Relation Between the Limit of the Powers of the Microscope and the Ultimate Molecules of Matter 1


    THE subject which I have selected for my address is the relation between the limit of the powers of the microscope, and the ultimate molecules of organic and inorganic matter. I think I may at all events claim for this question sufficient novelty. Until the last few years the subject could scarcely have been attempted, and even now so many necessary facts are imperfectly known, that nothing more canbe done than to fill the gaps with plausible assumptions. This necessarily imparts more or less of a speculative character to some of my remarks; but it appears to me that in his annual address the president of a society cannot do better than endeavour to point out the general bearings of what is already known on some great question, even if for no other object than to prove the need of further inquiry.

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