Letter | Published:

Repulsion

Abstract

SIR W. THOMSON, in his address at Montreal, asks: “May it not be that there is no such thing as repulsion, and that it is solely by inertia that what seems to be repulsion is produced?” And he proceeds to illustrate this by the case of two mutually attracting bodies approaching, then dashing past one another in sharply concave curves round their common centre of gravity, and so flying asunder again. He adds that this idea was suggested to him thirty-five years ago by an observation of Sir H. Davy. And I think one may gather that his impression is that it is one that has not presented itself to other minds in the interval.

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