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General Books publication date: 2009 Original publication date: 1908 Original Publisher: Appleton Subjects: Physics Philosophy / General Science / General Science / Physics Notes: This is a black and white OCR reprint of the original. It has no illustrations and there may be typos or missing text. When you buy the General Books edition of...
General Books publication date: 2009 Original publication date: 1908 Original Publisher: Appleton Subjects: Physics Philosophy / General Science / General Science / Physics Notes: This is a black and white OCR reprint of the original. It has no illustrations and there may be typos or missing text. When you buy the General Books edition of this book you get free trial access to Million-Books.com where you can select from more than a million books for free. Excerpt: CHAPTER II MEASUREMENTS Â 1. Metrology Not so very long ago, the scholar was often content with qualitative observations. Many phenomena were studied without much trouble being taken to obtain actual measurements. But it is now becoming more and more understood that to establish the relations which exist between physical magnitudes, and to represent the variations of these magnitudes by functions which allow us to use the power of mathematical analysis, it is most necessary to express each magnitude by a definite number. Under these conditions alone can a magnitude be considered as effectively known. " I often say," Lord Kelvin has said, " that if you can measure that of which you are speaking and express it by a number you know something of your subject; but if you cannot measure it nor express it by a number, your knowledge is of a sorry kind and hardly satisfactory. It may be the beginning of the acquaintance, but youare hardly, in your thoughts, advanced towards science, whatever the subject may be." It has now become possible to measure exactly the elements which enter into nearly all physical phenomena, and these measurements are taken with ever increasing precision. Every time a chapter in science progresses, science shows itself more exacting; it perfects its means of investigation, it demands more and more exactitude, and one of the most striking features of modern physics is this constant care for strictness and clearness in experimentation. A veritable science of measurement has...
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