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Locomoteurs on Common Roads. “MR. Goldsworthy Gurney has now contracted with wealthy and influential parties to build Steam-carriages for the road between Plymouth and Devonport; these parties have entered upon the speculation with a view to extend, hereafter, their operations on a much longer line."- -Gordon, Treatise on Elemental Locomotion. May, 1836.

Railroad Acts, present Session, (May 25th incl.) The following Railroad Bills, in addition to No. 1 (see p. 275), received the royal assent on May 19th ;—2. Arbroath and Forfar; 3. Great Western Railway Act Amendment; 4. Birmingham and Derby; 5. Ulster; 6. Dundee and Arbroath; 7. Bristol and Exeter; 8. Aylesbury; and, 9. Bolton and Leigh, on May 20th.

Patent Law Grievance. No. III. The penalties inflicted on the inventive genius of Britain during the present year, up to the 26th ult., in the shape of government stamps and fees on patents, amount to more than £17,000!

N.B. This sum has been paid in ready money, on taking the first steps, and as many of the inventors are poor men (operatives), and a great many others of them persons to whom it would be very inconvenient to pay at least £100. down, they have been obliged to go into debt, or mortgage or dispose of their inventions, either wholly or in part, &c.

Hope Deferred. We mentioned, p. 213, that Mr. Mackinnon had given notice in the House of Commons, on the 21st of March, that he should move for a Committee on the amelioration of the Patent Law on the 21st of April; from the 21st of April he deferred it until the 19th of May; from the 19th of May he has deferred it until the 14th of June !

NEW PATENTS. 1836.

ENGLISH.

N. B.—The first Date annexed to ench Patent, is that on which it was sealed and granted; the second,

that on or before which the Specification must be delivered and enrolled. —The abbreviation For. Comm., signifies that the invention, &c., is “a communication from a foreigner residing abroad."

GRANTS.
APRIL contd.

MAY. 101. WILLIAM PRESTON, Sunnyside, Lanc., 103. John Whiting, Rodney-buildings,

Operative Calico-printer; for im- New Kent-road, Surr., M.D.; for provements in printing of calico and improvements in preparing certain

other fabrics. Apr. 28.-Oct. 28. farinaceous food. May 3.-Nov. 3. 102. John Burns Smith, Salford, Lano., 104. John MACNEILL,

Cotton-spinner; for improvements Middx., Civil-engineer; for improvein the machinery for roving, spin- ments in making or mending turnning, and twisting cotton and other pike or common roads. May 3.fibrous substances. Apr. 30.-Oct. Nov. 3. 30.

105. HENRY SHARPE, Broad-st.-buildings, Total, A PRIL... 23.

Lond., Merchant; for improvements

Parliament-st.,

in sawing wood and other materials. ments in machinery for making lace, May 30,-Nov. 3. For. Comm.

commonly called ornamented bobbin106. WIILIAM SNEATH, Ison-Green, Nott., net-lace. May 11.--Nov. 11.

Lace-maker; for improvements in 118. RICHARD Wilson, Blyth Sheds, Normachinery, by aid of which, thread- thumb., Builder; for improvements work ornaments of certain kinds can in making fire-places, slabs, columns, be formed in net or lace made by monuments, and cornices, such as bobbin-net machinery. May 3.- have heretofore been made of marble. Nov. 3.

May 12.-Nov, 12. 107. WILLIAM AUGUSTUS HOWELL, Rams- 119. THOMAS GRAHAME, of Nantes,

gate, Kent, Smith and Ironmonger; FRANCE, but now of Suffolk-st., Pall for improvements in the construction Mall, Middx., Gent.; for improve

of springs for doors. May 3.-Nov.3. ments in passing boats and other 108. Thomas Henry RUSSELL, Took's

bodies from one level to another. court, Lond. Tube-maker; for im- May 13.-Nov. 13. provements in making welded iron- 120. John Ashdowne, Tunbridge, Kent., tubes. May 3.-Nov. 3.

Gent.; for improvements in appa109. EDMUND Pontifex, Shoe-lane, Lond.,

ratus to be added to wheels to faciliCoppersmith; for an improvement tate the draft of carriages on turnin making and refining sugar. May pike and common roads. May 13.5.-Nov. 5. For. Comm.

Nov. 13. 110. JOSEPH BANISTER, Colchester, Essex, | 121. WHEATLEY KIRK, Commercial-st.,

Watch-maker ; for improvements in Leeds, York, Music-seller and manuwatches and other time-keepers. facturer of Piano-fortes, for imMay 7.—Nov. 7.

provements in piano-fortes. May 14, 111. JOHN ELVEY, Canterbury, Kent, -Nov. 14.

Millwright; for improvements in 122. JOSEPH WHITWORTH, Manchester, steam-engines. May 7.—Nov. 7.

Lanc., Engineer; for improvements 112. MATTHEW HAWTHORNTHWAITE, Ken- in machinery for spinning and dou

dal, Westm., Weaver; for a new bling cotton wool and other fibrous
mode of producing certain patterns substances. May 17.-Nov. 17.
in certain woven goods. May 7.-123. David FISHER, Wolverhampton,
Nov. 7.

Staff., Mechanic; for an improvement 113. THOMAS TAYLOR, Banbury, Oxf., in steam-engines. May 17.-Nov. 17.

Saddler and Harness-maker; for 124. HENRY WALKER Wood, No. 29, improvements in saddles for riding. Austin-friars, Lond., Merchant; for May 7.--Nov. 7.

improvements in certain locomotive 114. LUKE HEBERT, No. 20, Paternoster- apparatus. May 17.—Nov. 17.

row, Lond. ; for improvements in 125. JAMES BROWN, Esk Mills, Pennyhorse collars. May 9.-Nov. 9. For. cuick, N. B., Paper-maker; for imComm.

provements in apparatus for making 115. John Hague, Cable-st., Wellclose- paper. May 18. —Nov. 18.

sq., Middx., Engineer; for an inven- 126. THOMAS BECK, Little Stoneham,
tion for raising water by the appli- Suff., Gent. ; for improved apparatus
cation and arrangement of a well- for obtaining power and motion to be
known power from mines, excava- used as a mechanical agent generally,
tions, holds of ships or vessels, and which he intends to denominate Rotæ
other places where water may be Vivæ. May 18.-Nov. 18.
deposited or accumulated whether 127. PIERRE BARTHELEMY GUINIBERT DE-
from accidental or natural causes, BAC, Brixton, Surr., Civil-engineer;
and also applying such power to, and for improvements in railways. May
in giving motion to certain machinery. 18.-Nov. 18.
May 9.-—July 9.

128. HENRY ELKINGTON, Birmingham, 116. RICHARD WADDINGTON, and JOHN Warw., Gent.; for an improved

HARDMAN, Bradford, York., Iron- rotary steam-engine. May 23.-
founders; for an improved method Nov. 23.
of making and constructing wheels 129. WILLIAM WATSON, Leeds, York.,
for railway carriages.

May 10.- Dyer; for an improvement in dying
Nov. 10.

hats, by the application of certain 117. RICHARD BIRKIN, Basford, Nott., chemical matters never before applied Lace-manufacturer ; for improve

to that purpose. May 24.-Nov. 24.

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METEOROLOGICAL JOURNAL FOR APRIL, 1836; KEPT AT BLACKHEATH ROAD.

Var.

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E.

W.

E.

Barom. Ther. Barom.

Thermometer
Ther.

Daily

Solar
Day of Month

Wind. Direction of wind Luna-
Clouds.

Rad. 9 A.M. attch. 3 P.M.: attch. Min.

A.M.P.M.A.M.P.M

tion.

A.M.
Max. Temp.

P.M.

WEATHER, &c.
Friday, 1 | 29.940 53° 29.715 53° 35°6 | 46°0|40.8 10°4 34o| 9 | 10 | 1 2 S. W.S.E.N.E. Clouds; cirro-stratus ; continued rain and snow.
Satur. 229.650 | 49 29.749 | 50 | 33.4 | 43.6 38.5 10.232 5 73 2 w. bn. w.n.w. Showers of sleet and snow; night showery.
Sun. 3 30.055 49 | 30.225 50 32.0 42.0 37.0 10.0 31 7 1. 83 4.3 N. b w. N.

Windy A.M.; Violent wind with hail-showers; fine
Mon. 4 30.500 49 30.464 51 30.8 46.2 38.5 15.4 | 29 4 411 1 N.

Cold air; drier cumuli ; clear frosty night. (evening.
Tues. 5 30.326 50 30.196 52 28.6 52.5 40.6 23.9 28 8 10 1 1 S.

Cirro-stratus ; rain P.M.
Wed.
6 30.041 53 30.000 53 39.5 51.0 45.3 11.5 | 36 10 90 1

S.W. S.W. Small rain A.M.; overcast and gloomy. (night.
Thurs. 729.512 53 29.304 53 38.7 51.3 45.0 12:6 37 10 6 2 1 S.W. W.

Rain till two P.M. ; large dense cumuli ; lightning at
Friday, 8 | 29.149 54 29.245 55 35.0 52.0 43.5 17.032 10 51 1 s. b w. S. ( Rain A.M.; nimbi, with rainbow at three afternoon.
Satur. 9 29.424 55 29.485 55 38.9 49.5 44.2 10.6 37 61 0 S.E. S.S.E. Heavy showers with hail ; evening alternately clear
SUN. 10 29.696 55 29.706 55 36.8 / 53.6 45.216.8 35 4 5 2 1

N.E. Cumuli; nimbi, with showers. and cloudy.
Mon. 11 29.854 | 55 29.852 | 56 41.848.945.3 7:140 10 81 0 N. N.W.

Thick, hazy, and cloudy; clear night.
Tues. 12 29.896 | 55 | 29.904 56 32.8 55.9 44.4 | 23:1 29 10 92 1 W.S.W. S.W. Mostly cloudy, light showers.
Wed. 13 29.972 | 54 | 29.896 56 44.6 57.5 51.1 | 12.941 9 82 3 W.s.w.w.s.w.

Ditto

ditto with wind. [N.E. at midnight.
Thurs. 14 30.128 56 30.130 58 40.2 54.0 47.1 13.8 37 | 10 | 10 | 0 0

W. Drizzling rain; cloudy throughout; wind changed to
Friday, 15 30.285 57 30.301 | 59 46.0 56.5 51.3 10:5 45 8 21 1

E.
Mostly cloudy A.M.; clear night.

(night.
Satur. 16 30.301 55 30.216 58 31.956.744.3 24.8 30 2 | 101 0 N. N.W. Thick fog; stratus A.M.; cirro-cum. ; close ; cloudy
SUN. 17 30.250 56 30 251 56 41.847.2 | 44.5 5.440 | 10 | 100 1

N.

Thick small rain; very dark and misty.
Mon.
18 30.246 57 30208 | 57 38.2 53.9 46.0 | 15.7 35 71 71 1 N.W. N.

Fair; afternoon and evening dense clouds ; cum. and
Tues. 19 | 30.258 58 | 30.210 | 59 | 40.9 / 56.4 | 48.7 15.5 38 3 | 10

W. W.
Ditto A.M.; overcast.

(cum-strat.
Wed. 20 30.145 57 30.022 58 46.8 56.5 51.7 9.744 83 3 S.W. S.W.

Much cloud; windy.
Thurs. 21 30.071 56 30.046 | 57 40.9 57.0 49.0 | 16:139 3 81

Fine A.M.; cirro-cum, and cumulo-stratus. (at night
W.

W.
Friday, 22 29.912 58 29.986 58 | 45°8 | 58.9 52.4 13:145 7 32 2 8.W.

Rain early in the morn.; fair; bril. aurora borealis

W.
Satur. 23 30.035 59 29.950 59 | 42.5 54.5 48.5 12.040 5 6 2 2 S.W.

» Rain till one P.m; afternoon fine; night dark and

S.
Sun. 24 29.850 58 29.895 59 42.6 48.9 | 45.7 6.341 10 10 2 2

E.N.E.
Incessant rain, and very cold.

[lowering
Mon. 25 30.246 56 30.250 | 58 39.0 54.9 46.9 / 15.9 36 7 22 1

N.E. N.W.

Fine.
Tues. 26 30.242 | 56 | 30.11257 | 40.9 51.0 46.0 | 10:138 2 91 1 N.W. W.N.W. Cloudy; air very sharp; squally at night.
Wed. 27 | 29.921 55 29.931 56 35.6 48.5 42:112:9 33 5 2 2 N. b E.

Cold bleak winds; showers of rain and sleet.

N.E.
Thurs. 28 30.058 55 29.950 56 35.2 51.6 43:4 | 16.4 33 81 2 N.w. W.N.

Much cloud ; hazy; rain about 6 P.M., and low temp.
Friday, 29 30.019 51 29.981 52 33•1 43.9 38.5 10.832 4 73 2 N. N.

Snow showers; cutting cold wind; nimbi.
Satur. 30 29.902 | 49 | 29.852 53 27.8 48.0 37.9 20.226 7 611 N. N. w. n. b w. Sharp frost; thin ice at sunrise; cum. & cum.-stratus.

Mean 29.999 55 29.968 | 56 | 37.92 51•611 44•78 13•69

E.

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MAGAZINE OF POPULAR SCIENCE,

AND

JOURNAL OF THE USEFUL ARTS.

RECENT RESEARCHES ON LIGHT.

Few branches of science have undergone a more entire renovation of late years, than that which relates to the phenomena presented by the subtile and mysterious agent, light, and the theoretical views by which those phenomena may be explained.

It is a somewhat remarkable feature in the history of physical optics, that the most complicated appearances which experiment exhibits, are, in many instances, among those which are the most perfectly understood, and explained on mathematical principles; whilst some of the simplest kind, and which are everywhere familiar to us, are among the number of those which have long remained without illustration; and, even now, have scarcely received any complete elucidation. There are few parts of the subject in reference to which the above remark has been more strikingly exemplified, than the phenomena and theory of prismatic dispersion.

In attempting a popular sketch of the most important points of recent investigation connected with this curious branch of science, we shall find it necessary to offer a few preliminary illustrations of the nature of prismatic dispersion; especially, as it is a point on which, even among scientific men, very vague and imperfect conceptions have often prevailed.

REFRACTION AND DISPERSION.

THE ancients succeeded in perfectly tracing the law and consequences of the reflection of light; the law, indeed, was so simple, (viz., that the angle of reflection is always equal to that of incidence,) that to the mathematicians of antiquity, it held out an inviting field for the application of geometrical skill; which was early employed for tracing a variety of theorems resulting from that law, and when the first physical principle was established, the whole of “ Catoptrics,” was little more than a continued exercise of geometrical deduction from them. Not so with “ Dioptrics,” or the investigation of the course and properties of transmitted light. It was long, in this case, before the very first principle was discovered.

That a ray of light, entering obliquely out of a rare medium, as air, into a dense medium, as glass, or water, bounded by a plane surface, deviates from its previous rectilinear course, and takes a new, but still rectilinear, path within the new medium, was observed as the fundamental fact of dioptrics, long before any theory was imagined, by which it could be accounted for. What particular direction it would take under particular circumstances was also a subject of inquiry: and it was early observed, that if a perpendicular to the surface be imagined drawn at the VOL. I.

2 B

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point where the ray falls upon it, its course will still continue in the same plane, but its deviation in direction will be of such a kind that it falls nearer to the perpendicular than it did before.

In the annexed sketch the ray r, falls P

upon the plane surface of the dense medium 1.

m, and takes a new course r', nearer to the perpendicular p, that is, forming a less angle p' with it, than that which it formed before, 0. Observers for a long time could not discover anything in the way of a more precise relation, or law, than this. At length, however, upon the comparison of a number of observations, it appeared that the new angle ø (which is called the angle of refraction, as is called the angle of incidence,) always bears a certain relation in

magnitude to o, and that its actual amount varies

very considerably in different substances. In any one medium the angles are not simply proportional one to the other, but bear a somewhat more complex relation, which is expressed by the trigonometrical law that their sines are in a constant ratio. This law was discovered by Snell, (1619,) and is the foundation of optics. The absolute value of the constant ratio is different for different media, and is called “ the refractive index” of the medium. When the ray of light arrives at the second surface of the medium, precisely the same thing takes place in reverse order. Thus, if the surfaces be inclined to one another, the ray will undergo a new deviation at the second surface, which may augment its entire deviation from its original course. This will be evident by looking

at the course of such a ray traced in the annexed figure 2, where the successive

angles are marked 0 0' 0"0"' and m is 2 ф

a dense transparent medium surrounded by air. Now this medium m, with inclined surfaces as here represented, obviously forms a portion of a triangular prism, and the deviation which a ray undergoes is thus magnified by its passage through two inclined surfaces, so that by this means we have the best experimental method of measuring the effect of refraction in different media.

But it was soon found, especially by this last mode of observation, that besides deviation another phenomenon is pro

duced: viz., colour ; that is to say, that if a ray of ordinary white light enter a dense medium, it is separated into certain component parts, which give sensations of different colours : this is the case in a very small, indeed quite insensible degree, at one refraction, but in two at inclined surfaces, as in fig. 2, it becomes perfectly conspicuous. The progress of the effect is represented in fig. 3,

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