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Clerk Maxwell's Papers

Naturevolume 43pages2627 (1890) | Download Citation



THE gratitude with which we receive these fine volumes is not unmingled with complaint. During the eleven years which have elapsed since the master left us, the disciples have not been idle, but their work has been deprived, to all appearance unnecessarily, of the assistance which would have been afforded by this collection of his works. However, it behoves us to look forward rather than backward; and no one can doubt that for many years to come earnest students at home and abroad will derive inspiration from Maxwell's writings, and will feel thankful to Mr. Niven and the committee of friends and admirers for the convenient and handsome form in which they are here presented.

The Scientific Papers of James Clerk Maxwell.

2 Vols. Edited by W. D. Niven, Director of Studies at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich. (London: Cambridge University Press, 1890.)

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    "With all possible respect for Prof. Maxwell's great ability, I must own that to deduce purely analytical properties of spherical harmonics, as he has done, from Green's theorem and the principle of potential energy, seems to me a proceeding at variance with sound method, and of the same kind and as reasonable as if one should set about to deduce the binomial theorem from the laws of virtual velocities or make the rule for the extraction of the square root flow as a consequence from Archimedes's law of floating bodies."-Sylvester, Phil. Mag., ii. p. 306, 1876.

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