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DAY, APRIL 8, 1915.
"TE WORKS OF TYCHO BRAHE.
Dani Opera Omnia. Edidit T. Tomus I. Pp. lix +320. ldendalske Boghandel Nordisk
first sensation on handling al volume is one of surprise have been allowed to pass before his writings were given ollected form; for he took a ling the structure of modern the first to realise the imper
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cost of the publication of the collected works, which must be considerable, as it is being carried out in a sumptuous manner, with very large, clear type on thick, strong paper, and will run into several volumes.
The heavens themselves signalised in a brilliant manner the advent of Tycho by the outburst of Nova Cassiopeiae in 1572. The memoir, "De Nova Stella," was the first of his published writings, and appropriately begins the collection. "Last year, on the evening of November 11, while contemplating the stars, according to my custom, I observed a new, remarkably bright one nearly overhead. And since from my boyhood all the stars were perfectly familiar to me (such knowledge is not difficult to acquire) it was certain that there had not been even a faint one in that position, much less one of surpassing splendour." Mistrusting his own eyes, he quickly got his neighbours to verify the discovery, which appeared more startling to him than to us, since he knew of no parallel except the star of Hipparchus.
He diligently observed the position of the Nova at various hour-angles, and after some months' observation satisfied himself that it had neither proper motion nor diurnal parallax (on his geocentric hypothesis annual parallax was not to be expected), so he rightly concluded that it belonged to the sphere of the fixed stars; the fact that it scintillated confirmed this view. He estimated its bulk as many hundred times that of the earth, no doubt thinking himself very daring.
His notes on the magnitude and colour are interesting, to compare with those on modern Novæ. In November, 1572, the Nova was much brighter than Venus, so that many people saw it in full daylight; at that time its colour was compared to that of Jupiter. The brightness in December was equal to Jupiter, in February and March to a star of the first magnitude, in May to one of the second. The colour became red like Mars or Aldebaran; later still it became livid like Saturn.
and geology-is now welcomed both for purposes of exhibition and in the study series.
Bureau of American Ethnology.
The work of the Bureau of American Ethnology during the year has brought together much new material relating to the habits and customs and the languages of the American Indians. One of special interest was a reconnaissance by Mr. F. W. Hodge, ethnologist-in-charge, of a group of prehistoric ruins on a mesa in Cebollita Valley, N. Mex. These ruins consist of a number of house groups forming a com pound built on an almost impregnable height, and designed for defence; not only the groups but the individual houses have the form of fortifications, while the vulnerable point of the mesa rim is protected by means of a rude breastwork of stones. Among the special features of interest which Mr. Hodge discovered were a burial cist in which skeletons, pottery, and the remains of a mat were found; three small cliff lodges situated in the sides of the cliffs; several ceremonial rooms or kivas associated with the ruined houses; and the remains of the early reservoirs of the inhabitants.
National Zoological Park.
The collection in the park is the outgrowth of a small number of living animals which for several years had been assembled in very crowded quarters near the Smithsonian building, mainly for the purposes of scientific study. Chiefly through gifts and exchanges the size of the park collection has gradually increased, until it now numbers 340 species of mammals, birds, and reptiles, represented by 1362 individuals.
The work of the Astrophysical Observatory has comprised observations and computations at Washington and in the field relating to the quantity of solar radiation, its variability from day to day, and the effect of the atmospheric water vapour in absorbing the radiations of great wave-length such as are emitted toward space by the earth. Much attention has been given to the design, construction, and testing of new apparatus for these researches, including apparatus for measuring the sky radiation, special recording pyrheliometers to be attached to free balloons for the purpose of measuring solar radiation at great altitudes, and a tower telescope at the Mount Wilson Station.
The principal results of the year include: a new determination of the number of molecules per cubic centimetre of gas, depending on measurements at Mount Wilson of the transparency of the atmosphere; successful measurements by balloon pyrheliometers of the intensity of solar radiation up to nearly 45,000 ft. elevation above sea-level. The results tend to confirm the adopted value of the solar constant of radiation. Most important of all, the investigation by the tower telescope at Mount Wilson shows that the distribution of radiation along the diameter of the sun's disc varies from day to day and from year to year. These variations are closely correlated with the variations of the total amount of the sun's radiation. Thus the work of the year yields an independent proof of the variability of the sun and tends to elucidate its nature.
UNIVERSITY AND EDUCATIONAL
BIRMINGHAM.-Dr. Douglas Stanley has been appointed to the chair of therapeutics.
Dr. L. G. Parsons has been appointed to the newly created lectureship in infant hygiene and diseases peculiar to children.
in chemistry on his appointment to the London University readership in chemistry in the department of home science at King's College.
CAMBRIDGE.-An exhibition of 50l. a year tenable for two years is offered each year by the governing body of Emmanuel College to a research student commencing residence at Cambridge as a member of Emmanuel College in October. The governing body may award additional exhibitions of smaller value should properly qualified applicants present themselves. The exhibitions will be awarded at the beginning of October. Applications, accompanied by two certificates of good character, should be sent to the Master of Emmanuel not later than September 24.
IT is stated in the issue of Science for March 12 that the Massachusetts Committee on Education voted unanimously on February 25 in favour of "taking initial steps toward the establishment of a State university.
DR. F. J. GOODNOW will be formally inaugurated president of the Johns Hopkins University on about May 20. According to Science it has been arranged to give the occasion a double significance, for, in addition to the inauguration of the third president of the University, the new site at Homewood is to be dedicated formally.
THE Scientific advisory committee of the University of Sheffield has recently held, on March 18, 19, and 20, an exhibition of British-made laboratory apparatus and material, with the double object of acquainting consumers with sources of supply, and of obtaining support for the new industries so as to enable them to become permanently established. The exhibits included glass and porcelain ware of different kinds and different sources of manufacture, glass wool, transparent and opaque silica ware, acid-resisting metals, filter papers, and a variety of clay goods. The exhibition aroused considerable interest in Sheffield and the neighbourhood, and great satisfaction was expressed by visitors at the progress which the manufacture of laboratory ware has made in this country in the period since the war began.
THE Board of Education has published a "Memorandum on the Teaching of Engineering in Evening Technical Schools" (Circular 894, price 6d.). Its object is to furnish suggestions to teachers and organisers of schools which provide evening classes in mechanical and electrical engineering, and not to lay down a scheme of instruction suitable for universal application. The need for a great variety both in methods and organisation, to meet the needs of students working in different areas under special industrial conditions, is borne in mind throughout. Part-time courses only are considered in the memorandum, and such subjects are dealt with as the classification of the courses, suitable curricula, and the outlines of laboratory and class work. The detailed outlines of work for courses in mechanical and electrical engineering to suit students of different grades will provide teachers with practical help in modifying and improving their own syllabuses of in
THE annual report of the University College, London, Committee shows that the total number of students for the session 1913-14 was 2206, including in the faculty of science 148 men and 50 women; in the faculty of medical sciences, 138 men; in the faculty of engineering, 134 men; post-graduate and research students, 313 men, 128 women. Of evening students there were in the faculty of science 22 men, 29 women. For the current session, 1914-15, owing
Dr. C. K. Tinkler is resigning his post as lecturer to the war, there has been a decline in the total
number of 335, the decline in full-time students up to the present date being 462. The fall in numbers will involve a decrease in fees of not less than 10,000l. The "Pro Patria" list already issued contains 665 names, distributed as follows:-Army, 523; Navy, 30; Officers Training Corps, 69; Red Cross work, already abroad, 17; voluntary aid detachment, ready for service, 26. A large number of refugee students has been received, each student paying a nominal fee. The number admitted since the beginning of the session has been 116; at the opening of the second term, the number actually at work was 81. The college staff, with the help of its friends, has provided hospitality for about forty-eight persons, and has raised a sum of nearly 300l. to aid the students. The revenue of the college in 1913-14 was 71,5671., the expenditure 71,260l. Members of the college have already indicated their willingness to assist in helping towards the deficit created by the war. The completion of the new buildings has been delayed by the war. A special effort on the part of the Equipment and Endowment Fund Committee is to be made to raise the remainder of the sum necessary for the completion of the chemical laboratories. The sum still needed for this purpose is 13,650l., the greater part of which (10,000l) is required for the special equipment of a physical and electrical chemistry laboratory. The national need of improved facilities for chemical education emphasises the desirability of completing the equipment of these new laboratories.
SOCIETIES AND ACADEMIES.
Mineralogical Society, March 16.-Dr. A. E. H. Tutton, president, in the chair.-Prof. G. Cesàro: Orpiment from Balia, Asia Minor. Results of a crystallographic examination were given.-Prof. G. Cesaro Stereographic projection of a cone touching the sphere of projection along a small circle.-Dr. S. Kôzu The dispersion of adularia from St. Gothard, felspar from Madagascar, and moonstone from Ceylon. A second communication giving the results of careful measurements.-Dr. G. T. Prior: The meteoric stone of Launton, Oxfordshire. The stone, which was seen to fall on February 15, 1830, was acquired by Dr. Lee and placed in his natural history collection at Hartwell House, near Aylesbury. After his death it was, through confusion with another meteorite, lost sight of until 1895, when it was found by Dr. Fletcher wrongly labelled in the Lee collection, and was secured for the British Museum. The stone belongs to the white-veined chondrite group, and in chemical and mineral composition agrees with other members of that group.
Linnean Society, March 18.-Prof. E. B. Poulton, president, in the chair.-J. A. Wheldon and W. G. Travis The lichens of South Lancashire. In the introductory part of their paper, the authors, after referring to the enormous industrial development and increase of population which took place in South Lancashire during the last century, point out the deterioration of the flora which ensued, and then proceed to detail the results of their study of the effects of air-pollution by coal-smoke on the cryptogamic vegetation, and more particularly on lichen-growth. They are of opinion that South Lancashire exhibits the deleterious effects of smoke on vegetation to a higher degree over a larger area than is, perhaps, the case in any other part of Great Britain. They think, however, that these adverse conditions have now reached their maximum. It has, therefore, been considered of importance exactly to describe the state of the lichen-flora as it at present exists, so that data
may be afforded for purposes of comparison at some future time when a regenerated lichen-flora has developed under purer atmospheric conditions. The authors show the extent to which the various classes of lichens, more especially those of corticolous and rupestral habitats, have suffered; and in this connection the marked influence of a calcareous substratum in neutralising the deleterious effects of smoke on lichen-growth is discussed. Particular attention has been paid by the authors to the lichens of the coast of sand-dunes, the lichens the Sand-dune Plant Formation in Britain not having hitherto been specially investigated. The characteristic lichens of these dunes and their ecological relations described. A systematic list of all species of lichens found in the vice-county is given; and four new species and two new varieties are described.
Literary and Philosophical Society, February 23. —Mr. F. the chair. Nicholson, president, in -Prof. W. W. Haldane Gee: A projection screen invented by the late Mr. Thomas Thorp. The screen is made by producing a special type of matt surface on glass, on which is then deposited silver. This forms the opaque back of the screen, the front being of transparent glass. The screen gives a well-illuminated picture when employed for ordinary lantern work, and is especially good for use with the projecting microscope. By its means the Brownian motion of colloidal particles, which requires high magnification and great loss of light, can be demonstrated. The screen is most effective when viewed at an angle nearly perpendicular to its surface. A microscopic examination of the surface shows that it is made up of minute convex discs. -Prof. G. Elliot Smith: The significance of the geographical distribution of the practice of mummification. Mummification is the most distinctive element of a complexly-interwoven series of peculiar customs, including the practice of building megalithic monuments, sun- and serpent-worship, circumcision, tattooing, etc. The art of embalming certainly originated in Egypt, and, as the practice is of a nature extremely repulsive to mankind, the circumstances must have been of quite an exceptional nature to have driven any people to adopt such a custom. It is altogether unlikely that such a complex combination of special circumstances as we know to have called the practice into existence in Egypt should have arisen in more than one place. The details of the technique, in whatever part of the world the custom is found, emphasise an Egyptian origin. The practice spread from Egypt to the Mediterranean littoral, Europe, and the Canary Islands; to East Africa, Upper Congo, Southern Nigeria; to the Persian Gulf, India, Ceylon, Burma, Indonesia, New Guinea, the islands of the Torres Straits, and thence to Australia. Emigrants from Indonesia carried it to Tonga, New Zealand, Tahiti, and eventually to the Peruvian coast of South America.
Academy of Sciences, March 15.-M. Ed. Perrier in the chair.-René Garnier: A class of Abelian systems deduced from the theory of linear equations.--Victor Vâlcovici: The theorem of movements of quantities of motion.-A. Le Bel: Researches on the catathermic radiation. Experiments on the hypothetical radiation suggested by Tissot.-A. Leduc The ratio of the two specific heats of mixtures of gases. Applications. A formula is deduced for the ratio of the two specific heats of gas mixtures based on expressions given by the author in earlier papers, and it is shown that the results are appreciably different from those calculated from the usual method of averages.-Léon Bloch : The absorption of gases by resonance.-A. Portevin :
The mechanical anisotropy of metals and alloys of coarse grain.-F. de Montessus de Ballore: The seismogenic influence of parallel faults.-Pereira de Sousa: The macroseisms of 1911, 1912, 1913, 1914, in the north of Portugal. The earthquakes in the north of Portugal (Minho) from 1911 to 1914 were of epirogenic origin. Their maximum intensity was shown along the seismotectonic line Paços de Ferreira-Vila Nova de Famalicão-Barcellos-Caminha, and their maximum extension along the seismotectonic line Vila do Conde-Malta-Gondomar.-G. Arnaud: The roots of gummy beetroots. The gummy degeneration of the beetroot, which has been rather marked this winter, is shown to be caused by a bacterium, the isolation and description of which are described.-P. Carnot and B. Weill-Hallé: The dissemination of the typhoid bacillus round patients attacked with the disease. A study of the various types of typhoid carriers, with some practical recommendations, including the necessity for the prolonged isolation of typhoid patients, rigorous disinfection of the wards and of infected articles, and semi-isolation and hyper-vaccination of the hospital staff.-Maurice Piettre: The feeding of armies in the field. A statement of the advantages connected with the use of preserved vegetables.
March 22.-M. Ed. Perrier in the chair.-Paul Brück First elements of the Mellish comet. on an observation on February 15 made at Taschkent Observatory, and two observations by M. Coggia made on February 20 and 25.-Emile Saillard: The estimation of saccharose in beetroot after freezing and thawing. A considerable proportion of the saccharose has disappeared by a viscous fermentation.-Louis Rousseau Crystallised calcium theobrominate. Lime water and theobromine react at the boiling point forming a crystallised compound which, on analysis, proved to have the composition (C,H,N ̧O2),Ca‚¤H2O. The properties of this compound are detailed.Maurice Lugeon and Gerhard Henny: The alpinodinaric limit in the neighbourhood of the massif of Adamello.-Henry Hubert: Anomalies in the distribution of the temperature curves in western Africa.— Julien Loisel: a representative nomogram of the psychrometric formula.-M. Pavillard: Increase and scissiparity in the Peridineans.-J. Basset: Preserved food for the armies in the field. Modifications of the existing ration are suggested with a view of giving greater variety of food.-H. Vincent; Experimental vaccination against the cholera bacillus by a vaccine sterilised with ether. The advantages of the use of ether are the rapid sterilisation, reduction in the amounts of useless lipoid bodies, and the dissociation of the treated bacilli favourable to their rapid bacteriolysis in glass and their rapid resorption in the bodv.-Ch. J. Gravier: The biology of corals from great oceanic depths.
The Works of Aristotle, translated into English: De Mundo. By E. S. Forster. De Spiritu. By Prof. J. F. Dobson. (Oxford: At the Clarendon Press.) 2s.
The Works of Aristotle, translated into English: Magna Moralia. By St. George Stock. Ethica Eudemia. De Virtutibus et Vitiis. By J. Solomon. (Oxford: At the Clarendon Press.) 5s. net.
Principles of Physical Geography. By G. C. Fry. Pp. x+151. (London: W. B. Clive.) Is. 6d.
First Principles of Production. By J. T. Peddie. Pp. 231. (London: Longmans and Co.) 5s. net.
Modern Illuminants and Illuminating Engineering. By L. Gaster and J. S. Dow. Pp. xiv +462. (London: Whittaker and Co.) 12s. 6d. net.
Essays towards a Theory of Knowledge. By A. Philip. Pp. 126. (London: G. Routledge and Sons, Ltd.) 2s. 6d. net.
Rain and Rivers.' The Rev. Prof. Bonney and the late Col. George Greenwood. Pp. 16. (London: Watts and Co.) 3d.
Board of Education. Memorandum on the Teaching of Engineering in Evening Technical Schools. Pp. 59. (London: H.M.S.O.; Wyman and Sons, Ltd.) 6d.
A History of the Royal Dublin Society. By Dr. H. F. Berry. Pp. xv+460. (London: Longmans and Co.) 15s. net.
The Problem of Volcanism. By Dr. J. P. Iddings. Pp. xvi+273. (New Haven: Yale University Press; Oxford University Press.) 215. net.
Edema and Nephritis. By Dr. M. H. Fischer. Second edition. Pp. x+695. (New York: J. Wiley and Sons, Inc.; London: Chapman and Hall, Ltd.)
THURSDAY, APRIL 8, 1915.
THE COMPLETE WORKS OF TYCHO BRAHE.
Tychonis Brahe Dani Opera Omnia. Edidit I. L. E. Dreyer. Tomus I. Pp. lix +320. (Copenhagen: Gyldendalske Boghandel Nordisk Forlag, 1913.)
ERHAPS one's first sensation on handling this beautiful volume is one of surprise that three centuries have been allowed to pass after Tycho's death before his writings were given to the world in a collected form; for he took a notable part in building the structure of modern astronomy. He was the first to realise the imperfections of the existing solar and planetary tables, and the fact that their improvement needed prolonged observations with larger and more carefully designed instruments than any that had yet been employed; he fortunately had the skill to design these, and the means to purchase them. Thanks to the bounty of Frederick II., he was enabled to found Uraniborg Observatory, where sun, moon, planets, and stars were observed assiduously for twenty years.
The planetary observations led Kepler to the enunciation of his three laws, those of the moon led Tycho himself to detect the variation and annual equation, also the oscillatory changes of the node and inclination; those of the sun led to the detection of atmospheric refraction, and an approximate measure of its amount. Those of comets showed, by the minuteness of their diurnal parallax, that they were much more remote than the moon, and hence that they were not vapours in our own atmosphere, as many had supposed, but belonged to the planetary sphere. His observations of the fixed stars were far more precise than any previous ones, so that according to Dr. Dreyer the probable error of his standard right ascensions is only 24"; thus we may reasonably conjecture that if Tycho had lived a few years later, and known of the telescopic method, his results might be of utility even in our day.
The present reprint is under the auspices of "Det Danske Spreg og Litteratur Selskab," which has been fortunate in securing the services of Dr. Dreyer as editor. The task is evidently a labour of love with him, as he has made a special study of Tycho's life, having written his biography in 1890; he has written a Latin preface of fiftynine pages in the present work, giving a biographical outline and a summary of the astronomical achievements; the fuller biography should however, be read by all serious students of his life. Mr. G. A. Hagemann is generously bearing the
The astrological significance of the Nova is fully discussed; Tycho made some lucky hits; in the next century many people saw in the career of Gustavus Adolphus a striking fulfilment of the horoscope based on the Nova.
The volume before us also contains the horoscopes of the three sons of Frederick II. : Christian, Ulrich, and Hans. Dr. Dreyer notes that astrology cannot be omitted if we desire to enter fully into the thought of that age, and that Tycho could not refuse to draw up these horoscopes when the king, his patron, requested him to do so. Also, belief in planetary influence seems less unreasonable in the case of those who accept