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If, however, England allows other nations to get the start of us, while we are slumbering in our beds, Manchester and other towns like it must be destined to utter ruin, (Loud applause). My noble friend has mentioned the extended, I may say gigantic, inquiry now going on in different parts of the world in the shape of magnetic observations. I believe there are at this moment going on, in not less than forty observatories- A member: “Fifty-one”]-in different parts of the world, a portion belonging to this country, and the rest to other countries. I have the satisfaction to inform you that her Majesty's government, at the request of the Royal Societythey would have, I doubt not, granted it to your request, if the Royal Society had not forestalled you have consented to continue these magnetic inquiries three years more. (Applause). Another subject connected with this has been adverted to: the kindness shown to science by the Emperor of Russia. I may state upon this, that when I waited upon Sir Robert Peel, on the part of the Royal Society, my companion was the Ambassador of Russia. (Applause). Having taken an active part in furthering these inquiries, the emperor desired his ambassador in this country to make these representations in favour of continuing them. I thought it best that we should go together, and thus exemplify the important truth, that science is a bond of union among all nations, and the best promoter of peace and amity. (Applause). I can't help saying again, although I have said it before, that it is important to the progress of civilization, of humanity, and peace, that nations should feel a common interest in pursuing together those scientific inquiries in which they have a great common object. (Applause). It has been suggested that we go to York next year; I am sure we shall return with as great satisfaction as a child goes back to its mother. At the same time I am bound to remark, as it is well to have everything above board, that the determination of the places at which the association holds its meetings is reserved to a particular body in the association, and that it is impossible to resolve you, ladies and gentlemen, into a parliament, for the control of the local details and general principles which govern the association in its determination. (Hear, hear). I will only express a sincere hope, in conclusion, that the association will continue as eternal as the truths it is designed to discover.
The motion was carried with loud applause. The noble marquis concluded by seconding the vote of thanks to the president.
The President: It is now my duty to inform you that this meeting is adjourned to Wednesday evening next, at the same hour. The proceedings terminated at a quarter to ten o'clock.
FRIDAY. SECTION A.—MATHEMATICAL AND PHYSICAL SCIENCES. The Very Reverend George Peacock, Dean of Ely, took the chair at a quarter past eleven o'clock.
Professor Stevelly read a report by Mr. Francis Baily (assistant
astronomer royal), “ On the seduction of the stars in the Histoire Celeste” by Lalande, the whole of which, with a few omissions, have been reduced ; being in number upwards of 47,000 stars. The cost of printing a catalogue of these stars, in octavo, 500 copies, about £415; or 1000 copies, £100 additional; or with expenses of arranging for the press and correcting, £500 for 500, or £600 for a 1000 copies. Should the British Association decide upon printing, Mr. Baily would draw up a statement of the mode of making the reductions. - The Chairman said a grant of £500 had been made for this purpose, several years ago, as the immense treasury of astronomical knowledge published in the Histoire Celeste, by Lalande, was absolutely useless for the purposes of astronomy without such reduction.- Mr. Stevelly then read another report from Mr. F. Baily, “On the British Association Catalogue of Stars," in which the calculations of the proper places of the stars, with the logarithms of the proper constants, &c., were furnished for nearly 83,000 stars. The whole were copied out for the press; the expense of printing 500 quarto copies would be £550; 1000 copies would be £150 more. - The Chairman explained that this labour had been undertaken under a grant for the extension of the catalogue of stars of the Royal Astronomical Society, which was published by subscription of the members of that society many years ago; and this new catalogue was much needed. It was certainly one of the most important of the labours undertaken under the auspices of the British Association, and its publication would certainly be one of the greatest contributions for the service of practical astronomers that could be imagined. It was proposed to name it when published, “ The Catalogue of Stars of the British Association.”—Mr. Stevelly also read a report by Sir John Herschel, on the reduction of Lacaille's stars, made by a committee consisting of the reporter, Mr. Heuderson, and Mr. Airy; and under the superintendence of Mr. Henderson, the whole of that work was now completed; and the resulting catalogue, arranged in the order of right ascension, was fairly written out for the press. The number of stars reduced was about 10,000. Sir John Herschel recommended its publication, without which, little or no benefit could result to astronomical science. The introduction to the catalogue would give an account of the process pursued in the reduction, the constants used, and all explanations necessary for understanding the work. The Chairman said this great work had also been in progress several years. The observations of Lacaille had latterly become of great importance, inasmuch as they were made at the Cape of Good Hope, and comprehend a very large class of equatorial stars, as there was now an observatory, &c., established at the Cape, with regular observations made and reduced ; and they were also valuable with reference to the labours of Sir John Herschel in that locality, in order that we might have the observations of two distant epochs to compare with one another.
Colonel Sabine then made a report from the committee for translating and publishing foreign memoirs. In the past year two memoirs had been selected for publication, which had been translated gratuitously and presented to the committee by a gentleman who was not a member of the association, and they had appeared in the 10th number of Taylor's Foreign Scientific Memoirs. In answer to a question of Professor Stevelly, Colonel Sabine explained that the translation of one of these memoirs, by Professor Dobee, of Berlin, on the law of storms, would enable any person (a mere English reader) to use his valuable tables (perhaps the most valuable digest ever made for the science of meteorology), as profitably as if his book were translated.
Sir David Brewster then made a communication “ on a new neutral point and a secondary neutral point in the atmosphere.” After noticing the two neutral points (points where there was no polarization of light) of M. M. Arago and Babinet, Sir David Brewster said he had discovered a third at a distance of 20° below the sun. He also mentioned amongst some general results of observations continued for a long time, that instead of the point of maximum polarization being always, as supposed, 90° from the sun, he had found it more frequently 88° from the sun. The neutral point of M. Arago existed in the horizon all day between November 17 and January 24, the altitude of the sun being then such that it just touched the horizon during that time. It was generally believed that the polarization, at the maximum of 90° from the sun was produced at an angle of 45°, but he found the angle only 30°,-i. e. that the motion of the plane of polarization was equal to 30°, and might be obtained by the following formula :-Cot o=Cos (1-1). He found that when the polarization was extremely weak, there was always a quantity of white vapour floating in the atmosphere. Another result of his observations was opposite to the one given by M. Arago, who thought that the curves of the equal polarization were concave towards the sun, whereas these observations showed that they were always convex towards the sun. Sir D. Brewster then adverted to the secondary neutral point of polarization which he had discovered in peculiar states of the atmosphere. He also described a polarimeter, or polariscope, formed of several plates of glass, two plates of rock crystal cut in a peculiar way, and a plate of tourmaline ; by which, he said the rectilinear bands in polarization were seen more clearly than by other methods.
Professor Baden Powell made a communication “ on certain cases of elliptic polarization.” The only substance previously known not metallic, in which elliptic polarization existed, was mica, in a peculiar form, as stated by Professor Forbes at the meeting of the association at Birmingham ; but he (Professor Powell) found elliptic polarization existed in many substances, amongst others plumbago, which was metallic only in a small degree. He then showed a coloured representation of the polarization observed on some steel plates, produced by Nobili's process, by a galvanic deposit upon the
steel plate, which exhibited singular phenomena both in form and colour, there being a regular order of colours from yellow to red, deep purple, blue, green ; and then began a second order of yellow, &c. The whole proved experimentally what Dr. Lloyd had predicted theoretically, at the last year's meeting of the association, in reference to experiments of Sir David Brewster on thin films.
Mr. J. Scott Russell then made a supplemental report of the committee on waves. This oral communication related to a third inferior class of waves, to which Mr. Russell gives the name of capillary waves, as resulting from the same causes which gave rise to the forces of capillary attraction. If he inserted a small wire or glass rod, a sixteenth of an inch in diameter, into a fluid in a state of repose, that fluid was raised by the capillary forces. He then described what he called the constrained motion of the wave, thus caused; and also the free motion of waves generated by the insertion of a point into the surface only of the fluid, or by the removal of such point from the surface. He had also observed the velocity and length of the common wave, which might be called, perhaps, the Newtonian wave; which he ascertained by measuring twenty or thirty of them, all perfectly equal to each other. The result accorded accurately with the Newtonian law, inasmuch as the velocity varied precisely as the square root of the breadth, without the least relation to the height of the wave: but he did not find the absolute velocity assigned by the Newtonian law to be correct. For example, by the Newtonian law, the wave ought to be of the length, as measured by a seconds pendulum, of 3.2608 feet, and it was of the length of 3:57 feet. He then gave the following lengths of waves, in feet, and the respective velocity of each, in feet, per second of time:Length.
3:16 4: 20 ... .... 3.84 3.125 .... .... 3.29 5. 00 ......
4:16 3. 26 .... .... 3:37 6* 25 ........
.. 4.62 3: 57 .......... 3:57 I He gave these observations to show that the limits between them might be considered as perfectly correct. Thus a wave 3:57 feet long, always had a velocity of 3:57 feet per second, and this could never be confounded with the observation either preceding or succeeding it.—A short conversation ensued ; and as the next paper in order, that of Professor Stephano Marianini, was in Italian, and the translation not yet completed, and the two next on the paper could not be read, as the author, Mr. A. J. Parsey, was not present, the proceedings closed here for the day.—The Chairman announced that two communications would be made to the section the next morning, from scientific foreigners ; one by Professor Braschman, of Moscow, containing considerations on the doctrines of
equilibrium and motion, and another by Professor Jacobi, of Königsberg, also upon a mathematical subject; and he might say that no name amongst mathematicians of the present day stood higher than that of Jacobi. (Applause). The section then adjourned, at a quarter past one o'clock.
SECTION B.—CHEMISTRY AND MINERALOGY. At the meeting of this section the Marquis of Northampton took the chair. There were also present, Dr. Dalton, Professor Graham, Dr. Daubeny, Dr. Plairfair, the Rev. William Vernon Harcourt, Dr. Apjohn, &c.
The first paper was a communication by Professor Haidinger, of Vienna, and was read by Mr. Croft. The subject was the Mineralogical and Geological Museum of the Imperial Mining department of Vienna, which Professor Haidinger was entrusted by the Emperor of Austria to arrange. The method of arrangement followed was the brilliant and original method of Professor Moh, which at once arrests the attention and challenges the admiration of the visitors of the imperial cabinet. Professor Haidinger described the number and contents of the rooms, and the order and arrangements, which were unparalleled by any other in Europe. The plan pursued was to divide the empire into four great general divisions, having the great rivers in the centre, and the principal chain of mountains as the boundaries on either side. A sort of section was represented by the arrangement of the cabinets in the four rooms, which greatly assisted the memory. The upper part of the cabinets contained the mineralogical and geological specimens from the higher ridges of rocks, while the tables in the centre held those from the plains. The collection altogether conveyed an idea of the geological and mineralogical peculiarities of that great empire from which it was obtained. It was not the actual possession of fossils and specimens that was useful, the professor remarked, but the use to which they were put, and to which an orderly and accurate arrangement of them mainly contributed.
The Marquis of Northampton expressed the pleasure which the account of Professor Haidinger's instructive manner of arrangement had given him. To obtain accounts of the method of arranging the museums of other countries was highly useful, since it materially instructed us in the arrangement of our own. One great difficulty was, at the same time to protect specimens and to enable them to be seen. He would suggest that the professor's paper be sent to the Geological Section. (Applause). The secretary (Dr. Lyon Playfair) then read a letter from Professor Haidinger, expressing the pleasure he felt at receiving an invitation to be present at the meeting of “that grand and beneficial institution, the British Association;" and his wish that his engagements would allow him to be present at the next meeting, where he might meet together, with other philosophers, his old friends Dr. Henry and Professor Sedg ·