Annual of Scientific Discovery: Or, Year-book of Facts in Science and Art

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Gould and Lincoln, 1858
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Page 183 - 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 128 - From a similar investigation of all the other known physical and chemical processes, we arrive at the conclusion, that nature, as a whole, possesses a store of force which cannot in any way be either increased or diminished, and that therefore the quantity of force in nature is just as eternal and unalterable as the quantity of matter. Expressed in this form, I have named the general law " The Principle of the Conse'rvation of Force.
Page 137 - If this kind of motion, which certainly corresponds to that through a resisting medium, be actually due to the existence of such a medium, a time will come when the comet will strike the sun; and a similar end threatens all the planets, although after a time, the length of which baffles our imagination to conceive of it. But even should the existence of a resisting medium appear doubtful to us, there is no doubt that the planets are not wholly composed of solid materials which are inseparably bound...
Page 126 - 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 140 - For a much longer period than that during which he has already occupied this world, the existence of a state of inorganic nature, favourable to man's continuance here, seems to be secured, so that for ourselves, and for long generations after us, we have nothing to fear. But the same forces of air and water, and of the volcanic interior, which produced former geologic revolutions, burying one series of living forms after another, still act upon the earth's crust.
Page 126 - ... that several heads, quite independent of each other, generate exactly the same series of reflections. I myself, without being acquainted with either Mayer or Colding, and having first made the acquaintance of Joule's experiments at the end of my investigation, followed the same path. I endeavoured to ascertain all the relations between the different natural processes, which followed from our regarding them from the above point of view. My inquiry was made public in 1847, in a small pamphlet bearing...
Page 172 - ... it seemed to be universally admitted that it was mathematically impossible, unless the speed of the vessel from which the cable was payed out could be almost infinitely increased, to lay out a cable in deep waters (say two miles or more) in such a way as not to require a length much greater than that of the actual distance, as from the inclined direction of the yet sinking part of the cable, the successive portions payed out must, when they reached the bottom, arrange themselves in wavy folds...
Page 135 - As, however, the digestive organs of man are not in a condition to extract the small quantity of the useful from the great excess of the insoluble, we submit, in the first place, these substances to the powerful digestion of the ox, permit the nourishment to store itself in the animal's body, in order in the end to gain it for ourselves in a more agreeable and useful form. In answer to our question, therefore, we are referred to the vegetable world. Now when what plants take in and what they give...
Page 129 - But the heat of the warmer bodies strives perpetually / to pass to bodies less warm by radiation and conduction, and thus to establish an equilibrium of temperature. At each motion of a terrestrial body a portion of mechanical force passes by friction or collision into heat, of which only a part can be converted back again into mechanical force. This is also generally the case in every electrical and chemical process.

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