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Royal Society of London Catalogue of Scientific Papers, 1800–1900


THIS second volume of the Royal Society's subject index illustrates the difficulties, as well as the merits, of the undertaking. The vagueness of the boundary between mechanics and mathematics, on the one side, and between mechanics and physics on the other, must have given some trouble, but this kind of problem seems to have been dealt with fairly satisfactorily. The difficulties of internal classification, on the other hand, are most perplexing and baffling. One constant source of difficulty is that the mere title of a paper often gives a wholly inadequate, or even a misleading, notion as to its real scope; the same paper may, moreover, contain matters which in any complete system of classification. would fall under quite distinct headings. As regards papers published since 1883, the editors have attempted to deal with this point, and we are told that in all such cases the contents have been examined by experts. It is unfortunate that the same process could not be extended backwards so as to cover the whole century, but the labour involved would have been enormous, and the result at the best imperfect.

Royal Society of London.

Catalogue of Scientific Papers, 1800–1900. Subject Index, Vol. ii., Mechanics. Pp. lxxiii+355. (Cambridge: University Press, 1909.) Price 15s. net.

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Royal Society of London Catalogue of Scientific Papers, 1800–1900. Nature 83, 361–362 (1910).

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