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Magnetism and Electricity

Nature volume 110, page 630 (11 November 1922) | Download Citation

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Abstract

WRITTEN in colloquial language, this book, which is a first-year course on magnetism and electricity, will appeal to many beginners besides the students in technical institutions, for whom it is primarily intended. “These students have one great quality: they are out to learn and to understand, and as they are not hampered by the immediate necessity of cramming for any particular examination, are able to enjoy the pleasures of understanding instead of suffering the terrors of memorising.... Memory is useful for examinees, but understanding is essential for engineers.” There is abundant evidence throughout these pages that the author is familiar with the difficulties met with by the beginner, and he is always careful to explain the technical terms which are apt to be used freely by text-book writers who have almost forgotten that their jargon is not that of the man in the street. Magnetism is first dealt with, and then the ideas of static and current electricity are introduced. The author is particularly successful in developing the self-contained water circuit analogy, the basic idea of which is that energy can be distributed without any consumption of the water. Experience has convinced him that the plan of introducing the measurement of electrical energy at an early stage is very effective. The basic ideas of electromagnetic induction are discussed in some detail, and in the final chapters the phenomena of electrostatics are briefly treated. We can recommend the book to those for whom it is intended, but fear to think what the modern relativist would have to say to such statements as, “Anything which has weight is called Matter: magnetism is therefore not matter” (page 21); “This something which is called energy has not got weight” (page 57)

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https://doi.org/10.1038/110630a0

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