Elements of Natural Philosophy

 
9781113049032: Elements of Natural Philosophy
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This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated for quality. Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process. Though we have made best efforts - the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience. We believe this work is culturally important and have elected to bring the book back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide.

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Book Description:

In Elements of Natural Philosophy (1873), Sir William Thomson (Lord Kelvin) and Peter Guthrie Tate offer an introductory primer to their landmark 1867 work, the Treatise on Natural Philosophy. Designed for university students without higher calculus, the Elements carefully guides readers through the essential principles of kinematics and dynamics.

About the Author:

William Thomson, who became Lord Kelvin of Largs (Scotland) in 1892, was born on June 26, 1824, in Belfast, Ireland. His father, James Thomson, was a textbook writer and mathematics teacher who moved his family to Glasgow, Scotland, in 1832. Thomson entered the university there at the age of ten. A brilliant student, by the time he was twenty-one he had studied at the University of Glasgow, taken his B.A. degree at the University of Cambridge, worked in the Paris laboratory of physicist and chemist Henri-Victor Regnault, and had published twelve scientific papers.

In 1846 he was appointed professor of natural philosophy at the University of Glasgow, a position he held until 1899. There he established the first physics laboratory in Great Britain. His investigations into the properties of matter made him famous.

Thomason supervised the laying of the first transatlantic cable in 1866. He also invented and patented the mirror galvanometer (telegraph receiver) and the siphon recorder to improve cable communication. For this work he was knighted by Queen Victoria in 1866.

Thomson traveled widely in Europe and the United States, and gave a series of lectures at Johns Hopkins University in 1884 on the state of scientific knowledge. His interst in yachting and the sea inspired him to invent, patent, and manufacture a compass used by the British Admiralty, a calculating machine that measured tides, and sounding (or depth-measuring) equipment. With Peter Guthrie Tait, he wrote the textbook TREATISE ON NATURAL PHILOSOPHY, which was published in 1867 and was a major influence on future physicists. THE ELEMENTS OF NATURAL PHILOSOPHY (1872), coauthored with Tait, consisted, in great part, of the nonmathematical portion of the TREATISE ON NATURAL PHILOSOPHY.

Before his death at Netherhall, near Largs, on December 17, 1907, Thomason had become an honorary member of many foreign academies and held honorary degrees from many universities world-wide. He served as president of the Royal Society from 1890 to 1895. At the time of his death Thomson had published more than six hundred papers and had been granted dozens of patents. He is buried at Westminster Abbey, London.

Physicist and mathematician Peter Guthrie Tait was born on April 28, 1831, in Dalkeith, Midlothian, southeastern Scotland. After serving from 1852 to 1854 as a fellow and lecturer of Peterhouse College, Cambridge, Tait took a professorship in mathematics at Queen's College, Belfast. There he joined the noted Irish chemist Thomas Andrews (1813-1885) in research on the density of ozone and the effect of electric discharges on oxygen and other gases. From 1860 he was professor of natural philosophy at the University of Edinburgh.

Tait made fundamental contributions to the theory of quaternions (an advanced algebra that gave rise to vector analysis and was instrumental in the development of modern mathematical physics). His ELEMENTARY TREATISE ON QUATERNIONS (1867) went through three editions. Later he wrote INTRODUCTION TO QUATERNIONS (1873). In collaboration with the English physicist William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, Tait produced TREATISE ON NATURAL PHILOSOPHY (1867), followed by THE ELEMENTS OF NATURAL PHILOSOPHY.

After publication of TREATISE ON NATURAL PHILOSOPHY, Tait concentrated on studies of thermoelectricity and thermal conductivity. With the Scottish physicist Balfour Stewart he wrote THE UNSEEN UNIVERSE (1867), followed by the sequel, PARADOXICAL PHILOSOPHY (1878).

Tait died in Edinburgh, Scotland, on July 4, 1901.

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