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AUG 3) 1927


The design of this work is to furnish a simple and trustworthy manual for those who are beginning the study of Natural Philosophy; and it ventures to claim a distinct position among the numerous publications which have appeared with somewhat similar aims. On the one hand great pains have been taken to render the book intelligible to early students; the amount of mathematical knowledge assumed is merely a familiarity with the elements of Arithmetic. On the other hand the subject is presented, it may be hoped, with adequate fulness; so that a person who has mastered the work will have gained considerable acquaintance with the principles of Natural Philosophy. Moreover a collection of Examples for exercise is supplied.

The present volume consists of four parts. The first part extends to Chapter III, inclusive; this is of a preliminary character, recalling to the student's attention some things with which he is already familiar, indicating the various branches of knowledge, and giving an outline of that with which we are here concerned. The second part extends to Chapter XXIV. inclusive; this treats of the mechanical properties of solid bodies. The third part extends to Chapter L. inclusive; this treats of the mechanical properties of fluid bodies. The fourth part extends to the end of the volume; this consists of various Chapters which illustrate and apply the principles already established. Thus the present volume is devoted to the Mechanical properties of solid and fluid bodies; the second volume, completing the work, will treat on what Dr Whewell has called the Secondary Mechanical Sciences, namely those relating to Sound, Light, and Heat; this volume is already written and will soon be sent to press.

As in former elementary works the plan is adopted of breaking up the subject into numerous short Chapters which are to a great extent independent of each other; thus the attention of the student is required for only a moderate portion at one time, and if he finds a difficulty in thoroughly mastering a particular Chapter he may pass on to the following Chapters, and afterwards recur to the passages not understood at first.

The Examples, which are above 500 in number, form an important part of the work; many of them are original, while the rest have been selected from the Examination papers published by the Universities and other Examining budies. These Examples will be found, it is believed, not too difficult for the use of an early student; while they will afford real exercises to test his knowledge and his power of application. Both the text and the Examples have been arranged with the view of meeting fairly all the difficulties that may occur in the course of study; it is quite possible to give to a work a fallacious appearance of simplicity by omitting every point that requires close attention, and by constructing examples which all resemble a few familiar types, and so may be solved almost without thought. The student however who wishes to master any science, or to pass an examination in it, must be willing to make the exertion which is necessary in order to comprehend the whole of it, and not merely easy selections from it; and he must be prepared to encounter a wide variety of examples and problems.

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