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The New Physics and Its Evolution eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 226 pages of information about The New Physics and Its Evolution.

CHAPTER VI

THE ETHER

Sec. 1.  The Luminiferous Ether:  First idea of Ether due to Descartes—­Ether must be imponderable—­Fresnel shows light vibrations to be transverse—­Transverse vibrations cannot exist in fluid—­Ether must be discontinuous.

Sec. 2.  Radiations:  Wave-lengths and their measurements—­Rubens’ and Lenard’s researches—­ Stationary waves and colour-photography—­Fresnel’s hypothesis opposed by Neumann—­Wiener’s and Cotton’s experiments.

Sec. 3.  The Electromagnetic Ether:  Ampere’s advocacy of mathematical expression—­Faraday first shows influence of medium in electricity—­Maxwell’s proof that light-waves electromagnetic—­His unintelligibility—­Required confirmation of theory by Hertz.

Sec. 4.  Electrical Oscillations:  Hertz’s experiments—­ Blondlot proves electromagnetic disturbance propagated with speed of light—­Discovery of ether waves intermediate between Hertzian and visible ones—­Rubens’ and Nichols’ experiments—­Hertzian and light rays contrasted—­Pressure of light.

Sec. 5.  The X-Rays:  Roentgen’s discovery—­Properties of X-rays—­Not homogeneous—­Rutherford and M’Clung’s experiments on energy corresponding to—­Barkla’s experiments on polarisation of—­Their speed that of light—­Are they merely ultra-violet?—­Stokes and Wiechert’s theory of independent pulsations generally preferred—­J.J.  Thomson’s idea of their formation—­ Sutherland’s and Le Bon’s theories—­The N-Rays—­ Blondlot’s discovery—­Experiments cannot be repeated outside France—­Gutton and Mascart’s confirmation—­ Negative experiments prove nothing—­Supposed wave-length of N-rays.

Sec. 6.  The Ether and Gravitation:  Descartes’ and Newton’s ideas on gravitation—­Its speed and other extraordinary characteristics—­Lesage’s hypothesis—­Cremieux’ experiments with drops of liquids—­Hypothesis of ether insufficient.

CHAPTER VII

WIRELESS TELEGRAPHY

Sec. 1.  Histories of wireless telegraphy already written, and difficulties of the subject.

Sec. 2.  Two systems:  that which uses the material media (earth, air, or water), and that which employs ether only.

Sec. 3.  Use of earth as return wire by Steinheil —­Morse’s experiments with water of canal—­Seine used as return wire during siege of Paris—­Johnson and Melhuish’s Indian experiments—­Preece’s telegraph over Bristol Channel—­He welcomes Marconi.

Sec. 4.  Early attempts at transmission of messages through ether—­Experiments of Rathenau and others.

Sec. 5.  Forerunners of ether telegraphy:  Clerk Maxwell and Hertz—­Dolbear, Hughes, and Graham Bell.

Sec. 6.  Telegraphy by Hertzian waves first suggested by Threlfall—­Crookes’, Tesla’s, Lodge’s, Rutherford’s, and Popoff’s contributions—­Marconi first makes it practicable.

Sec. 7.  The receiver in wireless telegraphy—­Varley’s,
Calzecchi—­Onesti’s, and Branly’s researches—­
Explanation of coherer still obscure.

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