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Some Early Terrestrial Magnetic Discoveries Pertaining to England


IT should be a source of considerable pride to British men of science that so many of the discoveries in terrestrial magnetism have been made in England. And yet, owing to the absence of a complete and carefully written history of the development of this science, probably few could enumerate all the achievements in this subject by Englishmen.

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  1. 1

    See remarks in Physical Review, vol. ii. No. 1, p. 72.

  2. 2

    Entitled "The Earliest Isoclinics and Observations of Magnetic Force." (Bull. Phil. Soc. Wash., vol. xii. pp. 397–410.)

  3. 3

    When Graham discovered, a few years after the publication of Whiston's book, that terrestrial magnetism is subject to a daily variation, Whiston perceived the inutility of his method. See "Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Mr. William Whiston. Written by himself." (London, 1749, vol. 1. p. 297.)

  4. 4

    "Sv. Vetensk. Akad. Handl," 1768, p. 193.

  5. 5

    Whiston even calls these lines also "Magnetick Parallels."

  6. 6

    Proc. Roy. Soc., vol. xi. p. 144: "The angle of intersection of the meridian and isoclinics has been diminishing up to about 1840, when a reversal took place, and the angle is now increasing."

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