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character and amount of water rights. the country are mainly the result of this Experiments are being made to determine continued and combined effort on the part how far drainage can be made to protect of these agencies to add to the sum of the hillsides from destructive effects of erosion. farmer's knowledge, and must be regarded In the whole country there are 100 million as the triumph of intelligence in the apacres of swamp and poor lands, which can plication of scientific knowledge to the till. be reclaimed only through drainage. age of the soil. This he maintains is so

Of the new buildings the secretary says true that it would be superfluous to urge that the structures now being built will the generous maintenance of the departcost about one and one half million dollars, ment in its grand work. and should be completed in two years, by Great as has been the work undertaken and acwhich time it is hoped that further appro

complished, gratifying as have been the results as

shown in the first few pages of this report, be it priations will be available to continue the

remembered that we are still at the threshold of building work inaugurated.

agricultural development and that the educational Speaking of the growth of the depart work which has led to such grand results has only ment, the secretary reports the number of been extended as yet to a portion of our agripersons on the rolls July 1, 1905, to be cultural population. 5,446. Of these, 2,326 are rated as scien

SCIENTIFIC BOOKS. tists and scientific assistants. This shows

NEWCOMB'S REMINISCENCES." an increase since July 1, 1897, of 3,003 persons on the rolls of the department, of

When a man lays down the arduous pen

of the mathematician, which he has used which the increase in the number of the

throughout a long life to the admiration of scientific staff in the same period was 1,401.

the world, and takes up in leisurely fashion In conclusion, the secretary says it has that of the autobiographer, he is tolerably been a grateful task to present to the presi- sure of our respectful attention. But Prodent and thus to the American people a fessor Newcomb has won from us far more pen picture of the American farmer as he than this: he has earned our lasting gratitude is to-day, to make clear the position of the by the production of a book which is delightfarming industry, its wonderful produc- ful to read and which makes several contributiveness, and its large contribution to the tions to the history of astronomy. Of the general prosperity of the country. He has eminently readable character of the book it is also pointed out some of the more impor- easy to assure oneself by opening it at random, tant work illustrative of the methods by for on almost every page there is an anecdote which the department seeks to benefit the or the equivalent, rendered accessible to the farmer. Its work is two-fold. It seeks to

lay reader, where necessary, by admirable exadd to the sum of intelligence in the man

position of astronomical terms and touched

infallibly with a genial humor. The variety and to increase the productive capacity of

of topic is specially noteworthy; the author is the acre. In this work the department has

as much at home in explaining why the United the hearty cooperation of the agricultural

States results from the Transits of Venus colleges and experiment stations, all work

were not reduced (because after spending ing with the department to the same great $375,000 on the observations it was found to end. The gratifying evidences of well-be- be impossible to secure $5,000 for the coming in the farming community, the extra- putations-see p. 178) as he is in vividly ordinary progress made, and the enlarged sketching Mr. Gladstone thus: recognition of the true position of the 16 The Reminiscences of an Astronomer,' by farming industry in the economic life of Simon Newcomb. Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1903. It could not be said that he had either the dry acquaintance of such a man. His name was J. humor of Mr. Evarts or the wit of Mr. Depew; Homer Lane (p. 247). but these qualities were well replaced by the And again we may put in this category the vivacity of his manner and the intellectuality of

generous record of the fact that the genius his face. He looked as if he had something inter

of the Clarks as makers of object-glasses was esting he wanted to tell you; and he proceeded

first recognized in England; the agent being to tell it in a very felicitous way as regarded both manner and language, but without anything that

the Rev. W. R. Dawes, who saw, from a letter savored of eloquence (p. 276).

sent him by Mr. Clark,

describing a number of objects which he had seen Or we may turn to another page and find a

with telescopes of his own make, that the instrunote, brief but vigorous, on the visit of Dom

ments must be of great excellence, and ordered one Pedro of Brazil "the only emperor who had

or more of them. “Not until then were the ever set foot on our shores. (May we English- abilities of the American maker recognized in his men hope that the Emperor of India will be own country” (p. 149). the second ?) On another page is a good Or again we may reckon as a historical instory of Argelander and Gould.

cident the vindication, by Professor Newcomb When with him (Argelander) as a student, himself, of Father Hell, who had half a cenGould was beardless, but had a good head of hair. tury earlier been accused by Littrow of forgReturning some years later, he had became bald, ing records of observations of the Transit of but had made up for it by having a full, long Venus. By protracted study of the original beard. He entered Argelander's study unan- manuscripts. Newcomb was led to suspect that nounced. At first the astronomer did not recog

Littrow could not see differences in color benize him.

tween inks, and on inquiry learned that he “ Do you not know me, Herr Professor ?” The astronomer looked more closely. “Mein Gott!

was color-blind. It is Gould mit his hair struck through!”

No further research was necessary. For half a

century the astronomical world had based an im[By the way, there is a little misprint in the pression on the innocent but mistaken evidence of German.]

a color-blind man respecting the tints of ink in But, as above remarked, there are many real a manuscript (p. 160). pieces of astronomical history, related with It was not the only occasion on which Prothe same charm of simple directness. We fessor Newcomb inferred a fatal flaw in eyemay surely rank as such the incidents con- sight from faulty work. On taking charge nected with the discovery of ' Lane's Law,' for of the Nautical Almanac Office he found that instance. Newcomb was walking home after his proof-reader could not read proofs—he did a scientific club meeting with Mr. Taylor not appear to see figures, or be able to disand

tinguish whether they were right or wrong, A little man whose name he did not even know,

and, therefore, was useless as a proof-reader. as there was nothing but his oddity to excite any

"It is not his fault,” was the reply; "he interest in him, and on the way was explaining a nearly lost his eyesight in the civil war, and theory to his companions in that ex cathedra it is hard for him to see at all.” In the view style which one is apt to assume in setting forth of counsel this ought to have settled the case a new idea to people who know little or nothing in his favor (p. 215). We may put alongside of the subject. My talk was mainly designed for

this story Airy's condition of efficiency in anMr. Taylor because I did not suppose the little

other kind of assistant. “I never,” he said, man would take any interest in it. I was, there. fore, much astonished when, at a certain point, he

“allow an operator who can speak with the challenged, in quite a decisive tone, the correctness

instruments to take part in determining a of one of my propositions, * * * informing us telegraphic longitude” (p. 290). For the exthat he had investigated the whole subject and planation we must refer the reader to the book found so and so—different from what I had been itself. laying down. * * * Naturally I cultivated the Airy is referred to by the author as 'the

most commanding figure in the astronomy of which is in itsclf enough to make the book our time.' Perhaps the same phrase may be worth buying.

H. H. TURNER. used, with alteration in date, of Newcomb

UNIVERSITY OBSERVATORY, OXFORD, himself. At any rate, his figure is conspicu

November 11, 1905. ous enough to justify many times over the autobiographical references in the early part Naturkonstanten in alphabetischer Anordof the book, for which he makes a modest nung. By Professor Dr. H. ERDMANN and apology in the preface. We are sure that the Privatdocent Dr. P. KOETHNER. Berlin, opinion of the friends who urged their publi Julius Springer. 1905. 8vo. Pp. 192. cation will be endorsed by a wide circle of This book on "Constants of Nature' is readers. To be able to identify the Newcomb mainly a collection of tables, containing such we know—the man who courageously set out information as, in the opinion of the authors, to reduce to order a vast mass of heterogene- is most frequently needed in chemical and ous accumulated observations, and who did physical calculations. The selection made it—with the child who taught himself to add seems in general to be a good one, though by using a bed-quilt as an abacus; with the some additions might have made it more useboy who listened to an astronomical lecture ful to the physicist. For example, there is by his father (somewhat as J. Homer Lane no table of the density of mercury at different afterwards listened to Newcomb himself) and temperatures, no magnetic data, and under the then said, “Father, I think you were wrong in discussion of temperature measurement no one thing' (the story is told by the father); mention of thermocouples or pyrometers. with the youth who was apprenticed to a The subject matter is arranged alphabeticquack doctor and ran away because he could ally and the book is furnished with a handy not stand the quackery; with the man who thumb index. In the selection of headings became perforce a soldier at a moment's notice two distinct principles have been employed.

—there is surely nothing of harm in our being We find (1) the chemical elements—including allowed this possibility, and equally surely their salts—with the most important data rethere is much of good. We are grateful to lating to them and (2) a discussion of physthe author for putting aside his own natural ical and chemical methods of measurement feelings in the interests of his readers. with tables containing the numerical constants

A critic is morally bound to devote one for various substances. For example, under paragraph to complaints, and we will complain “Iron’the density, melting point and boiling of some deficiency in references. There is point of the element, the lines of its arc and for instance, a chapter on. Scientific England,' spark spectrum are given; then follow the describing a visit to Europe with no date at molecular weight and density of twenty, the tached. After looking through the chapter in solubility at different temperatures of seven vain for a date, we turned to the index for iron salts, the multiples and their logarithms the eclipse which is referred to several times of the atomic weight, the specific gravity of in the chapter as supplying the motive for the FeSO,, FeCl, and Fe,(SO), solutions of difexpedition. It is not mentioned in the index! ferent concentration and finally the logarithms Another eclipse (that of 1860, observed in of constants, frequently used in chemical anAmerica by Newcomb) is indexed, but there alyses, for example is no reference to the one mentioned at least

Fe, Feso, + Tag half a dozen times in Chapter X. .

But having fulfilled this critical duty, we This will show the great usefulness of the gladly return to the more congenial attitude book, especially for chemical work. Such an of commendation, and say that the book is

arrangement proves in a great many cases beautifully printed, and that there is an excel

more convenient and—if we can speak of such lent portrait of the author as a frontispiece, a thing in a collection of tables—more inter

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esting than the arrangement usually followed.

Interlarded with the elements are the separate headings for chemical, physical and mathematical constants, for instance: Analysis, solutions, acoustic, electric, optical and critical constants, logarithms and antilogarithms. The table of atomic weights is based on the values, published by the international committee for 1905. .

In some of these cases it might have been better to combine such headings as 'Barometer,' Gases' (with reduction of barometric readings) and ' Air '-or ‘Freezing Mixtures, * Temperature Measurement,' 'Thermochemistry' and ' Heat Constants,' instead of having each in a different part of the book. There are, however, a large number of cross references and an excellent index to facilitate its use.

In these chapters on constants the authors have added some text, containing definitions, derivations and explanations of the more important formulæ, and frequent valuable references to the literature. The chapter on • Units' is the weakest part, since several mistakes and many loose statements have crept in which should not occur in a book of this kind. The gram is defined as the weight of one cubic centimeter of water at. 4° C., instead of the concrete unit; density and specific gravity are used as synonyms. While the numerical values may be identical, namely, if we adopt as unit volume the milliliter, or the wrong definition of the gram (as mass) given by the authors, the two names have not the same physical meaning. The metric equivalent of the English yard is given incorrectly and as the two units of capacity in the United States we find the gallon and the cask, the latter to equal 121.1296 liters. The reviewer feels confident that with him many readers of SCIENCE are ignorant of the existence of such a unit, though certainly one of this size might exist in addition to the many others. The bushel, however, is not given. It would have been well to add to the metric horsepower, as used in Germany, the equivalent of the English horsepower. The electrical units have not been defined in accordance with international

agreement or with the values legalized in Germany; that the E.M.F. of a Clark standard cell is given as 0.69735 volt—the reciprocal of its actual value-may be an oversight.

distinction, though by no means clear, seems to be made between Masse,' Gewicht' and Schwere,' the second probably corresponding in meaning to Holman's · Weightal,' i. e., the quantity of substance as measured by weighing; but the use of the first two as synonyms and the statement that the gramweight is one of the units of the c.g.s. system (see also: One Joule=0.1019 mkg.) leads finally to an evaluation of the 'weight' of the sun instead of its mass.

While the reviewer may appear over-particular in such questions, it can not be sufficiently emphasized how harmful mistakes of this kind are. Like a fog in an otherwise beautiful landscape, they have led many a man off the right road. But this book is principally intended for those who have passed the danger point or are not concerned with definitions of this kind, and for such it will prove to be very useful on account of its handy size and the good selection of the material.


Die heterogenen Gleichgewichte vom Stand

punkte der Phasenlehre. By H. W. BAKHUIS ROOZEBOOM. Zweites Heft: Systeme aus zwei Komponenten. Erster Teil. 14 x 22 cm.; pp. xii + 465. Braunschweig, Friedrich Vieweg und Sohn. 1904.

In this volume the author discusses equilibrium phenomena for two-component systems in which only the components can occur as solid phases. Compounds and solid solutions are to be considered in a later volume. Mixtures of gases apparently do not come under the scope of the book and the author starts off with the equilibrium between liquid and vapor. We have the boiling-point curves for mixtures which give neither a maximum nor a minimum boiling-point, for pairs of liquids with a constant maximum boiling-point, and for pairs of liquids with a constant minimum boiling-point. We also have the pressure-conportant from a theoretical point of view, this section will probably appeal less to the average chemist than will other portions of the book, because relatively few of us have ever had the opportunity of working with high pressures.


centration curves for these systems at constant temperature. In addition to a discussion of the possible qualitative forms of the partial pressure curves, there is a consideration of the quantitative values with special reference to the formulas of Duhem, van der Waals and van't Lloff. The only thing lacking in this summary is a statement of the relation between the heat of dilution and the displacement of a maximum or minimum boilingpoint with change of pressure.

Next in order is a discussion of the complete freezing-point curve. Of special interest is the chapter on the methods of determining the freezing-point curves and the nature of the solid phases. We can locate a freezingpoint curve either thermally by cooling- or heating-curves, or analytically by solubility determinations at constant temperature. For aqueous solutions the latter method is usually the more accurate; but the thermal method is the better for alloys and fused salts, owing to the difficulty of pipetting off the pure solution.

Roozeboom groups the methods for determining the nature of a solid phase under the headings : - Direct Analysis,'Microscopic Examination,' Conductivity, ‘Electromotive Force,'Heat of Formation,'' Other Methods.' While these methods have all been used more or less extensively, they are of very unequal value. When possible, isolation of the solid phase and direct analysis is the most accurate of all. This, however, is usually not feasible in the case of alloys and is often unsatisfactory with efflorescing salts. Microscopic examination is the only method which is of real value for alloys. The methods grouped under conductivity and electromotive force are worthless as general methods and are not to be recommended in special cases except as giving corroborative evidence. Much the same may be said of density determinations, while no one has ever got any results by determining the heat of formation of alloys.

The last portion of the book is devoted to a consideration of equilibrium under high pressures, the phenomena near the critical points forming a special case under this general heading. While interesting in itself and im


The American Naturalist for November contains the following articles: ‘Collection and Preparation of Material for Classes in Elementary Zoology,' by B. G. Smith, giving the methods in use at the University of Michigan; 'A New Ostracod from Nantucket, Cyprinotus americanus,' by Joseph A. Cushman; “Further Notes on Hyla andersonii and Rana virgatipes in New Jersey,' by W. T. Davis; ' A Systematic Study of the Salicaceæ,' by D. P. Penhallow; the concluding paper containing a synopsis of the genera and species and list of literature on the subject.

Momentum in Variation,' by F. B. Loomis, is an all too brief attempt to explain the development of parts beyond the point of apparent utility. Many of the statements need qualification, many are erroneous, and the subject is not one to be disposed of in five pages; it is safer to say we do not know.

The American Journal of Anatomy for December contains the following articles:

JOHN WARREN: “The Development of the Paraphysis and the Pineal Region in Necturus macu. latus. 23 text-figures.

E. T. BELL: “The Development of the Thymus.' 3 plates and 5 text-figures.

J. S. FERGUSON: The Veins of the Adrenal.' 3 text-figures.

GEORGE WALKER: 'The Blood Vessels of the Prostate Gland.' 2 colored plates.

B. M. ALLES: The Embryonic Development of the Rete ('ords and Sex-Cords of Chrysemys.' I double plate and 6 text-figures.

F. T. LEWIS: “The Development of the Lym. phati

F. T. LEWIS: "The Development of the Veins in the Limbs of Rabbit Embryos.' l text-figure.

A notice to members of the Association of American Anatomists of the approaching meeting, Christmas week.

The Annual Report of the Public Museum of Milwaukee, for the year ending August 31,

in Rabbit

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