« AnteriorContinuar »
of the plates, and the retention of four pairs of tailspines. Stegosaurus, which attained a length of about 20 ft., had relatively small and feeble teeth, which appear to indicate that it fed on succulent plants. The structure of the feet suggests that these reptiles inhabited low, swampy tracts rather than uplands; and there is good reason to believe that the members of the genus are descended from bipedal dinosaurs specially adapted for locomotion on land.
Until quite recently remains of man-like apes were almost unknown from the Indian Siwaliks, the only specimens being a canine collected by Falconer and Cautley, and a palate from the Punjab described in 1879 by Mr. Lydekker as Palæopithecus. During the past few years the collectors employed by the Geological Survey have, however, brought together a considerable series of teeth and fragmentary jaws of these and other Primates. These form the subject of an illustrated article contributed by Dr. G. E. Pilgrim to the February number of the Records of the Geological Survey of India (vol. xlv., pp. 1-74). Among the remains of man-like apes, a considerable number are referred to the European genus Dryopithecus, of which the author recognises three Siwalik species. These specimens include one exhibiting two of the upper molars in situ, which were previously unknown. A separate tooth, characterised by the roughness of its enamel, is described as a new genus, under the name of Palaeosimia rugosidens.
The greatest interest attaches, however, to specimens described as Sivapithecus indicus, and referred to the family Hominidæ. This genus and species were originally described on the evidence of a single tooth, but the author now proposes to take as the type part of a lower jaw with several teeth; this, of course, being totally unjustifiable. The author gives an ideal restoration of the whole mandible, but it is somewhat difficult to realise all the evidence on which it is based. A special feature of the restoration is the extreme shortness of the symphysis, which is found elsewhere (save in the Hominidae) only in gibbons. The author is at great pains to show that Sivapithecus is generically distinct from Palæopithecus, but as the latter is definitely known only by the palate, his arguments do not appear absolutely conclusive, especially when it is borne in mind that the occurrence of a number of types of ape-like creatures in the Siwaliks is unlikely.
The author concludes his article with observations on the evolution of the Anthropoidea, in the course of which it is suggested that Sivapithecus should take its place as a side-branch from the main stem which gave rise to man himself. On the other hand, the Piltdown Eoanthropus, which Dr. Smith Woodward considers to be a direct ancestor of man, is thrown altogether out of the line of human ancestry. While the article is full of interest, further consideration is advisable before the author's views are accepted in their entirety.
In an earlier paper in the same serial (vol. xliv., pp. 265-79) Dr. Pilgrim describes and figures a number of Siwalik teeth referable to the creodont genus Dissopsalis, named by himself in 1910. The genus is regarded as forming the summit of a branch of the Hyænodontidæ, running nearly parallel to the one culminating in Hyænodon and Pterodon. It is also shown that a Siwalik tooth described by the present writer as Hyaenodon indicus is really inseparable from Hyotherium sindiense, named by him at an earlier date. Later on in the same issue Dr. Pilgrim points out that the name Progiraffa proposed by himself for a Siwalik giraffe-like ruminant, has to give place to Propalæomeryx of the present writer. R. L.
THE UNITED STATES BUREAU OF
N his report for 1913-14. Dr. Stratton, the director of the U.S. Bureau of Standards, shows how very extensive and varied is the work carried on at the Bureau. During the past few years its growth has been exceptionally rapid, and increased accommodation is still asked for. Much of the work carried on is strictly technical and includes tests on paper, paints, and varnishes, the shrinkage of wools, the properties of lime and cements, and the study of ceramic glazes. In the electrical division an important electrolysis survey was conducted in Springfield, Massachusetts, and useful information obtained with regard to the bonding of tracks, etc.
The unfortunate accident to the Titanic centred attention on possible methods of detecting the near presence of icebergs, and assistants of the bureau conducted experiments on two naval vessels. The general conclusions reached are that the temperature variations in parts of the ocean far removed from ice are often as great and as sudden as in the immediate neighbourhood of icebergs, and that it is not possible to draw positive conclusions as to the absence or presence of icebergs from the temperature variation of sea-water. An attempt was also made to detect by means of submarine telephones, the submarine echoes from the submerged portion of a large iceberg. Sound waves were produced by striking the ship's bell under water. The experiments were not completed owing to lack of time and facilities, but the results obtained merit further trials.
Researches of a strictly scientific nature are numerous. One of considerable interest is the determination of standard wave-lengths throughout the entire spectrum. This is being carried out in accordance with the recommendations of the International Solar Union, and the results, while needed mainly by men of science, will also be of value in the industries. For example, the spectroscopic analysis of steel and other substances cannot be successfully undertaken until the characteristics of the spectra of the constituents are more accurately observed.
Another optical research deals with the transmission of glass for the ultra-violet rays, mainly with a view of determining their fitness for spectacle-making.
An interesting innovation is the establishment of standards of radiation in the form of incandescent lamps. In these standards the intensity of the radiant energy per unit area at unit distance from the lamp, has been established in absolute value. A long-felt want has thus been supplied.
In the chemical department work is in progress on the methods and standards employed in volumetric analysis. The final scheme for this research was prepared after criticisms and suggestions had been received from about 150 experienced chemists. A beginning has been made with the study of acidimetry and the subject of indicators. The quality of chemical reagents on the market is also being investigated. It has become the practice of many well-known dealers to attach labels to the bottles containing reagents, setting forth the nature and amount of the impurities. In many cases it has been found that the labels do not state the truth, and as a consequence some action will probably be taken. One suggestion is that the bureau shall purchase material and assume all the duties of bottling and sale.
In the division of metallurgy, among other interesting results are included the melting points of various metals. The results given are:-Nickel, 1452° C.; cobalt, 1478°; iron, 1530°, manganese, 1260°; chromium, 1520°; vanadium, 1720°; and titanium,
1795°. It is stated that accurate measurements of the melting point can be made with the micropyrometer on samples as minute as 0.001 milligram. The micropyrometer has also been employed to measure the monochromatic emissivity of microscopic samples. This constant has been determined for some twenty elements. It is expected to determine the melting points and emissivities of all the available refractory elements and of numerous oxides.
One of the most important recommendations of the director is to establish a radio-laboratory at the bureau. The importance of wireless telegraphy to the United States Government is pointed out, and a grant of 10,000l. for the construction of such a laboratory is asked for. For maintenance an additional 2000l. is required.
UNIVERSITY AND EDUCATIONAL
ABERYSTWYTH.-Prof. Alexander Findlay has been appointed Thomson lecturer in chemistry for the session 1915-16 in the United Free Church College, Aberdeen.
CAMBRIDGE.-The Linacre lecture will be delivered by Prof. E. H. Starling, in the anatomy lecture-room, at 8 p.m., Thursday, May 6, on the governor mechanism of the heart. The Rede lecture will be delivered by Dr. Norman Moore, at 5 p.m. of the same day, in the Senate House, on St. Bartholomew's Hospital in peace and war.
In view of the difficulties of the present financial situation, the Special Board for Biology and Geology has decided to allocate only such sums of money from the Gordon Wigan Fund as are necessary to prevent the extinction of research work already in progress. The grants made are: 10l. to Prof. Hughes, for research among the Pliocene deposits of the Cambridge district; 40l. to Prof. Punnett, to ensure that the Botanic Garden Syndicate will continue to offer special facilities for plant-breeding experiments; and 211. to Mr. H. Scott, curator in entomology, for the care and development of the collections of insects.
SHEFFIELD. Sir Joseph Jonas has given the University 5000l. to found, endow, and equip a laboratory, in connection with the applied science department, for testing metals, minerals, and similar substances, especially those involved in the production and manufacture of steel.
LADY HUGGINS, who died on March 24, leaving unsettled estate valued at 12,5861. gross, with net personality 12,109l., made the following bequests, among others: A sum not exceeding 1000l. to the Bedford College for Women (University of London); 500l., and, if her estate is sufficient, a further sum of 500l. for the erection of a memorial in St. Paul's Cathedral to the memory of her husband; 1000l., and, if her estate is sufficient, a further sum of 1000l. to the City of London School, Victoria Embankment, for the endowment of a scholarship for the study of astronomy, tenable at Cambridge, to be called the "Sir William Huggins" Scholarship; and a sum of not more than 300l. for finishing, editing, and illustrating the book on which she was engaged, being the life of her husband. The residue of the estate, if any, is also left to the City of London School.
We learn from Science that Princeton University has received from Mrs. W. C. Osborn 25,000l. to establish the Dodge professorship of medieval history, and 20,000l. from an anonymous donor to endow a professorship of economics. Our contemporary also states that the Schools of Mines, Engineering, and
Chemistry of Columbia University have received an anonymous gift of 6000l., to be applied to the reconstruction and new equipment of the laboratories of quantitative, organic, and engineering chemistry in Havemeyer Hall; that a gift of 4000l. is announced from Mrs. S. W. Bridgham, daughter of a trustee of Columbia University from 1860 to 1903; and that Mr. G. W. Brackenridge has given to the University of Texas his yacht Navidad, valued at 20,000l., to be assigned to the biological department of the institution. A preliminary survey of the Texas coast is to be made in the Navidad, starting from Port Lavaca.
THE ninth annual report, that for 1914, of the Apprenticeship and Skilled Employment Association, shows that in common with other bodies dependent for their support on voluntary contributions from the public, the association has suffered already financially as a result of the war, and would welcome an addition to its income. The work of the association has continued on its now familiar lines. Interesting tables are provided in the report classifying according to trades the numbers of boys and girls placed in employment by the various London committees. During the year 1914 the total number of boys placed was 532, and of these 60 went into office and clerical work, 47 took up mechanical engineering, 41 scientific instrument making, 40 electrical engineering (including wiring), and 34 motor work. Of the 333 girls who were found employment, 93 took up dressmaking, 34 office and clerical work, and 29 machining. The remaining girls were distributed among thirty-four different trades. Full particulars of the work of the association can be obtained from the offices, 53 Denison House, Vauxhall Bridge Road, S.W.
THE Benares Hindu University Bill was introduced in the Viceroy's Legislative Council at Delhi on March 22 by Sir Harcourt Butler, the vice-president, and the introduction of the Bill was carried nem. con. During the course of his speech, which is reported in the Pioneer Mail of March 26, Sir Harcourt Butler said :"The main features of this University will be, first, that it will be a teaching and residential university; secondly, that while it will be open to all castes and creeds it will insist upon religious instruction for Hindus; and, thirdly, that it will be conducted and managed by the Hindu community and almost entirely by non-officials." The University is to be an All-India University. It is incorporated for the teaching of all knowledge, but will commence with five faculties of arts, science, law, Oriental studies, and theology. Many of the promoters desired to add a faculty of technology, and this desire has the full sympathy of Sir Harcourt Butler. The Governor-General will be Lord Rector, and the Lieutenant-Governor of the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh will be Visitor, of the University. The governing body will be a numerous and very representative Court, with an executive body in a council of not more than thirty members, of whom five will be members of the Senate. The academic body will be the Senate, consisting of not fewer than fifty members, with an executive body in the Syndicate. The Senate will have entire charge of the organisation of instruction in the University, and the constituent colleges' curriculum and examination and discipline of students and the conferment of ordinary and honorary degrees. The following large. subscriptions have already been received:-Maharana of Udaipur, 1 lakhs; the Maharaja Holkar, 5 lakhs; the Maharaja of Jodhpur, 2 lakhs, with a grant in perpetuity of 2000 rupees per month; the Maharaja of Bikanir, one lakh, with a grant in perpetuity of 1000 rupees per month; the Maharaja of Kashmir, a grant in perpetuity of 1000 rupees a month; the Maha
raja Bahadur of Darbhanga, 3 out of 5 lakhs; and one lakh from each of the following-the Maharao of Kotah, Dr. Rash Behari Ghose, Dr. Sundar Lal, the Maharaja of Casimbazar, Babu Bijendra K. R. Chaudhri of Ghorepur, and Babu Moti Chand. The Maharaja Scindia of Gwalior has promised five lakhs of rupees and others have promised liberal donations, of which, in many cases, part payment has been made.
SOCIETIES AND ACADEMIES.
Royal Society, April 29.-Sir William Crookes, president, in the chair.-H. Hartridge and A. V. Hill: The transmission of infra-red rays by the media of the eye, the transmission of radiant energy by Crookes's and other glasses, and the radiation from various light sources. The different eye structures were found by the authors to absorb infra-red rays of different length to approximately the same extent as would a layer of water of the right equivalent thickness. From the values of the percentage absorption of water at different wave-length they have, therefore, calculated the amount of heat absorbed by cornea, iris, and lens. The heat absorbed by the lens was found to be too slight for cataracterous changes to be due to direct action. The condition might still be caused, as Parsons suggested, by impairment in the nutrition of the lens brought about by the action of heat rays on the ciliary body and iris. Samples of Crookes's glasses were tested and were found to absorb the heat waves strongly, and also to some extent the ultraviolet.-E. Beard and W. Cramer: Surface tension and ferment action. The action of a ferment on a substrate is retarded or inhibited by extending the surface of the system in which the reaction proceeds. This effect has been studied in some detail in the system cane-sugar-invertase.-W. Cramer: Surface tension as a factor controlling cell metabolism. The considerations developed in this paper are based on the fact demonstrated experimentally that the action of ferments is conditioned by surface tension. The great surface development in the cell and the living organism must therefore produce conditions which markedly affect the action of ferments in vivo when compared with their action in vitro. It is shown how the cell may, through the factor of surface tension, control and regulate its metabolism. It is thus possible to form a conception of the chemical organisation of the cell without having to assume the existence of hypothetical membranes in the cytoplasm which are supposed to surround the different chemical systems and separate them from each other. Lastly, it is pointed out that if the conceptions formulated in this paper are correct, substances which are strongly surface active, but which do not affect protoplasm chemically, should exercise a profound effect on the metabolism of the cell. This expectation is realised in the action of narcotic and cytolytic substances.
Challenger Society, April 28.-Capt. Alfred Carpenter in the chair.-Dr. G. H. Fowler: Investigations on drift currents in British waters.-Dr. S. F. Harmer : Records of Cetacea stranded on the British coasts during 1913 and 1914. The paper was based on an arrangement which had been made by the Board of Trade, which had issued an instruction to coastguard officers to report the stranding of Cetacea by telegram to the British Museum (Natural History). In this way, and aided by written reports, sketches, and photographs supplied by persons on the spot, much valuable information has been obtained, and a certain number of interesting specimens have been secured. By procuring a blade of baleen, in the case of the whalebone whales, or the lower jaw, in the case of
the smaller toothed whales, it has been possible to determine the species in a considerable proportion of the records. Seventy-six records were obtained during 1913, and fifty-seven during 1914. The outbreak of war was clearly responsible for the smaller number during 1914. The common porpoise proved to be far the commonest species, as might have been expected. Several records of the occurrence of the common dolphin were obtained, principally on the more exposed parts of the coast-line. Other species which were represented by several records were the bottlenosed whale, the pilot-whale, the white-beaked dolphin, the bottle-nosed dolphin, Risso's dolphin, the lesser rorqual, the common rorqual, and Rudolphi's rorqual. The most interesting record was a Sowerby's whale, stranded at Rosslare in September, 1914. Contrary to expectation, the district where strandings were most numerous was the coast-line of Lincolnshire and Norfolk, though a number of specimens were found on the shore of the southern counties (see NATURE, April 15, p. 182).
Academy of Sciences, April 26.-M. Ed. Perrier in the chair.-Gaston Darboux: The representation on a plane of the surface of the fourth order which admits a conic as a double curve.-G. Bigourdan: Scintillation. Comparison with the undulations of instrumental images of celestial bodies. There seems to be no identity between scintillation and undulations, as might at first sight appear probable. More quantitative data are required for the undulations.-A. Haller and Edouard Bauer: The action of sodium amide on the allyldialkylacetophenones. The preparation of 3 5-dimethyl-3-ethyl and 3: 3-diethyl-5-methylpyrrolidones.-A. Laveran : The artificial acentrosomic varieties of the Trypanosomes. For Tr. Evansi and Tr. Brucei the disappearance of the centrosome produced by the action of oxazine is permanent after three or four hundred passages through animals. Morphologically, this might be regarded as a new species, but its biological characters are unchanged. Animals immunised against trypanosomes with centrosomes have acquired immunity for the acentrosomic trypanosomes and inversely.-J. Guillaume: Observations of the sun made at the Observatory of Lyons during the fourth quarter of 1914. Observations were possible on fifty-eight days, the results of which are given in three tables showing the number of spots, their distribution in latitude, and the distribution of the faculæ in latitude. -A. Perot : Variation of the wave-length of the telluric lines with the height of the sun. Particulars of measurements made with an interference spectroscope installed at the Observatory of Meudon. A line of the B group of oxygen was chosen; the wave-length increased from morning to noon and then decreased.E. Bompiani: Laplace equations with equal invariants. -L. Bouchet: Electric pressures acting at the surface of a liquid insulating sheet. The displacements are very rapid for conducting liquids such as water and mercury, but with turpentine, vaseline oil, benzine, and petroleum ether there is a slow displacement. The instantaneous depression was deduced graphically and a relation established between this figure and the strength of the field.-Ph. Flajolet: Perturbations of the magnetic declination at Lyons (Saint Genis Laval) during the fourth quarter of 1914.-C. Sauvageau: A new species of Fucus, F. dichotomus. This is distinguished from F. platycarpus by its ramification and by the cylindrical form of its receptacles.-Jules Amar: Principles of professional re-education. A discussion of the problem of the work possible for wounded soldiers discharged as cured; from the physiological point of view. MM. Viallet and Dauvillier: A new
radioscopic method for the localisation of projectiles.H. Morize: The determination of the position of projectiles in the human body by radioscopy, Remarks on a note by Dr. Foveau de Courmelles (January 18) on the same subject. Marc de Selys Longchamps: Autotomy and regeneration of the viscera in Polycarpa tenera, Lucien Semichon: The use of heat for fighting insects and parasitic cryptogams in cultivated planta. Hot water may be used provided its temperature does not exceed 70° to 75° C. Details are given of the temperatures required to kill various forms of mould and larval pests. Em. Bourquelot, M. Bridel, and A. Aubry: The biochemical synthesis of the B-mono-d-galactoside of ethylene glycol. The synthesis was effected with the aid of emulsin.
A Study of Prolonged Fasting. By F. G. Benedict. Pp. 416. (Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Institution.) The Water-Relation between Plant and Soil. By B. E. Livingston and I. A. Hawkins. The WaterSupplying Power of the Soil as Indicated by Osmometers. By H. E. Pulling and B. E. Livingston. Pp. 84. (Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Institution.) The Absorption Spectra of Solutions as Studied by Means of the Radiomicrometer. By H. C. Jones and Collaborators. Pp. 202. (Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Institution.)
Joseph Pennell's Pictures in the Land of Temples. Plates x1+ Notes. (London: W. Heinemann.)
DIARY OF SOCIETIES.
THURSDAY, MAY 6.
ROYAL SOCIETY, at 4.30. Some Problems Illustrating the Forms of Nebula: G. W. Walker.-Observations on the Resonance Radiation of Sodium Vapour Hon. R. J. Strutt.--Local Differences of Pressure near an Obstacle in Oscillating Water: Hertha Ayrton.
Roval InstituTION, at 3.-Advances in General Physics: Prof. A. W. Porter.
ROYAL SOCIETY OF ARTS. at 4.30.-Constantin Meunier et les Sculpteurs Belges de son Temps: M. Paul Lambotte.
LINNEAN SOCIETY, at 5.-Some Bird Problems: W. Percival Westell.-The Brown Seaweeds of the Salt marsh: 11.: Dr. Sarah M. Baker and Miss M. H. Bohling. - A Collection of Borneo Mosses made by the Rev. C. H. Hinstead: H N. Dixon. -Photographs of a Curiously-grown Tree from a Tunbridge Wells Garden: Kev. T. R. R. Stebbing.
FRIDAY, MAY 7.
ROVAL INSTITUTION, at 9.-Electrons and Heat: Prof. O. W. Richardson. GEOLOGISTS' ASSOCIATION, at 8.-Radio-activity and the Measurement of Geological Time: A. Holmes.
SATURDAY, MAY 8.
Royal InstitutION, at 3.-Photo-Electricity: Prof. J. A. Fleming.
MONDAY, MAY 10.
ROYAL SOCIETY OF ARTS, at 8.-Foodstuffs: Dr. D. Sommerville.
TUESDAY, MAY 11.
Roval INSTITUTION, at 3.-The Animal Spirits: Prof. C. S. Sherrington. ZOOLOGICAL Sociry, at 5.30.-The House-fly Campaign: Prof. H. Maxwell Lefroy. Minchinia: A Haplosporidian: Mrs. Helen L. M. Pixell-Goodrich. The Head Cavities and Development of the Eye Muscles in richesurus vulpecula, with Notes on some other Marsupials: Miss Elizabeth A. Fraser. -(1) The Organ of Jacobson and its Relations in the "Insectivora." II. Talpa, Centetes, and Chyrsochloris; (2) The Anomodont Genera Pristerodon, and Tropidostoma: Dr. R. Broom. SOCIETY OF ENGINEERS, at 7.30. -Some Future Developments in Heating and Ventilation: A. H. Barker.
of Steam at Atmospheric Pressure and toss C., with a Preface by Prof. H. L. Calendar.-Thermal Properties of Carbonic Acid at Low Temperatures. II: C. F. Jeskin and D. R. Pye.
ROVAL INSTITUTION, at-The Movements and Activities of Plants: Prof. V. H. Blackman
ROYAL SOCIETY OF ARTS, at 4-30-Indian Trade and the War: Sir C. H. Armstrong
IRON AND STEEL, INSTITUTE, at 10.30-A Selection of: Diffusion of Carbon in Iron: F. W. Adims-Supplementary Notes on the Forms in which Sulphides may exist in Steel Ingots. II.: Prof. J. O. Arnold and G. R. Bol over-Researches on Iron, Si-icon and Carbon Alloys: G. Charpy and A. Coru-Corrosion of Iron in Aqueous Solutions of Inorganic Salts: Dr. J. A. Newton Friend and P. C. Barnet-(1) Relative Corrodibilities of Gray Cast Iron and Steel; (2) Note on the Removal of Rust by means of Chemical Reagents: Dr. J. A. Newton Friend and C. W. Marshall.-Communication on the Heating of an Open-hearth Furnace by means of Tar: Dr. A. Greiner.-Sound Steel Ingots and Rails: Sir R. A. Hadfield and Dr. G. K. Burgess.-The Nature of the Ag Transformation in Iron: K. Honda-Brinell Hardness and Tenacity Factors of a series of Heat-treated Special Steels; Dr. A. McWilliam and E. J. Barnes.-Thermo-electric Properties of Special Steels: A. M. Portevin and E. L. Dupuy.-Stress-strain Loops for Steel in the Cyclic State: Dr. J. H. Smith and G. A. Wedgwood.-Detection of Burning in Steel, and Iron, Carbon, and Phosphorus: Dr. J. E. Stead.
Editorial and Publishing Offices: MACMILLAN & CO., LTD.,
ST. MARTIN'S STREET, LONDON, W.C. Advertisements and business letters to be addressed to the
Editorial Communications to the Editor. Telegraphic Address: PHUSIS, LONDON. Telephone Number: GERRARD 8830.
THURSDAY, MAY 13, 1915.
Société Française de Physique, Recueil de Constantes Physiques. By Prof. H. Abraham and Prof. P. Sacerdote. Pp. xvi +753. (Paris: Gauthier-Villars, 1913.) Price 50 francs.
HIS large and handsome volume of 753 pages is a collection of physical constants compiled under the auspices of the French Physical Society by Profs. Abraham and Sacerdote, and printed in the excellent style with which one is familiar in the publications of Messrs. GauthierVillars.
Following the custom of the more recent editions of Landolt and Börnstein's Tables and the new
Annual International Tables of Constants, the work has been divided among a number of specialists, and each page bears the name of the individual responsible for it.
The system adopted has particular advantage in a volume planned with the idea of giving in general only one value for each constant. Reference is usually given to the name of the authority cited and the year of publication, but the source of the particular information is not specified. A useful explanatory paragraph with formulæ generally precedes each table.
A novelty is the introduction of a large number of curves. For example, the curves of the physical properties of gases given by Amagat impart at a glance an amount of information which would have required a table of many columns. Some very fine reproductions of spectra are given, including a large-scale reproduction of the iron spectrum, which should be extremely useful.
An examination of the book and frequent reference to it for constants required in actual work has revealed only few errors, and on the whole the work of the compilers appears to have been well done and the subject matter judiciously chosen.
Among the more interesting novelties are the useful sections devoted to wireless telegraphy and to physical measuring instruments, and no one could have been found to write with more authority on alloys than M. Le Chatelier.
Some eccentricities appear in the initial table on units; few physicists are familiar with such terms as "volume massique" and "masse volumique," "degré carré," and "steradian."
In the table of the specific heat of water the results of nine different observers are given, in most cases to four decimal places. But the "valeurs combinées" are given to five places, are given to five places, although examination of the individual values
shows large discrepancies in the third decimal. It is much better to avoid in a case of this kind a fallacious air of precision, and it would have been wiser to have followed the example of Commandant Defforges, the well-known authority on pendulum observations, who told an eminent physicist with whom he was discussing his work :
"Each year, as I know a little more of the difficulties, I suppress a decimal place in my results." A good feature of the index of organic bodies is that in many cases the common name of a substance is given as well as its other names, perhaps only adopted by the chemists during a period of some passing fashion. For example, benzophenone is to be found in the index, as well as its synonyms, diphenylmethanone, diphenylketone, and benzoylbenzene. On the other hand, formaldehyde is not to be found, although four other names of this body appear in the index.
It is, however, surprising to find repeated the old familiar error, the confusion of benzine and benzene, words which in no language mean the same thing, although in some their pronunciation is unfortunately identical.
In some cases almost too much information is given. Thus, for example, the work of Tammann and his associates on the influence of pressure on the melting point of a large number of substances is quoted in detail, while practically nothing is to be found on the even more important effect of pressure on the boiling-point, excepting for a few organic bodies. For dp/dt for sulphur vapour is given Regnault's old value, o'82° per mm., known to be considerably too low.
Perusal of a work of this magnitude is suggestive in showing how great is our ignorance in many important branches of knowledge, where it might have been imagined much more precise and accurate data would have been to hand. A good example is the subject of thermal radiation, transparency, etc., where we still depend on Leslie, Rumford, Melloni, and other pioneer workers, who showed the way, where comparatively few have followed to repeat their work with modern appliances. J. A. HARKER.