THE ETHER AND MATTER
Sec. 1. The Relations between the Ether and Matter: Attempts to reduce all matter to forms of ether—Emission and absorption phenomena show reciprocal action— Laws of radiation—Radiation of gases—Production of spectrum—Differences between light and sound variations show difference of media—Cauchy’s, Briot’s, Carvallo’s and Boussinesq’s researches—Helmholtz’s and Poincare’s electromagnetic theories of dispersion.
Sec. 2. The Theory of Lorentz:—Mechanics fails to explain relations between ether and matter—Lorentz predicts action of magnet on spectrum—Zeeman’s experiment —Later researches upon Zeeman effect— Multiplicity of electrons—Lorentz’s explanation of thermoelectric phenomena by electrons—Maxwell’s and Lorentz’s theories do not agree—Lorentz’s probably more correct—Earth’s movement in relation to ether.
Sec. 3. The Mass of Electrons: Thomson’s and Max Abraham’s view that inertia of charged body due to charge—Longitudinal and transversal mass—Speed of electrons cannot exceed that of light—Ratio of charge to mass and its variation—Electron simple electric charge—Phenomena produced by its acceleration.
Sec. 4. New Views on Ether and Matter: Insufficiency of Larmor’s view—Ether definable by electric and magnetic fields—Is matter all electrons? Atom probably positive centre surrounded by negative electrons—Ignorance concerning positive particles—Successive transformations of matter probable —Gravitation still unaccounted for.
THE FUTURE OF PHYSICS
Persistence of ambition to discover supreme principle in physics—Supremacy of electron theory at present time—Doubtless destined to disappear like others— Constant progress of science predicted—Immense field open before it.
THE EVOLUTION OF PHYSICS
The now numerous public which tries with some success to keep abreast of the movement in science, from seeing its mental habits every day upset, and from occasionally witnessing unexpected discoveries that produce a more lively sensation from their reaction on social life, is led to suppose that we live in a really exceptional epoch, scored by profound crises and illustrated by extraordinary discoveries, whose singularity surpasses everything known in the past. Thus we often hear it said that physics, in particular, has of late years undergone a veritable revolution; that all its principles have been made new, that all the edifices constructed by our fathers have been overthrown, and that on the field thus cleared has sprung up the most abundant harvest that has ever enriched the domain of science.