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one on the “Theory of Rolling Curves," and the other on the “Equilibrium of Elastic Solids.”
During his college course in Cambridge he developed the germs of his future important work on electricity and magnetism, in a paper on “Faraday's Lines of Force,” and five other papers on the same subject were contributed by him to the “ Philosophical Magazine” during 1861 and 1862. Only a few months after obtaining his Cambridge degree in 1854, he contributed to the Cambridge Philosophical Society a remarkable paper on the “Transformation of Surfaces by Bending.” In 1857 his paper on the “Motions of Saturn's Rings” obtained for him the Adams prize in the University of Cambridge. He received in 1860 the Rumford medal from the Royal Society for his “Researches on the Composition of Colors” and other optical papers. The subject of color Professor Maxwell has treated with great success, both experimentally and theoretically, his papers on the subject extending from 1855 to 1872. His important paper on a “Dynamical Theory of the Electro-magnetic Field,” in which he endeavored to explain electric and magnetic forces by means of stresses and motions of the medium, and thus do away with the notion of action at a distance, was read before the Royal Society in 1864, and printed in the “Transactions” of that year. His contributions to the Kinetic theory of gases form one of the most important and valuable of his investigations. His first paper on this subject appeared in the “Philosophical Magazine” of 1860, and he at different times since published various others. Before him, Clausius had made a great advance by his explanation by this theory of the relation between the volume, temperature, and pressure of a gas, the cooling of it by expansion, and the slowness of diffusion and conduction of heat in it. An investigation was also made by him of the relation between the length of the mean free path of a particle, the number of particles in a given space, and their least distance when in collision. Maxwell by an investigation of the collisions of a number of perfectly elastic spheres, first when they are all of the same mass, and then when they are of different masses, reached the law of Gay-Lussac, that in a unit of volume there is the same number of particles in all gases when at the same temperature and pressure. He also explained gaseous friction, and showed that the coefficient of viscosity is independent of the density of the gas. The approximate length of the mean free path was first deduced by him from data furnished by Stokes.
Pursuing the same subject, he made a few years later a valuable series of experimental investigations on the viscosity and internal friction of air and other gases, the results of which were brought to the attention of the Royal Society in 1866. A paper on "A Method of making a Direct Comparison of Electrostatic with Electro-magnetic Force, with a Note on the Electro-magnetic Theory of Light," was also presented to that body in 1868. He took great interest in graphical
statics, and contributed in 1869 a paper on the subject, under the title “On Reciprocal Figures, Forms, and Diagrams of Forces,” to the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Besides his numerous articles giving the results of investigations, a few only of which are above mentioned, he con. tributed to the “Encyclopædia Britannica” the articles “Atom,” “ Attraction,” “Capillary Action,” “ Constitution of Bodies,” “Diagrams,” “ Diffusion,” “ Ether,” “Faraday,” and “Harmonic Analysis.” Of
" the works published by Professor Maxwell, that on “Electricity and Magnetism” is his most important, giving the results of his labori. ous life in this department of physics. Besides this, a work on “The Theory of Heat,” and a small text-book on “Matter and Motion ” have been published by him. To these must be added his recently published volume on the “Electrical Researches of the Hon. Henry Cavendish,” which he has enriched with copious and valuable notes.
Of his more important pieces of experimental work, that connected with the determination of the British Association Unit of Electric Resistance and his verification of Ohm's law made by him at the Cavendish Laboratory, should be here mentioned.
Professor Maxwell was Fellow of the Royal Societies of Edinburgh and London, and of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, and a voluminous contributor to their “ Transactions.” In 1872 he was elected Honorary Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and in the same year was created honorary LL. D. of Edinburgh, while in 1876 he received the honorary degree of D. C. L. at Oxford. He was appointed honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, of Boston, in 1874; member of the American Philosophical Society of Philadelphia, 1875; and honorary member of the New York Academy of Sciences in 1876. He was also correspondent in the mathematical class to the Imperial Academy of Sciences, Göttingen ; corresponding member of the Imperial Academy of Sciences, Vienna ; and associate of the Amsterdam Royal Academy of Sciences,
Professor Maxwell did not confine himself to scientific research and exposition, but occasionally appeared in the field of literature with poetic effusions of a satirical character on scientific subjects.
Professor Tait, in his review in “Nature” of Professor Maxwell's work, hopes “that these scattered gems may be collected and published, for they are of the very highest interest, as the work during leisure hours of one of the most piercing intellects of modern times. Every one of them contains evidence of close and accurate thought, and many are in the happiest form of epigram.” Two samples of this poetic work are given by Professor Tait, one of which we append :
“To follow my thoughts as they go on,
Electrodes I'd place in my brain ;
New feelings of life to obtain."
AMHERST COLLEGE AND EVOLUTION. has ceased to have much in that direction, Messrs. Editore.
chiefly because dominated by the influence AFTER et be publication mofo President der blive eacher Scimitseering classroom, unSeelye's statement with
the name of and science, spect to the teaching at Amherst College of a collection of bizarre doctrines, expressed regarding the law of evolution, feeling a
in words which have no corresponding graduate's interest in the matter, I made thoughts, wholly unscientific and without careful inquiry, and find that, at a meeting any philosophical substance or consistency. of the faculty held a few years ago, the Since President Seelye thinks he believes in present Professor of Geology was requested these doctrines, it is hardly to be expected by President Stearns to deliver a course of that he could apprehend the truth of statelectures on evolution, and the faculty, with.
ments wbich express laws of nature scienout any audible dissent, seconded the re
tifically ascertained and verified. The only quest. At the time, this Professor was
way in which he could be made to see such known to believe in the evolution law.
truth would be for him to follow the course Since then, evolution has been taught in found necessary by some of his graduates, the department of zoology, the Professor or namely, to unlearn everything taught at instructor giving such an exposition of the Amherst as philosophy, before attempting to facts favoring and seeming to militate take a step forward in the path of true phil. against the doctrine as would be suitable to osophical knowledge. students. By vote of the faculty, also, Da.
Of course, to the world of scholars at na's and Le Conte's text-books are used, both | large, President Seelye's strictures, if they of which accept evolution, the second very
were meant to have application broadly to positively. There is now established an in- the doctrine of evolution, will not have the structorship in biology. Moreover, I learn slightest interest; but it ought not to be that every professor in the scientific de- pleasant for those who have any especial partments of study believes in the doctrine regard for the college to see its president in question. The following language, with putting forth, in an apparently ill-tempered which one of the professors is credited, fling, a statement characterizing unfairly a shows quite a different state of feeling in doctrine which a large portion of the scien. the institution from what President Seelve tific and philosophical world accepts as a natwould lead us to believe: “Taking all the ural law abundantly verified, and creating relations, as I judge them from my stand
an impression, with respect to the college point, it must be concluded that the truth teaching, which does not seem to be true, lies somewhere within the lines of the evo
and which, if it were true, would only bring lution theories. Such unquestionably is the discredit upon the institution. teaching of real science in nearly all places
DANIEL G. THOMPSON. where it has both freedom and intelligence. NEW YORK CITY, February 10, 1880. As to its materialistic or atheistic tendencies, I regard it as having none whatever, except in the hollow brains of those would
A CONSIDERATION OF SUICIDE. be sages who talk most concerning that of which they know the least. The most important point is to find out the truth in na. The article under this heading, in your ture, and teach that, regardless of all bear- April number, is an ingenious discussion of ing it may have on any of our preconceived the subject, and one which also, considernotions."
ing the solemn matter of which it treats, we Upon this state of facts, certainly very must suppose to be ingenuous, although different from that which the ordinary reader through the entire argument runs the flaw would infer from President Seelye's state of an erroneous definition. “What is suiment (it is not entirely clear what he means), cide?" asks the writer, and answers, “The it may be concluded that Amherst College is voluntary termination of one's own life.” working along abreast of the best thought Perhaps we should be content with calling of the time, notwithstanding the unfavora- this definition imperfect. It has certainly ble reflection cast upon it by its President's led the writer into error, and to a distinc. remarks. There was a period when Amherst tion between egoistic and altruistic suicide, College had a reputation for its achieve which has no foundation either in ethics or ments in the field of science. Latterly, it in the definitions of criminal law. There
is no such thing as altruistic suicide. Sui- | into consideration in imposing punishments cide is characterized by the intention to take upon wrong-doers. one's own life. A voluntary death charac
“There appears to be some. terized by the intention to save life is cer- thing of this sort in the custom that will tainly not suicide. To constitute suicide hold a man blameless if he shoot and kill there must be criminal motive, just as in the midnight robber who is merely trying to the case of any other crime. It must be effect an entrance into his house, but will felo de se; in its simplest statement, self. not hold him guiltless if he take the same murder. This, in fact, is the definition of sort of vengeance on the robber after he has Blackstone: “The act of designedly de- once entered the house and stolen the goods stroying one's own life committed by a per. and escaped with them.” son of years of discretion and of sound This law is based upon a principle as mind; self-murder." It must be distin. far as possible from the idea of gratifying guished, that is, from simple voluntary death, the injured party's sense of revenge. as murder is distinguished from simple homi- When a man awakes in the night-time cide. There must be the intent to destroy and finds another man trying to get into his life from a selfish or malign motive. The house, he is not obliged to ask him if he unjustifiable motive in the case of the sui- intends to steal or murder. The man withcide is the selfish desire to terminate life, in may be timid; he may apprehend great and thus avoid some present or threatened personal danger; he may have the impres. evil, without regard to the evil or unhappi. sion that an attempt is being made to mur. ness inflicted on survivors. In the strong der him. The law protects him in acting est case that can be put, that of an aged upon such apprehension. This is simply man who feels that he is a burden on his self-defense. There is no question of anger friends (or those who should be such), a
or revenge about it. pure and unselfish motive would incline him Now, when the robber has made off with rather to inflict that burden on them than the goods, and all possible fear of personal the far heavier burden and disgrace of a violence has vanished, or can not possibly (to him) criminal and (to them) criminating arise, it then becomes a question, merely, of death.
the “prevention of crime." Society ignores For the rest—and to embrace under one all idea of carrying out the spirit of revenge head all Mr. Hopkins's illustrations of altru. that may fill the breast of the injured party istic suicides, viz., heroes, martyrs, and en- -in fact punishes him, if he attempts to gineers—the man who dies defending or do so himself, as a criminal. Clearly, whatmaintaining a trust is in no sense a suicide. ever may have been the guiding principle of His death is made to him, by moral reasons, the ancient law-giver, our present legislators inevitable.
do not attempt to administer to personal
W. W. LORD. resentment. The object and reasons for the COOPERSTOWN, NEW YORK, March 10, 1880.
existence of government have been inquired into, and a scientific basis is gradually build.
ing for the great modern structure to rest *ORIGIN OF CRIMINAL LAW."
upon. The passions are found to be the
most unsafe guides. Only a few rules of Nesste. Editors.
law, relating almost wholly to domestic relaCHARLES J. Brell calls attention in your tions, rest upon them. The consequence is, April number to some statements in Mr. w. that these relations figure most disgustingly W. Billson's article, “The Origin of Crim- in the proceedings of courts. inal Law,” illustrating the way in which
Yours respectfully, early law-makers seem to have taken the
W. C. ALBRO, LL. B. revengeful feelings of the aggrieved parties POUGHKEEPSIE, New York, March 19, 1880.
MATTHEW ARNOLD ON COPYRIGHT. knows how to remedy, and which need THE question of international copy. not much disquiet us, as it is happily
right, as we have maintained on working very much to our advantage. all occasions, is for the people of this Why, it is asked, should we pick a country a very serious one. It is com- quarrel with our own bread and butter, monly regarded that our present con- especially when the bread is buttered dition in respect to it is merely an im- so thickly on both sides? perfect state of things which nobody The reason why the matter is grave is that the bread and butter are both that nobody's rights are violated, as stolen, and because theft is bad for there are no rights in the case. Mr. those who lose their property, and Arnold's point of view in regard to worse for those who get it. A nation copyright is quite his own. Here, as can not tolerate palpable dishonesty everywhere else, he is haunted by the without vital injury to itself. One in- spirit of “Philistinism.” The undesirajustice leads to another, and demor- ble practice of appropriating an author's alization spreads. Selfish advantages works is a miserable piece of middleopenly override correct principles, and class indelicacy. “The spirit of the then, worst of all, come the mental American community and Government obliquity and confusion resulting from is the spirit, I suppose, of a middle-class attempts to palliate and excuse injus- society of our race, and this is not a tice. If a flagrant wrong is long and spirit of delicacy. One could not say widely practiced, there will always be that in their public acts they showed in plenty to rally for its defense—some general a spirit of delicacy; certainly dishonestly, from interested motives, they have not shown that spirit in dealand others with a senseless sincerity ing with authors.” from innate crookedness, cloudiness, or Mr. Arnold pursues this thought eccentricity of mind. These crotchety, more fully. He says: " The interests whimsical, and erratic intellects are of English authors will never be safe in found both at home and abroad, and America until the community as a comthey often prove capable of doing con- munity gets the sense in a higher desiderable mischief.
gree than it has now for acting with Matthew Arnold affords the last ex- delicacy. It is the sense of delicacy ample of this mental freakishness, in which has to be appealed to, not the his article on the copyright question, sense of honesty. Englishmen are fond in the March“Fortnightly Review." of making the American appropriation The article has excited a good deal of of their books a question of honesty ; comment, and no little commendation, they call the appropriation stealing; if but it seems to us eminently unsatis- an English author drops his handkerfactory. We find no fault with the chief in Massachusetts they say the naconclusion at which he arrives, which tives may not go off with it, but if he was intimated years ago, when he drops his poem they may. This style joined fifty other English authors in of talking is exaggerated and false ; recommending the scheme of inter- there is a breach of delicacy in reprintnational copyright, which originated in ing the foreigner's poem without his this country, and which there has been consent, there is no breach of honesty. much reason for thinking could be prac- But a finely touched nature, in men or tically carried out. But, while Mr. Ar- nations, will respect the sense of delinold's decision is sound, we think it cacy in itself, not less than the sense would have been wise if he had with- of honesty." held his reasons for it. They are not Now, there can not be the slightest such as will bring other men to the objection to this appeal to the sense of same result. They are such as will delicacy and honor in the effort to secarry other men to the opposite con- cure legal protection to the property of clusion. So far as logic is concerned, authors. It may be that there are those Mr. Arnold takes substantially the same who would be moved by this consideraground as that taken by Mr. J. M. tion and no other; and if Mr. Arnold Stoddart, the Philadelphia publisher, had been content to devote bis paper to who is engaged in pirating the “Ency- this view of the case, there would have clopædia Britannica.” They both agree | been no reason to complain of him.