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5 a.m., north-easterly at noon, easterly at 2 p.m., and laboratory work. After taking his doctorial degree, he south-easterly at 7 p.m., and this occurs winter and was for some time mathematical master at a College at summer, and is independent of the sea breeze.
Colmar, and, on the Chair of Mathematics becoming This points plainly to a cause in daily operation, which vacant in the University of Strasburg, was one of the the unique position and work of the Blue Hill Obser- candidates for the post. He was strongly supported by vatory enable us to deduce from a comparatively few the Strasburg academic party, especially by M. Sarrus, years' observations. This cause is the diurnal barometric the outgoing Professor, but clerical influences were at tide, with its two maxima and minima, which, as regards work against him, and a Parisian was finally imposed on the Blue Hill, are more pronounced over the land to the little Germanizing University. westward than over the ocean to eastward, and become In 1857, Dr. Plarr married an English lady, and still more pronounced on advancing southward into lower during his honeymoon in Dublin was introduced to Sir latitudes and westward into more inland situations. Thus, William Rowan Hamilton, the originator of the Quaat 9 a.m., the time of the morning maximum, pressure at ternion method, and became thenceforth a devoted the Blue Hill is o'023 inch above the daily mean ; at student and exponent of the work of that great genius. New York, o'028 inch ; at Philadelphia, 0'031 inch ; and 'The British Association met at Dublin in the autumn at Washington, 0'035 inch. Now at this physical instant, of 1857, and Dr. Plarr was one of the eight foreign men 9 a.m. local time, this atmospheric tide becomes relatively of science who were that year elected Corresponding less and less on advancing eastward across the Atlantic, Members." Whewell, Hamilton, Vignoles, and Brewster and at Kew (about 2 p.m. G.M.T.) pressure is o‘012 inch were, we believe, his sponsors on this occasion. The below its average. From its position with respect to this paper then communicated by him to the Mathematical wide-spread shallow diminution of pressure, northerly and Section of the Association will be found at p. 1or of the north-easterly winds attain their diurnal maximum fre- Report. quency at this hour. Again, at the Blue Hill, pressure falls The other seven men of science elected at this meeting to the daily minimum at 3 p.m. (local time), after which were Barth, Bolzani, d'Abbadie, Loomis, Pisani, and the it continues slowly to rise ; and, while rising, pressure is, two Schlagintweits. Of these, only Herman Schlagintrelatively lower to the westward. From its position in i weit survives. Indeed, at the time of his death, Dr. the north-easterly segment of this wide-spread area of Plarr was one of the half-dozen oldest living lower pressure, the south-easterly winds at the Blue Hill sponding Members” of the British Association. attain their daily maximum frequency at 3 p.m.
In the Franco-German war of 1870, Kupferhammer The mean maximum velocity of the wind, about the rate was burnt by the French, in order to dislodge Prussians of twenty-two miles an hour, occurs from November to who had been able thence to command the sluices of the March, and the minimum, nearly fifteen miles an hour, moat round Strasburg. Dr. Plarr accordingly came to from June to August. As regards the hourly velocity of reside among his wife's relatives, first at St. Andrews, the wind, the records show the occurrence of the daily and then at Tonbridge. maximum at 3p.m., being the hour of occurrence gener- Since 1870, Dr. Plarr's time was almost exclusively ally, except at high-level Observatories ; but the time of devoted to the study of Quaternions. In 1882-84 his the minimum, 8 a.m., is markedly different. This pecu- French translation of Prof. Tait’s Treatise was published liarity arises from the curious but highly interesting fact by Gauthier-Villars. Several papers by him, on abstruse that the Blue Hill shows a secondary maximum imme. points connected with the Quaternion method, were comdiately after midnight, or the time when the daily maxi- municated to the Royal Society of Edir urgh. Beside mum velocity occurs at high-level Observatories, thus these there is a very interesting piece of ordinary analysis linking the Blue Hill Observatory with both high and connected with Spherical Harmonics. low level Observatories.
Modest, unambitious, studious, simple in his habits to There are also published valuable results of humidity, the verge of asceticism, Dr. Plarr was of a type rare in cloud, sunshine, rain, gales, thunderstorms, and visibility these days and in this country. Although a man of wide of distant objects, for which we must refer to the Report scientific culture, and of many literary interests, he was itself. As the Meteorological Service of the United content to be a pioneer in a realm of thought for which States has recently taken a new departure, it is to be there is necessarily no popular sympathy at present. hoped that Mr. Rotch, who has generously established Quaternions, indeed, were to him the mathematics of the this Observatory, and has its admirable work well in future, and he was to the last happy in the thought that hand, will yet see his way to the continuance of the he had assisted, however obscurely, in their development. tabulation and publication of the hourly values of the elements, which cannot but prove to be of essential service to the Department in carrying out certain de
NOTES. velopments of American meteorology which, it is Two international scientific Congresses are to be held at understood, are under consideration.
Moscow in August. One will relate to anthropology and archæology, the other to zoology. There will be exhibitions
in connection with both Congresses, and appeals have been GUSTAV PLARR.
issued for the loan of objects which are likely to be useful and ONE NE of the older generation of mathematicians has interesting. Among the things wanted for the Anthropological
lately passed away in the person of Dr. Gustav Congress are phonograms of the language and songs of different Plarr, who died at Tonbridge on January 11, of bronchitis French will be the official language of the two meetings. following influenza. He was born on August 27, 1819, The more important papers will be printed before members at Kupferhammer, a country house near Strasburg. He
come together, so that discussion may be facilitated. was educated at the Gymnase and at the University in that city, whence he proceeded to Paris University, where The death, on February 20, of Prof. Hermann Kopp is he obtained his diplomas as Licentiate of Sciences and as announced. He died at Heidelberg, after a long and painful “ Docteur ès Sciences Mathématiques.” Among his illness, in the seventy-fifth year of his age. close friends at school and at the University was M. Wurtz, while M. Gerhardt, another great chemist, was
The well-known botanist and philologist Stephan Endamong his Strasburg contemporaries. Dr. Plarr for licher was buried in 1849 in a churchyard near Vienna. This some time meditated a life of chemical research, but churchyard is about to be closed, and it is proposed that Endfound that his health would not permit of prolonged | licher's remains shall be removed to the new central cemetery
of Vienna, and that a suitable monument to him shall there be far at the date of the excursion as to have destroyed every clear erected. At present, his grave is not marked even by an section. At Butts Green there is a good section of London Clay ordinary tombstone. An influential international Committee capped by sand and gravel. Nearer Romford the cuttings are has been formed for the purpose of giving effect to the scheme. not sufficiently advanced to be worth visiting. The total walking Those who desire to associate themselves with it should send distance is three miles. subscriptions as soon as possible to the K.K. zoologisch
A WORK of considerable interest to meteorologists has been botanische Gesellschaft, Vienna, I, Herrengasse 13.
published in the Memoirs of the Physical Society of Geneva, MR. W. SAVILLE-Kent, who has been absent from England containing the detailed observations made under the directions during the past eight years, acting in the capacity of Inspector of H. B. de Saussure on the Col du Géant, at Geneva, and at and Commissioner of Fisheries to various of the Australian Chamounix simultaneously, from July 5 to 18, 1788. The Colonial Governments, and most recently to that of Queensland, means only, and these only for a part of the observations, were is now in London, and will be occupied for the next few months, published in his “Voyages dans les Alpes" (Neuchatel, 1779-86). chiefly at the British Museum, South Kensington, in working These valuable observations, which have been carefully revised out the corals and other natural history materials collected by by his grandson, Henri de Saussure, have often been asked for, him on the Great Barrier Reefs. Associated with the materials and we believe have only lately been discovered. They include in question is an extensive series of photographs of coral reefs values taken several times daily of pressure, temperature, and coral animals taken from life, some few of the more early humidity, wind, cloud, electricity, magnetism, &c., together acquired of which were exhibited at last year's conversazione of with general remarks upon the weather. the Royal Society. Selections from the completed series will be shortly published in association with a work, on the fishery and
From a recent statistical study of the wheat harvests of Ohio natural history products generally of the Great Barrier district, (summarized in Science), it appears that the average yield of that Mr. Saville-Kent has in preparation. Mr. Saville-Kent is
wheat is increasing in the northern and central sections of the under engagement with the Government of Western Australia to
State, while it is at a standstill, and at far too low a point for proceed to that colony towards the end of the current year, to
profit, in the southern and south-eastern counties. Geologicinvestigate and report upon the pearl and pearl-shell, oyster, and ally, there are three bands running across the State from north other indigenous fisheries, with a view to their more profitable coal-measures ; next to it, a narrower strip of Waverly rocks
to south--that in the east (nearly a third of the whole), over development. This engagement is likely to occupy him for
(sandstones and calcareous shales); then the western half, some two years, when he proposes to return permanently to
over limestones. The two latter are covered with a bed of England.
glacial drift, which is, however, a good deal modified by PROF. HUXLEY AND PROF. RAY LANKESTER have each the underlying rocks. In the northern portion, the counties written to the Times on Lady Blake's proposal that a marine over the Waverly rocks show a larger average yield (in biological station should be established in Jamaica as a memorial sorty-four years) than those over limestones and the coalto Columbus. Prof. Huxley points out that "animal life is in. measures, and they also show a higher rate of increase. In describably abundant and varied in the intertropical seas,” and the middle and south, the limestone counties show the larger hopes that the scheme will meet with cordial support here and yield; and in the middle (not the south), the larger rate of in the United States. Prof. Ray I.ankester is also of opinion increase. The counties over the coal-measures are inferior in that a good permanent laboratory for the study of marine life yield per acre in each belt, the difference increasing as we come should be established in the tropics ; and he thinks that “no south. The hilly character of the ground is supposed to be the position is more favourable for this purpose than the coasts of chief cause of this lower yield. Some 48 million bushels were Jamaica.” He urges, however, that a definite set of proposals harvested in Ohio in 1888. The area devoted to wheat is should be made in Jamaica for the realization of the Columbus approaching 3 million acres, and represents 12 per cent of the Laboratory. His opinion is that “The Government of Jamaica area in farms in the State. The average yield is thirteen bushels should initiate the scheme, and make the proposed laboratory per acre (in England it is about twenty-eight bushels), but in the part of a biological and physical survey of the coasts of the northern and middle parts it is steadily growing. The producisland.” What is chiefly needed is “an efficient, well-trained tion is keeping far ahead of any possible consumption within naturalist, who must be paid at least £700 a year for his services the State. (less than a lawyer or a sanitary officer), and a Government gunboat with crew, &c., and two or three special fishermen and
An important Conserence of fruit-growers was held last year attendants." A suitable building, Prof. Lankester thinks, could
in Sydney, the chair being occupied by the Hon. Sydney Smith, easily be obtained.
Minister of Mines and Agriculture in New South Wales. It
lasted several days, and the report of the proceedings, which has The members of the Geologists' Association will make an now been issued, ought to be of great service to fruit-growers in excursion 10 Hornchurch on Saturday, March 5, Mr. T. V. all parts of the colony. The President, in his concluding speech, Holmes acting as director. They will visit sections on the new said the Government were both proud and anxious to assist the railway between Upminster and Komford. The early date of agriculturists of the country. All that was required was the cothe excursion has been rendered necessary by the state of the operation and assistance of those engaged in the industry, in most important section. The first cutting to be visited is that order that they might know in what direction this assistance between Upminster Station and the Ingrebourne. It shows would be most useful. He felt sure a great deal of good would London Clay capped by gravel and loam belonging to the come from the discussions during the Conference, and he hoped highest terrace of the Thames Valley deposits in this district. the members would hold Conferences in their own districts. He Crossing the Ingrebourne, the line enters another cutting north- was most anxious to see the local Agricultural Societies holding east of Hornchurch. In this cutting boulder clay has been seen meetings every month, where papers could be read and different for a distance of 300 yards, resting in a slight hollow on the important questions discussed, as he was certain this would do surface of the London Clay, and capped by gravel belonging to good, and he sincerely hoped his suggestion would be acted the highest terrace of the Thames Valley beds. The greatest upon, as they might rely upon the assistance of the Department. thickness of boulder clay seen in this cutting is 15 feet, and it is The Government, as they knew, had already granted pound for hoped that the sloping now going on may not have advanced so pound to the Agricultural Societies, and they were willing to do
On that year's estimates £5000 was set apart for We are glad to welcome the first number of Natural Science, national prizes throughout the whole colony, and he believed a montbly review of natural history progress. The object of the these prizes would be worth winning.
editors will be “to expound and deal in a critical manner with
the principal results of current research in geology and biology The prevalent notion that the mistletoe is injurious to the
that appear to be of more than limited application.” Articles apple or other tree on which it grows is disputed by Dr. G.
are contributed to the first number by Mr. F. E. Beddard, Mr. Bonnier, the Professor of Botany at the Paris Sorbonne, who J. J. H. Teall, F.R.S., Mr. A. S. Woodward, Mr. R. Lydekker, maintains, not only that this is not the case, but that it is actually | Mr. J. W. Davis, Mr. G. A. Boulenger, Mr. J. W. Gregory, beneficial to its host, the relationship being not one of simple Mr. G. H. Carpenter, and Mr. Thomas Hick. The publishers parasitism, but rather one of symbiosis. He determined from
are Messrs. Macmillan and Co. a series of observations on the increase in the dry weight of the leaves, that, while in summer the mistletoe derives a large
Messrs. EASON AND SON, Dublin, will issue in April the portion of its nutriment from the host, in winter these conditions first number of the Irish Naturalist, a monthly journal of are reversed, and the increase in weight of the mistletoe is less general Irish natural history, and the official organ of all the than the amount of carbon which it has obtained from the natural history Societies in Ireland. The editors will be Mr. atmosphere—in other words, that it gives up to its host a portion George H. Carpenter and Mr. R. Lloyd Praeger. of its assimilated substance.
A new instalment (vol. i. No. 10) of the Records of the At a meeting of the Royal Botanic Society on Saturday last, Australian Museum has been issued. These Records are edited Dr. R. C. A. Prior presented ripe seeds of Araucaria imbricata, by Dr. E. P. Ramsay, Curator of the Museum, and embody the monkey-puzzle tree of Chili, collected from a large tree the results of a great deal of serious scientific work. The growing in the open air at Corsham, Wilts. He mentioned that present number contains the following papers :-"On the in this country the plant, though common, seldom ripens its Occurrence of the Genus Palæaster in the Upper Silurian Rocks seeds. It was first introduced here 100 years ago by Mr. Men of Victoria,” by R. Etheridge, Jun. (plate); "The Operculate zies, a Scotch botanist, who accompanied Vancouver's expedition Madreporaria Rugosa of New South Wales,” by R. Etheridge, in search of a passage between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Jun. ; “Notes on the Structure of Pedionomus torquatus, with in returning from their attempt they put in at Valparaiso, and regard to its Systematic Position," by Dr. Hans Gadow. were hospitably entertained by the Viceroy of Chili. While MESSRS. BLACKIE AND SOn have issued an enlarged edition dessert was on the table Menzies observed some nuts he had not of the well-known “Concise Dictionary of the English Lanseen before. Instead of eating his share he saved them, and, guage,” by Dr. Charles Annandale. The new matter consists taking a box of soil back with him on board ship, succeeded in partly of a supplement giving definitions of additional words, raising five plants, which he brought to England, and these partly of several new appendices or lists for general reference. formed the stock from which most of the large trees now growing in various parts of the country have sprung.
The General Report of the operations of the Survey of
India Department, administered under the Government of Some time ago Mr. G. Brown Goode, of the U.S. National India during 1889-90, has been issued. It has been preMuseum, delivered before the Brooklyn Institute a lecture on
pared under the direction of Colonel H. R. Thuillier, R. E., “The Museums of the Future.” This lecture has now been Surveyor-General of India. The Report relates to trigonoprinted, and is well worth reading. Mr. Goode's main idea is, metrical, topographical, forest, cadastral, and traverse surveys. that “the people's Museum should be much more than a house There is also an account of electro-telegraphic longitude operafull of specimens in a glass case." It should,” he says, “be tions, tidal operations, and geographical surveys and reconnaisa house full of ideas, arranged with the strictest attention to system.” This conception he expresses epigrammatically by defining a Museum as “a collection of instructive labels, each
The following are the arrangements for science lectures at the illustrated by a well-selected specimen." In the course of the Royal Victoria Hall during March :- March 1, Dr. W. D. lecture he offers many instructive and interesting remarks on
Halliburton, on “Nerves”; March 8, Prof. Reinold, on the Museums of the Old World.
"Sound and Music"; March 15, Dr. Tempest Anderson, on
"Iceland”; March 22, Prof. Weldon, on “Soles and other The first number of the new Zeitschrift für Anorganische Sea-Fishes"; March 29, Mr. A. Smith Woodward, on Chemie, edited by Prof. Krüss, of Munich, was issued on “Elephants." February 27. As its title implies, the new journal is devoted exclusively to the inorganic branch of chemistry, and the names
A PAPER upon the preparation of amorphous boron is contriof the distinguished chemists throughout Europe and America buted by M. Moissan to the current number of the Comples whose co-operation the editor has been fortunate in securing Sciences upon February 15 that the substance hitherto regarded
rendus. It was shown in a communication to the Académie des would appear to promise well for its value and success. first number, now before us, contains the following six original
as amorphous boron is a mixture of that substance with large memoirs : “Phosphorus Sulphoxide,” by T. E. Thorpe and A. quantities of impurities, formed by the combination of the boron E. Tutton ; “The Double Acids of Heptatomic Iodine,” by C.
at the moment of its liberation with a portion of the metal used W. Blomstrand; “The Action of Hydrogen Peroxide upon
to replace it and with the substance of the vessel in which the certain Fluorides,” by A. Piccini; “Ammoniacal Platinum reaction is performed. M. Moissan now describes a method by Compounds," by O. Carlgren and P. T. Cleve ; Preparation
which he has succeeded in obtaining boron in a state of alınost of Tungstates free from Molybdenum,” by C. Friedheim and perfect purity. The reaction which he employs is that of R. Meyer ; “ A Lecture Experiment,” by C. Winkler.
metallic magnesium upon boric anhydride, a reaction previously
studied by several observers, and most recently by Prof. Winkler, A new Physical Review has been started by the publisher who employed the magnesium in the quantity calculated to reJ. Engelhorn, of Stuttgart. The editor is L. Graetz. The move all the oxygen from its state of combination with the object of this periodical will be to make German readers ac- boron. M. Moissan shows that if only one-third of this quantity quainted with the work being done by physicists in other countries. of magnesium is employed, the yield of free boron is very much It is intended that it shall serve as a sort of supplement to the enhanced, and the impurities are only such as can be removed. well-known Annalen der Physik und Chemie.
He confirms Prof. Winkler's statement that two borides of mag
nesium are capable of formation, one of which is unstable, and, it is not wonderful that a considerable amount of work should as shown by Messrs. Jones and Taylor, is decomposed by water
be done. Mr. Lewis Swist is the Director of the Observatory, with evolution of a mixture of hydrogen and boron hydride,
and, upon assuming command, he selected the discovery of new
nebulæ as his principal field of labour. The first unrecorded while the other is permanent both in the presence of water and nebula was found on July 9, 1883. Since then more than 400 acids. It is this stable boride, which M. Moissan has obtained others have been detected ; and their positions and descriptions in good crystals, which is so difficult to remove from the sub- have been published from time to time in four catalogues. The stance which has hitherto been considered as amorphous boron,
observations are now brought together, and will therefore be and its formation should be avoided as much as possible. When
more useful than heretofore. In the volume containing them
are printed the Warner prize essays. One of these, by Prof. magnesium and boric anhydride in the proportions above indi
Lewis Boss, treats of "Comets : their Composition, Purpose, cated-convenient quantities being 70 grams of the former and and Effect upon the Earth"; and there are several others on the 210 grams of the latter-are heated to redness in a closed coloured skies seen about the time of the Krakatað eruption. crucible, a somewhat violent reaction occurs, the crucible be
Mr. Henry Maine endeavours to show that a physical connection
existed between these red sunsets and solar activity. The Rev. coming vividly incandescent. Upon cooling, a reddish-brown
S. E. Bishop, of Honolulu, also describes the brilliant glows in mass is found, which is readily detached from the crucible, and question ; ascribing them io the introduction of finely divided is impregnated throughout with crystals of magnesium borate. matter into the higher regions of the atmosphere. The interior portion is then powdered, and successively treated
MEASUREMENT OF SOLAR PROMINENCES.-In Comptes rendus, with water and hydrochloric acid, alcoholic potash, hydrofluoric tome cxiii. p. 353 (1891), M. Fizeau pointed out that the acid, and lastly with distilled water. This product, even after velocities attained by solar prominences were comparable with such exhaustive treatment, upon drying in vacuo, is found to con- the earth's orbital velocity, and remarked that, on account of tain only 95 per cent. of boron. In order to remove the 5 per
this circumstance, prominences must suffer a displacement from cent. of the stable boride, the product is again heated to redness
their true position. If this were so, and the argument appeared in the midst of a large excess of boric anhydride, and the extrac
to be sound, then the apparent heights reached would have to be
increased or diminished according to the velocity with which the tion and washing repeated as before. The percentage of boron prominences were projected. Mr. Henry Crow has pointed out is by this means raised to 98.3 per cent., the remaining impurity an apparent error in this reasoning (Astronomy and Astrobeing a mere trace of the boride and I'3 per cent. of nitride of Pkysics, January, p. 90). He says :-" The author here neglects boron. These remaining impurities have finally been eliminated
the fact that, at any given instant, each point of the solar disk by employing a crucible rendered impenetrable to the surnace
and of the prominence, whether in motion or at rest, is sending
to the observer rays, all of which are affected by the same gases, the nitrogen of which rapidly causes the formation of
correction for aberration. I say the 'same' correction, since nitride, by means of a mixture of titanic acid and charcoal. In the change in celestial longitude or latitude from one part of addition to the laborious method above indicated, by which
the sun's surface to another would affect the aberration quite tolerably large quantities of pure boron may be obtained, M.
inappreciably. If there be relative motion among the parts of Moissan further shows that it may be prepared in smaller
the prominence, then, since at any instant aberration affects all
these parts to the same extent, the prominence will be projected quantities by the reduction of boric anhydride by magnesium in
upon the slit of the spectroscope in its true proportions.” So the a stream of hydrogen, when, after extraction, pure product 'study of the solar surface is apparently not to be complicated by necessarily free from nitride is obtained. And lastly, M. Mois- the introduction of a new correction, In this connection it may san describes an electrolytical method of preparing it. Fused
be remarked that, in a letter dated February 12, Prof. Hale boric acid is rendered a good conductor of electricity by the
writes : “You may be interested to know that I have just addition of 20 per cent. of its weight of borax. Upon passing with a single exposure.
succeeded in photographing all the prominences around the sun through the fused mixture a current of 35 amperes, a little sodium is liberated at the negative pole, and combines with the platinum electrode to form an alloy, while amorphous boron and
THE AUSTRALASIAN ASSOCIATION FOR THE oxygen are liberated at the positive pole. The greater portion
ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE. of the boron, owing to the high temperature of the reaction, recombines with the oxygen with most brilliant incandescence, THE Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science but a portion escapes combination, and may be isolated in the January 7 to 14 inclusive.
held its fourth annual meeting at Hobart, Tasmania, from
The meeting was in every way pure state as a chestnut-coloured powder.
successsul, and the proceedings afford ample and most satisfactory The additions to the Zoological Society's Gardens during the
evidence that much excellent work is being done among our
Australasian kinsfolk in every branch of science. The President past week include a Green Monkey (Cercopithecus callitrichus 8)
was His Excellency Sir Robert Hamilton, Governor of Tasfrom West Africa, presented by Mr. George W. Bowles ; a mania. The people of Hobart accorded to the members of the Toque Monkey (Macacus pileatus) from Ceylon, presented by Association a inost hearty welcome, and did everything in their Mr. Arthur Wallis ; a Bauer's Parrakeet (Platycercus sonarius)
power to make the occasion a pleasant and memorable one. from South Australia, presented by Mr. Edward F. Baillou ;
Visitors from a distance had the advantage of being able to two Alpine Accentors (Accentor collaris), European, presented everything of scientific interest in Tasmania was clearly explained
travel both by sea and land at greatly reduced fares, and by Lord Lilsord, F.Z.S. ; sour Coqui Francolins (Francolinus for them in a capital hand-book issued from the Government coqui 2 0 2 ) from South Africa, presented by the Hon. F. Printing Office. Mr. Robert Giffen attended the meeting, and Erskine ; a Green Toad (Bufo viridis), six Painted Frogs
was cordially received. He delivered a lecture to the members (Discoglossus pictus), European, three Moorish Toads (Bufo of the Association on “The Rise and Growth of the British
Empire." mauritanica) from Tunis, purchased.
Great credit is due to the Hobart Mercury and other local papers for the enterprise they displayed in reporting the pro
ceedings. OUR ASTRONOMICAL COLUMN.
At ihe meeting of the general Council on January 7,
the chair was taken by Baron von Mueller, past President, as THE WARNER OBSERVATORY.-" The Warner Observatory Sir James Hector, the retiring President, was prevented by ill is distinctively a private institution built for the purposes of healih fiom being present. It was formally decided that the original discovery rather than the ordinary routine work of most fifth annual meeting of the Association should be held at other Observatories.” This sentence begins a recently published Adelaide, and practically decided that the sixth should be held history and work of the Warner Observatory, Rochester, N.Y., at Brisbane. Prof. Tate will be President of the Adelaide from 1883 to 1886. Under such favourable conditions as these, meeting.
On the evening of the 7th Sir Robert Hamilton delivered his Research.” He indicated the power of the method by six presidential address before a large audience in the Town Hall. examples :-(1) A theorem in potentials illustrated by applying He presented an interesting sketch of the history of the Royal it to a general electrical problem. (2) Two examples in curviSociety of Tasmania, and suggested many sound reasons why linear co-ordinates. (3) A quaternion proof of a well-known all intelligent persons in Australasia should do their utmost " to theorem of Jacobi's of great utility in physics. (4) A generalihasten the advent of the time, which is undoubtedly approaching, zation of one of the well-known equations of Auid solution. (5) when science will form a much more integral part of the life of The well-known particular system of the differential equation the people than it does at presen!.”
expressing the conditions of equilibrium of an isotropic elastic It is impossible for us to give a full account of the proceed- solid subject to arbitrary bodily forces. (6) A short criticism ings of the meeting ; but the following notes may suffice to of Prof. Poynting's theory of the transference of energy through indicate the wide range of the work done in the various Sections. an electric field.
Papers were read by Mr. W. H. Steele on “The ConSECTION A.
ductivity of Solutions of Copper Sulphate”; by Mr. R. W.
Chapman on “The Dodging Tide of South Australia," con. MATHEMATICS, PHYSICS, AND MECHANICS.
taining a summary of the work done by the Committee on Tidal Prof. Bragg, Adelaide, was President of this Section. He
Observations ; and by Archbishop Murphy, Hobart, on chose as the subject of his presidential address, " Mathematical
" Solar Phenomena and their Effects." Analogies between various branches of Physics." About fifty
Mr. H. C. Russell, F.R.S. (Government Astronomer, years ago, he said, Sir William Thomson showed that there N.S.W.), read a paper on “ The Grouping of Stars in the existed between several branches of physics a very close'analogy
Southern Part of the Milky Way.” He pointed out the advanthe analogy was so exact that the solution of any problem of any
tages of the photographic method of studying star distribution, one theory was at the same time the solution of the problem in
and discussed the evidence offered by a large number of photoany other. The list of analogies might be still further increased graphs taken by himself. The results he had obtained tended by the addition of certain other theories, which were to some
to diminish the value of the rists in the discussion of stellar disextent imaginary, yet important in that they were simple to
tribution. The interest of this paper was much enhanced by the realize, and therefore of great use in presenting to the mind the
exhibition of a large collection of photographs. usual means of grasping ihe other problems. It was a matter of Mr. R. L. J. Ellery, F.R.S. (Government Astronomer, V.), the greatest interest that so wide and so perfect an analogy read a paper describing some of the difficulties occurring in the should exist, and for that reason the analogy would be a fit photographic charting of the heavens, more especially regarding subject for an address. There were other grounds for its fitness.
ihe determination of stellar magnitude. He also spoke of the It was of the greatest assistance in physics to follow up this
desirableness of establishing tidal observations in Tasmania. He analogy, and examine carefully its nature. It was a common
drew attention to the incompleteness of the tidal records for remark that analogies were dangerous things, and the remark was Tasmania, and moved a resolution urging the Government to often true enough. But the danger lay only in an imperfect know
establish several more tide gauges, especially on the north ledge of the extent to which calculations might be made upon
This resolution was seconded by Mr. H. C. Russell, the analogy, and could be avoided once and for all by amending
and carried unanimously. the imperfection. Moreover, the student of electricity and Mr. R. B. Lucas read a paper on the unification of standards magnetism could hardly avoid the use of some sort of analogy,
of weights and measures, in which the condition of legislation in for these theories deal with quantitative relations between things regard to this important matter, with suggestions for ihe unificaof the real nature of which we are completely ignorant, and
tion of standards throughout the colonies, and recommendations most minds could not for long consider these relations in mere
for a central depot with central administration, was specially symbols, but must finally give them some sort of form. He then
considered. explained the nature of the problem, and proceeded to show the
Captain Shortt (Meteorological Observer, Hobart) read a short measure of analogy that exists between various theories of paper advocating a particular method of determining longitude physical science.
at sea from observations of the maximuin altitude. The paper A paper hy Sir Robert Ball, on "The Astronomical Explana- gave rise to a very interesting discussion. tion of a Glacial Period," was read by Sir R. Hamilton, and a
The President of the Section moved “ That the Section telehearty vote of thanks was accorded to His Excellency and to the graph its congratulations to Sir W. Thomson on his elevation to author. Mr. A. B. Biggs, Launceston, read a paper on “Tas
the peerage. This was seconded by Mr. Ellery, supported by manian Earth Tremors.' Mr. C. W. Adams, Dunedin, dealt Mr. Russell, and carried unanimously. with a graphic method of showing the relation between the temperature of the dew-point and the temperature of the air for
SECTION B. any given climate. Mr. George Hogben, Timaru, N.Z., read
CHEMISTRY AND MINERALOGY. the report of the Committee on Seismological Phenomena in Australasia.” This Committee had begun its work by making Mr. W. M. Hamlet, Government Analyst, of New South a compilation of the records of all previous earthquake shocks Wales, presided over this Section. In his opening address he throughout Australasia, and these records were now nearly com- dealt with the progress of chemistry in Australasia. Having plete, except for Queensland and Western Australia. It had described the difficulties with which chemists in Australasia have also provided for as accurate a system of observations in the to contend, he said that in spite of them work had been done. future as was possible under the circumstances, by means of He mentioned the discovery of the alkaloids brucine and memoranda to be forwarded from various telegraph offices. The strychnine in the fruits of Strychnos psilosperma, by Prof. system adopted was, with the necessary modifications, that Rennie and Mr. Goyder, of Adelaide ; also the work done which had been in use with success in New Zealand for some by Mr. J. H. Maiden, of Sydney, in the examination of time past. The Secretary explained what had been done in Australian kinos, gums, and' barks. Chief amongst Mr. New Zealand by this means in the determination of earthquake Maiden's researches was his work on wattle bark, which he origins, and of other facts about earthquakes, and pointed out found contained from 15 up to 46 per cent. oftannic acid. These that it was as part of a world system of observations that the barks were proved to be invaluable for tanning purposes, and observations in Australasia are likely to be most useful. With their cultivation proved easily remunerative to the agriculturist. that aim in view the Committee proposed to extend their obser- Mr. Kirkland's discovery of gallium and indium in some vations to the islands of the Pacific, and so to establish a con. specimens of blende were referred to, as were the highlynection, if possible, with what was being done in South America interesting investigations of different minerals by the Rev. J. and in Japan. An important step was also taken in the adoption Milne Curran, of New South Wales. Reference was also made of a common standard of intensity—the Rossi-Forel scale, as to researches being made by observers who were seeking to find used by Swiss and Italian seismologists, being that agreed upon. out the actual state of combination in which elements occur in It was pointed out that the systein now adopted throughout different ores. Much of this kind of work needed to be done, Australasia had led to the fixing of five of the chief origins of and if such questions were investigated by men who knew what disturbance in or near New Zealand, among them (during the they were doing, it would go a long way towards facilitating the past year) of the origin of most of the Cook's Siraits shocks.
operations attempted in the smelting works, where it is often Mr. A. McAuley, Ormond College, Melbourne, contributed a expected that carbonates, sulphides, chlorides, and oxides should paper on “Quaternions as a Practical Instrument of Physical | each and all yield to the same treatment.