Download e-book for iPad: Cohesion: A Scientific History of Intermolecular Forces by J. S. Rowlinson

By J. S. Rowlinson

ISBN-10: 0521810086

ISBN-13: 9780521810081

Why does subject stick jointly? Why do gases condense to beverages, and drinks to solids? This booklet is an in depth old account of the way many of the top scientists of the previous 3 centuries have attempted to respond to those questions. equipped into 4 wide classes of advances in knowing, the 1st 3 are linked to Newton, Laplace and van der Waals, whereas the fourth supplies an account of the winning use within the 20th century of quantum and statistical mechanics to solve lots of the final difficulties.

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Additional resources for Cohesion: A Scientific History of Intermolecular Forces

Sample text

At first sight this looks like a simple case of attraction between the bodies or between one of them and the wall, but ’s Gravesande explained correctly (as had Mariotte before him [127]) that it was the capillary effect of the distortion of the liquid surface by the floating bodies that was the true cause, not the direct effect of attraction between them [184]. There is a similar coming together of two non-wetting bodies, and a repelling if one is wetted and one is not. Mariotte’s and ’s Gravesande’s explanation did not prevent the naive interpretation being put forward again later in the century.

Cotes died three years later, with little in the way of thanks from Newton for his considerable labours, and was succeeded by his cousin, Robert Smith [84], who wrote a thoroughly Newtonian account of geometrical optics in which he adduced arguments to show that the force of attraction of matter for the particles of light was “infinitely stronger than the power of gravity” [85]. William Whiston [86] succeeded Newton as Lucasian professor in 1701 but was ejected from the chair for heresy in 1710; his interests were more in theology and popular astronomy than in mathematics and physics.

Little more was done experimentally at the Royal Society in the field of cohesion after the death of Hauksbee in 1713. T. Desaguliers [61, 88], the son of a Huguenot refugee. He had been educated at Oxford and had succeeded Keill at Hart Hall when Keill had gone abroad in 1710; there he learnt to lecture and demonstrate. His experiments before the Royal Society were many and ingenious but were mainly optical, electrical and mechanical; his Course of experimental philosophy [62] became an important Newtonian textbook.

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Cohesion: A Scientific History of Intermolecular Forces by J. S. Rowlinson


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