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Ready Reference Tables

Nature volume 70, page 269 (21 July 1904) | Download Citation



THIS is the first of a series of reference tables which Mr. Hering has in course o° preparation, and which are intended to contain all the data most generally required by engineers and physicists. The author has aimed not only at making the tables handy for reference, but also at making them complete and accurate to a degree not usually attained by pocket books. Thus in the present volume the conversion factors are given to six or more significant figures, their reciprocals are given, and also seven-figure logarithms. This is a degree of accuracy which can be but rarely required, and in deference, we suppose, to the practical engineer, the author has added approximate fractional values; everyone, therefore, should be able to find what he wants. All the values have been most carefully re-calculated and cheeked from the various legal definitions, thus making the data authoritative. The value of the book as a standard for reference cannot be questioned; the arrangement is more open to criticism, and we cannot help thinking that the method of tabulation adopted, which is to arrange all the tables in order of the size of the quantities, results, in an unnecessary amount of repetition. For example, the same factor is repeated five times (with a change only in the position of the decimal point) for converting respectively milligrams, centigrams, decigrams, grams, and kilograms into grains. If this is really desirable, it should be consistently followed out; yet one finds the grain expressed onhy in terms of the milligram, centigram, and gram, the decigram only in terms of the grain and gram, and not otherwise mentioned in the table. The result is that one hardly knows where to look for what one wants, which considerably detracts from the merits of a compilation excellent in all other respects.

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