« AnteriorContinuar »
£ 8. d.
£ s. d. Chemical Constitution of Cast
15 0 0 Iron ........ ............. 0 0 Fossil Flora ...........
25 0 0 Iron and Steel Manufacture ... 0 0 Tidal Observations .............
100 0 0 Methyl Series .....................
Underground Temperature ...... 50 0 0 Organic remains in Limestone
Kiltorcan Quarries Fossils ...... 20 0 0 Rocks..............................
Mountain Limestone Fossils ... 25 0 0 Earthquakes in Scotland........
Utilization of Sewage ............ 50 00 British Fossil Corals .............
0 0 Organic Chemical Compounds... 30 0 0 Bagshot Leaf-Beds ............... 0 0 Onny River Sediment
3 0 0 Fossil Flora ...........
0 0 Mechanical Equivalent of Heat 50 0 0 Tidal Observations .............. 100 0 0 0
£1572 00 Underground Temperature ..... Spectroscopic Investigations of
1871. Animal Substances ............. Organic Acids .....................
Maintaining the Establishment of
12 0 Kiltorcan Fossils ............ 20 0 0 Kew Observatory ............... 600 0 0 Chemical Constitution and Fhy
Monthly Reports of Progress in siological Action Relations ... 15 0 0 Chemistry ......................... 100 00 Mountain Limestone Fossils ......
Metrical Committee............... 25 0 0 Utilization of Sewage ............
10 0 0 Zoological Record.................. 100 00 Products of Digestion ............. 0 0 Thermal Equivalents of the
Oxides of Chlorine ........... 10 0 0 .£1622 0 0 Tidal Observations .............
10000 Fossil Flora .......................
Luminous Meteors ............ 30 00 Maintaining the Establishment of
British Fossil Corals.... Kew Observatory ................ 600 0 0
Ileat in the Blood .
26 Metrical Committee .................
0 0 Zoological Record
0 Kent's Hole Explorations 15000 Committee on Marine Fauna ... 0 0
Fossil Crustacea ...... Ears in Fishes
0 Methyl Compounds .............. 25 00 Chemical nature of Cast Iron ... 0 0
Lunar Objects .....
2000 Luminous Meteors
Fossil Corals Sections, for Pho-
20 0 0 British Rainfall... ................ 0 0
2000 Thermal Conductivity of Iron &c. 0 0
10000 British Fossil Corals............... 50 0 0 Gaussian Constants
40 00 Kent's Hole Explorations ...... 150 0 0 Scottish Earthquakes ............ 4 0 0 1
£1472 2 6
On Wednesday Evening, August 2, at 8 p.m., in the Music Hall, Professor T. H. Huxley, LL.D., F.R.S., F.L.S., President, resigned the office of President to Professor Sir William Thomson, LL.D., F.R.S., who took the Chair, and delivered an Address, for which see page lxxxiv.
On Thursday Evening, August 3, at 8.30 P.m., in the Music Hall, F. A. Abel, Esq. F.R.S., Director of the Chemical Department, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, delivered a Discourse on “ Some Recent Investigations and Applications of Explosive Agents."
On Friday Evening, August 4, at 8 P.m., a Soirée took place in the University Library
On Monday Evening, August 7, at 8.30 P.M., in the Music Hall, E. B. Tylor, Esq., delivered a Discourse on “ The Relation of Primitive to Modern Civilization.”
On Tuesday Evening, August 8, at 8 P.m., a Soirée took place in the Museum of Science and Art.
On Wednesday, August 9, at 2.30 p.m., the concluding General Meeting took place, when the Proceedings of the General Committee, and the Grants of Money for Scientific purposes, were explained to the Members.
The Meeting was then adjourned to Brighton *.
* The Meeting is appointed to take place on Wednesday, August 14, 1872.
Sir WILLIAM THOMSON, Knt., LL.D., F.R.S.,
For the third time of its forty years' history the British Association is assembled in the metropolis of Scotland. The origin of the Association is connected with Edinburgh in undying memory through the honoured names of Robison, Brewster, Forbes, and Johnston.
In this place, from this Chair, twenty-one years ago, Sir David Brewster said :-“ On the return of the British Association to the metropolis of Scot“ land I am naturally reminded of the small band of pilgrims who carried “ the seeds of this Institution into the more genial soil of our sister land.” ..... “ Sir John Robison, Professor Johnston, and Professor J. D. “ Forbes were the earliest friends and promoters of the British Association. “ They went to York to assist in its establishment, and they found there the “ very men who were qualified to foster and organize it. The Rer. Mr. “ Vernon Harcourt, whose name cannot be mentioned here without grati“ tude, had provided laws for its government, and, along with Mr. Phillips, “ the oldest and most valuable of our office-bearers, had made all those “ arrangements by which its success was ensured. Headed by Sir Roderick “ Murchison, one of the very earliest and most active advocates of the - Association, there assembled at York about 200 of the friends of science."
The statement I have read contains no allusion to the real origin of the British Association. This blank in my predecessor's historical sketch I am able to fill in from words written by himself twenty years earlier. Through the kindness of Professor Phillips I am enabled to read to you part of a letter to him at York, written by David Brewster from Allerly by Melrose, on the 23rd of February, 1831:
" Dear Sir,- I have taken the liberty of writing you on a subject of con" siderable importance. It is proposed to establish a British Association of “ men of science similar to that which has existed for eight years in Ger“ many, and which is now patronized by the most powerful Sovereigns of that “ part of Europe. The arrangements for the first meeting are in progress; and “ it is contemplated that it shall be held in York, as the most central city for " the three kingdoms. My object in writing you at present is to beg that you “ would ascertain if York will furnish the accommodation necessary for so “ large a meeting (which may perhaps consist of above 100 individuals), if “ the Philosophical Society would enter zealously into the plan, and if the “ Mayor and influential persons in the town and in the vicinity would be “ likely to promote its objects. The principal object of the Society would “ be to make the cultivators of science acquainted with each other, to stimu“ late one another to new exertions, and to bring the objects of science moro “ before the public eye, and to take measures for advancing its interests 6 and accelerating its progress.”
Of the little band of four pilgrims from Scotland to York, not one now survives. Of the seven first Associates one more has gone over to the majority since the Association last met. Vernon Harcourt is no longer with us; but his influence remains, a beneficent and, surely therefore, never dying influence. He was a Geologist and Chemist, a large-hearted lover of science, and an unwearied worker for its advancement. Brewster was the founder of the British Association ; Vernon Harcourt was its law-giver. His code remains to this day the law of the Association.
On the eleventh of May last Sir John Herschel died, in the eightieth year of his age. The name of Herschel is a household word throughout Great Britain and Ireland—yes, and through the whole civilized world. We of this generation have, from our lessons of childhood upwards, learned to see in Herschel, father and son, a præsidium et dulce decus of the precious treasure of British scientific fame. When geography, astronomy, and the use of the globes were still taught, even to poor children, as a pleasant and profitable sequel to “reading, writing, and arithmetic," which of us did not revere the great telescope of Sir William Herschel (one of the Hundred Wonders of the World), and learn with delight, directly or indirectly from the charming pages of Sir John Herschel's book, about the sun and his spots, and the fiery tornadoes sweeping over his surface, and about the planets, and Jupiter's belts, and Saturn's rings, and the fixed stars with their proper motions, and the double stars, and coloured stars, and the nebulæ discovered by the great telescope ? Of Sir John Herschel it may indeed be said, nil tetigit quod non ornavit.
A monument to Faraday and a monument to Herschel, Britain must have. The nation will not be satisfied with any thing, however splendid, done by private subscription. A national monument, the more humble in point of expense the better, is required to satisfy that honourable pride with which a high-spirited nation cherishes the memory of its great men. But for the glory of Faraday or the glory of Herschel, is a monument wanted ? No!
What needs my Shakespere for his honoured bones
And, so sepulchred, in such pomp dost lie,
That kings for such a tomb would wish to die. With regard to Sir John Herschel's scientific work, on the present occasion I can but refer briefly to a few points which seem to me salient in his physical and mathematical writings. First, I remark that he has put forward, most instructively and profitably to his readers, the general theory of periodicity in dynamics, and has urged the practical utilizing of it, espe
cially in meteorology, by the harmonic analysis. It is purely by an application of this principle and practical method, that the British Association's Committee on Tides has for the last four years been, and still is, working towards the solution of the grand problem proposed forty-cight years ago by Thomas Young in the following words :- .
“ There is, indeed, little doubt that if we were provided with a sufficiently 6 correct series of minutely accurate olvservations on the Tides, made not merely “ with a view to the times of low and high water only, but rather to the heights " at the intermediate times, we might form, by degrees, with the assistance “ of the theory contained in this article * only, almost as perfect a set of tables 66 for the motions of the ocean as we have already obtained for those of the “ celestial bodies, which are the more immediate objects of the attention of 6 the practical astronomer."
Sir John Herschel's discovery of a right or left-handed asymmetry in the outward form of crystals, such as quartz, which in their inner molecular structure possess the helicoidal rotational property in reference to the plane of polarization of light, is one of the notable points of meeting between Natural History and Natural Philosophy. His observations on “ epipolic dispersion” gave Stokes the clue by which he was led to his great discovery of the change of periodic time experienced hy light in falling on certain substances and being dispersively reflected from them. In respect to pure mathematics Sir John Herschel did more, I believe, than any other man to introduce into Britain the powerful methods and the valuable notation of modern analysis. A remarkable mode of symbolism had freshly appeared, I believe, in the works of Laplace, and possibly of other French mathematicians; it certainly appeared in Fourier, but whether before or after Herschel's work I cannot say. With the French writers, however, this was rather a short method of writing formulæ than the analytical engine which it became in the hands of Herschel and British followers, especially Sylvester and Gregory (competitors with Green in the Cambridge Mathematical Tripos struggle of 1837) and Boole and Cayley. This method was greatly advanced by Gregory, who first gave to its working-power a secure and philosophical foundation, and so prepared the way for the marvellous extension it has received from Boole, Sylvester, and Cayley, according to which symbols of operation become the subjects not merely of algebraic combination, but of differentiations and integrations, as if they were symbols expressing values of varying quantities. An even more marvellous development of this same idea of the separation of symbols (according to which Gregory separated the algebraic signs + and from other symbols or quantities to be characterized by them, and dealt with them according to the laws of algebraic combination) received from Hamilton a most astonishing generalization, by the invention actually of new laws of combination, and led him to his famous “Quaternions,” of which he gave his earliest exposition to the Mathematical and Physical Section of this Association, at its meeting in Cambridge in the year 1845. Tait has taken up the subject of quaternions ably and zcalously, and has carried it into physical science with a faith, shared by some of the most thoughtful mathematical naturalists of the day, that it is destined to become an engine of perhaps hitherto unimagined power for investigating and expressing results in Natural Philosophy. Of Herschel's gigantic work in astronomical observation I need say nothing. Doubtless a careful account of it will be given in the · Proceedings of the Royal Society of London' for the next anniversary meeting.
* Young's; written in 1823 for the Supplement to the Encyclopædia Britannica.'