express exactly what

is

of statement

is

greatly

known about the undulatory theory

* [In the Author's treatise

On

and Magnetism, Vol. il. Part iv. Chap,


from the point of view advocated in the text.]

Electricity

will find the subject treated at length

needed

in

order

to

of light.
v.,

the reader

[From the Proceedings of

On a Problem

LIII.

the

Cambridge Philosophical

The

a problem in
in

Mr

its

4,

was

Todhunter's essay "^^

is

Senate-House paper of Wednesday,

an example of discontinuity introduced into


a way somewhat different, I think, from any of those discussed

1^ to

was involved or
a curve

1876.]

discontinuous.

rider on the third question in the


15,

ii.,

in the Calculus of Variations in which the solution


is

January

Society, "Vol.

set

In some of

possibility

its

as

Mr

Todhunter's cases the discontinuity

in the statement of the problem, as

impUed

when

precluded from transgressing the boundary of a given region, or where

must not be negative. In the case of figures of revolution congenerated by a plane curve revolving about a line in its plane, this

curv-ature

sidered as

forms a boundary of the region within which the curve must

lie,

and therefore

often forms part of the curve required for the solution.


is no discontinuity in the statement,
problem by the continuous change of the co-

In the problem now before us there

and

is

it

efiicients

introduced into the

of a certain equation as

the two roots of this

we

pass along the curve.

minimum

equation which satisfy the

At a

certain point

condition

coalesce

with each other and with a maximum root. Beyond this point the root which
formerly indicated a maximum indicates a minimum, and the other two roots

become impossible.
* Hesearclies in the Calculus of Variations,

<L'C.

If the velocity of a carriage along


[The question referred to was set in 1873, and is as follows
a road is proportional to the cube of the cosine of the inclination of the road to the horizon, determine
the path of quickest ascent from the bottom to the top of a hemispherical hill, and shew that it consists
of the spherical curve described by a point of a great circle which rolls on a small circle described about
:

the pole with a radius


into this

problem?]

together with an arc of a great

circle.

How

is

the discontinuity introduced

[From the Proceedings of

LIV.
I

HAVE no new

you to go

Royal

the

On

Action at a Distance.
bring before you this evening.

discovery to

over very old

Institution of Great Britain, Vol. vii.]

ground, and to turn your

attention

must ask

to

question

which has been raised again and again ever since men began to think.

The question
Does

We

see that

two bodies

each other exert a mutual influence on each other's motion.

on the existence of some third thing, some

mutual action depend

this

medium

that of the transmission of force.

is

at a distance from

of communication, occupying the space between

the

bodies,

do the

or

bodies act on each other immediately, without the intervention of anything else

The mode
kind

aim

from that adopted by many other modern inquirers, and

difiers

will

which Faraday was accustomed to look at phenomena of

in

my

this

special

be to enable you to place yourselves at Faraday's point of view, and to

point out the

scientific

value of that conception of lines of force which, in his

hands, became the key to the science of electricity.

When we

observe

one body acting on another at a distance, before we

is direct and immediate, we generally inquire whether


any material connection between the two bodies and if we find strings,
or rods, or mechanism of any kind, capable of accounting for the observed
action between the bodies, we prefer to explain the action by means of these

assume that

there

action

this

is

connections, rather than

intermediate

admit the notion of direct action at a

to

distance.

when we

Thus,

the wire are

first

a bell by means of a wire,

ring

tightened and then moved,

a distance by a process in which

taken

part

ways,

as

cylinder

one

by
with

after the

forcing

air

piston

all

which

a
is

the successive parts of

at last the

bell

is

rung at

the intermediate particles of the wire have

We

other.

into

till

may

ring a bell at a distance in other

long tube, at the other end of

made

to

fly

out and strike the

which
bell.

is

We

ACTION AT

312

may

DISTANCE.

use a wire; but instead of pulling

also

we may

it,

connect

it

at one end

with a voltaic battery, and at the other with an electro-magnet, and thus ring
the bell by electricity.

Here are three

different

ways of ringing a

bell.

They

agree,

all

the circumstance that between the ringer and the bell there

in

communication,

of

line

process

and that at

goes on by which the action

The process of transmission

point

of this line

however,

an unbroken

some physical

transmitted from one end to the other.

not instantaneous, but gradual; so that there

is

of time after the impulse has been given to one extremity of the

an interval

of communication,

line

is

every
is

is

during which the impulse

is

on

way,

its

but has not

reached the other end.


It

clear,

is

distance

may

therefore,

that in

many

cases

the action between bodies at a

be accounted for by a series of actions between each

successive

and it is asked,
pair of a series of bodies which occupy the intermediate space
we cannot
which
in
cases
those
in
whether,
action,
mediate
of
advocates
by the
perceive the intermediate agency, it is not more philosophical to admit the
;

existence of a

medium which we cannot

a body can act at a place where

it is

than to assert that

at present perceive,

not.

To a person ignorant of the properties of air, the transmission of force by


means of that invisible medium would appear as unaccountable as any other
example of action at a distance, and yet in this case we can explain the whole
process,

and determine the rate at which the action

is

passed

on from one

portion to another of the medium.

Why then should we not admit that the familiar mode of communicating
motion by pushing and pulling with our hands is the type and exemplification
of all action between bodies, even in cases in which we can observe nothing
between the bodies which appears to take part in the action?
Here for instance is a kind of attraction with which Professor Outhrie
has made us familiar. A disk is set in vibration, and is then brought near a
light
if

suspended body, which immediately begins to move towards the disk, as

drawn towards

it

by an

invisible cord.

What

is

this cord

Sir

W.

Thomson

has pointed out that in a moving fluid the pressure is least where the velocity
The velocity of the vibratory motion of the air is greatest nearest
is greatest.
the disk.

Hence the pressure of the

side nearest
pressure,

air

on the suspended body

the disk than on the opposite

and moves toward the

disk.

side,

is

less

on the

the body yields to the greater

ACTION AT A DISTANCE.

The
in

it,

this motion

the air in turn,

of

portions

does not act ^Yhere

therefore,

disk,

motion by pushing

is

the

of

excess

of

and thus the

The

pressure.

It sets the air next

not.

is

it

communicated to more and more distant

suspended body are rendered unequal, and


quence

it

313

on opposite sides of the

pressures
it

moves towards the disk

force

is

in

conse-

a force of the old

therefore

a case of vis a tcnjo a shove from behind.


The advocates of the doctrine of action at a distance, however, have not
Wliat right, say they, have we to
been put to silence by such arguments.
Do we not see an instance of
assert that a body cannot act where it is not ?
action at a distance in the case of a magnet, which acts on another magnet not
only at a distance, but with the most complete indifference to the nature of
school

matter which

the

occupies

the

intervening

space

If the

something occupying the space between the two magnets,


matter of indifference whether

wood,

glass, or copper,

tliis

space

Besides this, Newton's law of

on

act

gravitation,

act on

which

each

another
the

across

immense

or whether

not only that the heavenly

intervals

of

it

two
of

the body of the

in
if

but that
the interior

the strata beneath

any medium takes part in


must surely make some difference whether the space

buried had been non-existent.

transmitting this action,

space,

one buried a thousand miles deep in

one another with precisely the same force as


is

or not,

which every astronomical obser-

asserts

and the other a hundred thousand miles deep

the earth,
sun,

matter,

of

portions

one

air

depends on

be placed between the magnets.

vation only tends to establish more firmly,


Ijodies

with

filled

is

action

cannot surely be a

it

If

this medium, or whether it is occupied


by the dense matter of the earth or of the sun.
But the advocates of dbect action at a distance are not content with

between the bodies contains nothing but

instances

of this kind, in which the

phenomena, even at

first

sight,

appear to

They push their operations into the enemy's camp, and


even when the action is apparently the pressure of contiguous

favour their doctrine.

maintain

that

portions of matter,

the contiguity

is

that

only apparent

They

venes between the bodies which act on each other.


so

far

from action at a distance being impossible,

which ever occurs, and that the favourite old

vis

it

is

a space ahcai/s interassert, in short, that

the only kind of action

terrjo

of the schools has no

existence in nature, and exists only in the imagination of schoolmen.

The best way


touch

it,

is

VOL.

II.

to

to

prove that

when one body pushes another

measure the distance between them.

Here are two

it

does not

glass lenses,

40

ACTION AT A DISTANCE.

314
one of which

is

pressed against the

By means

other by means of a weight.

Hght we may obtain on the screen an image of the place where


A series of coloured rings is formed on
the one lens presses against the other.
These rings were first observed and first explained by Newton.
the screen.
of the electric

The

any ring depends on the distance between the surfaces

particular colour of

of the pieces

we may

table,

corresponding to

the distance between the surfaces at that ring.

ascertain

arranged

are

colours

table of the colours

that by comparing the colour of any ring with Newton's

so

distances,

different

Newton formed a

of glass.

rings because the surfaces

in

are

spherical,

The

and therefore

the interval between the surfaces depends on the distance from the line joining

The

the centres of the spheres.

of the rings

spot

central

indicates

the place

where the lenses are nearest together, and each successive ring corresponds to
4000th

an increase of about the

part of a millimetre in the distance of the

surfaces.

The
an ounce
place

this,

they
I

are

pressed together with a force equal to the weight of


still

is

now

a measurable interval between them,

apply a greater

nearer than at

all

first,

weight.

to

but they are not yet in optical contact,


I

therefore

increase the

for

if

weights,

press the lenses into optical contact.

But what we
cates

This shews that the surfaces

the rings increase.

they were, the central spot would be black.


so as

even at the

They are not in optical contact. To


A new colour appears at the central

nearest together.

and the diameters of

spot,

are

but there

where

prove

now

are

lenses
;

call optical

only that the

contact

is

not real contact.

distance between the

surfaces

is

Optical contact indi-

much

less

than a wave-

To shew that the surfaces are not in real contact, I remove


the weights.
The rings contract, and several of them vanish at the centre.
Now it is possible to bring two pieces of glass so close together, that they
will not tend to separate at all, but adhere together so firmly, that when torn
asunder the glass will break, not at the surface of contact, but at some other
place.
The glasses must then be many degrees nearer than when in mere optical
length of light.

contact.

Thus we have shewn that bodies begin to press against each other whilst
at a measurable distance, and that even when pressed together with great
force they are not in absolute contact, but may be brought nearer still, and
still

many degrees.
Why, then, say

that by

the

advocates

of

direct

action,

should

we

continue to

ACTION AT A DISTANCE.
founded only on the rough experience of a

maintain the doctrine,


age,

that matter cannot act where

facts

from which our ancestors concluded

in

reality

cases

of

it

not,

is

that contact

at a distance,

action

we

are

up

philosophical language

in

the

we must do

of nature,

facts

men

of

ledge of the facts which throw most light on these

who

introduce cetherial,

or

other media,

the

all

were

essential to action

opinions

loose

is

the distance being too small to be

ever to discover the laws of nature,

most accurate acquaintance with the

the

pre-scientiiic

instead of admitting that

measured by their imperfect means of observation


If

315

to

And

laws.

account for

by obtaining

so

and not by dressing


who had no know-

these

as

those

for

actions,

without

any direct evidence of the existence of such media, or any clear understanding
of how the media do their work, and who fill all space three and four times
over with aethers of different sorts, why the less these men talk about their
philosophical scruples about admitting action at a distance the better.

If the
it

progress

were regulated by Newton's

of science

would be easy to cultivate opinions

have to compare the science of to-day with that of


producing, in the geometrical sense,

first

advance of the age.

in

fifty

the line of progress,

law of motion,

"We should only

years

ago

we should

and by

obtain

the

science of fifty years hence.

The progress of

science

in

Newton's time consisted in getting

of the

rid

machinery with which generations of astronomers had encumbered the

celestial

heavens,

and thus " sweeping cobwebs

off

the sky."

Though the planets had already got rid of


swimming in the vortices of Descartes.

their crystal spheres,

they were

Magnets were surrounded by


effluvia, and electrified bodies by atmospheres, the properties of which resembled
in no respect those of ordinary effluvia and atmospheres.
still

When Newton
heavenly

the

l)odies,

phers

bodies

demonstrated that

depends

on

its

the

relative

force

position

which
with

on

respect

each
to

of

the

the

other

new theory met with violent opposition from the advanced philosoday, who described the doctrine of gravitation as a return to the

of the

exploded method of explaining everything by occult

and the

causes,

attractive

vii-tues,

like.

Newton
speculations,
l)y

acts

himself, with that wise moderation

which

is

characteristic of all his

answered that he made no pretence of explaining the mec