Address ... at the anniversary meeting of the Royal society ... 1840

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Page 27 - ... multiples of the mean angular distance of the moon from the sun, of the mean anomalies of the moon and sun, and of the moon's mean distance from the node ; and the moon's longitude is expressed by means of a series of sines of the same angles, the coefficients of the periodic terms being functions of the ratio of the sun's mean motion to that of the moon, of the eccentricities of the two orbits and of their mutual inclination. Now, if the eccentricity of the earth's orbit be supposed to remain...
Page 13 - Lahore and their Mahomedan successors, and formed alphabets of them, by which they can now be readily perused. He traced the varieties of the Devanagari alphabet of Sanscrit on the temples and columns of Upper India to a date anterior to the third century before Christ, and was enabled to read on the rocks of Cuttock and Gujarat the names of Antiochus and Ptolemy, and the record of the intercourse of an Indian monarch with the neighbouring princes of Persia and Egypt ; he ascertained that, at the...
Page 10 - Gilbert became member of Parliament for Helstone, and at the general election in 1806, was chosen to represent Bodmin, continuing to sit for that borough until December, 1832. He was emphatically the representative of scientific interests in the House of Commons, and was continually appointed to serve on committees of inquiry touching scientific and financial questions. He acted as Chairman of the committee for rebuilding London Bridge, causing it to be widened ten feet more than originally proposed,...
Page 27 - They comprehend the theory of waves and of the vibrations of elastic substances, the laws of the distribution of electricity and magnetism, the propagation of heat, the theory of capillary attraction, the attraction of spheroids, the local magnetic attraction of ships, important problems on chances, and a multitude of other subjects, which the time allowed for this notice will not permit me to mention. His well-known treatise on Mechanics is incomparably superior to every similar publication in the...
Page 24 - ... naturally given rise to much speculation respecting their origin and mutual relations. When, instead of the single planet which was expected to fill up the gap between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, Ceres and Pallas were found at very nearly the same mean distance from the sun, Olbers threw out the conjecture that they were fragments of a larger planet which had been rent asunder by some internal convulsion, and that many more such fragments probably existed. If this were the case, he reasoned,...
Page 23 - J from his earliest years with more than common interest and zeal. There were, in fact, few departments of knowledge and literature, however remotely connected with the natural sciences, which he has not illustrated by his writings : it was when thus travelling into provinces of knowledge which were somewhat foreign to his own, that he was accustomed to quote the adage of Seneca : " Soleo et in aliena castra transire, nan tanquam transfvga, sed tanquam ex-plorator...
Page 16 - Secretary to Mr. Abbott, the Speaker of the House of Commons, and was chosen to examine and digest the Parliamentary returns under the first Population Act in 1800, a duty which he continued to perform at the three succeeding decennial periods, and was preparing to discharge it for the fifth time during the present year, when he was attacked by the disease which terminated in his death. He was appointed second Clerk Assistant to the House of Commons in 1815, and subsequently Clerk Assistant, an office...
Page 28 - ... his later years, he denied access to all visitors, and remained in his study from an early hour in the morning until six o'clock at night, when he joined his family at dinner, and spent the evening in social converse, or in amusements of. the lightest and least absorbing character, carefully avoiding every topic which might recall the severity of his morning occupations. The wear and tear, however, of a life devoted to such constant study, and the total neglect of exercise and healthy recreations,...
Page 29 - ... his own favourite studies, he has left no one to equal him, either in France or in Europe at large, in the extent, variety, and intrinsic value of his labours. The last work on which he was engaged was a treatise on the theory of light, with particular reference to the recent researches of Cauchy : nearly two hundred pages of this work are printed, which are altogether confined to generalities, whose applications were destined to form the subject of a second and concluding section : those who...
Page 18 - Series, vol. xliii. pp. 228. 305 ; vol. xlv. p. 374. preventing that perpetual racking of beams and working of joints, which, in the ancient system of ship-building, produced hogging, creaking, leakage, and rapid decay ; and filling up likewise every vacuity between the timbers, which were occasionally the unavoidable receptacles for foul air, filth, vermin, and various other sources of rottenness and disease. These important improvements, though opposed to the inveterate prejudices of the older...

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