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as 4.2°; the coldest period is at the end of January, 12.5°, and the warmest in the middle of July, 16.7°. The mean temperature of the northern hemisphere, 15.3° C., is nearly 13 higher than that of the southern. The work includes seven isothermal charts between 30° and 90° S. latitude for the year, for mid-January, and each alternate month.

THE Halbmonatliches Literaturverzeichnis of the Fortschritte der Physik, issue under the auspices of the German Physical Society, still continues to furnish more promptly than any other periodical a list of the papers dealing with topics of interest to physicists which appear in the various journals and proceedings of societies. As instances of the promptness with which titles of papers are published, we may mention that the number for June 15 contains the titles of several papers read at the meetings of the Royal Society and of the Physical Society of London in April and May.

THE prestige of the "principle of relativity" as a basis for our treatment of electrodynamics in moving media has been increased by a preliminary communication made to the German Physical Society by Dr. E. Hupka, an account of which is given in the Verhandlungen of the society for June 15. Three or four months ago Dr. A. H. Bucherer announced that the results of his experiments on the inertia of the negatively charged particles of the B rays from radium were distinctly in favour of the principle as against its most formidable rival the " sphere theory. Now Dr. Hupka, working with the electrons produced when light falls on negatively charged bodies, has shown that when these electrons are accelerated by the action of an electric field, and then deflected by passing through a magnetic field, the deflections observed are again in favour of the principle, which may be stated as follows:-The electrodynamic phenomena exhibited within two systems moving with respect to each other in a straight line will follow the same laws, provided that in each system the unit of time be so chosen that the velocity of light is expressed by the same number.

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"SUPPLEMENTARY INVESTIGATIONS OF INFRA-Red Spectra,' by Prof. Wm. W. Coblentz (parts v., vi., vii.), has been received from the Carnegie Institution of Washington. This publication contains supplementary data on doubtful points which arose in the author's preceding work, and also some additional observations on the emission


spectra of metal filaments and insulators, thus rounding up the subject as completely as possible at the moment. Although, as Prof. Coblentz goes on to say, the programme of investigation is completed, the subject is not exhausted-not even thoroughly initiated. The value and importance of the author's work in the infra-red region of the spectrum are too well known to need any further diploma of merit at this time; moreover, it is impossible to deal in detail with the account of the many new observations described in the present monograph. There are three separate lines of work, namely, infra-red reflection spectra, transmission spectra, and emission spectra. To these is added a valuable chapter on the instruments and methods used in the work. Two points of special interest may be noted, one of which is the relation between the maxima in the reflection spectra of the carbonates and the atomic weight of the metal, where the maxima steadily shift towards the red with increase in molecular weight. The second point of interest is the infra-red spectra of the colloidal metals in relation to the coloured glasses. There is no doubt that, quite apart from its general importance, Prof. Coblentz's work, owing to the range of spectrum dealt with, will have considerable bearing upon the relation between absorption and chemical constitution.

A NEW form of gearing, which has been invented by Mr. Jules Lecoche, and is being introduced by the AngloForeign Inventions Syndicate, Ltd., of 10 Camomile Street, E.C., is illustrated in Engineering for July 2. The gearing essentially consists of two wheels having spiral or helical teeth which run out of contact, a mechanical clearance of about 1/32-inch separating the tops of the teeth on the two wheels. One of the wheels is provided with field magnets in such a way that a magnetic flux is generated between its teeth and the corresponding teeth on the other wheel.. The mechanical drive is obtained

entirely by means of the magnetic flux, the form of the teeth being such that, when the wheels are running together, the tops of any two teeth in magnetic mesh lie immediately one over the other, and follow each the same path. As two teeth leave each other, the magnetic flux will be transferred from the leaving teeth to the approaching teeth, thus ensuring continuity of drive. As there is no contact there can be no friction; and as the power consumed in the field coils is only about 3 per cent. of the power transmitted, a gearing efficiency of about 97 per cent. is attainable. Another advantage lies in the high speed of transmission possible. Ball bearings are used for the spindles, an example at present being shown in London by the Albany Engineering Company, of Ossory Road, S.E., having a gearing loss of 1.79 per cent. and an over-all efficiency of more than 90 per cent. The advantages of this gear should open a wide field for its applications.

We have received a copy of the report of the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science for the year 1907. The association arranges courses of lectures upon scientific subjects, maintains a laboratory and library, and conducts Interesting speeches were given at the annual meeting held an annual examination of candidates for prizes and medals.

last November, and altogether the association appears to be doing useful work in spreading a knowledge of and interest in science.

THE July number of the Fortnightly Review contains an article by Dr. Marie C. Stopes entitled "An Expedition to the Southern Coal Mines." Dr. Stopes was sent by the Royal Society for special palæobotanical work to Japan, where she spent a year and a half in close touch with the Japanese. In addition to devoting a large part of her stay to research work in the Imperial University, Dr. Stopes travelled widely on tours of inspection and investigation. She entered a great many of the coal mines in Japan, and penetrated to the heart of the country searching for interesting specimens. Her article is in the form of a diary, not written for scientific workers, but intended to supply a series of pictures of life in many parts of Japan.


RADIAL MOTION IN SUN-SPOT VAPOURS.-Referring to some comments and queries, by Mr. Buss, in the May number, Mr. Evershed gives further details of the radial motion discovered in sun-spot vapours, in No. 411 of the Observatory. He has found that when the slit of the spectroscope does not bisect the spot symmetrically, but crosses the penumbra on the side of the spot nearer to the centre of the sun's disc, the lines are always convex towards the violet; whereas if the slit crosses the opposite side of the penumbra they are convex towards the red. That the line displacements are due solely to motion is shown by the change in position angle of the maximum shift as the spot traverses the disc. The maximum displacement is always such as to indicate that the maximum motion is along the radius, but the observations are not yet sufficiently delicate to disprove the existence of a superimposed,

relatively slow spiral motion; on the other hand, there is no direct evidence that such an outward spiral motion exists.

In the

Recent work shows that the radial motion is confined to the lower chromosphere-the "reversing layer." higher chromosphere the absorption lines H1, K,, and probably Ha, are usually twisted in the opposite direction to the other lines, thus indicating an inward movement of the vapours. This apparently agrees with Prof. Hale's observation of a dark flocculus moving towards the centre of the spot. There is still an apparent discrepancy between this radial movement and the vortex motions invoked by Prof. Hale to explain the Zeeman effect in sun-spot lines, and, according to Mr. Evershed's results, the vortex, if it exists, either above or below a sun-spot, does not affect the absorbing gases of the "reversing layer" in the penumbræ of spots.




THE King laid the first stone of the new buildings of the Imperial College of Science and Technology on Thursday, July 8. The plans exhibited were those of the Royal School of Mines and an extension of the City and Guilds of London Institute, which will occupy the block of ground at the corner of Exhibition and Prince Consort Roads, South Kensington, and extend as far west as the Royal College of Music. The Imperial College of Science and Technology consists at present of the Royal School of Mines, the Royal College of Science, and the City and Guilds of London Institute, and is administered by a Board of governors appointed by Royal charter, and under the

It is interesting to note that the first building to be erected by the governors of the Imperial College is the much-needed one for the Royal School of Mines, and that the funds for the purpose have been provided chiefly by the late Mr. Alfred Beit and Sir Julius Wernher, of the mining house of Messrs. Wernher, Beit and Co.

BINARY STAR ORBITS.-In No. 4, vol. xxix., of the Astro-presidency of Lord Crewe. physical Journal, Father Stein discusses the photometric observations of the binary star RZ Cassiopeia on assumption that it is an Algol variable. Assuming that the orbit is circular, and that the mean densities of the two components are equal, he finds that the mass of the system is 1002 the sun's mass, the mass of the bright body, the primary, being o'646 sun's mass; the radius of the bright body is 143, and that of the satellite 1-17 the sun's radius, the mean density of each body being o 222 that of the sun's density. The centres of the two bodies are separated by

0-022 astronomical unit.

No. 13. vol. i., of the publications of the Allegheny Observatory, contains a discussion of the orbits of the spectroscopic components of 2 Lacertæ, by Mr. R. H. Baker. In spectrograms of this star taken on fine-grained plates, the lines of the components are, at certain epochs, separated, and it is interesting to note that the "blend curve differs considerably from various parts of the primary curve, thus suggesting that for all spectroscopic binaries having a large range of velocities it is desirable that spectrograms should be taken on the finest-grained plates obtainable at the epochs of maximum velocity. measurement of such plates might, supposing the lines to be separated, considerably modify the results obtained from coarser-grained plates on which the component spectra are inseparable. Mr. Baker finds the period of this star to be 2.6164 days.


MICROMETRIC MEASURES OF DOUBLE STARS.-In No. 4336 of the Astronomische Nachrichten, Mr. Phillip Fox publishes the measures of a number of miscellaneous double stars made with the 12-inch and 40-inch refractors of the Yerkes Observatory. The 40-inch is not used regularly for this work, but is employed when conditions are not suitable for securing parallax plates. Mr. Fox's observing-list is mainly made up of Holden double-stars, about half of which have now been observed, but these measures are reserved until the complete list is ready. The present publication includes the measures, made during 1907-8, of about 130 multiple


THE IDENTITY OF COMETS 1908а AND 1908b (ENCKE).-In No. 4332 of the Astronomische Nachrichten, Dr. Ebell discusses the question of the identity of comet 1908a with Encke's comet. It will be remembered that when 1908a was first discovered by Prof. Wolf, it was announced as being Encke's comet, but the latter was not discovered until May, 1908, when it was found by Mr. Woodgate at the Cape Observatory. Dr. Ebell finds that both the motion and the brightness of comet 1908a are against the theory of identity with Encke's, for the latter was, theoretically, much fainter, about 35 magnitudes, than the observed object. There still remains the question as to whether 1908a was a fragment of Encke's, split off by some accidental encounter or explosion, and this question is being investigated at Pulkowa.

COMET 1909a.-Photographs of comet 1909a (BorrellyDaniel) were obtained at the Greenwich Observatory, with the 30-inch reflector, on June 22 and 30, and the resulting positions are published in No. 4337 of the Astronomische Nachrichten. The same journal also contains a set of elements computed by Prof. R. T. Crawford, and elements and ephemeris calculated by Prof. Kobold.

The life of the Royal School of Mines has been one of many vicissitudes. Even from the time of its foundation in 1851, difficulty has been experienced in providing The move from Jermyn Street adequate accommodation. to South Kensington, which began in 1872, and, as was stated by Lord Crewe in his address to his Majesty, was not completed until 1880, furnished better accommodation for subjects such as chemistry, physics and mechanics; geology was probably in but little worse position than in Jermyn Street, and metallurgy had better laboratories than before, but mining, which was the last to move, has had but poor quarters. The demand for scientific education, however, has grown so rapidly that even the laboratories for chemistry and physics soon became too small, and the fine buildings in Imperial Institute Road, in which the Royal College of Science has its chemical and physical laboratories, have for the past two years received the students. The buildings now to be erected will comprise well equipped laboratories, museums, lecture- and classrooms, and drawing offices for the mining, metallurgical, and geological sections, and, in a one-storied building, 250 feet by 120 feet, under a separate roof, ore-dressing testing works and an experimental metallurgical laboratory are to be erected, the equipment being provided by the Bessemer Memorial Committee.

The extension of the City and Guilds of London Institute will include a laboratory for the study of hydraulics, equipped by Mr. G. Hawksley, but the extension is chiefly necessary on account of the number of students having already outgrown the space available, and the introduction of advanced courses on special subjects requiring more room. Here, again, top-lighted courts will allow the extension of the mechanical laboratories of the institute. Goldsmiths' Company has provided a large sum towards this work.


In the course of his reply to the address delivered by Lord Crewe on behalf of the governors, professors, students, and staff of the Imperial College, the King said :

"The concentration of various associated colleges into one institution, which was effected by our Order in Council of July, 1907. has always seemed to me to be an admirable scheme for the furtherance of scientific instruction, which my dear father had so much at heart; and the names governing body were sufficient in themselves to give the which appeared in the first list of the members of the college a very high status in the educational world.



"The purposes of the college, as stated in the charter, to give the highest specialised instruction and provide the fullest equipment for advanced teaching and research in various branches of science, especially in its application to industry. In recent years the supreme importance of higher scientific education has, I am happy to say. been fully recognised in England; and as time goes on I feel more and more convinced that the prosperity, even the very safety and existence, of our country depend on the quality of the scientific and technical training of those who are to guide and control our industries. The rapid

growth of knowledge makes it necessary for the teacher of any branch of applied science to be a specialist of a high order, and the most accomplished specialist cannot impart the full advantage of his knowledge without that complete provision of apparatus for research and instruction which this college will supply.

"The college has already given admirable results, and we may well look for a steady increase in the number of students and in the efficiency of the instruction provided. "The thanks of the country are due to those publicspirited donors through whose generosity a large portion of the funds have been provided for this great work, and I join in your appreciation of their munificence. I think it is especially fitting that the great discoveries of the late Sir Henry Bessemer, to which the remarkable development of the engineering industries in the last half-century is largely due, should be commemorated by the equipment of the new laboratories of this institution."


On July 7 the King and Queen, accompanied by the Princess Victoria, performed the opening ceremony of the new buildings of the Birmingham University. Inasmuch as the founding of the University on the initiative of Mr. Chamberlain has been effected almost entirely by means of money subscribed by the inhabitants of the Birmingham district, the occasion was appropriately made to partake largely of the nature of a civic function.

The characteristic note of the proceedings may perhaps best be given by some quotations from the King's speeches. In replying to the address from the Corporation, after warmly commending the public spirit of the citizens, His Majesty said: “ Great schemes such as that for providing. your city with pure water have been undertaken in the past, and have been brought to a successful issue; but none is worthier of support or more far-reaching in its scope than the establishment and extension of the great University in which you have taken so important a part." Later, in reply to an address from the Chamber of Commerce expressing the recognition by the commercial and mercantile classes of the value of the advancement of higher education, his Majesty said:" I am glad to learn that the commercial community have been faithful and generous supporters of the University. I feel assured that your expectations of advantages to be derived from the Faculty of Commerce in training the future captains of industry will be realised."

After a luncheon at the Council House, their Majesties drove, through roads lined with enthusiastic spectators, to the new buildings at Bournbrook, a distance of about three miles. The opening ceremony took place in the great hall of the University, which was occupied largely by members of the University and representatives of other educational bodies.

The University address was read by Sir Oliver Lodge, and the following characteristic passage may be quoted :"Guided by our Chancellor, whose inability to be present on this memorable occasion we deeply regret, we have made no attempt to give an appearance of finality to our present undertaking. Rather do we regard it as capable of indefinite expansion. Whilst the field of scientific research is ever widening, and its discoveries demand yearly a fresh application to the facts of life, the claims of the humaner studies become none the less imperative; and in both these branches of human activity, which can only flourish side by side, we realise the need of continual development. But we believe that the work which we have begun, upon which this day your Majesties set the seal of your Royal approbation, can confidently be entrusted to the generosity and to the devoted service of the generations that

are to come.

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His Majesty, in replying, after paying a tribute to the Chancellor, proceeded :-" For the wonderful progress of higher education in the country we have largely to thank the great universities established in our principal cities. No nobler object for munificence can be found than the provision for the necessary equipment for such education; an equipment which, in view of the diverse and elaborate requirements of the modern schools of instruction, must be costly; but without which these schemes, however carefully designed, will prove fruitless. Such institutions as this are of paramount importance in enabling students to

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THE question of the worthy housing of the science collections at South Kensington has been brought before the Government on several occasions during the last thirty years or so. The object of a deputation which waited upon Mr. Runciman at the Board of Education on Tuesday was again to endeavour to obtain an assurance that the Government will provide the money for the building of a museum in which the science collections can be exhibited as satisfactorily as are those of art. The deputation included distinguished representatives of the leading scientific societies and institutions, and the memorial which was presented was signed by the president and officers of the Royal Society, all its living past-presidents, and 128 of its Fellows distinguished in physical science; the Chancellors of the Universities of Cambridge, London, Glasgow, and St. Andrews; the Vice-Chancellors of the British universities; the presidents of scientific societies and institutions; professors of chemistry, physics, mathematics, astronomy, and engineering in all the British universities, university colleges, and principal technical schools and polytechnics; the directors of the chief polytechnics in London and in the provinces; and a very large and distinguished body of persons eminent in and interested in British science and desirous of its promotion.

There can be no doubt, therefore, as to the opinion of representatives of physical science upon the urgent need of satisfactory provision for the housing of the science collections. As Sir William Anson said in introducing the deputation, "the museum, which represents the application of science to material, should be placed in the same position as art and natural history by the Government of the country.

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The collections should be in a suitable building, with room for rearrangement and expansion. A site is available at South Kensington if the Government will come forward with the offer of funds for the actual building; but in spite of the memorial and the deputation, Mr. Runciman did not give an assurance that the money will be forthcoming. He was sympathetic, and promised to place the matter before the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and with this result we must be satisfied for a while. A useful purpose has certainly been served by bringing the subject into public view. We can now only hope that the Government will rise to the opportunity and offer to the physical sciences, which are closely connected with the industries of this country, the same advantages for its collections as are already possessed by natural history and by art.

From a full report of the deputation in Wednesday's Times we make the subjoined extracts.

The memorial presented by Sir Henry Roscoe was as follows:

"We, the undersigned, being deeply interested in the practice and progress of British science, desire to bring before you the importance of the proper housing of the Science Collections at South Kensington. The permanent buildings now erected provide accommodation for art collections only; to complete the scheme a suitable building for the science collections is a necessity. The formation of a science museum representative of all branches of physical science, both pure and applied, has long engaged the attention both of the Government and of British scientific men. So long ago as 1874 the Duke of Devonshire's Commission on Science strongly recommended the establishment of such

a museum, and in their fourth report the Commissioners state: While it is a matter of congratulation that the British Museum contains one of the finest and largest collections in existence illustrative of biological science, it is to be regretted that there is at present no national collection of the instruments used in the investigation of mechanical, chemical, or physical laws, although such collections are of great importance to persons interested in the experimental sciences. We consider that the recent progress in these sciences and the daily increasing demand for knowledge concerning them make it desirable that the national collections should be extended in this direction, so as to meet a great scientific requirement which cannot be provided for in any other way.' Since these words were written a National Science Museum has been established, and the collections in it have been steadily enriched by many important acquisitions. These collections are at present housed in the old buildings at South Kensington known as the Southern Galleries and the Western Galleries. They now include models and copies of historical and modern philosophical apparatus of the greatest value to all interested in the progress of British science, and a large number of machines, instruments, and models of great interest as illustrating the origin and development of our most pregnant British inventions, together with such special collections as the unique series of models illustrating the history of shipbuilding.

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"In 1876 the Royal Commissioners of the Exhibition of 1851 offered to the Government of the day a Ico,000l., together with a site on the Commissioners' ground, for the proper housing of this collection, under the condition that the Government should undertake its maintenance. In 1878 the Commissioners repeated their offer, and in 1879 this was declined by the Government. In 1888 the land to the south of Imperial Institute Road, reaching to that conveyed to the Government in 1864 for the erection of the Natural History Museum, and containing 4 acres, was sold to the Government for 70,000l. This land has now been in part permanently allocated to the main section of the new buildings of the Imperial College of Science and Technology and to the building in course of erection for the Meteorological Office and a post office. The remainder of the site is at present occupied partly by temporary buildings and partly by the old buildings-the Southern Galleries "-which now afford accommodation for the machinery and naval architecture collections of the Science Museum. This portion of the site, adjoining as it does on the north the Imperial College and on the south the Natural History Museum, is well regarded as an ideal position for the long projected Science Museum, which would complete the magnificent group of museum buildings already erected at South Kensington.

“The cost of acquisitions for the current growth of such a science museum, it may be noted, is far less than that of a corresponding art museum. The value of art products increases rapidly with age, whereas the scientific implements, machinery, and apparatus, interesting from an historical point of view, have rarely any great commercial value. The art collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum are now in possession of splendid buildings. If the buildings provided for the science collections were equally worthy of the interests which they should serve, the objects now in the museum could be exhibited to much greater advantage. Moreover, those lacunae which mark sections of recent activity in discovery and invention would be more readily filled than they can be while the obviously temporary character of the accommodation suggests to those who hold objects of interest in the history and advance of science that the authorities have but little appreciation for such things. "Other countries, notably France and Germany, have recognised the importance of preparing suitable buildings for their National Science Museums. In Paris the Museum of the Ecole des Arts et Métiers has a world-wide renown; and a National German Science Museum is now being built in Munich at the cost of 300,000l. England, the mother of so many great inventions that have proved to be pioneers in industrial arts, stands alone in having made no adequate provision for exhibiting and arranging in proper order her unique collections. The undersigned venture to urge upon you that the time has now arrived for action. Land sufficient for the purpose is in the Government's hands, and the Royal Commissioners of '51 if approached

by the Government with a definite building scheme would doubtless give it due consideration. The need is great, and the mass of British science workers will hail your favourable decision with gratitude.

In his remarks, Sir Henry Roscoe said that what is needed is a building adequate to the proper exhibition of the present collection, and one worthy of British science. The grant for science purposes is 180ol.; that for art 11,260l. The fact that with so small a grant the national science collections have reached so important and in many respects so unique a position has been partly due to the fact that the cost of acquisitions for the current growth of such a science museum is far less than that of the corresponding growth of an art museum. Land sufficient for the required purpose is in the hands of the Government, and the Royal Commissioners of 1851, so long ago as 1878, offered to contribute 100,000l. towards a building for the Science Museum. Sir Archibald Geikie said that the council of the Royal Society desired him to express its keen sense of the importance of the collections and the need for better housing for re-arrangement and expansion. Sir David Gill said that, confining his remarks principally to the astronomical collection, he was much impressed with its extreme value, as it included apparatus of all periods, from the earliest days down to the present time. Mr. Alexander Siemens, expressing the view of the Institution of Civil Engineers, said that in the interest of students of engineering it is of the utmost importance that the collections should be housed with plenty of space, and should be as complete as possible. Sir Hugh Bell, as president of the Iron and Steel Institute, said his national pride was hurt when he went through the building at South Kensington and saw the collections housed in a place erected about fifty years ago as refreshment-rooms or something of that sort. Paris, Munich, and Berlin are very much in advance of London in that matter. Dr. R. T. Glazebrook, director of the National Physical Laboratory, said that the physical collection at South Kensington is very inadequately housed and quite fails to represent the growth of that science in England. Mr. W. M. Mordey, president of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, said there is at present no adequate representation of their work in this country. Sir William Ramsay said it is practically impossible to gain any notion of the progress of chemistry from a visit to the collection. Sir George Darwin said that in going over the museum he was struck by two or three things-first, the great interest of the collection; secondly, the overcrowding of it; and, thirdly, the extreme deficiency of the buildings in which it is housed.


Mr. Runciman, in the course of his reply, said:-The memorial which has been presented to the Board of Education and to me on the subject of this museum is one of the most weighty memorials that I think has ever been received by any Minister. We not only provide, or intend to provide, an exhibition for the exposition and demonstration of the principles of science, but we provide illustrations of the applications of science and arts to industry, including models and actual examples of outstanding inventions which are of historical importance, and, as Sir Henry Roscoe has said, are absolutely irreplaceable. We have the greatest desire to maintain historical industrial processes, and we have special collections, such as those in which I myself enormously interested-namely, naval architecture, models of machines, and astronomical instruments. The whole of these are of priceless value. But I quite recognise that they are in many respects incomplete; and I am also impressed with the fact, as indeed everybody is who knows the building in which that collection is housed, that the housing has a great deal to do with the collection in the buildings in their present state. I recognise that the collection, even at the present day, is dreadfully overcrowded. The best illustration of that lies in the fact that in the cases now erected in the museum we have found it necessary to provide for what may be called a basement exhibition. When one passes through the exhibition one sees a considerable number of persons kneeling down on the floor in order to see what is in the basement of these cases. Anyone who is responsible for the museum can hardly avoid being ashamed of that condition of things. It is true that some parts of the galleries were put up as temporary buildings. They were part of the exhibition, I think, of 1862, and it is remarkable that they have lasted

so long. The whole difficulty is the very prosaic difficulty, I fear, of money and land. The South Kensington area, which now contains some of the most remarkable collections and some of the most valuable buildings in the world, has been very rapidly occupied. We cannot go south because of the Natural History Museum, and we are blocked on the north by the Imperial Institute, the Royal College of Science, and some of the other buildings, and I cannot at the moment see in what direction it will be possible for us to expand. The magnificent work which has been done in the direction of art on the other side of the road certainly sets the pace, and I recognise with you that it is pressingly necessary that we should have a new building for our great science collection at the earliest possible date. The question of funds is affected to some extent by the hint thrown out by Sir Henry Roscoe of assistance from the 1851 Commissioners. I cannot imagine any better work to which the Commissioners could devote their funds than in giving assistance in the construction of new buildings. For the moment I will say no more than that I will transmit to my colleagues and lay before the Cabinet, the Prime Minister, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer the very valuable statement which you made, and I will use my own personal influence, for whatever it may be worth, to impress on them the necessities of the case.


and dry-bulb thermograph have been lent by the Meteorological Office. They are the identical instruments which were formerly in use at Fort William Observatory, the base station of Ben Nevis. A Dines pressure-tube anemometer, a Beckley autographic rain-gauge, a CampbellStokes sunshine recorder, and barograph and thermograph of Richard pattern complete the outfit of ordinary meteorological instruments. Provision has, of course, been made for the usual control readings and for eye observations of weather phenomena. An Ångström compensation pyrheliometer has also been set up, and preparation has been made for recording the atmospheric electrical potential.

At Kew the usual observing and testing work has been continued. Summaries of the magnetic and meteorological work are given in the appendix. The results of measurements of solar radiation with an Angström pyrheliometer, and of the temperature of the soil at depths of 1 foot and 4 feet, are given for the first time. The examination of the apparatus to be used at Eskdalemuir has formed an important part of the year's work, and we note also that Mr. W. Dubinsky, of the Pavlovsk Observatory, spent some time at Kew for the purpose of making comparisons between the Kew standard magnetometers and barometer and the standards in use in Russia. These comparisons were carried out in accordance with a general scheme for the international comparison of standards approved by the last International Meteorological Conference. The report concludes with the usual summaries of the magnetic results

WE have received the annual report of the observatory obtained at the observatories at Falmouth and Valencia.

department of the National Physical Laboratory for the year 1908, which is noteworthy as being the first report issued since the establishment of the new magnetic and meteorological observatory at Eskdalemuir. Readers of NATURE will be aware that the advent of electric tramways to the neighbourhood of the observatory at Kew has greatly interfered with magnetic work there. The new establishment in Dumfriesshire is far removed from all industrial undertakings, and will thus be free from disturbing effects due to artificial causes.


So far as Eskdalemuir is concerned, the past year has been one of installation and experiment, and the report contains no results of observations. The superintendent, Mr. G. W. Walker, went into residence on May 11, 1908, and was followed shortly after by his staff, comprising observer, computer, mechanic, and mechanic's assistant. The first instruments to be set up were the Elliot unifilar magnetometer and the Dover dip circle, which given to the laboratory by Sir Arthur Rücker. They are the instruments which were used by the donor and Prof. Thorpe in their magnetic survey of the British Isles in 1890. The first absolute measurements of horizontal force, declination, and inclination were made on May 29, and were continued for eight weeks, when some changes became necessary. Observations, made three times a week, were resumed in October, and have since formed part of the routine work of the observatory. The final determination of the azimuth of the fixed mark awaits the completion of the arrangements for the time signal.

The recording apparatus consists of a set of Eschenhagen magnetographs and a set of Kew pattern magnetographs made for the observatory by Mr. P. Adie. The former belong to the Admiralty, and are those used at the Discovery's winter quarters in 1902-4. Owing to damp, the magnetic house could not be used immediately, and the instruments had to be accommodated elsewhere. The

Eschenhagen recorders were set up temporarily in the seismograph room. The Adie instruments were accommodated in the general laboratory, but the warping of the wooden supports has made satisfactory compensation for temperature changes impossible, and the point will have to be taken up again when the instruments are removed to their permanent positions.

For seismological work a twin-boom Milne seismograph is in use. Regular records have been obtained since September 24. Provision has also been made for carrying on the work of a meteorological observatory or station of the first order. The photographic barograph and wet

The National Physical Laboratory. Report of the Observatory Derartment Richmond, Surrey, and of the Observatory, Eskdalemuir, Langholm, Dumfriesshire, for the Year 1908, with Appendices. Pp. 53. (Teddington, 1509.)

THE IMPERIAL CANCER RESEARCH FUND. THE annual meeting of the general committee of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund was held on July 9 at Marlborough House, when the Prince of Wales, the president of the organisation, took the chair.

The following are extracts from the report, which was adopted at the meeting :

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During the past year further correspondence took place with the authorities of the International Society for Cancer Research in Berlin, in which it has been suggested that the executive committee should re-consider the attitude hitherto adopted and join the International Society; and offering that the first International Congress should be held in London. The executive committee is of opinion that the decision arrived at is in the best interests of the scientific investigation of cancer, and accordingly it adhered to its position. At a subsequent date a petition was presented by the International Society for Cancer Research in Germany to the King, as patron of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, asking that the decision might be reviewed, but His Majesty, after considering the facts submitted to him through the Foreign Office, expressed the view that the Imperial Cancer Research Fund has cooperated freely in the past, both with German and other foreign workers, and will continue to do so in the future.

It may be well to recall in this connection the extent to which the Imperial Cancer Research Fund has encouraged the investigations of independent workers both at home and abroad. As is well known, the material for experimental research is difficult and costly to obtain, and is beyond the reach of many who, but for the help given from this fund, would be debarred from participation in this branch of the research. Recognising that such help must be of the first importance, it has been the aim of the general superintendent, Dr. E. F. Bashford, with the entire concurrence of the executive committee, to distribute to all applicants who possess the necessary credentials the material accumulated with much labour and expense.

A satisfactory feature of the past year has been the recognition of the work of the fund by foreign investigators, as is shown by the number of applicants for permission to work under the general superintendent. It has been found impossible to concede all the requests, but gentlemen from Italy, Bukarest, New York, and Munich have been accorded full liberty to pursue their researches in the laboratories supported from the fund, and every facility has been given them. Special arrangements have also been granted to other workers to pursue certain specific investigations, and to certain foreign medical men to study the methods during a short visit to this country.

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