... from the Manuals of Elementary Science ....




Web Publication by Mountain Man Graphics, Australia in the Southern Spring of 1995

Selected articles from the HardCopyEdition published
by Pott, Young & Co., under the direction of the
Committee of General Literature and Education,
New York, 1882


{1} The following publication is devoted to the Researchers and Students of the Deeper Meanings of Life, and the Nature of Nature.

{2} The evolution of ManKind's generic concept of outer world nature has forever been commensurable with the vision of the age. When the classical western empires of Greece and then Rome faltered and fell apart, it took some time and education before the scattered western man slowly re-commenced it's re-exploration.

{3} Less than four hundred years ago, when the church had the charter to educate concerning the nature of life and the world, it was common knowledge that the cosmos was geocentric - the earth was "observed to be" at the center of the universe, and about the earth revolved the sun, the moon and the planets.

{4} During the seventeenth century, with Galileo and the telescope, it was realised that days were generated by the earth spinning on its axis, and that the the earth and planets revolved around the sun. And the stars seemed to go outwards for ever ... Even the classical civilisations had not generically possessed this knowledge. Held back, by the wrongful persecution of the church, by the lack of communication and educational resources, and by the constant struggle of the average person within the more immediate terrestrial nature, mankind's conception of cosmic nature took its time to evolve.

{5} Then Isaac Newton established his work on the laws of motion and force, and his theory of universal gravity. These concepts were then assimilated by a few generations, engendered by an increased educational and informational environment. While the terrestrial application of this "newly conceived" physical science was soon harnessed to industry, the universality of the theories, especially that of gravity was discussed and reported to the common people. By this stage, the charter in the west, of "the holding the keys to the nature of nature" was starting to move towards the natural scientific community, and to this gravitation, the traditional western churches were intellectually forced to adjust.

{6} Less than 200 years ago, the demonstration of the Facault Pendulum took place. That the earth "truly" spun on its axis could be seriously doubted no longer, and from this time onward, with incremental experimentation and proof of theory, the generations of the west began to be educated by the physical scientific theories, in explanation to the nature of the outer world.

{7} J. Clerk Maxwell, at the time he write the following articles {1882}, was Honorary Fellow of Trinity Colledge, and Professor of Experimental Physics in the University of Cambridge. It would be easily argued that Maxwell's work in the field of Electromagnetism, and in the expression of "Maxwell's Equations" represented the next major "evolutionary" development of scientific thought since the work of Newton. This article will also include Maxwell's summary of Newton's work and preceeding development.

{8} At the beginning of this century, a short time before a number of other western men of science and mathematics including Poincare, Albert Einstein published his Special Theory of Relativity, with the largely popular equation "E=mc2", and shortly thereafter, the General Theory of Relativity. Development often described as "standing on the shoulders of another far-sighted person" is the hallmark of science history, and there is no doubt that the content of Maxwell's work on the Electric and Magnetic Fields, and the concept of Electromagnetism, provided such "shoulders".

{9} The following article (and preface) were written by Maxwell expressly to "state the fundamental doctrines of Matter and Motion" as perceived by his mind at that time just over 100 years ago. This work of Maxwell's, unlike the publication of his research theories to the scientific community, is clearly addressed to the general person of the Era. It would have served as a general summation of the western physical science theory, moreso because Maxwell himself was the leading pioneer at that time in its history.

{10} A selection of articles presented in this publication are replicated from the original work published at New York, in the year of 1882. The statement of the "Quest of Physical Science" could not have been so clearly and concisely expressed in the year of 1882. The little red book of the west could be carried with ease in one's pocket and, with the advent of communications media at that time, its contents would have had an almost global distribution over an increasingly smaller span of time. One only has to read first paragraph of the preface to this work by Maxwell, to be inspired to set out on the treck for "The Quest of the Scientific Conception of Energy", a quest acclaimed to have been completed by Albert Einstein, and the Theory of Relativity in 1908, and who accredited Maxwell with this pioneering work.

{11} What you are about to read is the "SpringBoard" from which Einstein received sufficient momentum to launch the theory of relativity and, as it were, move the generic human conception of the nature of the outer world into an orbit which is related and governed by the fundamental nature of light itself, in particular its constancy to all observers.

{12} One should bear in mind that the foregoing relates to the Mineral Kingdom, and is quite explicit in its definition of terms and frames of reference employed to remind the students and general populous at large in 1882, of this simple fact.

End of editorial commentary.

PRF Brown
BCSLS {Freshwater}
Mountain Man Graphics, Australia
in the Southern Spring of 1995


by J.Clerk Maxwell {1882}

Physical science, which up to the end of the eighteenth century had been fully occupied in forming a conception of natural phenomena as the result of forces acting between one body and another, has now fairly entered on the next stage of progress - that in which the energy of a material system is conceived as determined by the configuration and motion of that system, and in which the ideas of configuration, motion, and force are generalised to the utmost extent warranted by their physical definitions.

To become acquainted with these fundamental ideas, to examine them under all their aspects, and habitually to guide the current of thought along the channels of strict dynamical reasoning, must be the foundation of the training of the student of Physical Science.

The following statement of the fundamental doctrines of Matter and Motion is therefore to be regarded as an introduction to the study of Physical Science in general.


Chapter 1 ... Introduction

Chapter 2 ... On Motion

Chapter 3 ... On Force

Chapter 4 ... On the Properties of the Center of Mass of a Material System

Chapter 5 ... On Work and Energy

Chapter 6 ... Recapitulation

Chapter 7 ... The Pendulum and Gravity

Chapter 8 ... Universal Gravitation

[Editorial Notations][Preface]


... from the Manuals of Elementary Science ....




Web Publication by Mountain Man Graphics, Australia in the Southern Spring of 1995