Faraday as a Discoverer

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Longmans, Green and Company, 1868 - 171 pages
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Page 68 - ... That gravity should be innate, inherent, and essential to matter, so that one body may act upon another at a distance through a vacuum, without the mediation of anything else, by and through which their action and force may be conveyed from one to another, is to me so great an absurdity that I believe no man, who has in philosophical matters a competent faculty of thinking, can ever fall into it.
Page 81 - I have long held an opinion, almost amounting to conviction, in common I believe with many other lovers of natural knowledge, that the various forms under which the forces of matter are made manifest have one common origin; or, in other words, are so directly related and mutually dependent, that they are convertible, as it were, one into another, and possess equivalents of power in their action.
Page 120 - I have not yet found a mind that did habitually separate it from its accompanying temptations; and there can be no doubt that the words definite proportions, equivalents, primes, &c., which did and do express fully all the facts of what is usually called the atomic theory in chemistry, were dismissed because they were not expressive enough, and did not say all that was in the mind of him who used the word atom in their stead ; they did not express the hypothesis as well as the fact.
Page 129 - I am more inclined to the notion that in the transmission of the force there is such an action, external to the magnet, than that the effects are merely attraction and repulsion at a distance. Such an action may be a function of the ether ; for it is not at all unlikely that, if there be an ether, it should have other uses than simply the conveyance of radiations (2591.
Page 7 - ... years, and during the chief part of the time bound books. Now it was in those books, in the hours after work, that I found the beginning of my philosophy. There were two that especially helped me, the ' Encyclopaedia Britannica,' from which I gained my first notions of electricity, and Mrs.
Page 82 - ... between the poles (not as yet magnetized by the electric current) , so that the polarized ray should pass through its length; the glass acted as air, water, or any other indifferent substance would do; and if the eyepiece were previously turned into such a position that the polarized ray was...
Page 123 - It would seem, therefore, that in accepting the ordinary atomic theory, space may be proved to be a non-conductor in non-conducting bodies, and a conductor in conducting bodies, but the reasoning ends in this, a subversion of that theory altogether; for if space be an insulator it cannot exist in conducting bodies, and if it be a conductor it cannot exist in insulating bodies. Any ground of reasoning which tends to such conclusions as these, must, in itself, be false.
Page 72 - Though they are often obscure, a fine vein of philosophic thought runs through those investigations. The mind of the philosopher dwells amid those agencies which underlie the visible phenomena of Induction and Conduction; and he tries by the strong light of his imagination to see the very molecules of his dielectrics. It would, however, be easy to criticise these researches, easy to show the looseness, and sometimes the inaccuracy, of the phraseology employed ; but this critical spirit will get little...
Page 73 - It must, however, always be remembered that he works at the very boundaries of our knowledge, and that his mind habitually dwells in the 'boundless contiguity of shade' by which that knowledge is surrounded. In the researches now under review the ratio of speculation and reasoning to experiment is far higher than in any of Faraday's previous works. Amid much that is entangled and dark we have flashes of wondrous insight and utterances which seem less the product of reasoning than of revelation. I...
Page 152 - But then our subjects are so glorious, that to work at them rejoices and encourages the feeblest ; delights and enchants the strongest. " I have not yet seen anything from Magnus. Thoughts of him always delight me. We shall look at his black sulphur together. I heard from Schonbein the other day.

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