WHEN a scientific instrument assumes a commercial value beyond its intended scientific use, trustworthy and detailed descriptions of its construction and of the method of its operation become scant if not altogether inaccessible. This class of instrument includes the Eotvos torsion balance, designed in 1888 by the Hungarian physicist, Roland Eotvos, for analysing the local anomalies produced in the riormal gravity conditions by tectonic and geological abnormalities. Of this period, extensive literature is available both as regards construction of the balance and the results of measurements. But since the torsion balance proved to be one of the most useful instruments available for the location of mineral ore deposits, and a considerable refinement has been achieved in its design, trustworthy sources of information and details, from which an independent judgment could be drawn, have been deplorably lacking. The commercial necessity of secrecy by users of the torsion balance renders valuable observational data inaccessible for an indefinite period. The present book is the first comprehensive treatise on the balance published in any language, and it presents a host of informative details.
The ‘Eötvös’ Torsion Balance.
Pp. 90. (London: L. Oertling, Ltd., n.d.) 21s.
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Science & Education (2013)