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The Origin of Magnetism

Nature volume 110, pages 616617 (04 November 1922) | Download Citation



WHEN the proposal was first made to hold in Section A of the British Association at Hull this year a discussion on “The Origin of Magnetism,“ it was met with the criticism from eminent quarters that the time was not yet ripe for the consideration of this subject. Those who attended the meeting will probably agree that this view was justified, for it can scarcely be said that the position was advanced appreciably, or that any real, or even plausible, answer was given to the main question involved. Perhaps this was in some measure due to the regrettable absence of Prof. Langevin, who had promised to make the opening remarks, and had expressed his intention of using the opportunity for a critical survey of the whole subject. But a recurrence of the illhealth from which he has intermittently suffered for a long time deprived the Section of Prof. Langevin's presence and his eagerly anticipated contribution to the discussion. As it was, the discussion lacked coordination; the remarks of the various speakers bore little relation to one another. There was the exposition by Prof. Weiss of his theory of the molecular field and the existence of magnetons; then Sir J. A. Ewing's description of his new molecular magnet models; then the remarks of Dr. A. E. Oxley on the changes of susceptibility imparted to platinum and palladium by the occlusion of hydrogen; and, finally, an account by Mr. L. F. Bates of the measurements of the Richardson effect recently carried out by Dr. Chattock and himself, all contributions of considerable individual interest, but not closely related to one another nor providing an answer to the essential question of the origin of magnetism.

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